not all change is progress
July 6, 2015
Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg
Venturing back to the Jurassic era, your Luddites took three tiling window managers for a spin and found that walking with dinosaurs can be a fun and productive experience. Plus, we’ve all the fortnight’s news, our first impressions of Mageia 5, and the usual thought-provoking mailbag of your feedback to chew over.Intro
Joe spoke about his recent purchase of a Gigabyte BRIX GB-BXPi3-4010 barebones PC with built-in projector. Since recording, Joe’s installed Trisquel 7 on the box to see how it copes with a truly Libre OS, and found it to be largely flawless. The only snag he’s hit is with Wi-Fi, which is provided by a combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card, and which can be swapped out fairly easily.
Red Hat enters mobile software market with Samsung
Samsung sells a million Tizen-fitted Z1s in less than six months, plans Gold version
Next Tizen Smartphone is the Samsung Z3
EU agrees to eliminate roaming charges but net neutrality rules disappoint
EU plans to destroy net neutrality by allowing Internet fast lanes
Privacy & Security
Google Chrome Listening In To Your Room Shows The Importance Of Privacy Defense In Depth
Google removes “always listening” code from Chromium
Changes to Domain Name Rules Place User Privacy in Jeopardy
MAC address privacy inches towards standardisation
Wayback Machine’s 485 billion web pages blocked by Russian government order
[show #43] Joint Statement from the CC and KC
[show #44] according to Martin Wimpress, the Librem 13 is basically the same box as the Entroware Apollo; uses the same touchpad as the Librem 15 and the Apollo, and so will suffer the same touchpad issues (see the heading “touchpad driver”) as the 15 – and the Apollo, which we spoke about in our review on show #40
[show #30] The 1TB UbuTab Tablet with Ubuntu and Windows Scam Is Unfolding
Ubuntu MATE hardware partnership with LibreTrend
0:40:55 First Impressions
Joe, with a little help from Jesse, gave us his First Impressions of Mageia 5.
A huge thank you to David Garth-Owen for the PayPal donation, and to Michael Perryman and Richard Clayton for becoming Monthly Supporters. And on Flattr, Robert Orzanna and Clemens Gruber were good enough to tip their hats our way.
Joe paid thanks to Gary Newell for the frequent mentions our show receives over at Everyday Linux User. Thanks, Gary.
Whilst OggCamp 2015 has yet to be officially announced, it will be held 30 October through 1 November at Liverpool John Moores University. The three Luddites are booked and ready to roll, and are looking forward to meeting many of you in person again.
Most of the full talks from the OpenTech 2015 conference are now available as audio or video from their website. If you enjoyed the interviews last show, these should be well worth checking out. And thanks to both Pete and Ron Houk for your comments about that show segment, and some of the topics it raised.
Matthew Valentine-House got in touch to give us a better idea of what Apple’s plans for Swift will likely mean in practice, whilst Will echoed our thoughts about the parlous state of SourceForge. Brian36 picked up on a point that Will also made – that we really are fortunate in the Linux world to have access to software via sensibly maintained and managed repos.
Graham made a couple of well-considered points about FOSS development in his mail from Japan, and we talked around the leadership angle a little by reference to Jesse’s Google Plus poll on this topic.
Finally, Jon “The Nice Guy” Spriggs sent us a link to a blogpost from Max Kreminski that had us nodding along. We covered similar ground comprehensively back on show #17, when revisiting The UNIX-Haters Handbook twenty years after publication, so that may be worth a listen if Max’s points have got the old grey matter ticking over.
1:16:56 Tiling Window Managers
Frequently seen as relics of the past, at least some tiling window managers are still in active development today. But why? We took awesome, xmonad and i3 for a spin to try to find out.
Whilst enthusing about i3, Paddy mentioned a Google Tech
Talk given by Michael Stapelberg, i3’s primary author.
It’s well worth checking out, not only to get a feel for i3,
but also as a primer on some of the benefits of tiling WMs
generally. Paddy also spoke about j4-dmenu-desktop,
.desktop based menu tool which is great
for i3, but also works well with other window managers.
I recently have tried out i3. Yeah I find it nice on laptops with dodgy touchpads as using it on battery wiht a mouse and no table can be annoying. Yeah wallpaper only really shows at boot. Yeah i3 is not something I would put my mom in front. I find I use maximized windows most of the time anyway so it is not. I actually put i3 on top of ubuntu mate and ended up getting a ton of really nice applications installed vlc hexchat firefox libreofffice. I did not like mate interface out of the box until I used mate tweak for redmond and workspace switcher to make it similar enough to lxde. I still find using the mouse quite useful for web browsing and other things. To connect to wifi in i3 I find I need to start the nm-applet and then you can click the tiny button in the tray.
I think the blob in chromium was downloaded at runtime and the new compile-time option disables/excludes this code. But it’s kinda like your browser installing a plugin like flash or java.
As far as I know Netflix runs all their global infrastructure (besides those FreeBSD appliances constantly pushing 40gbits of cached video from inside an ISP’s network) on AWS so they’ve already paid Amazon for the bandwidth they’re using. So it’s a different market they should look at to fix their issues with usage of bandwidth, isn’t it?
Ipv6 got its privacy extensions years ago (I think even
Windows uses those by default) to prevent a user from
being trackable via a MAC-derivated host-part of their
IPv6 addresses. Apple is already randomizing the wifi MAC
on their iOS devices.
So it’s more like big companies agreeing on something some of them are already doing.
More comments may follow as I’m a tiling WM user for quite some time now ;)
Hi guys. I was happy to hear all of the talk around tiling window managers. I use i3 about half of the time and unity or xfce the rest of the time, depending on which computer I’m using. To answer your problem with not being able to graphically manage your network interfaces, all you need to do is have nm-applet in your startup config I the i3 config file. I have that, Drop Box, and one other app starting automatically when i log in.
Irridium is a version of chromium with all of the spooky privacy-compromising bits and bobs removed. It seems worth a shot unless you need some of Chrome’s proprietary features (DRM, flash, etc).
Hi, I think you guys did quite a good review, Though this
is a bit like asking someone to try Vim/Emacs for a week…
its unavoidable, but first impressions will focus a on
the learning curve.
Nevertheless, agree with your conclusion.
Working on graphics applications (not _only_ terminals), its invaluable to have multi-monitors, code+tests+output+debugger+docs … all in their own tiles, with directional window placement/navigation.
OTOH, a lot of typical usage doesn’t involve switching windows all that often. For people who mostly run a few maximized apps, its probably not worth the learning curve.
Thanks for another great show!
It surprised me when you positioned Gnome 3 as the opposite of keyboard navigation. The Gnome 3 keyboard bindings are one of the reasons I use Gnome 3 on my openSUSE machine. (I use Arch with Awesome on my old netbook since it’s light weight and has great screen real estate.)
In Awesome you find applications by hitting System key+r and start typing. In Gnome you only hit the System key and start typing, so there’s actually fewer steps. Gnome will also, like Gnome Do did, position those applications you use most often at the start. So System key, ‘f’ and then Enter key is all it takes for me to start Firefox.
You can snap a window to each side and maximize with the System key+arrow keys. For my 15″ desktop screen, that’s all the tiling I need – or can reasonably fit.
You switch workspace with Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys. Add the Shift key and you’ll drag a window along.
I also enjoy Gnomes advanced Alt+Tab for applications (plus arrow keys or Alt+the-key-above-tab for windows), but you also switch between windows by hitting the System key, and then use arrow keys.
Also: Ctrl+m for messages, Ctrl+Alt+t for terminal, Shift+F10 for context menu and Super+F10 for top bar menu, Super+a for Applications. And, yes: F11 for full screen.
Oh, by the way: In Awesome, tags are different from workspaces because a window can have multiple tags and therefor persist across multiple “workspaces”. If that made sense.
So I guess Gary Newell lives in a world where Linux Luddites does exist?
As for a (developer) community driven project of 20 years
look at FreeBSD. When you annoy the devs by posting too
many good patches to the mailinglists you’ll get punished
with a commit bit. Contributions by big companies are
welcome but if they would push the project too far into
one direction (like Netflix optimizing the network stack
for streaming as much continuous data as possible) they
But the BSD folks tend to be a bit older than your generic early Linux enthusiast was so the culture there is a bit more grown up ;)
While some might argue wether this is the case with the OpenBSD folks they tend to stick to the Unix philosophy’s meaning more than its words and legacy specifications. When something gets deprecated by the addition of a saner approach the old code will be removed from the base system.
Great show as always, guys.
I wonder if the window manager discussion would have been better if all three of you had just reviewed i3. It is nice to highlight different options, but as Campbell mentioned a lot of the discussion ended up being about the learning curve common to all three window managers, so contrasting Joe and Jesse’s first impressions of i3 with Paddy’s greater knowledge might have given more insight about tiling window managers. I do a lot to optimize my set up for keyboard use and I have thought about trying out a tiling window manager, but overall I did not get the impression that I would gain much from one from your discussion. Typically, I use my applications in full screen (or two half screens) in their own workspaces and switch between them using workspace switching shortcuts, Alt+Tab, and a keyboard-driven application launcher/selector. I will try to take a look at the i3 tech talk video though.
That is depressing about the Librem markup, though I don’t know what to expect for low volume FLOSS friendly products.
I’d be curious to hear more if you choose to discuss it. I’m sure that Paddy has some interesting angles on the topic. It’s been long enough since the last net neutrality media discussion that I have forgotten all of the nuances. When I look at it without the nuances, I always get stuck on the question — Netflix pays for some amount of bandwidth to upload, subscribers pay for some amount of bandwidth for download; why should ISP’s be able to charge Netflix more because it sources large volumes of traffic?
I was nonplussed to find that Joe’s review of Mageia v. 5 boiled down to “it just works, but it needs more chrome and bigger fins.”
“Just works” is what I want from a distro or a package.
As mentioned I’m using a tiling window manager for years
now. First wmii and then Awesome (b/c the wmii pkg was
broken or I couldn’t get it to compile on OpenSolaris or
As you mentioned most people just run a few applications in fullscreen anyway (Firefox, Thunderbird, lilyterm/urxvt with tmux for me) but occasionally I want to rearrange them and doing so or just switching between tags/workspaces without reaching for the mouse is just way more comfortable for me. I don’t use any common desktop features anyway, why bother to install all the additional crud? I mostly work in a tmux-session anyway.
And while the hype about transparent windows is long gone there are terminals with a semitransparent background so you still see your wallpaper ;)
i used to use xmonad but then changed to i3. i3 is easier to configure.
on the laptop, i have windows set to be full screen, stacked. it’s easy to cycle round them.
i never had a real use for workspaces until i started using a tiling manager. i can immediately go directly to the application i want. it’s very quick.
fwiw, i also use firefox with vimperator… so no mouse needed there! vimperator is really good, if you like keyboards.
as an editor, emacs since 1985. so that’s all keys.
and as file manager, usually Krusader, which is a Norton commander clone. again, not much need for a mouse.
the whole lot work very well together.
When I heard Joe mention you would be taking a look at
tiling window managers I immediately chuckled and thought
to myself: “right, so who’s up for learning Haskell?”
I tend to describe my early experience to would-be XMonad adopters as a journey of exploration, and the Haskell part was probably the most enriching (besides the usual “you’re productive as hell once things become muscle memory”).
With that said, I can’t help but feel an injustice in Jesse’s description that XMonad had none of the features the others boasted, when everything you were commenting about is available… if you can muster the strength to put it all together :)
I’ve heard XMonad best described as “framework for building your tiling wm”, which is pretty accurate. This of course means a newcomer won’t get a flashy experience out of the box, but I believe the results far outweigh the costs. Furthermore, wouldn’t a similar learning curve be present for any other paradigm shift one happens to encounter?
So, for posterity, please mention the “Getting started” section in xmonad.org/documentation.html (the cheatsheet was my wallpaper for weeks!) and, especially, xmonad-contrib, which is where the bulk of the user-facing functionalities are. Finally, should Jesse feel like exploring, the “config archive” in the documentation page above has plenty of screenshots.
Hey Luddites, thanks for another good show. Your episode happened to correspond with me finding out that I could use Debian full-time at work, so I decided to try i3. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and enjoying it. You definitely have to get a good default setup (startup apps, i3lock, Gnome settings daemon, etc.). I spend a fair amount of time staring at terminal windows, so tiling works great for me.
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