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  • Windows frontends suck

    I feel I was provoked by the vast number of windows frontends that consistently appear that don't introduce anything new.

    I hope this doesn't come across as arrogant. I am presenting this as just an FYI in case anyone wonders if any frontend system really stands out from the rest:

    http://wiki.openice.org/index.php/Wh..._than_the_rest
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  • #2
    I've been wondering for a while now, but just haven't had a chance to test myself. How well does nGhost play with compiz-fusion's desktop cube feature? I'm thinking that it would be neat to switch between Navigation and Music by spinning the cube. Just a useless eye candy feature. Thoughts?
    Tidder

    Try RevFE
    The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


    I Wish I could ban people

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tidder View Post
      I've been wondering for a while now, but just haven't had a chance to test myself. How well does nGhost play with compiz-fusion's desktop cube feature? I'm thinking that it would be neat to switch between Navigation and Music by spinning the cube. Just a useless eye candy feature. Thoughts?
      in an early icepanel demo, I used compiz to show off window manager control. The same thing can easilly be done in nghost as they are based off the same framework.

      [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tndrZLqpom0[/media]

      btw, thanks for not flaming :P
      Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
      Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
      Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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      • #4
        hah... "erogant"
        Progress - VIA EPIA SP8000 | 120 Opus Power Supply & Case | 1GB Ram | 120GB 2.5" Hard Drive | Bluetooth 2.0 | GPRS/3G | Wifi | Road Runner/LSX 2.0 (waiting for a day skin for 3.0) | iGuidance 4.0 | Lilliput 7"

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        • #5
          I tried LinuxICE as the first front end in my carpc project. There were many things I liked about it, but in the end I switched to xp with roadrunner. Heres why...

          1) I never used linux before so I had a steep learning curve to overcome.
          2) I wanted to use fusion brain for my steering wheel controls
          3) I was anxious to install the carpc, and I didn't want to wait for a final version of nghost
          4) XP/roadrunner is more supported

          I'm not trying to bash ice at all, in fact I think it is better as a carpc os than xp. My system ran fast, stable and booted up and resumed from hibernation very quick. The biggest problem that made me switch was my lack of linux knowledge. I am not a programmer and things were very difficult for me to try and troubleshoot.

          But...... if in the future there was a finalized "plug and play" version of ice/nghost with support for the hardware I wanted to run I would be very tempted to switch back. Hopefully by then I will understand linux a little better.
          "Who run Barter Town?"

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          • #6
            Hey kev000, there's just a couple of things I'm confused on. LinuxICE = stand alone distro? So I don't want that, because I'm wanting to use ubuntu Hardy. So I just grab nGhost from their repos instead correct? And do I want stable or unstable? I see there's a final version out, is it still in the unstable? I looked around for some documentation, but came up fruitless.

            EDIT: One more question. If I were to install this on my home machine (Hardy also) will I open myself up to any problems? I've running mysql, apache, all the php junk, compiz, etc. Does nGhost do any customization or "take-over" of any of the default apps? Maybe I'll throw it in VirtualBox first just to test it out.
            Tidder

            Try RevFE
            The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


            I Wish I could ban people

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            • #7
              I think that's a bit harsh...

              Its not that windows frontends suck, it is just that there are people who constantly reinvent the wheel. Not always a bad thing, but recently there have been a lot of "I am making a frontend in language "X" and will do nothing different from any of the others that have been around for years"

              again it is the reason why there are more viruses for windows than for linux (which does have some btw...) windows is more popular, more people program on it, therefore those that are just learning are probably on a windows box, and making a non-revolutionary frontend for windows.

              Something that might help LinuxIce's appeal to windows only people, is to make one of those distributions that installs itself virtually if inside a windows environment. I forget which distro is the one that started it, but in windows it shows up as an exe. Stores the entire OS to 1 single file, can be run inside of XP/Vista. That way those that dont want to do a full install on a seperate computer to check something out, they can run it and see how they like it inside friendly environment.
              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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              • #8
                I think Ubuntu did that with their latest version. IIRC it shows up as a program, and can be uninstalled via the remove programs thing within windows.
                Tidder

                Try RevFE
                The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


                I Wish I could ban people

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tidder View Post
                  I think Ubuntu did that with their latest version. IIRC it shows up as a program, and can be uninstalled via the remove programs thing within windows.
                  I think you are correct, that sounds about right.
                  Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                  1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                  30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                  15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                  Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                    I think that's a bit harsh...

                    \.
                    It just means Kev is about to release something and wants everyone's attention. Not the first time he has started this thread.

                    There's this one....
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...frontends.html

                    Then this one....
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...ead-dying.html

                    Here's another....
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/revi...mparision.html post 9

                    Anyway........seems to work for him.
                    My opinion is my own.

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                    • #11
                      I may as well chime in and say its not always that people are unsatisfied with what is out there; it can be because they simply want to do it themselves even if their offering doesn't do a whole lot different.

                      I can say that developing my own mac front end has increased my programming knowledge and skill more than 10 fold and will look pretty decent on a resume considering how many different bases a front end covers on top of covering some bases I never even knew of . since I want to be a mac developer obviously it was in my best interest to make my own front end using mac development tools and frameworks (plus i don't know jack about coding in linux, and honestly don't even know c++ that well, I'm pretty much straight Ojb-C)

                      I do agree with the philosophy that the OS itself should be the "front end" and that the only reasonable way to do that is through linux, but since most devs here don't know jack about programming for linux we are stuck with alternatives, but those alternatives work very well us.

                      Just out of curiosity what kind of "new things" could/should these windows front ends be bringing to the table?
                      check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by danielkh View Post
                        It just means Kev is about to release something and wants everyone's attention. Not the first time he has started this thread.

                        There's this one....
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...frontends.html

                        Then this one....
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/soft...ead-dying.html

                        Here's another....
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/revi...mparision.html post 9

                        Anyway........seems to work for him.
                        hahahaha

                        Okay, I'll admit the title was a bit harsh. Don't know why now I used that... Would you have read it though if it were called "nghost's uniqueness" ? maybe... The link actually doesn't bash on windows frontends, it just points out core differences. I don't think that windows frontends suck, actually most of them cover more of the features than nGhost does. I would like to see other frontends innovate (then I can steal their ideas and use them to take over the world...)

                        Tidder, you are correct that you can use nGhost with any distro you prefer. There is a package for ubuntu on the sourceforge download page: http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=249517

                        you can get automatic updates if you install it from the nghost ubuntu repo:

                        http://nghost-project.com/nghost/downloads/

                        It won't override any apps that you already have.

                        NeonDev, I believe you are right. I really feel bad that I was harsh. It is a noble cause to develop a frontend for the sake of learning to program. And it's quite satisfying to post it up here and get feedback. That's exactly what I did, in fact, if I hadn't of decided to try and do it on Linux first (or if visual studio wasn't so expensive), I'd probably have done YAWF (yet another windows frontend). I'm glad I stuck with Linux though, the knowledge you gain from learning Linux is definitely empowering.

                        I'm a jerk
                        Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                        Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                        Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                        • #13
                          Just out of curiosity what kind of "new things" could/should these windows front ends be bringing to the table?
                          hehe, that's the 1 bazillion dollar question. I'd like to see a windows frontend implement an IPC interface. But that really wouldn't be new cuz nGhost does it. Honestly, (and I may be shooting myself in the foot if anyone decides to do it), if I had to write a windows frontend, this is what I would do:

                          I would create a core set of libraries. derived from these libraries would be a couple apps which all communicate and share info with each other using some method of IPC. There would be a media player app, an application app, and possibly a couple other apps for other things (like wifi or something).

                          the framework which all would derive would be based on the clutter toolkit (http:clutter-project.org). I would implement a plugin interface. ....most of my ideas for the ideal system can't apply to windows because I'm not allowed to replace core peices of the OS and gui...

                          it seems that I would be limited to the level of integration I could have with the OS, which is possibly why the lack of innovation? Not having cool things like dbus in windows kinda makes IPC suck. In Linux, heaps of apps and core system utilities implement a dbus interface for you to tap... However, things like XM and GPS rock in windows for now, so it's really a toss up: do you want all the features, or do you want innovation. I guess most people want the features...
                          Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                          Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                          Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                          • #14
                            IPS is just talking between apps basically. That is the point of a COM object. RoadRunner uses it, that is what all the plugins are. So does almost every app today. Talking over a network can be done with sockets if you wanted too.

                            And dbus is the same correct? I dont know the terms but the ideas mostly since self taught. And yes dbus is on windows: http://sourceforge.net/projects/windbus if that is infact what you are talking about.

                            When was the last time you saw the flying multi-coloured window logo? 1995?
                            Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                            1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                            30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                            15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                            Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would create a core set of libraries. derived from these libraries would be a couple apps which all communicate and share info with each other using some method of IPC. There would be a media player app, an application app, and possibly a couple other apps for other things (like wifi or something).
                              Is there a reason that separate apps working together via IPC is better than a container app housing various "plugin modules"? even if the answer was undoubtedly yes, would it really be feasible under windows?

                              I myself prefer plugins because first off, if done right, they all maintain a consistent interface built with a shared framework of controls which also helps with rapid plugin development. I know that you can use a common framework for multiple apps as well, but plugins for the most part require it. I know the whole philosophy of linux is to break free from "the box", but I really think "the box" is a good thing in this case. people want consistency in the look and the feel of the front end they are using (us mac folk anyway, can't really speak for the windows scene...). just so long as the plugin interface is robust and flexible enough to not confine you from accomplishing something you want to do...

                              I don't know if the libraries you mentioned had anything to do with interface or not, but if they did I really don't see a significant advantage/disadvantage of either method. other than perhaps using IPC on windows/mac not being quick or efficient enough, but I am sure that is easily addressed in linux since you are basically custom compiling the OS for that purpose. Obviously since windows people don't get to custom compile their OS IPC will always be limited by MS.
                              check us out at: www.neonboombox.com

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