[openbox] which distro?

Nathan Fisher nfisher at grafpup.com
Wed Dec 20 22:57:53 EST 2006

On Wed, 2006-12-20 at 23:11 -0500, mike obrien wrote:
> it really seems like everyone is saying that openbox works well everywhere, 
> with very little variation.   i wonder if this is true of all the better 
> window managers.   if so, i wonder if the varied results people have gotten 
> with gnome, kde and xfce can all be boiled down to just their complexities.
> in case you're interested, i started a thread on the ubuntu forums about this 
> thread here - http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=1913205#post1913205
> fuscia

I think it does boil down to complexity, and more specifically library
dependencies. I don't know how many of you have ever tried to compile
and package Gnome or KDE, but either one can be a very taxing chore by
the time all of the dependencies are worked out. Of the two, KDE seems
to be the easier to bootstrap and get going, but unless you spend a lot
of time getting things like Howl working (and by extension messing with
things like kernel headers) then there is a good chance that your
installation might be partially broken anyway.

Combine all that complexity with the fact that the library versions vary
so widely from one distro to the next, and it becomes really evident why
KDE or Gnome can behave so differently on different systems. Openbox
hardly has any dependencies besides X and GTK, so it's really hard to
mess it up. Same things that make iceWM and Fluxbox so appealing to a
lot of people.

When I am looking for an application for some task, one of the first
things I look for is desktop independence. Applications like Openbox,
RXVT, and Leafpad fill the bill nicely. All of those apps will run on
every distro I want to run, or even on BSD. Gnome loses a bit of
functionality when you try to run it on BSD, on account of certain parts
interacting too closely with the Linux kernel.


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