Title photo
frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 06 Oct 2012

GNOME 3: Renaming Nautilus as Files is a good idea

The more I think about it, GNOME's renaming of applications with a clear word as to what they do is a good thing to do.

The file manager Nautilus is now called Files.

The web browser Epiphany is now called Web.

I believe that Totem will eventually be Movies (or something like that).

Sure it makes it hard to manage these applications when you don't have them installed.

But when you install a Linux distribution (or eventually a BSD system that runs GNOME 3) with a complete GNOME environment, users won't be confused and need to scale a steep learning curve to figure out what they need to click to find ... Files. And the Web. And what they need to click to watch video (like "Movies").

I will ignore the fact that Epiphany (now Web) as a browser is not quite ready for prime time, and almost all users will need and want Firefox or Chromium/Chrome (or Opera for those who love Opera). Maybe Epiphany will get up to speed. By that I mean it will get Flash support.

But overall, simple declarative names for core applications is a good idea. Maybe they'll retain their descriptive package names (Epiphany, Nautilus, Totem, Gedit, etc.). Or maybe they'll have a GNOME-appended package name (gnome-web, gnome-files, gnome-movies, gnome-text-editor). That would make package management more sane.

But for users coming to the GNOME desktop for the first time, clear and simple application names gets them going that much faster.

Fri, 05 Oct 2012

The minimalist web

Not all of these sites are the work of self-proclaimed minimalists. Most are. All are worth a look:

The PyBlosxom blogging software isn't dead, but it's not terribly alive either, plus why I use Ode as my flat-file blogging system of choice

PyBlosxom, a very worthy project that took the Perl-based Blosxom and re-did it in Python, has been slow, development-wise, for a long time now.

In recent months the project was near death, but a new maintainer is at least watching over what's left.

Not that Blosxom is an active, living project, because it isn't.

Read the rest of this post

Mon, 01 Oct 2012

It may not be wrong, but I know it ain't right: I push my work e-mail through Gmail

I spent a brief time years ago pumping the mail from my terrible workplace e-mail server to Gmail, which obliterated many sins (low capacity, terrible software and hardware) while giving rise to others (Google is data-mining us like crazy).

Well, after years of IMAP in Thunderbird, I'm changing course. I'm letting Google's Gmail handle my work mail again.

I'm aware that Google is using my e-mail to craft marketing messages it will aim at me. I don't like it, but I don't hate it enough to suffer through my current mail routine, with the inbox maxing out more days than not. That leads to all sorts of lost productivity on my part.

And my coworkers are making increasing use of Google Drive/Docs, Calendar and Google Plus (with plenty of Google Chat/Talk and Hangouts).

My thinking: If I'm doing all of that, Gmail doesn't add much to the spy vector. And this is for work only. I've been trying to do most of my personal e-mail off of Gmail -- and every other ad-supported e-mail service.

But faced with a poor e-mail system that I must use daily, Gmail makes it much more usable. Google has won me over. Again.