Thursday, 21 January 2010

Linux and 'the best'

Some of you may well agree with what I'll say next. Many won't.
There is no such thing, especially within Linux, as 'the best'.
That doesn't seem to stop people from trying to identify it.

Take the Linux Questions forum - now, I have no objection to their polls for the best this or that of the year. I've even voted there myself, and made a few posts. But as far as I'm concerned, it's just a measure of how many people share the same opinion.

See, for me, my 'best' setup is like this:
Openbox/Gnome session, with Guake terminal and aMSN on autostart, the topshelf applet on the top Gnome panel for quick access alongside a CPU and network monitor. Using Firefox as the web browser of choice, and as the Office suit of choice.

Openbox because it lightens up almost anything. For a time, even KDE managed to run near flawlessly using it on my old laptop.
Gnome because in my opinion, there is no desktop environment more customisable.
Guake - I've been told it's dated, obsolete and old. I've been told to use Terminator. That doesn't change the fact that Terminator doesn't do what I want. Guake is a one button drop down terminal. I use the terminal that often, having Guake there on F12 whenever I want it is perfect.
aMSN. Personal choice. Emesene is good in a pinch, but aMSN is my preference. XChat handles IRC, and that's all the rest I've ever needed.
TopShelf. A damned useful Gnome Panel applet if I ever saw one. You feed it your files, and it sits around pretty much as an instant link to them. For example, I'm writing two stories at the moment - they're both in there, and it's invaluable when I suddenly have an idea (Usually at 3 am...) and have to write it down before I forget. (Also thanks to the quick start up time. You'd never think a laptop this old could start up so damn quick)
For the CPU monitor, I use CPUFire. I like watching the fire. The normal system monitor applet handles network traffic, with the colours changed so blue is local, red is up and yellow is down. Instantly able to tell what the traffic is like.

Now then.
Much as I keep trying to find other browsers, Firefox has a firm hold on me. Chromium/Google Chrome are useful short term or speed browsing alternatives, but Firefox, despite it's being slighty overweight in memory and CPU usage, simply cannot be replaced. I've even got to the point where I refuse to use Debian's rebranded Iceweasel because I wanted true Firefox, and installed it to /opt/Firefox though that was mostly to figure out what /opt was actually for.
As to well, there's plenty of solutions out of there, but I find it's perfect. Even more so with the Gnome package enabled, providing Gnome integration.

So, some of you have probably read that and thought, Hey, that's not the best one, why don't you use this instead? (You are of course welcome to say such things in the comments! I welcome new ideas.)
As I said before though - this is what I currently find is my 'the best'
Before though, I've had a 'best' that was pure Openbox. And another that was KDE/Konqueror/KOffice. My Gnome setup on desktop PC's is totally different from this setup for my laptop.

So as you can see... it's difficult to tell where the 'best' really is. Statistics and polls can only tell you what popular opinion says.

And now, for a shameless self plug. You might have noticed I mentioned something about writing stories. Yes, I write. Not much, and currently I'm unpublished (And unpublishable, until I rewrite a lot of words) but there are some stories online you can see.
They're fanfictions, and they're sparked off ideas I've had while watching my little brother. Don't ask. He's more crazy than I am.
But if you want to see my stories as I upload them, point your web browser to to find me, and at the bottom of the page you'll find my stories.

Now I'm off to go write some more to one of them before I forget what I was going to write. Where's that topshelf applet...

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