Re: A sincere goodbye to AfterStep (for the nth time)

Rob Hoyle (
Tue, 4 Aug 1998 01:02:00 -0500 (CDT)

I dont really care all that much
what this guy about off topic. Sounds to me
Like Mr. Dunbar has some issues.


On Tue, 4 Aug
1998, Ewan Dunbar wrote:

> Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 01:33:19 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Ewan Dunbar <>
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: A sincere goodbye to AfterStep (for the nth time)
> A message to the developers:
> I will be leaving AS now. I've realized that my theory is really, really
> true: the fewer the frills, the fewer the hassles. I'll take pixmaps and
> sounds as souvenirs, just like I did with KDE, though with KDE I also took
> quite a few programs. I've found that AfterStep is to window managers as
> RedHat is to Linux distributions, and KDE is to WMs as Caldera is to
> distributions.
> AfterStep just causes a lot of hassle. All the configuration files, that
> stupid hierarchy that people can turn off, but don't generally care to. I
> don't like all that. I _always_ end up running back to fvwm (1) because
> IMHO it's the best. While I used AS, I had a lot of fun, and yes, you can
> do more with it than FVWM, but FVWM is the old classic. So is Slackware.
> They both work well, and after using AfterStep, I must say it's
> commendable, as I must say about RedHat.
> When AS finds its roots, gets less flashy, and simpler, but maintains its
> great customizability -- and I know this is possible, and it can and will
> happen -- someone can e-mail me. It _is_ possible to be very, very
> customizable and not so disorganized, and more polished, like FVWM. Part
> of it lies in getting rid of ~/G/L/A, and /usr/share/afterstep. Forget it.
> It's silly. It doesn't make configuration easier. You're always saying,
> "Which file is that?", or "Where is that file?".
> FVWM. Clean. Simple. Good-looking. Customizable. For the moment, it's the
> best. It's the best for me. Maybe you like AfterStep, and hey, I DO TOO.
> But guys (developers), my message to you is, KISS. It's tried and true.
> Everything I've every used that works well is simple. Not the program --
> THE INTERFACE. The great thing about AfterStep's visual interface is that
> it can be anything you want. But the fact that the real interface, the
> config files, is a mess, is a detractor.
> My second problem with AS, which I already touched on, is the fact that,
> unlike FVWM, it is not as polished. It has a bunch of frustrating little
> quirks that change from release to release. "Well, that's not possible in
> this release, but in the next one, it will be, and there'll be a new
> problem, too." Contrary to popular brainwashing, that is not how software
> is supposed to work. It's close, but not quite. It's just like debugging a
> source file or doing a science experiment: you have to fix one problem
> before you add a new feature or move on to the next. If you do two at
> once, you lose track. The kernel has development releases, then stable,
> then devel, then stable, and generally like that. That's because that
> method works, like the KISS method, to produce wonderful software. No
> software is perfect, but all software should be as wonderful as it can be;
> that is, developers should give 110%, and I'm sure you are, but calm down
> for a second. That's the real message. Slow down. Just bring development
> to a sliding halt if that's what it takes. Make it simpler. Make it
> cleaner. Fix all the bugs you can. Come out with a real, stable, release.
> A really good one. Whatever you do, don't add any new features. As a
> matter of fact, don't make it simpler. Not until you come out with a 100%
> perfect release. Well, okay, that's not possible. But try for 150%.
> (Okay, that's not technically possible, either. But you know what I mean.)
> Then, make it KISS-conformant. Then, TELL THE WORLD. Say, "THIS IS THE
> REALLY, REALLY GOOD SOFTWARE!" And say it in all caps.
> I don't know if you'll listen to this. I'll stay on the list for a while,
> to see your complaints about this document. As for me, I'm saving it to a
> local file, so I can look back on it and say, "If I ever get into large
> software projects, I will look to this document." And then if I do, I'll
> look back. This will be my manifesto. This will be the wordy document that
> goes round and round the point, "Quality. Don't rush in. Make it damn,
> damn good." And I will be inspired. The rest of you will probably flame me
> and send this to /dev/null without finishing reading it.
> Well, thank you anyway, for your time.
> Thank you for providing a good-looking, customizable window manager.
> Writing this saddens me very, very deeply.
> Thank you all.
> ___________________________________________________________________________
> Of course... 5 years from now everyone will be running free GNU on their 
> 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5.
> 		--Andrew Tannenbaum, Jan. 30 1992 in comp.os.minix
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ln -s Ewan\ Dunbar
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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