How about a little LESS Dynamicism?

Robert Sexton (robert@kudra.com)
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 01:40:24 -0400 (EDT)


I really enjoy using Afterstep.  Its got a certain simplicity thats
really refreshing.  Especially after KDE, the nice window manager
that ate my hard disk (TM).   I used to use fvwm, but it lacked
style.

I'm concerned that in the rush to cram in neat new features, AS is
losing that simplicity.   In 1.0, I had a single .steprc file to
maintain.  I could install AS on machine, install the .steprc file
of my choice, and have somebody up and going.  I could mail a
.steprc file with essentially no fuss.

I'm glad that we've split all of the modules out into their own
config files.  Thats a big win.  I'm not sure that the same can be
said of the start directory. Its a neat trick, but I'm not sure
its really a step forwards.  Is it really easier to manage a
directory tree than edit a single config file?  It makes building
the initial menu fairly easy, but its hard to get things dialed in
when the menu gets rebuilt for you.  We've macified things here
Initial setup is easy, but tuning has been made difficult and
arcane.

I spent a lot of time adapting to the new config file formats.
The downside to dynamic systems is that they often have minds of
their own, and don't always tell you the rules.   I lost a good
bit of hair trying to get my start menu to come up with the layout
I wanted.  In the end, I had to re-order items and add Nops to my
menus by editing G/L/A/n/tmp/startmenu.  And then I had to be
careful not to allow it to be updated.

I'd like to suggest that we make static configs an option.  It could
be as simple as deciding on startup whether the user had a .steprc
file, or creating a keyword.  I'd like to be freed of all the state
information in G/L/A/non-configurable.

I'm setting up a canned environment for a customer, and I'm not
looking forward to introducing the G/L/A morass.  I could use
Afterstep Classic, or even -f .steprc.  If I go with classic, I
lock myself out of the bug fixes and interface options.  if I use
-f .steprc, I've channeled myself down a nonstandard config setup.

Thanks for listening.  

-- 
Robert Sexton - robert@kudra.com, Cincinnati OH, USA
"I was shooting from the hip in a dark room using a gun
 loaded with blanks." - Jason 
Read the Newton FAQ! <http://www.kudra.com/newton/newton-faq>

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