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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Sat, 17 Nov 2012

Xfce in the Fedora 18 Alpha

I'll get the disclaimer out of the way early: I'm very aware that Fedora 18 is currently in alpha, that we're more than a week away from the beta, and that Fedora 18 won't see a release until 2013.

Those are all things I'm aware of.

But the state of Nautilus in the Fedora 18 alpha's "main" GNOME 3 edition sent me scurrying to the Xfce build, where -- in contrast to the fail of Nautilus -- I'm already using Xfce's Thunar file manager to work directly over FTP and write onto a web site with the Leafpad text editor.

Except that Leafpad isn't cooperating and saving the file back to FTP.

I'm also looking for distributions that handle my Lenovo G555's squirrely touchpad without random cursor leaps, text highlighting and subsequent accidental deletion.

Is that so much to ask?

Add to that a new cupful of fail in Debian Wheezy's GNOME 3 desktop -- that fail being that I'm not getting a desktop at all half the time in the 3D version of GNOME 3. I just get wallpaper. And I can log out with alt-F4.

That's it. GNOME Classic works just fine. But regular GNOME Shell? It's gone half the time. I can reinstall gnome-panel and gnome-session and everything returns, but am I going to be happy doing that every day or so?

So I'm testing everything I can get my hands on in hopes of finding a Linux-distro port in what has become a very turbulent storm. (Or I could just reinstall Debian and hope my problem disappears.)

My first impressions of the Fedora 18 Xfce Alpha -- knowing, again, full well that this is only an alpha -- are that the desktop is slow to redraw, the FTP in Thunar only half works (this is a problem I've experienced before), and Gigolo is not in the default.

I'll hope that these problems will be fixed before the final release next year. Otherwise Fedora 18 with Xfce is looking pretty solid.