Pair of related DistroWatch Release announcements

Story: LXer Weekly Roundup for 30-Jan-2011 Total Replies: 1
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Jan 31, 2011
1:08 PM EDT
Quoting:In the LXWR this week it is all about the desktop environments. Bruce Byfield makes a case for running Xfce, Dr. Tony Young wrangles KDE4's window manager into shape and Carla Schroder wants to punt KDE altogether.
As this particular commentator noted in the Byfield thread 'Reminder of the Distinction Between a DE and a WM' found at -- :-) -- a complete Desktop Environment and a Window Manager are not exactly identical. Even as this comment is written, another discussion on a Weekly Roundup topic brings up the related question of "Just what is assumed to be included in a DE? (see comment to 'Replacing KDE4: Well said Carla....why, why, will not the KDE4 team listen ?' timestamped at Jan 31, 2011 5:36 AM EST and found at )

In lieu of this DE vs. WM distinction (and discussion), the announcements of two new Arch Linux variant "Distribution Releases" came out at DistroWatch over the last week or so:

1. Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.2 with KDE 4.5.5,

2. ArchBang Linux 2011.01 with the Openbox WM,

(Parenthetically, as one can see from its DistroWatch description found at , Arch Linux itself can use an assortment of the DEs and WMs Blackbox, Fluxbox, GNOME, IceWM, KDE, Openbox, WMaker and Xfce!)

Although DistroWatch describes KDE-based Chakra as "a user-friendly and powerful distribution and live CD based on Arch Linux" ( ), one could easily dispute whether or not the Chakra's DE and its additional "variety of tools and extras" really make it as user-friendly as other popular distros such as Ubuntu or Mint. Indeed, Jesse Smith's DistroWatch Feature Story 'First impressions of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1' ( ) reveals that the current Chakra "alpha software" (as Smith calls it) is perceptably far from being user-friendly!

OTOH, the DistroWatch description of Archbang ( ) advertises no claim of this particular distro being user-friendly. Instead, the description claims that "Using the Openbox window manager, it [Archbang] is fast, up-to-date and suitable for both desktop and portable systems." The Openbox Window Manager mainpage is found at , and presumably Archbang's highly-refined build on top of this minimalist WM enables the newly-released distro's fast speed.

AAMOF, Puppy Linux's build of the minimalist JWM ( ) similarly enables this particular distro's fast performance as well.


From the release announcements of these two Arch-based distros, DistroWatch can arguably demonstrate that (a) a distro with a fully developed and complete Desktop Environment is more likely to be claimed as "user-friendly" (e.g., GNOME, KDE, Xfce), whereas (b) a refined and built-up distro with a minimalist Window Manager is more likely to be claimed as "fast and responsive" (e.g., Openbox, JWM, Fluxbox).


Feb 02, 2011
1:29 PM EDT
That's only if one mixes up "userfriendly" and "approachable" which obviously, one shouldn't. These two terms are not identical too!

DE's usually are very approachable. WM's - to long time users - are normally more user friendly, if configured to the likening of the user. For example, for some people out of the box KDE may not be user friendly, and only after they reconfigured, it became user-friendly. Word may be more approachable, but (probably) to long time users, Vi is more user-friendly.

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