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March 21st, 2002

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02:02 pm - Ion
yesterday, i was arbitrarily compelled to actually install and try ion. i've been talking about this for a while, so i don't know what the delay was.

i was certainly somewhat intimidated by having to redo configurations: early in my freshman year i spent the time constructing a reasonable .fvwm2rc file, and i haven't been interested in touching such things since.

i actively enjoy learning and using ion. so far (< 24 hours). it does things the way i have longed to. no overlapping windows. frames and full screens. easy keyboard manipulation of the 'windowed' environment.

it is not eyecandy. it is a graphical usable interface.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:March 21st, 2002 11:40 am (UTC)
This looks exactly like the sort of thing John is always saying he wants.

One could argue, why not just use XEmacs as your WindowManager, because it can do almost everything it looks like Ion can, and it would be more honest about its actual capabilities than calling it a "editor".

In any event, it does look fairly neat. I have really grown to liking the tabbed browsing feature in Mozilla, and this looks like it could do similar things for me at the application level. Is there a Debian package?

Still I am fairly fed up with using Unix/X11. If nothing else for the fact that almost every single application I use has a different widget set and GUI philosophy. Then there is the fact that I find it highly annoying to have tens of thousands of files scattered about my filesystem to make the whole thing work. The small is beautiful aspect of Unix appears to be no more. I suppose it would be possible to develop a new distribution to my liking starting from Linux or HURD, but it would be nearly a full time job.
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Date:March 21st, 2002 11:50 am (UTC)
Yes. And yet, John seemed somewhat baffled by it.

I basically *have* been using XEmacs as my windowmanager. General hackmode for me is a fullscreen devoted to emacs, split into various quadrants, etc.

What I prefer about ion is that X programs basically seamlessly integrate. My dreams of rendered latex next to latex code can be emulated easily here. And netscape/mozilla fuse well, because they just get a separate workspace. The only one I haven't figured out is zephyr -- so I just use ttymode which is better anyway. I guess I could just finally migrate to the emacs client... but no. lange discovered that gnus has my target featureset of an email program, but I'm still not ready to commit.

ion doesn't seem to need much memory and is very fast... duh. I don't know if there is a debian package, but the code built relatively easy for me on the andrew suns -- so that says something!

And yes, unix/X frustrates me. ion pleases me, cause its a minimalistic X.
Date:March 21st, 2002 01:36 pm (UTC)
Well, we know better than to expect self-consistancy from John.

I have been wondering whether or not I should switch to using emacs for mail, but pine continues to serve me well, so the motivation to switch has been low so far.

Yes, there is a Debian package, for the latest version even. One of the few things about Debian that makes me happy.

Ion is only minimalistic X in the sense that the window manager aspect is minimal. The problem is that it doesn't help much when the applications are still a mess.

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