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Travis Randall
537 followers -
Happily married computer nerd
Happily married computer nerd

537 followers
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Bought my first home.
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Happy birthday my emperor
The Emperor commands you to wish Ian McDiarmid a happy birthday.
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Half an hour early to first day work orientation. Better early than on time I always say. After all, on time is late.
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I am a KDE fan that is growing to greatly respect and even like XFCE.

With Plasma 5 working well (enough) yet giving me screen tearing nonsense (and the occasional compositor fails) and Gnome Shell wanting to eat more resources - making me swap more easily and slowing down my ability to get things done, I've decided to give XFCE a try. I've tried XFCE before, but I think before I approached it with the wrong mindset because I just didn't like it.

This time, largely thanks to a video done by +Linux Quest, I decided to give XFCE another good try. This time around I decided not to do what I've been doing as of late, and that is force the DE to look (and act) like Unity. While I've never appreciated Unity 7's lack of customization, I have always loved its workflow and layout, so I've had a bad habit in recent years of trying to make DE's match Unity. Some, like KDE and Gnome Shell, were easy to do this with. Others like XFCE were possible but I never could get it just right and would end up going back to KDE.

This time though, I decided to do something different. Thanks to +Linux Quest video about the neat things you can do with XFCE panels, I was able to finally get a layout and workflow that works well for me with XFCE, and honestly I've been greatly enjoying it.

In this layout I have a single panel on the primary (left) monitor that is vertical and in dockbar mode. It is using the Whisker Menu, some launchers, Menu Buttons, Panel Switcher, System Tray, and a widget letting me control volume levels with my keyboard media keys. I also have a completely transparent second panel on the secondary (right) monitor. This panel has a system monitor, weather widget, and basic clock widget. What is nice about it is that i can still have my full screen windows on that monitor, loosing no space, and if I just hover my mouse between the window name and window buttons, I can see the panel appear. Being transparent, it looks like it is part of the window. It also appears when I'm working on the primary monitor, which is neat and nice IMO.

I'm still a KDE fan at heart, and will constantly wait for Plasma to play well with my Nvidia card (or maybe find a fix for it), or wait until I can build me a new PC to better handle Plasma. But in the mean time, I'm really digging XFCE. It looks great, works great, and lets me get work done without eating all of my resources and slowing me down.
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Finally got my first mechanical keyboard today. Yay
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Trying to decide if it's worth the extra work to switch from Antergos to Solus GNOME. Any thoughts and comparisons between the two?

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My Unity Inspired Plasma Desktop #showyourkdedesktop +The KDE Community
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+GNOME +Ubuntu +AJ Reissig

With the news of Ubuntu going back to GNOME as default in 18.04, I have been seeing several posts about how to make GNOME look like Unity 7. They are good posts, but there's one thing they all share - their suggestions work fine for single monitor use. None really cover the one thing that really draws me to Unity 7 - multi-monitor use. There is a reason why that is, Unity 7's excellent handling of multi-monitor setups can't yet be replicated. Yet of course is the key word here and something that I hope gets resolved before 18.04.

The key part of the functionality I am talking about is shown in my attached screenshot. This is a screenshot consisting of my dual monitor setup. Both monitors are different sizes due to well, cost. Monitors today (and have been for quite some time now) wider than they are tall, so I have always wanted to maximize my vertical screen real estate. Unity 7 does this very well.

Notice the top bar in the screenshot. It is in the screenshot in both monitors. Notice how it looks identical on both monitors, with the exception being of course the buttons and title for the maximized windows in both monitors. The window buttons there are key as while GNOME and Unity both offer other ways to manage windows, having the buttons there is a matter of usability and accessibility for users of varying degrees of technical experience. Even if it is only the close button on both that would be a vast improvement over no buttons.

GNOME Shell by default doesn't supply a top bar across any monitor except the primary monitor. For this reason, a community extension was made called Multi Monitors Add-On https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/921/multi-monitors-add-on/

The Multi-Monitors Add-On provides a panel across the top of the additional displays as well as provides basic functionality for importing indicators from the main panel with varying degrees of success. The problems with this extension is that the panel will look different than the main panel which breaks the overal look and feel, and that so many of the things you would add by extension that appear in the main top panel will not appear in this newly added panel, nor can they be imported.

The most important one I am talking about in my use case and in the use case of bringing the Unity feel to GNOME Shell, is that there will be no window buttons on the additional top panel. For example, I can use the extension pixelsaver to cause the frame of maximised windows to merge with the top panel. This works on additional displays as well, merging with the additional panel provided by the Multi Monitors Add-on. However, pixelsaver also provides window buttons in the main panel, but these window buttons will not appear in the additional panel on other displays, which severely breaks the ease of usability found in Unity 7. Pixelsaver has no real way to solve this either, though someone did post a hack to make pixelsaver only work on the main monitor. That is a feesible workaround, but fails to deliver on the Unity like feel across multiple displays.

Some might suggest to simply mirror the main display on the secondary display, but with different size monitors this will not work well, nor will it really solve the issues at hand.

So it is my hope that this problem gets addressed somehow, whether be it by an improvement to Multi-Monitors Add-On, a new extension, a patch by Ubuntu, or added functionality by GNOME. Otherwise when 18.04 hits, those with multi monitors will find their experience worsened and the transition not so smooth.
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