Kuarepoti-Dju

kuarepoti-dju - the josef multilingual blogosphere

14.12.2007

Eye-candy and mobility: how to beat e17 and blackbox

Categories: — josef @ 13:38

I’m running e17 occasionally (complete with the entrance login manager) and there’s nothing bad about it from a visual point of view, in fact it is quite attractive and makes many non-Linux users take a look at the screen. I also run blackbox sometimes in hacking mode to eliminate any source of distraction. Blackbox cannot participate in GUI comparisons (it doesn’t really have any), however it is more suitable for the mobile area. Why? If you run dstat(1), you’ll see that after some time (when all caches have been flushed), there’s no disk activity anymore, the disk can spin down and the computer becomes idle. With enlightenment, something constantly wants to write on disk. The culprit is indeed the ‘enlightenment’ binary, although I haven’t yet had the time and urge to look why this is the case. Using strace(1) one can at least see that write() and mmap() are called constantly, and each second open() is called on both the theme directory (wtf?) and the ACPI governor settings.

Now here’s how to beat both e17 and blackbox: Create a visually appealing desktop which doesn’t ever touch the disk unless I tell it to do so. Do not wake up the CPU unneedlessly. Save my battery. Test this out with the current KDE 4 release and all of its applications. Check your QTimers and whatever elese might trigger such events. The KDE 3 default desktop is good at it, although not perfect, so there are still some areas for improvement.

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