VectorLinux

Cooking up the Treats => General Development => Topic started by: nubcnubdo on June 20, 2007, 11:28:20 pm

Title: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on June 20, 2007, 11:28:20 pm
For VL-6 Standard, I am making a formal request for there to be a "Refresh Desktop" command in the context menu that appears when one right-clicks Desktop.  With the assistance of VL techs here in forum, I could probably fashion a workaround. But this is not just for me. I think most people have come to expect the "Refresh Desktop" to be available by right-clicking Desktop. In fact, this command is available in VL 5.8 SOHO. Given the anomalies I am experiencing, such as black mouse pointer, the Refresh Desktop command should be available in VL-6 Standard.

Furthermore, if anyone knows how to install the command in the Desktop context menu, I would like to have it on VL 5.8 Std installations.

Thanks

Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: Joe1962 on June 21, 2007, 12:07:31 am
I'm not altogether sure you are on the right track here. For example, the mouse cursor is handled by xorg, not by the XFCE desktop (or KDE, for that matter). Also, refresh desktop is not exactly "available in VL 5.8 SOHO", but rather it is a function built into KDE. Furthermore, the standard F5 key refreshes the XFCE desktop.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on June 21, 2007, 05:50:43 am
Quote
Furthermore, the standard F5 key refreshes the XFCE desktop.

That's a nice fact to know, that F5 is the Refresh Desktop key in Xfce. I don't find it documented anywhere and, being obscure, is fairly useless if the operator doesn't know about it. So we could prominently document the uses of function keys, F5 in particular. Or we could put the Refresh Desktop command where people expect to find it, in the Desktop context menu. I suggest both.*

As an operator/user, when I look at VL SOHO, I don't see VL and KDE as separate entities. Likewise, VL Std wrt Xfce. So when I right-click the Desktop and select Refresh Desktop from the context menu, I'm unconcerned whether this is a KDE or Xfce command. [Therefore, the Refresh Desktop command is "available in VL 5.8 SOHO."]

* I'm always curious about what the function keys do.

Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: Joe1962 on June 21, 2007, 06:24:14 am
That's a nice fact to know, that F5 is the Refresh Desktop key in Xfce. I don't find it documented anywhere and, being obscure, is fairly useless if the operator doesn't know about it.
Err... F5 is the standard "refresh" key almost everywhere... :o  Much more logical than a right-click, refresh desktop to most newbies, at least those coming from the Windows world.

Anyway, I think you missed the big point, that your problems might have nothing to do with the desktop refreshing.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: retired1af on June 21, 2007, 06:25:36 am
A user may not care what does what, but as an administrator, it's critical to know what app is calling what function. In your case of the mouse pointer, it should be tracked down to the appropriate level and fixed, instead of using a sloppy windows bandaid that does nothing to fix the core issue.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: GrannyGeek on June 21, 2007, 08:41:52 pm
That's a nice fact to know, that F5 is the Refresh Desktop key in Xfce. I don't find it documented anywhere and, being obscure, is fairly useless if the operator doesn't know about it. So we could prominently document the uses of function keys, F5 in particular. Or we could put the Refresh Desktop command where people expect to find it, in the Desktop context menu. I suggest both.

You can find a list of preassigned keyboard shortcuts in the Desktop menu ("start" menu), Settings, Window Manager settings, keyboard tab, Window Shortcuts. There are bunches of them. I was particularly happy to find Control-Alt-d, which toggles minimizing all windows or returning them to their positions before minimizing. I was able to ditch the Show Desktop icon in the panel, giving me more room for other stuff. You can customize the keyboard shortcuts by clicking on the plus sign for Add and giving your new shortcut set a name. The default shortcuts will be copied into the new set. To change a shortcut, double-click on it and hit the key combination you want to use when the Compose Shortcut box comes up.

Interestingly, F5 for Refresh Desktop doesn't appear in the list. I didn't know F5 would do that. I think Control-R might refresh the desktop, too, according to an Arch forum message I found through Google. I've never needed to refresh the desktop, so I never looked to find out how to do that.

Quote
As an operator/user, when I look at VL SOHO, I don't see VL and KDE as separate entities. Likewise, VL Std wrt Xfce. So when I right-click the Desktop and select Refresh Desktop from the context menu, I'm unconcerned whether this is a KDE or Xfce command. [Therefore, the Refresh Desktop command is "available in VL 5.8 SOHO."]

You may not see KDE or XFce as separate from VL, but they most certainly are. Unlike MS Windows, the desktop you see in Linux is a matter of your own choice and you don't have to use a desktop at all. Think back to Windows 3.1 days. Windows was just another application running on MS-DOS. You could close down Windows and operate in a pure DOS environment. That's how the desktop is in Linux. If you close down X, you're at a pure command line system.

VL Standard and SOHO come with default desktop environments as a convenience to users. You don't *have to* use XFce with Standard. You can use any of the window managers in the repository and if you want one that isn't there, you can either find a Slackware package for it or compile it yourself. Likewise with SOHO. You can install and use XFce if you prefer, or IceWM, or Fluxbox, or any of numerous others. You will have a rude awakening if you think all the same commands that work in KDE will work in any other window manager you may use instead of KDE. :)
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on June 22, 2007, 05:20:53 am
No problem. I'll use F5 in VL Std. Furthermore, I can see that a Refresh Desktop entry would be inconsistent with the other items in the VL Std Desktop context menu.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on August 16, 2007, 09:01:57 pm
You might wanna check the Desktop context menu (right-click empty space on Desktop) for Mint 3.0 Xfce. It's not a duplicate of the Start button menu. Rather it contains these links:

Create Launcher...
Create URL Link...
Create Folder...
Create Template > Text File
                              Empty File
Desktop Settings...
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: DrGrov on August 17, 2007, 04:43:40 am
That's a nice fact to know, that F5 is the Refresh Desktop key in Xfce. I don't find it documented anywhere and, being obscure, is fairly useless if the operator doesn't know about it.
Err... F5 is the standard "refresh" key almost everywhere... :o  Much more logical than a right-click, refresh desktop to most newbies, at least those coming from the Windows world.

Anyway, I think you missed the big point, that your problems might have nothing to do with the desktop refreshing.

I agree with Joe1962 on this, F5 is considered the standard "refresh" key and it will most certainly be more user-friendly for newbies jumping the ship from Windows to hopefully Vector Linux. I really don't see a point in making such a big fuzz about the refreshing key in the upcoming VL 6, let it be as it is. Been working thus far and still will work. As The Headacher have pointed out several times here on the forum: "If it's not broken, don't fix it"
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: caitlyn on August 17, 2007, 07:52:52 am
I agree with those who say that F5 is the defacto standard.  I'd also hate to see the VL developers start hacking into Xfce.  Xfce works well and is well supported.  If the developers have to create their own modified Xfce then they have to develop it, debug it, support it, etc...  Xfce is increasingly popular and is becoming THE default lightweight desktop environment for more distros than I care to think about.  A new version of AliXe released this week (0.11rc1) and IceWM was replaced by... you guessed it... Xfce 4.4.1.  Vector Linux and Xubuntu were ahead of the trend on this one and it's a good trend, IMHO.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on August 17, 2007, 08:02:32 am
Hitting F5, Refresh Desktop, didn't fix my black mouse pointer anyway. I do like being able to create a Desktop folder from the context menu. But no big deal.

Quote
I'd also hate to see the VL developers start hacking into Xfce.  Xfce works well and is well supported.  If the developers have to create their own modified Xfce then they have to develop it, debug it, support it, etc

I recently had the opportunity to compare Xfce and Vector desktops when I executed a three-finger salute one too many times.* That is, I simultaneously pressed Ctrl+Alt+Esc to kill Frozen Bubble, and nonchalantly killed the entire Desktop as well. The only way to get a Desktop back was to select the standard Xfce desktop, which is considerably different from the modified Vector desktop. I am just pointing out that VL's Xfce desktop is already modified from standard Xfce. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to remind devs that some sort of recovery from this situation is needed. If you don't deem it worthy of inclusion as a feature in VASM, then a competent procedure should be worked out and documented. Please.

*How do you kill the skull & crossbones when you decide not to use it? Hm?

From the oh-and-another-thing dept:
It is easy to dismiss Mint's phenomenal rise to 8th place as just "riding on the coattails of Ubuntu." The fact is, Mint does a lotta things just right, and therefore deserves our attention and respect. I can totally accept not making a fuss about the Desktop context menu, but so far, I'm unconvinced by the reasoning.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: Joe1962 on August 17, 2007, 09:43:49 am
*How do you kill the skull & crossbones when you decide not to use it? Hm?
Can't test right now, but IIRC, either ESC key or right-click does it.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: rbistolfi on August 17, 2007, 11:35:36 am
I think the cause of the problem was already stated. Is a permission problems on the SKEL xfce config files. If the permissions are the propers, xfce can be restored from SKEL just copying the config files to the user home dir. May be an entry can be added to VASM; something like "Restore Desktop to default", calling a script to copy the files. I am not sure if this is useful enough to do it though.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on August 17, 2007, 12:06:36 pm
Quote
I think the cause of the problem was already stated. Is a permission problems on the SKEL xfce config files. If the permissions are the propers, xfce can be restored from SKEL just copying the config files to the user home dir.

If that procedure requires having a second computer for the config files, then I would say the script should be in VASM. Either that, or permanently post default config files, along with instructions for the recovery.

One attempt to do what you suggest apparently failed:
http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3422

Correct me if i'm wrong.

Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: rbistolfi on August 17, 2007, 12:54:41 pm
Oh! You are right, restored everything but the pointer :(. I like the black one, so I will kill the desktop and try to find the solution when I get home ;)
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on August 17, 2007, 01:17:36 pm
Maybe I'm not reading that right, but it looks like the procedure restored to standard Xfce desktop settings. Anyway, I'm thinking this is complicated enough to justify a recovery script in VASM.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: rbistolfi on August 17, 2007, 03:55:27 pm
Quote
so i checked the /etc/skel folder through thunar(root) and it turns out that all files and folders are set to the following permissions:

owner : root
Access : read/write

group : root
Access : none

others : none

I changed these to:

owner : root
Access : read/write

group : root
Access : read only

others : read only

and then skel worked. these permissions have to applied to every file and folder so its best to use the apply recursively option when the dialog box pops up.

I tried it by myself and it works. I added a new user for keeping my settings, restored from skel and all went to xfce defaults, changed the permissions and then restored from skel again, all the vl customizations are back now, including the pointer. You will lose all your own customizations though, like the wallpaper and things like that. The user concerned by this can backup his config files to restore if needed, I guess he can cp them into the proper skel location for easy restoration from VASM.
Title: Re: Refresh Desktop, VL-6 Std
Post by: nubcnubdo on August 17, 2007, 05:52:10 pm
Thanks, rbistolfi.