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Phoenix CE - "Start" Menu Design and Layout
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 14 Feb 2008, 08:10    Post_subject:  Phoenix CE - "Start" Menu Design and Layout
Sub_title: Not really a "start" menu, but it is for newbs remember
 

Hi all, theres been a lot of talk about how the base for the Phoenix CE could do with some tweaking of the menus for "ultra-useability" and productivity.

Puppy's way of catorgorising the programs on its menu is great (xdg?). On the few occaisions I have used windows I wince when I see the "my programs menu" and having to find a specific program in sometimes a screenful of entries is a chore. Something I do find useful (and I think a lot of new linux users would too) is a specific "Control Panel", containing everything to do with configuration. Im aware that this is a windows term (they will probably try and patent it soon!), but if its what the user knows and expects, whats in a name?

Richard.a has done some excellent work, with very thorough documentation. I particularly like the bookmarks feature from the main menu, which opens the browser and sends the user directly to the webpage. New bookmarks are added automatically when they bookmark a page from within Seamonkey. Also the "documents" entry that brings up the documents folders would add a lot to puppies end-user productivity. Perhaps this could be combined with the "My windows Documents" folder feature planned for Phoenix? A "recent documents" menu would also boost puppies productivity, but Im not sure how this would be implemented technically.

Perhaps the aim of this thread should be to produce a final working menu file for Phoenix CE. Any suggestions contributions welcome.

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jonyo

Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2727

PostPosted: Thu 14 Feb 2008, 10:13    Post_subject: Re: Phoenix CE - "Start" Menu Design and Layout
Sub_title: Not really a "start" menu, but it is for newbs remember
 

ecomoney wrote:
Richard.a has done some excellent work, with very thorough documentation.


He certainly has! Smile
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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 766
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri 15 Feb 2008, 15:11    Post_subject:  

Hi guys - Ray here

did Richard ever make an iso of the work he did to 210pro available?

if he did, would love to download and play - it looks fantasic and I would also have an opportunity to learn more about earlier Puppy's and the excellent work thats been done to them.

Already have 109ce, 215ce and Ecopup - 210pro with Richards mods would make a third masterpiece, filling the gap between the other two v nicely.

With what looks like a fourth in the making - cant wait to see Pheonix when its all done and finalised.

Dont know - being a Puppy newbie an' all -
if I can be much help with Pheonix - but if testing on an older laptop, which is a 4/5yr old Patriot with 800mhz celeron processor and 128mb ram,
or a 6/7yr old Patriot Pc with a 400mhz celeron and 98mb ram,
or a similar vintage P11 255mhz Pc with 64mb ram,
doing full and frugal's install's, maybe testing some older printers also, or just looking for any gremlins - documentation etc
anything that may be of use - would be happy to oblige.

Best regards - Ray MK
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
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Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Fri 15 Feb 2008, 16:59    Post_subject:  

Just my 2-cents: I personally find anything more than a two tier menu to be a PITA. It's about the only thing I dislike about v1.09CE.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sat 16 Feb 2008, 04:34    Post_subject:  

Welcome Ray, you have some very valuable qualifications that will come in very useful for Phoenix's development Smile . Were currently working out the base from the standard 2.14r version. You can download the latest version here. Please let us know your ideas and opinions.

@AJ Yes, more than a 2 tier for accessing Apps would be overkill and make it less productive. I think it might also break the XDG menu system that has been divised. I do think though that the plethora of settings and config option could be done with being broken down into further sections though to make them more understandable.

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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sat 16 Feb 2008, 06:07    Post_subject:  

First of all, thank-you Robert for your invitation to join you.

Secondly thank-you to the rest of you also for your enthusiasm about the laborious plodding type work I've done with those menus, starting with the original one a year or maybe more ago when I showed how the actual Windows2000 (which I think is probably the most productive menu system ever designed by anyone) could be replicated even in early-ish JWM.

No, I didn't ever create an ISO for 2.10pro(v2), nor indeed the 2.12r2(d2), nor other stuff, for one important reason. I discussed this with several folk (SitHeelSpeak was one) on a thread particularly about broken ISO remaster scripts. When I get "a round tuit" I'll revisit that, because being able to build an ISO others can try is fairly important. Sure I've created all sorts of tar.gz files, but that's time consuming I think, and honestly which installation on which pup_save.2fs (or .3fs on earlier ones) on which computer does what is hard to remember.

The idea of a Control Panel is very good, and that was my inspiration jointly with the shutdown buttonbar to look at floating command button bars you can position anywhere on the screen. The syntax works well up to before ver 3.0 so I suspect there is maybe a dependency issue from 3.0 onwards. I haven't pursued that to date.

Added
That shutdown bar is similar in looks to the one Nathan uses in Grafpup2, but wasn't actually copied from him, it was scripted afresh (I had forgotten he had created one, actually), and I discovered the commands syntax need changing if used in ver 1 puppies. That could mean it won't work is 3.02 or 4 either as it stands.

Maybe a Control Panel that looks more like the JWM configuration panel could be better. And I would think another one for collecting all the Wizards into a single spot too. There are many things we can do, and I am uncertain how many would work properly with writing just an xdg menu. Saying that, I have no problems with any of that buttonbar scripting working with 2.15ce and EZpups which I've tried up to 2.17 (I think).Of course they use ice-wm as default window managers.

So far all my work has been done using JWM on systems no more recent than 2.11 because of problems associated with later versions (running the kernels in 2.12 onwards) with a raft of literally freely available old boxes being landfill material here in South Australia. Typically some IBM Aptivas, HP Pavilions and a number of similar vintage boxes possibly also manufactured by Lenovo in Taiwan, mostly using Intel810 and SIS chipsets.

While not having done more than just look at at the XDG menu system, it seems pretty obvious how the syntax "should" work (we all know the difference between "should" and actual practice, don't we Smile Very Happy ) but I have a question for you folks right at this point, because I spent hours attempting to integrate the JWM menu systems properly with 2.15ce and perhaps that work held its release back, I'm not sure. Warren was *very* patient with me Very Happy

Question is, is there *really* actually a need for more than one menu system? If we are looking at users who are are comfortable with ubuntu, honestly I think stay with JWM. If we want to emulate, copy, or what-have-you Microsoft, sure, let's use ice-wm. I'm not being a party-pooper, But to get two systems to work properly takes time - ask Gliesl with her magnificent XPuppyPro in 2006.

I've used 215ce wallpapers with 2.02r2 and also with 2.10pro, - both with and without my modifications, and they both look good. It depends what your brief is. I've also never used 2.15ce with JWM since developing the more successful implementation of the two menus, so this is a valid question to ask "do we need more than one?"

One of the options I've added to this menuing I've been playing with is the ability to access the on-line Office applications on the Ajax13 website. This may save the need for considering any heavy-weight office applications at all - provided the user has a high speed internet connection.

I've probably been too verbose in my answer. I should also go and see what other threads you chaps have been writing on Smile

Added
I must see if I can find where the 2.14 retro ISO is. This brings me to a sore point among some correspondents to these forums, The lack of what seems a co-ordinated approach to downloads over the entire swag of PuppyLinux sites. Nowhere in all of these threads has there been more than just a reference to 2.14r and how much better it is. A link would have been handy to a download site, for people new to this set of threads - which I am, of course!

Anyway, thank-you again for inviting me.

Richard in Adelaide
ably assisted on the keyboard by Mr. Maximus Pussimus and Miss MinimusPussimus Smile

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richard.a


Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 510
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sat 16 Feb 2008, 06:24    Post_subject:  

Hi Ray Smile
Ray MK wrote:
did Richard ever make an iso of the work he did to 210pro available?

if he did, would love to download and play - it looks fantasic and I would also have an opportunity to learn more about earlier Puppy's and the excellent work thats been done to them.

Answered in the post above this one

Ray MK wrote:
Already have 109ce, 215ce and Ecopup - 210pro with Richards mods would make a third masterpiece, filling the gap between the other two v nicely.

Agreed, but most of the hard work was already done by someone more gifted than me Smile


Ray MK wrote:
...but if testing on an older laptop, which is a 4/5yr old Patriot with 800mhz celeron processor and 128mb ram,
or a 6/7yr old Patriot Pc with a 400mhz celeron and 98mb ram,
or a similar vintage P11 255mhz Pc with 64mb ram,
doing full and frugal's install's, maybe testing some older printers also, or just looking for any gremlins - documentation etc
anything that may be of use - would be happy to oblige.

Yeah I've run puppy 2.02 succesfully on a Pentium 100/64Mb EDO RAM and 135Mb of pup_save and I think 100Mb of swap.

800MHz Celeron/128 should romp home with absolutely no probs as long as you don't have chipset hangups on later kernels.

There is a thread on this site where I've got caps of an 800x600 desktop running 2.15ce on a Twinhead Laptop, P266MMX 64Mb EDO RAM and 200Mb of swap and 128Mb of pup_save. I've resized all the 2.15ce transparent icons down to (I think) 32x32 size and it looks and works nicely, but it does really need more than 64Mb for Ice-wm.

When I get another "round tuit" I'll post those resized icons for folks who would like smaller ones. I think I eventually did the complete range of icons for 2.15; I left the menu icons at 24px

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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 766
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat 16 Feb 2008, 12:36    Post_subject:  

Been playing with PH214rm1 and 1st impressions are v good

Like skipstone & seamonkey but if opera is faster as a main
browser - that would be good.

Luv having access to hdd's on desktop - super

Like txt edit on desktop - good for quicknotes etc - Geany is good
and has nice features

Like default image viewer - fast - and if U want to edit image - easy
to drag file to paint from rox

Is it easy to change rox image default to preview - if desired - as in
215ce etc. Better still - give user an option button if load speed of
larger folders/files presents a potential issue

Luv pwget and psi on desktop - superb

Menu as is - fairly intuitive - as are existing icons - easy
for children, the elderly user, the visually impaired, Pc newbie's,
and even 1st time Linux/Pc users

Obviously a more sophisicated 215ce style desktop & menu as an easy
change option is essential to attract the more seasoned user

Conky ON / conky OFF = as in LightHouse would be superb and a battery
icon or similar for laptop user's would be a winner

conky can show battery usage - but I cant find out how to make it work
as can icedock - but that defeated me too

moved a few icons around and please forgive my shoddy txt ( if I can
attatch .png ) for u all 2c

Off to play printing and full hdd install on other PC now - this is a
frugal install on the laptop

C u all soon - Best regards - Ray MK
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Pizzasgood


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6270
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Sat 16 Feb 2008, 16:11    Post_subject:  

Quote:
conky can show battery usage - but I cant find out how to make it work
I haven't tried Phoenix, but I've been using Conky for a while. You need to modprobe battery before it can read them, then you need to modify the Conky configuration file /root/.conkyrc to add battery support (if Phoenix doesn't already have it).
Code:
Battery: ${color }${battery_time BAT0} - ${battery BAT0} ${color #cc2222}${battery_bar 6 BAT0}

That assumes your battery is BAT0. This is the code I used in pcPuppyOS in an attempt to autodetect any batteries from 0-3 and only show a line if they exist:
Code:
${if_existing /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state capacity}${color }Battery: ${color }${battery_time BAT0} - ${battery BAT0} ${color #cc2222}${battery_bar 6 BAT0}
$endif${if_existing /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/state capacity}${color }Battery: ${color }${battery_time BAT1} - ${battery BAT1} ${color #cc2222}${battery_bar 6 BAT1}
$endif${if_existing /proc/acpi/battery/BAT2/state capacity}${color }Battery: ${color }${battery_time BAT2} - ${battery BAT2} ${color #cc2222}${battery_bar 6 BAT2}
$endif${if_existing /proc/acpi/battery/BAT3/state capacity}${color }Battery: ${color }${battery_time BAT3} - ${battery BAT3} ${color #cc2222}${battery_bar 6 BAT3}
$endif${color }$stippled_hr


A similar technique could be used to "autodetect" other thigns too, although it should be kept in mind that although stuff between "if"s might not be visible, it will still sometimes output errors as if you were running it anyways. I haven't noticed that with batteries, but I did with showing free space for places that don't exist (such as /mnt/home on a full-hd install).

More info:
http://conky.sourceforge.net/variables.html
http://conky.sourceforge.net/config_settings.html

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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 766
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2008, 08:23    Post_subject:  

Hi Pizzasgood - Ray here

Just seen your post - thanks for words of wisdom - will try and let you know how it all goes.

Thought I'd downloaded conky via PSI in Pheonix - PSI said its installed - restarted X etc,
but no evidence of conky anywhere on Pc. / root / downloads / apps /user / local / etc / share / menu / anywhere else I should look?

Maybe I can download from conky site and try with that - see how it goes.

Meanwhile - back to the older PC and full Hdd install - just to see if all ok in 96mb
ram + 400 mhz celeron and 64mb ram + 255mhz P11.

Should be fine - 'cos 215ce, 216de, 3.01, 2.15.1, 2.17.1, LH215ce and 109ce are all on the Hdd's now - and there's a partition waiting for pheonix.

Fun fun - c u all soon - Ray MK
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2008, 11:44    Post_subject:  


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tronkel


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2008, 12:28    Post_subject:  

Ray MK wrote:
Quote:
but no evidence of conky anywhere on Pc.


You should check to see if there are lines in your /root/.xinitrc file that start the conky daemon.


Quote:
qiv -z /root/Choices/ROX-background.jpg &
conky -d &


If this is missing, open your .xinitrc as text and insert the above lines near the bottom of the file immediately before the line that starts the current wm.

I'll look into making a lassie sfs module for the Opera browser, that you can use with Puppy 320Alpha barebones (a.k.a. Chihuahua)

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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 766
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun 17 Feb 2008, 17:08    Post_subject:  

Hi - alienjeff - brilliant pic -

you will laugh at this - I did manage to scramble LightHouse by installing
pheonix on hda6, which is where LH was, and not hda5 which was empty as intended.

So Gparted and started again - pheonix full hdd installation to hda5 - no probs - but then LH215 iso simply refused to boot from cd - much muttering & festering later - still not re-installed. So

Tomorrow is another day - till then

Best Regards - Ray MK
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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 766
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon 18 Feb 2008, 06:40    Post_subject:  

Tronkel

thanks for suggestion - sadly didn't work - but its probably me not doing
other things correctly - still v new and learning - looked at the sample conf files & docs etc that explain conky - but most of it is over my head.

however - now know where xinitrc is and saw the daemon call for hotswap (nothing for conky) inserted the lines you suggested just b4 lines that call jwm - restarted X - no go - rebooted - still no go with conky

Was thinking aboat copying conky conf files from 216ce - but didn't 'cos not sure if I'd break something - different WM's etc.

Have 216ce on hdd - just wanted to learn how to get conky going in pheonix/214R as frugal - thought it would be a simple install using PSI - so back to start and try again - b4 I grab the Brandy bottle.

Meanwhile - best regards - Ray MK
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tronkel


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Mon 18 Feb 2008, 07:31    Post_subject:  

Ray MK wrote:

Quote:
Was thinking aboat copying conky conf files from 216ce - but didn't 'cos not sure if I'd break something - different WM's etc.


I don't think you'd do much damage by going to 2.16CE, opening /root/.xinitrc and look for these lines there near the bottom. Also while you're in /root take copies of .conky_ip and .conkyrc. As in intermediate step, save them to /mnt/home.

Then restart Phoenix 2.14R and copy these files from /mnt/home to your /root
Then open Phoenix's /root/.xinitrc and copy the conky daemon stuff to the similar place in in Phoenix's /root/.xinitrc

Make sure that qiv is in fact available in Phoenix. You can check this by typing qiv in a terminal. Let me know how u get on.

Hope this helps.

Tronkel

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