Daddy Clanger (imc) wrote,
Daddy Clanger

FC2 and Xorg

So I ported a bit more of my user environment across to the laptop yesterday.

I discovered that Fedora has broken the "mount" command so that it doesn't work with old NFS servers (extracting the source RPM and compiling it without their shedload of patches resulted in one which did work), and that they haven't included the necessary patches for "losetup -e" to work on the 2.6 kernel which FC2 ships with.

I discovered why pcmcia seemed broken: something had discovered my wireless network card and aliased eth1 to 3c589_cs (that's not even the right driver), which made it load half the pcmcia system when the network subsystem came up, which made the pcmcia subsystem think that it didn't have to load the appropriate modules. Removing that fixed it… but it's still broken with respect to my camera's compact flash card because the IDE setup scripts ask for /sbin/ide_info which isn't shipped with Fedora's pcmcia-cs package.

I don't really like GNOME. I've had my fvwm desktop for a dozen years and it still works; the new pointy-clicky stuff doesn't seem to add anything that I actually want. So, after a bit of fiddling, I've gone back to my trusty (rusty) old desktop by sym-linking ~/.Xclients to my .xinitrc file. It wasn't trivial to find out how to do this (I first tried .Xsession and it didn't work); why can't they think of one name for this file and stick to it? Anyway, on the way I looked at desktop settings. There doesn't seem to be anything in the GNOME preferences menu that says "change desktop to:" - it doesn't even offer KDE (which is installed and can be used if you select it from the login screen). It was then that I remembered the old "switchdesk" command, though I didn't know what argument to give it and it complained that the GUI version of switchdesk wasn't installed.

I did discover the desktop preferences screen, which is all about what you want the background (aka wallpaper) to look like. I accidentally removed the default wallpaper from the dialogue (and there are no others present by default) and discovered that I couldn't undo the change - it had been performed instantly when I pressed the button, and there was no "cancel" or "undo". Incidentally, I don't really like the way that GNOME puts your wallpaper over the root window instead of in it - it means that you can't temporarily change the background with "xsetroot" or experiment with other programs that play with the root window.

I did eventually discover how to get rid of my desktop preferences and thus get the wallpaper back. Now you'd think that a well-established product such as GNOME would choose a directory - say, .gnome - and put all its configuration files in there. But no. Not only do I have a .gnome, a .gnome2 and a .gnome2_private (and a .gtkrc and a .gtkrc-1.2-gnome2 which are no doubt related) but also a .gconf and a .gconfd too. And a .config. Not forgetting .nautilus and .metacity, which admittedly might have other uses outside of the GNOME desktop environment. It was in one of those directories where my desktop background preference was stored, but it was the cause of some confusion to me when GNOME remembered half my settings after I deleted the directories with the word "gnome" in their names.

I've been using Mozilla 1.0 (in the form of Netscape) at the lab and Mozilla 1.3 on my laptop, and they look much the same aside from the fact that 1.3 has fewer bugs and some extra features. Fedora Core 2 has a whizzy Mozilla 1.6 to go with its new Xorg X11R6.7 distribution. It has anti-aliased fonts and so looks remarkably different. However, for some reason the new fonts seem quite a bit smaller despite the fact that the Preferences menu claims to select the size in pixels (and no it's not that the screen is higher resolution: it doesn't make that much difference). Now this was partly fixed by configuring my X server to know that the display is 90dpi rather than 75 - but surely that shouldn't have made a difference if the font sizes are measured in pixels, and besides, Mozilla has a "display resolution" setting, which was set to 96dpi. Anyway, the upshot of that is that (a) I've configured Mozilla to use bigger fonts to make my LJ "recent entries" page approximately the same size as it was before, and (b) the font size when I view a specific entry is still tiny, because this view has a CSS which specifies the font size in pixels (and the same pixel size gets you a smaller font in this Mozilla). Setting the "minimum font size" doesn't seem to affect it much either, though it makes the text in the sidebar larger.

I also don't know where Mozilla gets the list of fonts which I'm allowed to choose from, because the list doesn't contain either Helvetica or Times even when "xlsfonts" seems to indicate they are available. I think it has also gone back to not understanding "Arial", which means that the titles on some LJ pages are serifed when they are meant to be in sans-serif.

Anyway, time to go and play some more now.

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