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- Group .- Group members (16) . 

Free Desktop Environment


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technoshauntechnoshaun
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Description:

Base Specifications for the Free Desktop Environment

1. Any Desktop Environment needs a set of standards to determine the development path it will take. This specification is currently a rough draft of ideas and concepts. This is a beginning phase draft designed for interested parties to begin conception of a new Desktop Environment.

2. The following however, are base requirements for this DE:

Must follow and use all Open Desktop Specifications
Must use Compiz-Fusion for 3D, desktop effects and animations
Must use Emerald for theme Decorations
Must be OpenGL compliant
Must be user configurable to create the look, style and layout they desire
Must be user friendly but allow for advanced options for power users
Must not use any other Desktop Environment's tools and confguration applications
Development of tools to ease the creation of themes, including cursors and icons
Include integration with WINE using links to library files that handle the functions required to run the desired programs
Must fully Comply with Fitts' Law
Must be portable to work with any windowing system such as Xorg, Wayland, Xfree2k and others.

3. This DE needs to incorporate ideas and features found in Gnome, KDE, Xfce, LDE and all other DE environments used by *NIX systems. These features need to be properly evaluated for their usefulness and ability to enhance the Free Desktop Environment not just add features. If the feature does not add quality and desired ability then another solution or method needs to be utilized instead.

4. The DE must look at several sources for inspiration, ideas and concepts. Not only from DEs but from distribution specific implications of tools, layouts and designs as well.

Members:16
Comments:126
Created:May 23 2011
Changed:Jun 13 2011
Readability:readable for everybody
Membership:everybody can join

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 thanks for your invitation

 
 by Karmicbastler on: May 25 2011
 
Score 50%

hi technoshaun,
first let me say thank you for your invitation to this group, which I accept with big happiness.

Then I read about your idea of a new free desktop-environment. But you forgot two - in my eyes - very important points in your list with the requirements. This new desktop-environment should also have these requirements:

* it should work with all graphic-drivers (also with nvidia-graphic-drivers)

* it should work on all ubuntu-distros (including LinuxMint, which is my preferred distro at the time.

I hope, this is not too much, what i request from this new desktop environment.


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 Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by technoshaun on: May 25 2011
 
Score 50%
technoshauntechnoshaun
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Your first point is valid and I couldn't agree more but unfortunately drivers are handled by the Windows System and not the Manager / Environment. So by requiring portability we can cover all bases.

Your second point is what this is all about, not just Ubuntu but all distributions like Fedora, Gentoo, Slackware and so on. We need across the board support from and for them as well. I'm hoping to get this project going in the right direction from the start. We need developers, designers and testers users. What I want to see is more than one shell system (no primary shell means development of different shells for different configurations and purposes.)

Same goes with Menu Interfaces. Different menu systems means more customization options. Since the primary goal of this project is end user customization that is a necessity.

However we need to continue to hammer out the development requirements first.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by Karmicbastler on: Jun 4 2011
 
Score 50%

hi dear,

how are you going with your development of your free DE?? I just can't wait to see it.. My fingers want to play around on this...

So please start up with this development, because I am getting faced with flashplayer not running fluently anymore (because it's still the old 1.163-version from Synaptics. From Adobe, I have learned, that a newer version is out and I think I try to install this new version tonight..I hate it being in the latest Firefox without a fluent flashplayer (yes, swefdec is not installed! I know about this beginner. mistake and always check to install it via Synaptic and remove swfdec and what wonders me too is, that mint-flash is going to be remove too. So we have to start up with something on this new DE.

Greetings
Karmicbastler


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 Re: Re: Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 5 2011
 
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technoshauntechnoshaun
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The standards base still isn't complete and we're going to need to a lot more involvement in the project to get it developed and moving. We need programmers and designers among others. We need a full community of people and right now we don't have that.

The specifications still need to be added to and so discussions on that need to get going as well. I want this to be a user centric project so right at this stage we need to get more input on what is wanted (and needed) before we draw out the development map.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: Re: Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by Padster on: Jun 5 2011
 
Score 50%

I can help :)


101010
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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 5 2011
 
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technoshauntechnoshaun
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One of the many reasons I invited you ;->


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: thanks for your invitation

 
 by Padster on: Jun 5 2011
 
Score 50%

You invited me? I didn't get an invite, I just joined because I liked the idea.


101010

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 What we need to look at...

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 5 2011
 
Score 50%
technoshauntechnoshaun
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Okay Compiz itself is a Windows Manager but its not currently portable and it doesn't have its own Desktop Environment. It relies on using other Desktop Environments to supply the user interface. This is what we need look into and how to resolve things.

We should build a Desktop Environment on and for Compiz so that the user interface is part of it and not relying on Gnome, KDE, Xfce, LDE or any other DE to supply the interface. In other words we should start at the level of building a DE that is designed strictly for Compiz and have Emerald be the theme decorator so we can focus on the user interfacing for the file manager and other basic user programs such as launchers, shells and menu systems.

This to me seems to be the best logical approach while we also work with the compiz community to bring portability.

This allows us to not worry about the WM and focus strictly on the DM and its functions and programs.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: What we need to look at...

 
 by Karmicbastler on: Jun 5 2011
 
Score 50%

hi technoshaun,

yes, this is a good approach and I offer myself as a tester-user, because I am not a programmer.

But I managed to clean install gnome3 in LinuxMint 11.04 today. I used a ppa-repo for that but his also has some unnice bugs. One of them is directly after reboot. You can't log in anymore. That's why you must clearly read the bugs through and do the steps mentioned there, before you reboot or if you did, you need your Live-DVD becuase you need to edit a file in your system, so that your machine boots again. I had to go this way and now my machine works for me again. that saved me a lot of time.

But I am honest: I am badly waiting for your new DE. I would like to see the Emerald-Theme-Manager there, Totem, VLC, acidrip, your app Ubuntu-Tweak, then I would like to see the app MediathekView (which as become asecond "must-have" for me) and many more.And what I need is the Terminal, because I do many things via Terminal. And what we also need working there is Mint-Update.

Will this DE have a graphical Interface with Compiz?? I think so because of Emerald-window-decorator or??


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 What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by Karmicbastler on: Jun 6 2011
 
Score 50%

Which Programs I forgot to mention, which I would like to see

* Libre-Office

* network-manager

* Synaptic

* MediathekView

* Firefox-ppa-repository

* ClamAV (including its ppa-repo)

* Ubuntu-Tweak (including its ppa-repo)

* x as session-manager

* Theme-manager (for managing Wallpapers and the emerald-themes)

What referrs to styling, i would like a mixture of a menu-style like in KDE and as baclground, I would love a mixture of these KDE-Plasma-screens and the gnome-Wallpapers from here and some nice ones I have on my Dropbox).


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 Re: What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 6 2011
 
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--

Which leads right into the next topic. The first thing we're really going to need is a file manager. This is the first program any DE needs for functionality so its our obvious starting point for development.

So at this stage we need to look at what features we want for the basic file manager and what features can be added on via plug ins.

Here is my opinion, the base file manager needs to be minimalistic and all additional but unrequired features are handled by plug ins. Including Toolbar options and additions. Layout enhancements (I.E. Sidebars and preview screens) So on and so fourth.

Does anybody have other ideas or concepts?


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Priority.

 
 by scorici on: Jun 8 2011
 
Score 50%

I'm just a simple user but I think the priority is like this:
1. A window manager as a fallback if compiz doesn't have the drivers to work on (I could be very wrong on this one ^^ )
2. File manager as you mentioned, which draws desktop icons as well.
3. A panel that would have add-ons like menu, window buttons, system tray , show desktop, desktop switching etc...
If the DE can be used in a VM count me in as a test user as a first step but if it requires more I will install it to the metal. At the moment I'm using Mint but I probably migrate to Arch. I have no coding skills btw.


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 Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 8 2011
 
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A fall back DE would have to be something that isn't built on Compiz but you are correct that needs to be there. However, that is something we shouldn't hard code in. I would prefer to let that be determined by the Linux distribution that uses our DE.

As stated the file manager is the first thing we need so we can navigate the system. After that we need to build a shell and launcher so we can access programs.

Then we get into the real fun of developing the configuration applications so users can setup the system. I'm thinking we develop the user controls first then develop the administration controls. Either way I want to use a control center like interface (Something like what Gnome and KDE use, possibly combing the best aspects of the two into whatever we develop for this DE.)


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by scorici on: Jun 8 2011
 
Score 50%

I'm no coder just so you know... but out of curiosity on what this DE will be developed? GTK, QT, something else?


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 8 2011
 
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GTK most likely as that is what Compiz is developed on. We need need to create some lib files but not to many I'm sure.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by novomente on: Jun 9 2011
 
Score 50%

Hi technoshaun.

Thx for invitation. I am curious on how things will go here in this group because after GNOME3 I'm not sure what DE to use next. Many times I was thinking of improving recent DEs' and also I was thinking of new DE.

So I'm glad that you started this group and this activity.



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by novomente on: Jun 9 2011
 
Score 50%

And how about to develop FDE on Enlightenment libraries. They look cool, not buggy, quick with effects and are somewhat like minimalist. I'm not sure if they will go well with compiz but give it a try and install E17 and watch how it works (I mean libraries I don't mean Enlightenment DE).

I must note that I am not developer, but programmer beginner because recently I learn C language etc. and will attend a University. Right now I can help with compiz themes - but everybody can do that right :-) - and also I can help with ideas on how users can work with the new DE. I am able to do help with research on how DE is used, what users like/dislike, what they need and then help to create a design of DE and how it will function with users (do you understand what I mean?).


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Priority.

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 9 2011
 
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--

Your talking about user interface design obviously. Which is where we are at this point.

I like the idea of using some aspects of Enlightenment but their libraries are built separately from other DEs so I doubt we could just pull them in. However, though they start minimalistic they are highly customizable and the skins you can create are beautiful so that should definitely become a goal for our DE as well.

Right now though we need to focus on function over beauty and we need to look at building a file manager then launcher. Without those two basic things we aren't going to have much of a DE.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.

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 Re: Re: What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by Padster on: Jun 9 2011
 
Score 50%

About the file manager:
-should be minimalistic
-but not too minimalistic (like Google Chrome, etc, with everything hidden under a button)
-addons/plugins are a good idea, like previews and clutterflow, etc.
-customizable (eg. arrange/add/remove toolbar buttons and other elements)

And other notes:
-GTK3
-control centre is a good idea, we just need to pick out the best options
-should be very customizable (on/off options for many things, etc)


101010
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 Re: Re: Re: What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by novomente on: Jun 10 2011
 
Score 63%

I'm not a developer so I can't make decissions like Agree/Not Agree but only like or dislike.

I like the Idea of what Padster said About the file manager. Tell me if I am wrong. To build a File Manager means to choose libraries (GTK, KDE, EFL etc.) or create our own. This decision must be think about well and then made. It is a big decission because new DE rely on it.


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 10 2011
 
Score 63%
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Well actually the file manager provides the base functions of the DE, regardless of what Tool Kit is used to develop on. In our case the Tool Kit is going to be GTK since that is the one Compiz uses and Compiz is going to provide the Windows Management functions.

Padster and I actually are saying the same thing in slightly different ways. Make the base File Manager minimalistic and then use Add Ons (plugins) to add functionality and features.

What he adds is that we allow user decision on the layout of those add ons, which I agree should be allowed. Especially since the main goal of this undertaking is giving control to the end user on how things look and react.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What I forgot to add yesterday

 
 by Padster on: Jun 10 2011
 
Score 50%

exactly :)


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 File Manager Layout

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 11 2011
 
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Here is a candidate for a file manager layout. Minimalistic and shows navigation controls (which will be optional)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/359039/file-manager.png


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by Padster on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

The controls in the menubar?
I made a mockup, too: http://therealpadster.deviantart.com/art/File-Browser-Mockup-212734965


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 Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by novomente on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

I made some application menu layouts too (link):
http://novomente-activities.blogspot.com/2011/06/file-manager-with-application-menu-in-1.html

But I would like to ask which features will be implicit and which will be as an optional plugin/addon:

features:
- sidebar
- bookmarks
- treeview
- places
- file informations / properties
- extra pane (as in in nautilus) or commander 2 pane view
- statusbar
- tabs
- different kinds of browsing folders as in Dolphin
- etc.


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 Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by Padster on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

I was just thinking we would have a menubar (I find them much easier to use, and more useful than menu-buttons). I guess we could have options for it, though.

Well, I think we would have a functional default layout, with most thing customizable.
So, say, the sidebar would be default, with places and bookmarks, but you can change what's in it on your own.
Extra pane would be in the menu, to check off if wanted.
Tabs would definitely be there, the tabs show up when you open a new tab.
Some kind of statusbar, whether it's always there, or only shows up on prompt, like selecting files.
I'm not sure what your last point is, though, I don't use Dolphin.

But previews/common actions/properties could show up in a side-pane, if enabled.


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by novomente on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

The last thing (different kinds of browsing folders as in Dolphin) is something like view options:

- folder view
- list view (with permissions etc.)
- compact view (as in apple) - this functions like this: list view of folders shows up (only a list of names i.e. no permissions, no size, no type, no date modified, only names of folders and files. Then when you double-click on a folder another pane opens next to the first one with content of the double-clicked folder. So now you have 2 panes with lists of folders and files. When you click some folder in the 2nd pane, next pane shows up with content of the new opened folder. So now you have 3 panes with lists of folders and files. And when you click new folder in a 3rd pane, another new pane opens next to latst one and so far. When you would like to go back in history, you can just click inside a previous pane.

I hope you understand it. Otherwise just install dolphin and try it. There could be more features to consider to implement in our new file manager.

How about the feature of havin 2 panes opened as in Free Commander. Will this feature be implemented in FM or as a plugin (you can do this feature in Nautilus by pressing F3 shortcut or from menu)

OK I'll try some layouts with menubar (compact and usable).


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by Padster on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

Oh, I know what you mean. We could have that in the view-mode button.

And I would just have the 2-pane thing as an addon, I guess. So you can enable it in the menu if you want, but not default.


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 Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by scorici on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 63%

As a default controls and menus(all your menu options are great with me) are a must.


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by Karmicbastler on: Jun 12 2011
 
Score 50%

this new filemanager looks good. For me it is equal, if the option for the menu is on the right-hand side or on the left-hand side. The mockups look good!! I like them.

Greetings
Karmicbastler


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 Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by novomente on: Jun 13 2011
 
Score 63%

Here are three new layouts with menubar and extra buttons (it would be possible to customize the layout as seen in Firefox) and with tabs - link:
http://novomente-activities.blogspot.com/2011/06/file-manager-layouts-menubar-and-tabs.html

I left titlebar of a window without any additions because I don't think that Compiz will allow to add buttons or menubar to the titlebar.

After a menubar are 3 new buttons (these are Dolphin buttons): Search (or Find), Split (it makes 2 panes as seen in Free Commander), Preview (to see thumbnails of images, text inside icon of a text files etc.).

Then in the toolbar there are buttons to Go Up a Directory and the Trash Bin button on the right side (again everything is customizable as in Firefox).

The Folder View buttons can be placed instead of the Trash Bin button - I placed them in the menubar because of the more space for File Path buttons.


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: File Manager Layout

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 13 2011
 
Score 50%
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The third option has the most logical layout I think. We should of course allow for several layouts )I.E. right click add here type selection.

BTW my choice for putting the nav controls in the menu bar are simple. I hate wasted space.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Logo

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 13 2011
 
Score 50%
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Does everyone like the logo I cobbled together? If not what would you change?


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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 Re: Logo

 
 by Padster on: Jun 13 2011
 
Score 50%

I suppose it's alright for the group logo, but it's too complicated for an everyday-use logo.

And when shrunk down to the side-bar size, it's un-readable.


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 Mission Statement

 
 by Padster on: Jun 13 2011
 
Score 50%

Does anyone have any ideas with regards to the mission statement?

It should probably be one or two sentences long, max, and should encompass what the FDE project is all about.

Suggestions so far:
Your desktop, your way, your choice.
A powerful, customizable, easy-to-use, desktop environment.


101010
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 Re: Mission Statement

 
 by theiotku on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%

Beautiful, flexable, logical, FreeDE


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 Re: Re: Mission Statement

 
 by theiotku on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%

the idea sounds interesting (I would be hoping for something lighter but that's just my preference)
-jmad


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 Re: Re: Re: Mission Statement

 
 by Padster on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%

Ohaider! ^^
You got a new account?
And, yeah, it would be fully (or mostly) graphical, with an emphasis on more mainstream users, no offence :P


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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mission Statement

 
 by theiotku on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%

none taken ;) I'm an oddball anyways.


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 Re: Re: Mission Statement

 
 by Padster on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%

Not bad, actually.
Beats what I've come up with! XD


101010
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 Re: Re: Mission Statement

 
 by technoshaun on: Jun 14 2011
 
Score 50%
technoshauntechnoshaun
GnoMenu - Documentatio n Manager
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Shaun Marolf 12

GnoMenu - Documentation Manager
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Simple and to the point. I like it.


It isn't about it being free. Rather, its about the freedom it brings.
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