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Thread: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

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  1. #1
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    Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    It has the best name of the bunch . . .

    Anybody have a really cool looking Blackbox screenshot they'd like to share?

  2. #2
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    I used it for a bit last year. I think it's nice, just a bit annoying to configure.


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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    I should mention that Openbox or Fluxbox are much better choices (in my experience Openbox stays more true to Blackbox) than Blackbox which is now outdated, has a lack of themes and themeing capabilities and is confusing to configure. Most people who are still using Blackbox only use it because they've used it for such a long time that they are used to it. Try it out if you want to, just don't expect a whole lot of features or easy configuration.

  4. #4
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    I would agree that almost no one uses Blackbox any more. I've used Fluxbox on a daily basis before, although not recently. I never used Blackbox, so it wasn't really important to me to "stay true" to the spirit of Blackbox, and I just found that Fluxbox was more usable, and flexible than Openbox.

  5. #5
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by krapp View Post
    It has the best name of the bunch . . .

    Anybody have a really cool looking Blackbox screenshot they'd like to share?
    BROTHER!!! OF COURSE there are people who use Blackbox out there, and I am one of them.

    Pray pay no heed to statements like 'it is obsolete' or that 'Fluxbox' and 'Openbox' are much better. If people like Fluxbox or Openbox more, as many indeed do, to each their own!

    I will tell you why I think Blackbox is still the real deal. It is probably the most elegant piece of software I have seen - which becomes clear if you read the documentation on the website:

    1) There is no minimization of windows, because there is no minimization in X - other interfaces like Gnome, etc only succeed in fooling you that they minimize windows - not that I do not like Gnome - I love it, but no one ever tells you the truth except for Blackbox.

    2) There is no wallpaper setting since there is no wallpaper remembered in X! The wallpaper is whatever image is thrown on the root window, and whoever throws it last, wins. Therefore, even after you have set a program to create a wallpaper by setting an image, it will easily be changed the moment some other application throws an image over it.

    3) There is no dock, only a slit. Applications may be designed to use a slit, etc etc.

    The point is that Blackbox is an absolute mirror of the X window system, and things in it work as they do there. Fluxbox is an amazing usable desktop indeed, but it does away with all the austere principles of Blackbox by focusing on the user instead of the programmer - minimization, tabbed windows, key-bindings etc, and in some respects it is the very antithesis of Blackbox principles.

    It boils down to this: I use Blackbox because of its elegance of design. If someone prefers usability over design, they should use Fluxbox. Openbox is virtually the same as Fluxbox except for its difference of configuration.
    Be formless, shapeless... like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; if you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash... Be water my friend

  6. #6
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?



    I had no idea programmers gave that much thought to design! That is elegant indeed. If I wasn't slowly crawling toward trying a tiling WM I'd be blackboxing by tomorrow. Good to know. Thanks for the post, great stuff.

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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by krapp View Post


    I had no idea programmers gave that much thought to design! That is elegant indeed. If I wasn't slowly crawling toward trying a tiling WM I'd be blackboxing by tomorrow. Good to know. Thanks for the post, great stuff.
    Haha! I am glad you appreciate it! I do have Gnome, but I like to keep flipping between various WM's just for the heck of it. I use Blackbox, and Ratpoison (keyboard only, no frills), as well as Scrotwm (dynamically tiling window manager). I find them all excellent! I am a sucker for elegance!
    Be formless, shapeless... like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; if you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash... Be water my friend

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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by manzdagratiano View Post
    Haha! I am glad you appreciate it! I do have Gnome, but I like to keep flipping between various WM's just for the heck of it. I use Blackbox, and Ratpoison (keyboard only, no frills), as well as Scrotwm (dynamically tiling window manager). I find them all excellent! I am a sucker for elegance!
    OT: I'm picking up from a few things I've read that scrotwm is among the easiest twm's to configure because its config is in plain text. Is it really that much easier?

  9. #9
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    All the three I mentioned - Blackbox, Ratpoison, and Scrotwm, are configured using text files. Openbox I know is configured using xml files, dwm in C, while Xmonad is configured in Haskell. The problem with the latter two is that you must recompile every time, and if one does not know how to program - I for one know C/C++ but certainly not Haskell and nor do I know anyone who does - then it is a PITA to deal with.

    In both Ratpoison and Scrotwm, once you know the key-bindings, you will at complete ease! They both work very fast once up and running.
    Be formless, shapeless... like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; if you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash... Be water my friend

  10. #10
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    Re: Does anybody use Blackbox anymore?

    Here's a screenshot... Running ncmpcpp. The wallpaper is Ubuntu Studio, by OlisStudios.

    EDIT: I forgot that 'trayer' was not running. Now it is, on the bottom right, and is transparent - with wicd, dropbox, and gnome-power-manager!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by manzdagratiano; May 9th, 2011 at 05:08 AM.
    Be formless, shapeless... like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; if you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot... Now water can flow, or it can crash... Be water my friend

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