May 26, 2008

Over the last few weeks, I have slowly been updating the Openbox guide. Openbox 3.4.7 has been out for a little while now, and Ubuntu Hardy was also recently released. I needed to update a few sections of the guide (mainly those covering the installation of Openbox, Obconf and Obmenu, and the shutdown/reboot section). The Openbox FAQ has been changed a little as well.

But this new version of the guide is more than just an update. I have thoroughly revised the entire guide, rewritten some parts of it, and added a lot of new material. So what has changed?

First of all, it has a table of contents now 🙂 , which should make navigation easier and give the reader a better grasp of what areas the guide covers.

I have added a lot of new material to it: I have enlarged the sections on panels, docks, system trays, pagers and clocks. The list of ‘useful applications’ at the end of the guide is now much longer (it now contains eleven applications, whereas the old one contained three). I have tried to give KDE/Qt applications more attention, and included a section on how to deal with Qt themes in Openbox. The guide contains more information about font configuration and mouse cursor themes.

I have tried to clarify and explain the commands and applications more, hopefully making it more accessible and educational for persons relatively new to Linux and/or window managers. I have also added a lot more links to external sources of information, project websites and howtos/guides.

Here are some statistics:

The old guide contained 7275 words; the new version of the guide has 9343 words (2068 words more). The old version had 90 links to external sites, the new version has 159 links (69 links more).

The old guide was completed on 26 November 2007, and revised on 22 January 2008 (some minor changes were made in between and since then). Since it was posted, the Openbox guide has received 14,218 views (13,302 and 916 before it was moved to its own page). That is an rough average of 78 persons a day. Not the most frequented website in the world, but a lot more than I thought I would get when I wrote that guide. The entire blog has had 25,968 people over, so more than half of the views were for the guide. ‘(An) Openbox guide’ is the second most common search term that lead people to my blog (297; the first place is occupied by ‘dmenu‘ with 304 hits — it seems there isn’t that much information about dmenu available on the internet…).

Here is a picture of the stats for this blog:

And here is one for the Openbox guide alone:

Writing and maintaining the Openbox guide sometimes forces me to venture into areas I would normally not go: I don’t like docks, for example, but have tried some of them out so I could write about them. I no longer use xcompmgr and transset, but need to know how to use it as my of the readers of the guide are interested in it. I need to download, compile and install a lot of applications. One of my computers is (not exclusively) used for that. It started with a slim command-line Ubuntu Hardy install, and has now well over a thousand packages installed! I do discover a lot of interesting applications this way, though — especially old(er) ones, many of which are no longer developed, but are still handy, interesting and/or fun.

So that’s it. Go and have a look at the new guide 😉 I hope you find it useful. If you have any suggestions for improvements, or find some grave, less-grave or not-very-grave errors in the guide, please let me know. I love feedback.

9 Responses to “Update!”

  1. Hey Urukrama, it’s me (jviscosi) from the Ubuntu forums. Your blog is a great Openbox resource so thanks for the work you put into it. I’ve pretty much switched over to Openbox from Fluxbox now, using Devil’s Pie to mimic the automatic window placement/sizing/layering that was pretty much the only thing keeping me in Fluxbox. (I know you like PekWM and I see that it has some of those same capabilities; I’ve tried it, but haven’t been able to get into it yet.)

    Anyway, thanks again for maintaining this blog; I’m sure it’s appreciated by many more people than leave comments saying so.

  2. If it doesn’t occur any problem, i would like to translate these FAQ and guide in to Turkish.

  3. freduardo said

    Excellent work.

    This is by far the best openbox I’ve encountered. Good to see you added LXappearance as well (brilliant little app imho).

    One weird thing though; The text at the right side seems to be “cut off”, so some words aren’t showing. Pretty weird I know, and I’m not sure if the problem is at my end (although I don’t seem to have it with any other page on your blog) or yours.

  4. urukrama said

    Thank you, jviscosi 🙂

    Freduardo: Oops. Thank you for letting me know. Part of the text was indeed not showing. I’ve fixed it now.

  5. JakeT said

    Very cool. Thanks for keeeping that guide up–it’s good stuff!

  6. JakeT said

    Hey, I was just looking. 5.4 ‘More on Fonts’, it looks like the title tag or its link didn’t get closed–the first two paragraphs of that section are blue and turn red when you mouse-over.

    No biggie, just saw it and thought I’d let you know!

    Thanks again!

  7. urukrama said

    Thank you for letting me know. I fixed it.

  8. Timóteo said

    The ultimate guide for Openbox.

    This is trully impressive, really, this a musthave on everyone favorites.

    I’m using it a lot to configure my openbox.

    Oh by the way, I was thinking, would you let me translate this guide?

    I don’t have any blogs of my own, but I would like to post it on the ubuntuforum here in Brazil.

  9. Hush said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Hush

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