different desktops

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Wed Apr 6 13:09:43 UTC 2022

Just pointing out that Ratpoison+Strychnine, IceWm, Openbox and others 
aren't exactly full desktops, but are pretty much just the window 
manager side of things. A full desktop would include at least one panel 
with system tray/notification area, app indicators such as the battery 
monitor and clock, most of the time a file manager that doubles as a 
root window desktop that can include launchers and mount points and an 
application menu or some other type of launcher that allows you to see 
the applications on the system and launch them, usually grouped into 
various categories. Strychnine does do some of this for Ratpoison, but 
it's pretty much just a launcher menu and run window type of thing. Many 
components that would make it a full desktop are still missing, although 
it is possible to run Caja or Nautilus and possibly either mate-panel or 
gnome-panel along with it for a more full desktop experience if desired.

About the best full desktop experience I've used is GNOME 2.x, which is 
continued as the MATE desktop. Some panel applets don't necessarily 
speak as much as they should, for example, nm-applet, which is the 
network manager, only says "panel," but for the most part, everything 
just works and is navigable with only a keyboard, although I find Orca's 
"speak object under mouse" to be fairly useful at times as well. GNOME 
3.x and 40+ is another option, but some things seem to be a little less 
usable than the MATE desktop overall. KDE is coming along, but is still 
in the early stages of a11y development, so although many things are 
starting to work pretty well, others are still not quite usable at this 
stage. For full desktops, the only other partially usable options are 
xfce, lxde and lxqt, and all of those seem to be getting a bit long in 
the tooth, and some of these are even starting to lose some of the 
accessibility they once had. So as full desktops go, my three best 
recommendations would be MATE, then GNOME, then KDE. And then there are 
the window managers that include keyboard navigation, 
Ratpoison+Strychnine probably being the best of those options, although 
I have heard that IceWM, Fluxbox and Openbox, as well as possibly i3, 
can also be made more usable with either helper applications or 
hand-edited configuration files.


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