16 votes

Are "desktop threads" a good fit for Tildes?

For those unclear on the definition: desktop threads involve, at their simplest, people sharing screenshots of or writing about how they've configured their computer in specific ways. This could be anything from custom programs they've written to cut windows in two, self-made window managers, or simply gifs/screenshots showing what their desktop looks like.

Some setups involve a lot of spent time and effort, and can spawn 100+ comments related to discussion around their configurations and setup. However, as there is effectively zero barrier to entry in taking a screenshot, it can also result in many low-effort setups (e.g. people just changing their wallpaper) or dozens of near identical setups which encourage little discussion.

Similarly, while many posters will happily answer questions about their exact setup and e.g. supply their .vimrc config file to inquisitive users, it is also a problem when posters do not engage with commenters, only providing an image of their current setup and contributing nothing further - preventing much further discussion.

There was one previous post on ~comp which was effectively a desktop thread here, and it seems to have had a positive reaction and spawned some relatively high-quality discussion. However, given that Tildes is supposed to primarily be about text-based content and high-quality posts/discussion, and desktop threads can potentially be the polar opposite of that, I thought I'd ask for other's opinions on whether future desktop threads would be a good fit for and/or welcome on Tildes.

31 comments

  1. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. apoctr
      Link Parent
      Yes, I've seen more specific posts before such as the operating system one you mention. Main difference being that that one was primarily text-based (it also generated a lot more discussion than...

      Yes, I've seen more specific posts before such as the operating system one you mention. Main difference being that that one was primarily text-based (it also generated a lot more discussion than I'd expected!), I suppose.

      Maybe Tildes will show otherwise, however past experience in places like Reddit's /r/unixporn and desktop threads on /g/ show that a popular method of posting is dumping their setup at the door, then leaving the building - few responses if any to questions, reluctance to share specific config files or talk about them. It baffles me as to why, but it happens fairly regularly.

      However you're probably right in that they should just be tested out. From what I've seen in similar posts, Tildes does have more feature-rich comments relating to these sorts of things than other sites.

      4 votes
  2. [9]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yes, because as you already have said, desktop threads have a good potential for discussion. Just because that discussion is generated by sharing screenshots does...

    Short answer? Yes.

    Long answer? Yes, because as you already have said, desktop threads have a good potential for discussion. Just because that discussion is generated by sharing screenshots does not make it less worthy discussion. I recently started "ricing" my desktop and have had a lot of questions that I would much rather ask here on Tildes than on Reddit.

    Speaking of which, if anyone knows how to get i3status or i3blocks to update network usage at a .1 second interval instead of just 1 second intervals, I would love to be clued in. Alternatively, is Polybar capable of updating that fast?

    Anyways, yes, desktop threads are going to be filled with screenshots, but they can also contain questions and answers. I know that I have learned a lot about Xorg, Wayland and Vim just by trying to configure my desktop to be exactly how I like it.

    6 votes
    1. [6]
      hotcouch
      Link Parent
      I think as long as a screenshot is posted with an actual contribution, it should be fine. Simply dropping a link and saying "rate my setup" or something is weak content we should avoid.

      I think as long as a screenshot is posted with an actual contribution, it should be fine. Simply dropping a link and saying "rate my setup" or something is weak content we should avoid.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        /r/unixporn does enforce rules as far as screenshots require at least two windows open in at least one of the images of the desktop in question, and a details comment with a link to the wallpaper...

        /r/unixporn does enforce rules as far as screenshots require at least two windows open in at least one of the images of the desktop in question, and a details comment with a link to the wallpaper is also required if I remember correctly.

        Maybe we can try to "encourage" specific posting guidelines for a desktop showcase thread in the future?

        5 votes
        1. hotcouch
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I think that encouraging behavior like that at this stage is integral to developing a culture here that perpetuates it to new users in the future. I'm totally behind screenshot/show off...

          Yeah, I think that encouraging behavior like that at this stage is integral to developing a culture here that perpetuates it to new users in the future. I'm totally behind screenshot/show off threads assuming content is there.

          4 votes
        2. [3]
          SheepWolf
          Link Parent
          A few points/questions I wanted to make about guidelines to generate discussion from anyone. Where would those guidelines be put that is easily visible? How would it work? There currently aren't...

          A few points/questions I wanted to make about guidelines to generate discussion from anyone.

          1. Where would those guidelines be put that is easily visible? How would it work?

            There currently aren't subreddits where subreddit specific rules can be put into a sidebar here on Tildes

          2. How would you get people to read and conform to those rules?

            I expect much of the burden would fall onto moderators, but moderators and users tend to struggle with one another regarding censorship and ambiguity of rules.

          3. I remember this thread on Reddit about the number of rules and their complexity.

            Some arguing that some subreddits have too many rules that were overly complicated before a person can post something, and others arguing that those rules are added because the less complicated a rule is, the more often users will try to challenge the moderators on the interpretation of it

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            hungariantoast
            Link Parent
            Until we have a dedicated ~comp.desktops subtopic with a sidebar that lists all of the rules for posting, we would have to rely on the OP of each desktop thread to post the rules in each thread....

            Where would those guidelines be put that is easily visible? How would it work?

            Until we have a dedicated ~comp.desktops subtopic with a sidebar that lists all of the rules for posting, we would have to rely on the OP of each desktop thread to post the rules in each thread.

            This is actually similar to what 4chan does with their posts. Each "general" thread usually has the rules laid out in the first post/comment of that thread, which is an effective system.

            How would you get people to read and conform to those rules?

            This is an issue moderators can deal with in the future, but we can also deal with this right now. If I were to post a desktop thread today, and I outlined very clearly that in order to contribute to the discussion, users need to post their dotfiles, wallpaper, and details with their screenshot, then anyone who does not follow those rules and only posts a screenshot, without contributing to the discussions, can have their comment tagged as noise, because that is essentially what it is when they only post a screenshot. Desktop threads wouldn't be for showing off, they would be for discussion, and just dropping a screenshot of a blank desktop into a thread is not doing anyone any favors, so that's a great example for a "noise" comment.

            2 votes
            1. SheepWolf
              Link Parent
              That sounds like a simple and reasonable method to encourage compliance. Comment tags/flags/marks seems like a step in the right direction, especially if everyone uses them properly. I suppose it...

              That sounds like a simple and reasonable method to encourage compliance. Comment tags/flags/marks seems like a step in the right direction, especially if everyone uses them properly. I suppose it might not be possible to prevent people from ignoring the rules, especially when new topics are posted rather than comments, but having an easy system to quickly respond to infractions sounds like the best option we have.

              2 votes
    2. [2]
      apoctr
      Link Parent
      I've no experience with i3blocks, so although I assume it is possible I can't say how. For polybar, I think you'd want interval under the Basic Settings for the Network module. As they include a...

      I've no experience with i3blocks, so although I assume it is possible I can't say how. For polybar, I think you'd want interval under the Basic Settings for the Network module. As they include a decimal point, I assume you can go under 1.0

      2 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        Yeah, the decimal point in the Polybar docs is tantalizing. I will install and try that out this evening. I cannot for the life of me get anything less than one second to update correctly with...

        Yeah, the decimal point in the Polybar docs is tantalizing. I will install and try that out this evening. I cannot for the life of me get anything less than one second to update correctly with i3blocks, and I've even tried the bandwidth scripts from i3blocks-contrib, but those don't seem to work either. If Polybar doesn't work for some reason I might do the hard thing and actually look at the source code for the i3blocks-contrib script I am currently using and see if I can mangle it just right to get a decimal value to work, which is great, because it'll be my second time pasting some C code around and is sure to be a "fun" experience.

        3 votes
  3. [7]
    demifiend
    Link
    I think a monthly #unixporn thread would be a great idea, though my own rice is kinda bland. It's just OpenBSD -current with a lightly customized cwm, rxvt-unicode, and emacs. It doesn't even have...

    I think a monthly #unixporn thread would be a great idea, though my own rice is kinda bland. It's just OpenBSD -current with a lightly customized cwm, rxvt-unicode, and emacs. It doesn't even have conky :)

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      apoctr
      Link Parent
      I'm sure your rice is much nicer than you give yourself credit for :) As far as #unixporn goes, I'd rather use a label slightly more generic. There are some neat Windows setups done with stuff...

      I'm sure your rice is much nicer than you give yourself credit for :)

      As far as #unixporn goes, I'd rather use a label slightly more generic. There are some neat Windows setups done with stuff like Rainmeter, no real point excluding them.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        demifiend
        Link Parent
        Thanks, but I'm honestly not a graphics guy. I mean, this is my idea of a good website. Fair enough.

        I'm sure your rice is much nicer than you give yourself credit for :)

        Thanks, but I'm honestly not a graphics guy. I mean, this is my idea of a good website.

        As far as #unixporn goes, I'd rather use a label slightly more generic. There are some neat Windows setups done with stuff like Rainmeter, no real point excluding them.

        Fair enough.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          spit-evil-olive-tips
          Link Parent
          I think that's an excellent motherfucking website.

          I think that's an excellent motherfucking website.

          3 votes
        2. [2]
          apoctr
          Link Parent
          I might be Gen Z, but I love simplistic design. That is indeed a lovely website :P

          I might be Gen Z, but I love simplistic design. That is indeed a lovely website :P

          1 vote
          1. demifiend
            Link Parent
            Thanks. Gen X here, and I pretty much think in text mode.

            Thanks. Gen X here, and I pretty much think in text mode.

            1 vote
  4. [3]
    tomf
    Link
    For me, I love desktop threads. I'm still fairly new to using desktop linux, but communities like /r/unixporn have been a godsend. It pushed me to move to i3-gaps-next, modify my GTK theme, and...

    For me, I love desktop threads. I'm still fairly new to using desktop linux, but communities like /r/unixporn have been a godsend. It pushed me to move to i3-gaps-next, modify my GTK theme, and more to ultimately make my linux desktop experience my own.

    This is my setup right now. Its nothing crazy -- but it works well for me. My main system is a 2013 MBP, but this little Chromebook running Gallium has been excellent. I even cut some mac-tac for a cover to further the personalization.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      apoctr
      Link Parent
      Looks comfy, I like the font and transparency. Although don't you find it a little difficult to read text in the terminal against that background?

      Looks comfy, I like the font and transparency. Although don't you find it a little difficult to read text in the terminal against that background?

      1 vote
      1. tomf
        Link Parent
        Thanks! Typically in the bottom I have Atom, for the top weechat window its no issue.

        Thanks! Typically in the bottom I have Atom, for the top weechat window its no issue.

        1 vote
  5. [3]
    EscReality
    Link
    This is actually something I have been curious about. I was wanting to do a "battlestation" thread here for a while now. I am always interested in seeing peoples desk setups and what kind of...

    This is actually something I have been curious about. I was wanting to do a "battlestation" thread here for a while now. I am always interested in seeing peoples desk setups and what kind of computers they use. But, I kinda was thinking that an image based thread might not be accepted by the community here.

    If anyone is willing, I would love to start one.

    2 votes
  6. [2]
    OneSubtractOne
    Link
    I'm up for it, I've been messing with ricing my system for a while.. It's still kinda crap compared to some of the amazing things on unixporn, but it'd be nice to share some of it with people that...

    I'm up for it, I've been messing with ricing my system for a while.. It's still kinda crap compared to some of the amazing things on unixporn, but it'd be nice to share some of it with people that actually get what I'm saying and going for...

    1 vote
    1. apoctr
      Link Parent
      One has been started here - you can share your hardware setup or desktop screenshots.

      One has been started here - you can share your hardware setup or desktop screenshots.

  7. [2]
    meghan
    Link
    Just make one and see if people like it :D

    Just make one and see if people like it :D

    1 vote
    1. apoctr
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I'll give it a go in the morning :)

      Yeah, I'll give it a go in the morning :)

  8. [2]
    kori
    Link
    I think they'd be okayish. It's hard to browse through one without image previews.

    I think they'd be okayish. It's hard to browse through one without image previews.

    1 vote
    1. apoctr
      Link Parent
      True, but if you've setup Tildes to open external links in new tabs it's not too bad.

      True, but if you've setup Tildes to open external links in new tabs it's not too bad.

  9. [2]
    Askme_about_penguins
    Link
    Wouldn't this post be more relevant on ~comp?

    Wouldn't this post be more relevant on ~comp?

    1. apoctr
      Link Parent
      This is more of a meta question about how welcome a thread about desktops would be on Tildes, so I thought ~tildes was the best place to ask. If any volunteers want to move the thread though, they...

      This is more of a meta question about how welcome a thread about desktops would be on Tildes, so I thought ~tildes was the best place to ask. If any volunteers want to move the thread though, they can go ahead.

      2 votes