What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

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ghettocottage
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What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:47 am

Since I upgraded to 18.04 and do not care for the Gnome DE, I have been searching around for something else to use.

Using latest stable LC 9.

I liked budgie desktop quite a bit, but unfortunately Livecode does not like it at all...frozen desktop, gray screen, crashes and such.

Deepin was promising, but I had similar experiences with Livecode not working very well.

Currently switched to Kubuntu Desktop, and Livecode is behaving nicely, except that the Tool Bar will not stay on the screen. If I click on an app I am working on, the toolbar immediately vanishes. If I click on the main menu, the Tool Bar pops back like some mischievous monkey.

I found this thread where someone was having similar experiences, but the solutions there do not seem to apply to my desktop.
http://forums.livecode.com/viewtopic.ph ... s&start=15

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by richmond62 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:39 am

I use XFCE; and have done now for 14 years. XFCE and LiveCode work pretty well seamlessly together.

HOWEVER: I have had the odd bit of trouble using plain Ubuntu with XFCE "bunged on top",
so always opt to install Xubuntu (i.e. Ubuntu with XFCE built-in by people who know about these things far better than I do).

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by FourthWorld » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:53 am

I like Ubuntu straight out of the box, so Unity - and more recently, Gnome Shell - have been good for me.

But I do have one machine here running Lubuntu, which uses LXDE, close enough in flavor to XFCE that I'd say you should have a pretty good time with either.
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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:53 pm

Thanks for the tips. I am trying xubuntu-desktop now, and if it works out I might just do a clean install.

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:05 pm

I played around with Xubuntu. It was ok, but I ended up going back to Kubuntu. After messing around with resetting all preferences to defaults a couple of times, the Tool Bar stopped disappearing (at least for now).

So far (now that I have the windows behaving) Kubuntu has been the nicest desktop for me, with plenty of tweaks and options.

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by wsamples » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:42 am

I think there is a problem with KDE and LC 9.0. I have the same experience with the tools palette (it seems this is what you are talking about when you say "tool bar") and sometimes certain ancillary windows. It can be caused here by opening an inspector. It gets more entertaining when opening the message box. Kind of like playing whack-a-mole trying to click the correct window to get the tools palette to reappear. Closing the message box again helps. Working with more than one open stack is "interesting". If you open enough ancillary windows - the various windows you open from the main menu bar can all be brought into this game - things get more stable and if you get the right combination, the tools palette stays visible except when you select something on the main menu bar or the desktop and it is much simpler to get it back after it hides. I thought this might be a compositing issue but switching off desktop effects doesn't fix it. I see this in Antergos (Arch), openSUSE, and Fedora using KDE. Fedora was a little less unpredictable but still showed the problem.

You made me curious and I did some experimenting. Using Xfce in Antergos was better, with no hiding windows, but I noticed the title bar of the tools palette flickers and there were some issues with focus and the keyboard when the message box is open. I tried Cinnamon in both Antergos and openSUSE and it seems absolutely solid. No weirdness of any kind, so if that's a DE that appeals to you, or at least that you can tolerate (DEs are like email clients, I think), you might give that a try.

I love KDE and won't give it up - Krunner! - but this isn't a great experience :roll: It is, BTW, a new problem that came with LC9. I have kept quiet about it because I I'm not running a supported distro. But, if this is a problem that exists on supported distros running KDE, perhaps someone can file an official bug report. I don't know if Kubuntu is considered an official release or a derivative spin; supported, or not, by LC. Maybe I'll look into it and file the bug...

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by richmond62 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:02 am

I suspect that the situation with Linux is like almost every situation in life: there is more than one variable.

HOWEVER, I can state quite categorically that with the following set ups I have never had anything
but a rock-solid experience with LiveCode:

Xubuntu 9.04 - 18.04

MX Linux 16.1 - 17.1

elementaryOS

Zorin OS

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:20 am

KDE isn't "officially" supported; LC spends disproportionately on Linux as it is, it would be prohibitive to try to cover all the variety Linux offers.

I wonder if we might be able to get someone from the KDE world interested in working on this...
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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:55 pm

I was able to get LC 9 to behave in Kubuntu by following these steps:

Open Livecode.
Open an app I am working on
Go to Preferences and click the "Reset All Preferences to Defaults"

Save stack

Close everything out and re-open. Viola!! No more disappearing windows.

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by wsamples » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:20 pm

Richard, the release notes list supported distros without reference to desktop environment. Those distros all make a variety of DEs available for use in the mainstream release that Livecode officially supports, including KDE. I can understand that having a variety of DEs and a variety of window managers and the fact that you can run them in nonstandard combinations makes headaches for the developers, but a supported distro is a supported distro and KDE is not a fringe DE by any means.

ghetto, I tried removing the preferences file and that doesn't solve the problem here. I then tried resetting them as you have written here and that also does not solve the problem for me. Opening the project browser and the script editor as you show in your picture seems to solve the problem. Until I open the message box. Opening the message box causes the tools palette to disappear and the only way to get it back is to click on the message box window. The tools palette can be used. Closing the message box returns normalcy. Opening an inspector doesn't seem to cause a problem but the inspector disappears when the tool palette is selected and reappears when any other window is clicked. Opening the message box with the inspector and the project browser and the script editor open causes the tools palette and the inspector to disappear when focus is given to any window other than the tools palette, the inspector or the message box. They then reappear as the message box is clicked. At this point the script editor can be closed and things are calm. The most consistent trigger seems to be the message box, but as we see, behavior is a little complex and unpredictable. It's not unworkable, but also not ideal. Thank you for sharing your solution! It's not a cure for me but it has helped me find a less disruptive way to work.

In Antergos and Xfce, the problem with the message box is that the tools palette and the message box fight for focus. That results in its titlebar flickering and unpredictable keyboard behavior. I couldn't find anything in the window manager settings that resolves this. (Playing with window manager settings, including focus control, is equally unproductive in KDE) This seems to be a distro specific problem as far as Xfce goes, based on Richmonds's experience, and not LiveCode's responsibility.

It seems there were some changes with LC9 that keep it from playing as happily with KDE as had previous versions. These might be strictly related to IDE routines. They might be something that could be an issue in software developed in LiveCode if the right/wrong combination of things is implemented. I don't know. I recall early in the development of LC9 reading some complaints about the message box causing weirdness on other (supported) platforms and hoping that resolving those issues would fix this one. Alas...

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:09 pm

wsamples wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:20 pm
Richard, the release notes list supported distros without reference to desktop environment. Those distros all make a variety of DEs available for use in the mainstream release that Livecode officially supports, including KDE. I can understand that having a variety of DEs and a variety of window managers and the fact that you can run them in nonstandard combinations makes headaches for the developers, but a supported distro is a supported distro and KDE is not a fringe DE by any means.
My post was neither DE advocacy nor disparagement. Of course KDE is popular. So are others. There are many. One of the things we like about Linux is that it's very richly modifiable.

Still, a given distro ships its disk images with a given IDE preinstalled and ready to go. It's possible to override that, but the question here is whether all possible combinations of packages on an officially supported distro can be safely assumed to be part of LC's support of that distro.

I don't know the answer to that, but we do know that the LC core team already spends disproportionately on Linux.

Given LC's team size, it seems useful to at least find out if anyone in the KDE world with good knowledge of its APIs could become interested in helping fine-tune one of the most powerful tools for rapidly building GUI apps to ensure it works seamlessly with KDE.

This suggestion is merely an "also". Pursuing other options for short-term resolution of the issue at hand is of course a given.
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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:37 am

I messed around some more and found the following:

If I have backdrop turned off, then things work as expected until I open the message-box. After that, if I click on a blank area of my desktop, the tools palette vanishes. Clicking on the message box brings the tools palette back.

If I enable the backdrop, that does not happen. I can click anywhere and all of the windows stay where I left them.

I had previously turned off backdrop because it interfered with other applications I had running, but I can get around this by having a virtual-desktop for running Livecode only. The backdrop does not creep over to my other desktops, so I can just toggle between desktops as needed.

I can live with this, and I appreciate the backdrop when it is isolated to one desktop because I tend to keep my desktop area rather messy at times and the backdrop covers all that and focuses on the application I am working on.
The effect reminds me of Full-Screen Mode in Photoshop.

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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by FourthWorld » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:46 am

Sounds like this one, or at least related:
https://quality.livecode.com/show_bug.cgi?id=21195

Feel free to add any relevant details not already in the report.
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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by bogs » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:42 pm

I don't run Ubuntu, so I'm thinking this probably won't be as helpful to you, but I find the IDE works great on Fluxbox. In this case, Fluxbox running on Antix, using the SLIM dm. The whole setup is fast as heck, and Fluxbox is one of the lighter DEs around (even more miserly than LXDE). I often have 2 VMs going with this setup, and still don't get much over 2gb ram usage.

Mind you though, FB is not one of the 'eye candy' DEs, and getting used to Antix may take a little time coming from 'buntu. Despite that, I find the uptick in speed to be well worth it. I also use this as the base for my XFCE desktop using LightDM, and I find it works pretty well, but I spend most of the time in FB.
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Re: What is the best DE for using Livecode with Ubuntu 18.04?

Post by ghettocottage » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:32 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips, suggestions and ideas.

Currently I am happy with Kubuntu v. 18.04, running the most recent Livecode on its own virtual-desktop, with Backdrop enabled.

I have not had any more problems with palettes vanishing. Livecode does not interfere with anything I have running on other virtual-desktops, and I have configured some nifty keyboard-shortcuts to toggle desktops as I need.

Love it!!!

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