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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
Jolla offer a first look at their Sailfish smartphone OS (The Verge)
Posted Nov 24, 2012 11:07 UTC (Sat) by kragil (guest, #34373)
Posted Nov 24, 2012 19:44 UTC (Sat) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
Posted Nov 25, 2012 2:12 UTC (Sun) by rsidd (subscriber, #2582)
Posted Nov 25, 2012 20:59 UTC (Sun) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
Combining an external keyboard with a mobile device is an interesting idea, but so far it doesn't seem to have taken off. The problem is, once you're lugging around a keyboard, you might as well lug around a laptop as well. Laptops have gotten really light-- mine is only 3.5 pounds. Maybe one day a good ultra-portable keyboard for tablets will be developed, but I wouldn't hold my breath. A lot of the newer "chiclet style" laptop keyboards are horrible-- if anything, keyboard design has regressed.
Microsoft seems to have placed a big bet on a combination tablet/keyboard with the Microsoft Surface. I guess we'll see how it all turns out. For every XBox, there are a few Zunes.
Posted Nov 26, 2012 11:01 UTC (Mon) by beagnach (guest, #32987)
beautifully put :-)
smartphone as a laptop replacement
Posted Nov 27, 2012 11:51 UTC (Tue) by pjm (subscriber, #2080)
Not entirely: a folding keyboard can fit in a pocket. It doesn't require a laptop bag over your shoulder, you can just put it in your pocket in the morning and forget about it until you use it.
> Maybe one day a good ultra-portable keyboard for tablets will be developed, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
I use a Stowaway folding keyboard from a few years ago (predating tablets as we now know them). It's not quite as good as a laptop keyboard (mainly in that Esc and F1..F12 need a modifier key rather than having a separate row), but it's much better for my use than a netbook keyboard. It's one of the larger portable keyboards, but it still fits in a pocket, even if not a shirt pocket.
> A lot of the newer "chiclet style" laptop keyboards are horrible-- if anything, keyboard design has regressed.
The Stowaway keyboard I'm referring to doesn't have the problem I think you're referring to: it feels much like a traditional laptop keyboard.
There are others that you might not like, such as the rubbery rollable keyboards, or projection keyboards.
Posted Nov 27, 2012 18:22 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
> Not entirely: a folding keyboard can fit in a pocket. It doesn't require a laptop bag over your shoulder, you can just put it in your pocket in the morning and forget about it until you use it.
Besides this, in many places that you will be using the tablet for desktop type work, you may have a real keyboard sitting there (just like people do for their laptops in many cases)
Devices all over
Posted Nov 25, 2012 0:50 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
As to cmccabe's scepticism about writing on the mobile, I can write short messages, no problem. For commenting on LWN.net it gets harder because my terminal is configured for Spanish and the layout makes it a bit annoying; but I can also write short posts. Forget about entering HTML though.
Posted Nov 25, 2012 13:02 UTC (Sun) by simlo (subscriber, #10866)
Posted Nov 25, 2012 13:21 UTC (Sun) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
I can clearly be wrong, but this time we are headed to a constellation of devices that are going to need synchronizing anyway. On my desktop I currently have three general-purpose computers (desktop proper, mobile and SheevaPlug) plus two special purpose (printer and router). I expect that pervasive computing be the new paradigm, and that this number grows with time and encompasses the whole house. Then we will need storage hubs and/or cloud services for all computers, so it will not make any difference to have one more device; only convenience will matter.
We are seeing a lot of effort thrown at convergence these days: Windows 8, GNOME 3, Ubuntu for Android. IMHO free software should instead focus on divergence and federation; that is where our best bets lie.
Posted Nov 25, 2012 18:54 UTC (Sun) by rsidd (subscriber, #2582)
A phone with a laptop-dock would work great. In fact I thought Ubuntu for Android was for precisely such uses -- I wonder what became of that.
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