What applications to use with X11? Suggestions and reviews

Salvo

Registered
voice- said:
Please, tell me what X11 is then, and how to use it...
X11 is a protocol for running Graphical Programs over the Network.
X11.app is Apples implementation, which is much better than any other implementation for MacOS X.

The X Server is what actually displays the program, while the X Client is the Program itself. X11.app is an X Server, GIMP is an X Client. You can display a Client on a remote computer on a Local Server;

For example, you could run Wolfenstein on an x86 Linux machine, and display the output on your Mac, but this would be really slow, since the Display would have to be passed over the network, and the Client hasn't been optimized for your X Server. I personally wouldn't bother.
 

leonpmu

Registered
Running OpenOfice 1.1.2 here on my iMac 400 with 10.3.8 512MB RAM, and works really well. No Fink, just X11
 

Viro

Registered
OpenOffice in X11 doesn't work well. Blech. It's horrible and copy pasting from other Mac apps just don't work correctly. Have a look at NeoOffice/J, which is the port of OpenOffice to use Java as a GUI. It runs faster than X11 and is more well integrated into OS X.
 

Viro

Registered
leonpmu said:
Hmm, anybody got evolution to work yet?? Are there noarch sources available??
Why not use fink?
 

xaosai

Registered
freeciv is destroying my life....but it sure is fun to take on Mordor, Ethiopia, and Mars =)
 

ijo

Registered
Hi,


I've installed gkrellm with 'fink'. The gkrellmd starts correctly, but gkrellm complains about 'no fonts found' and directs me to edit fonts.conf and check the fontconfig tool. I'm stopped here...

Anybody had this problem?

I'm running MacOSX 10.4.1, X11 4.4.0 (apple), Xcode 2.0, fink 0.24.6 and gkrellm 2.2.5 (compiled successfully).

Thanks in advance,

Ijo
 

phinsman

Registered
I'm coming from using Linux full-time at work and home, so I do miss a number of apps, including a few that I wrote in Perl-Gtk2. To use those, I've been ssh'ing to my Linux box and opening them on here. Seems to work well enough, aside from things like tray icons, of course.

Gimp has come a long way; even the interface is nice these days. I'm not sure if the version I have on OS X is as recent as what is out there on Linux. I haven't really played with it much yet on here.

I think using Fink is a good idea for anyone. Not only does it save you the worries of gathering all the necessary libraries for compiling source, but also, it's kind of like "Software Update" for your X11 software, assuming it works as apt and yum do, which I do believe it does. As new versions of a program come out, you can easily upgrade them via Fink. At work, most everything we install is an rpm via yum; we also make our own rpm's for our in-house software. They make it so much easier to distribute applications to the end users.

OpenOffice...I love what it is and what it stands for, but man, that is one memory-hogging app. Even at work I despise using it. Still, it beats paying Billy Boy the big bucks for Office. One of these days they're going to get it right too.

Abiword is great if you just need a word processor; nice interface, good features, lightweight. I haven't compared it to Text Edit though.

Evolution -- I wish this one was out there for the Mac. I'd be using it right now. My only complaints are that it still crashes occassionally, and the import/export ability is total crap compared to Thunderbird and even Outlook (did I say Outlook?!?).

Keep an eye open for Thunderbird getting a fully-integrated calendar. They're working on that at Mozilla...I think.

I always thought Gaim was the best IM app out there...not so sure now that I've seen Adium a little.

ethereal -- not really my thing, but a very good tool.

mplayer -- I haven't tried this yet on OS X. That thing plays everything though. I probably couldn't have used Linux at home without it.

Oh yeah -- don't use the built-in Mac terminal. If you customize xterm, it looks and works much better. iTerm too for that matter. Also, if anyone sees mrxvt (tabbed version of rxvt) out there for OS X, please let me know!

Dale
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
Now I have 3 apps under X11:

OOo (Office like)
The Gimp (Photoshop like)
Inkscape (Illustrator like)
 

jerryeng

Registered
I downloaded Aqua Scribus and Open Office, but haven't done much with them, because what I tried was unsuccessful. I used a MS Publisher file I had made and saved in my PC as a postscript file because I wanted to make it into a pdf file. I put it in my powerbook and tried to open it in Scribus. I could only see the first page which frustrated me. I thought maybe I could see if it was all there in Preview and to my delight it was not only all there, but automatically changed to pdf! I had had my powerbook a year and had hardly used it (too busy on the PC), but this experience won me over and I have used the Mac a lot more since then.

I also wanted to use those "powerful data base tools" in Open Office but have not found any way to get a data base in it without deleting the book data base it seems to have; that looks like it would be nice to use. Also rewriting a data base in order to have it on my Mac is not very appealing. I have a file in MS Access which I would love to get in there. I tried copying it in the PC, to Excell, thinking I could get it in that way but have found no way to do it. (I also don't have my email addresses on this machine because I haven't gotten around to doing that Address Book! I'd like an easier way to bring in my PC email directory from Thunderbird.)

I read a guide on Access, but don't need such a powerful COMPLICATED data base. Actually what I really want is a data base like the old AppleWorks from the Apple II days!
 

ex2bot

Registered Bot
AppleWorks is still around and, I think, still being sold. Unfortunately, it's really showing its age, according to what I've read.

I haven't had problems with it in OS X, but others have.


Doug
 

chemistry_geek

Registered
jerryeng said:
I downloaded Aqua Scribus and Open Office, but haven't done much with them, because what I tried was unsuccessful. I used a MS Publisher file I had made and saved in my PC as a postscript file because I wanted to make it into a pdf file. I put it in my powerbook and tried to open it in Scribus. I could only see the first page which frustrated me. I thought maybe I could see if it was all there in Preview and to my delight it was not only all there, but automatically changed to pdf! I had had my powerbook a year and had hardly used it (too busy on the PC), but this experience won me over and I have used the Mac a lot more since then.

I also wanted to use those "powerful data base tools" in Open Office but have not found any way to get a data base in it without deleting the book data base it seems to have; that looks like it would be nice to use. Also rewriting a data base in order to have it on my Mac is not very appealing. I have a file in MS Access which I would love to get in there. I tried copying it in the PC, to Excell, thinking I could get it in that way but have found no way to do it. (I also don't have my email addresses on this machine because I haven't gotten around to doing that Address Book! I'd like an easier way to bring in my PC email directory from Thunderbird.)

I read a guide on Access, but don't need such a powerful COMPLICATED data base. Actually what I really want is a data base like the old AppleWorks from the Apple II days!

If you want a more fully functional version of OpenOffice, try NeoOffice (http://www.neooffice.org/). I use it mostly for wordprocessing, especially for my resume since it has by default a tighter-lined font (more lines/page than MS Word), plus click one button and your document is printed to PDF - very convenient. I have not used the spreadsheet software very much, though, it doesn't handle Excel spreadsheets with charts well at all - they might have to be recreated inside OOo. Presentation software works pretty well, opens up all PowerPoint slides with formatting issues, but everything is there. I have never used any database features - didn't know any existed.

The main advantage of using NeoOffice as opposed to OpenOffice is that NeoOffice is a natively engineered version of OOo written in Java; i.e. it opens much faster on my Dual 2.7 Ghz G5 than the X11 version. I was very skeptical of trying this since I didn't want different versions of OOo floating around on my computer, but after trying it I'm hooked - it loads fast and is stable.
 

jerryeng

Registered
The Appleworks now available was originally ClarisWorks I believe. Or perhaps that first came out for the Apple IIgs, not sure. The original AppleWorks was written for the Apple II generation. (Showing my age?) As soon as Apple thought they could get by with it they renamed Mac's program AppleWorks. That old AppleWorks (on one floppy) was a wonder. Combined with MacroWorks, I could do most anything with it! I miss its simplicity, and I was unhappy when Apple stole its name back! Todays apps can do a lot, true, but you need more time to learn how to use them than actually use the things! I started with the Apple IIe in 1985. It was a great machine. I eventually moved up to the IIgs which was a bridge for the Mac. Newer printers were coming out which were hard to connect with so I eventually moved over to the PC. But I was so upset with Apple for abandoning the Apple II line that I wouldn't give in to buying a Mac until six years ago on my 70th birthday. I still haven't completely forgiven them, I guess!
 

JackRepenning

Registered
Since around half my keystrokes go to XEmacs "a highly customizable open source text editor and application development system," that's my primary X11 application (but if you're asking what to use with X11, XEmacs is probably not the place to start...).

Ethereal, a network tracer, also takes up a lot of my X11 cycles.
 

scacinto

Registered
Ardour is an open source, sequencing music editor... yadda yadda. Does some neat stuff, basically like an open source Cubase LE or some such. Handles a variety of plug-ins. There's info on the site as to how to set these up. There are problems with the automation and some other minute things on the Linux distro, but I haven't had time to run tests on the Mac bin to see if they fixed these or merely translated them right over for us: D You'll need Jack for it to run. I'm using Jack 0.100.1 and JackPilot 1.5.8, which are available, free of course, as a simple click-and-install bundle, or you can compile them yourself if you're bored. Simply open JackPilot, start er up, then double click the Ardour .app which you can get from www.ardour.org. This will open X11 and you'll be ready to go. You'll need to spend some time reading up on the program though... if you don't, you'll spend a lot of time pushing buttons that don't do anything : D

cheers

-SP
 

phule

Registered
Check out GIMPshop 2.2.11 on Freshmeat <http://osx.freshmeat.net/>. It's a fork of GIMP where the user interface more closely resembles Photoshop.
 

cfr

Registered
Gimp, OpenOffice, xfractint, mrxvt, fontforge, more

I like Gimp a lot and it is lot more stable on OS X now than when I initially used it. It keeps getting better. I also got a very good response when I couldn't get an update to compile - good enough that I could compile, though an update including the fix soon followed. (You don't need to compile it yourself - certainly don't try unless you have experience compiling software and want to for some reason.)

OpenOffice has improved by leaps and bounds on OS X. I have had much better luck with the X11 version than with NeoOfficeJ and like it a lot better. I don't prepare my own documents in it though - I only use it for dealing with documents from others. Actually, I do produce spreadsheets with it and have been very impressed by its compatibility with Excel. I have quite complex spreadsheets when I have teaching assistants - a master spreadsheet picks up data from per-ta spreadsheets etc. I also automate a lot of the calculations, use charts etc. I've had very few problems sending the tas spreadsheets back and forth whether the tas are using Excel on Mac or PC. I did have one issue, but this was resolved once we figured out exactly which format I needed to export in.

xfractint is a port of the DOS programme fractint. It isn't as stable as the DOS version, but it does have a graphical interface. It is one of the oldest fractal programmes. Currently, it compares very favourably with some of the other programmes available in terms of power and flexibility. It is not, however, a good application to begin exploring either fractals or X11 with. I'm still trying to figure it out - it isn't intuitive at all.

mrxvt is installed on my Mac (so it is available for Mac now), but I still like Terminal better for most things and I prefer it to iTerm. I run screen instead of using a terminal programme which includes tabs itself.

fontforge is a font editor, converter, viewer, creater etc. Very useful if you ever need to convert fonts from one format to another (e.g. to use a font with TeX).

I'm not sure by what criteria Apple's X11 is supposed to be better than the alternatives. I would say it depends on what you need to do and what version of OS X you are using. Tiger uses a different version than the previous OSs. Apple's X11 is odd in various ways and still not as stable as I would like. It is also not very up to date. I still use it, but if I needed an application which relied on menus etc. being available in the root window, I might not. I've not had good luck using Apple's X11 in anything but rootless mode. The window manager integrates quite nicely into Mac OS X, but copy/paste isn't as well implemented as it could be (and has been in other implentations).

I'm not personally a fan of fink but, on the other hand, it is a long time since I tried it so I expect it has improved drastically in the meantime. Ditto for macports (was darwinports).

- cfr
 

bhavanaets

Registered
Hi to all,

X11 is a cross-platform windowing environment, popular on UNIX systems,work with hardware OpenGL acceleration and integration with Aqua, the Mac OS X graphical user interface.
 
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