The SyrinxOS Journal

SyrinxOS Debussy 0.4.1 ALPHA Squeeze released

Yes, you read that correctly; there’s another SyrinxOS release a mere five days after the initial 0.4.0 release. As I mentioned, I’m using SyrinxOS full-time now. And that means I find issues pretty quickly. It also means I’m interested in fixing these issues pretty quickly, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

So here it is:

Several things have changed in this release; for the full list, please refer to the change log.

There are a few behind-the-scenes changes, such as adding a <super>-l keyboard shortcut for “lock screen”. But the biggest change with this release is the switch from Geany to Leafpad and from Midori to Iceweasel (a.k.a. Firefox).

Personally, I don’t use an IDE to develop software. Even if I did, I wouldn’t want someone to predetermine which one I should use. Geany, while an excellent lightweight IDE, is not a lightweight text editor. For me, a text editor is for reading simple text files, perhaps editing a configuration file, or using it as a simple note-keeping system. That is one of the reasons I switched to Leafpad. From their website: “Leafpad is a simple GTK+ text editor that emphasizes simplicity”. Simplicity is one of the driving forces behind SyrinxOS, so I think it’s a good fit. Another reason I switched is one of the other driving forces: font rendering. As far as I could tell, Geany does not honour system font rendering settings. This resulted in a less-than-ideal font presentation in Geany, though most other applications looked perfect. Sorry Geany.

The other change was the switch from Midori to Iceweasel. When I first started SyrinxOS, I didn’t think it was at all a good idea to include a web browser by default. In fact, the 0.3.2 release doesn’t include one. But the Internet is such a huge part of a computer’s use these days, and a browser is one of the main ways to search for software to install, that it seemed to make sense to include one this time around. Initially, I went with Midori, as it uses WebKit and is very lightweight. But like Geany, Midori seems to ignore the system font rendering settings, making its font presentation unacceptable for me. I decided that font consistency was more important than application “weight” in this case, so I decided to switch out Midori. I didn’t go with Chrome or Chromium because I don’t trust Google and won’t support them. Iceweasel is the Debian team’s version of Firefox, and is the standard browser included in a default desktop installation.

One other thing you might notice: I have set the default search engine to DuckDuckGo, for the same reasons I didn’t go with a Google browser. It’s simple to set it to Google if you prefer, but I won’t encourage its use by leaving it as the default search engine.

Well that’s that! Another release out the virtual door. As always, if you try it out, please let me know what you like or dislike. Thanks.


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