Razor-qt 0.4 - Qt based Desktop Environment

Razor-qt is a new desktop environment based on the QT toolkit. I installed it from the PPA and gave it a quick go. It’s early days for the project, but it might eventually become a refuge for lovers of KDE 3 in the same way that Xfce has become popular with people who want to recreate the Gnome 2.x experience.

The website declares that the project already has enough finished and working components to be considered a desktop environment. So far they have a desktop, a panel, application launcher menu and pop-up, desktop widgets, a settings manager and a session manager. The panel is pretty standard fare, featuring the usual application menu, quick launch taskbar, clock and status area, all of which are implemented as configurable plugins. The panel is drag and drop enabled, allowing for easy additions to the quick-launch bar. Two functional desktop widgets, a clock and a folder viewer, ship with the current version.

The application launcher. It's nothing to write home about but it gets the job done and it's drag and drop enabled.

Razor-QT doesn’t aim to be a window manager. On my Xubuntu netbook it defaulted to Openbox, and on an Ubuntu box it used Metacity. It looked pretty much identical in both cases. Before you ask, yes, Kwin, the KDE4 WM, can be used, giving the KDE4 window decorations but without the Plasma desktop.

Editing the widget layout.

It’s worth noting that nowhere on the website does it actually say that recreating KDE3 is an goal of the Razor-QT project. However, lots of commentators are clamoring for it to take on such a role, and as a QT based desktop environment, it does seem like a fairly good fit. However, apart from a few small utilities, it doesn’t have anything to offer in the way of original applications, and applications are half of what has always made KDE so great. Perhaps, if they really do want to recreate KDE 3, they could hijack some of the KDE 3 era apps or adopt other ones. For example, it doesn't come with an email client or a file manager at the moment. If you installed the current version of KMail, you'd end up bringing along all of the Akonadi and Nepomuk baggage that has turned a sizable contingent of former KDE users away. In same way, you could add Konqueror as a file manager, but the KDE 4 version of Konqueror isn't quite the same as the KDE 3 version that we all loved.


At the present time, Razor-qt is competent but somewhat incomplete. It’s difficult to recommend it as anything other than a curiosity as there are other WMs and DE that are more comprehensive and equally light on resources. However, that’s not to put the project down, and I have a feeling that it’s worth watching. With Xfce and LXDE taking up the slack in terms of enabling a Gnome 2 era work-alike desktop, I wonder if during 2012, Razor QT might offer a sanctuary for old KDE 3 nostalgics like myself.

The Razor-qt

The (healthy looking) Razor-qt forum

______________________

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

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I'm happy to have found your

Carrol's picture

I'm happy to have found your blog. Excited to read all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you. Kaminofen

looks like Windows

AnonymoNeilus's picture

Indeed looks like Windows, it's nothing bad though. I like it, thanks for providing such an interesting article on it.
Notfalltasche

Razor QT 04

UK's picture

The Razor-Qt desktop was just updated to version 0.4.0 after being in development for months. This release improves stability of the lightweight desktop, introduces several new components, offers new translations, a new theme, new panel plug-ins, and much more. The new Razor desktop components are azor-runner, razor-config, qtxdg, and Razor own menu. http://www.web-excel.net

Razor-Qt is self-described as "an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and intuitive interface. Unlike desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines."

It's Like Windows UI

Ade Malsasa Akbar's picture

Just a comment...it looks like Windows user interface. But I interested in simpliousness. Thank you.

Cool!

Anonymous's picture

With the Python Qt bindings it is a great playing field!

Razor-qt can be a real

BriannaT's picture

Razor-qt can be a real success if the project will be used to help users. However, I think the actual version needs some improvements.

for the record

Anonymous's picture

KDE 4 on Fedora 16

The silly slab menu is replaceable (easily) right click button and choose "Switch to standard menu".
Icons are draggable from the menu to the panel.

KDE 4.0 was a bit of a messs.
KDE 4.7 is as stable and easy to use as any KDE 3.x release.

Dislking a Desktop environment based on something that happened a few years ago is just ridiculous.

KDE Bloat

Jerry McBride's picture

I dearly loved KDE 2.2.2 and then the whole kde 3.x.x series. When KDE 4 came on the scene I gave it a good try. But as you state, it drags ion so many support libraries and daemons that I didn;t just walk away from it, I RAN!

Current dekstop is XFCE4, current release and does the job beautifully.

I dearly miss Konqueror, but Thunar is growing on me, especially since I can now browse samba shares with it...

As for Razor? Do we really need it? We have KDE4 for total desktop experience, XFCE4 for people like me that need to support old or light weight hardware and then TWM for servers and really old hardware...

Why another tool when the tool box is full?

---- Jerry McBride

My toolbox isn't full

BoscoBearbank's picture

My toolbox is far from full. In fact, one tool I'd like to see is a lightweight window manager, something like openbox, built from the Qt toolkit rather than from GTK. Given that I'm not knowledgable enough to code it myself, I guess I'll have to wait on that one

Because XFCE is neither fish

Anonymous's picture

Because XFCE is neither fish nor fowl.

XFCE tries to be a "big" DE like KDE and Gnome and poorly fails at it, because it's trying to be lightweight, and it fails at being lightweight as well, because it tries to be "big".
If there is a DE we don't need, it's XFCE: If you want a bloated DE, go and get KDE or Gnome. If you want lightweight, you're much better off with Razor and LXDE.
If you're up for a very individual and/or slim desktop, you might even use a standalone WM.

XFCE is for those who used to love the big ones but have been disappointed by them, because they simply evolved.

But perhaps it's only that you're not yet ready to accept that others peoples "toolboxes" ain't like yours.
As for me, there's no need for KDE, Gnome and XFCE; LXDE and Razor are already enough, since you're still able to add all the stuff you love; but that doesn't mean I don't see a use in those for others.
Even for KDE-users, Razor might bring improvements, for it will broaden the range of applications.

I'll give it a whirl

Anonymous's picture

Some interesting stuff - once I get some more free time I'll definitely give Razor a whirl since I liked KDE.

Dan T.
power bands

Because XFCE is neither fish

Anonymous's picture

Because XFCE is neither fish nor fowl.

XFCE tries to be a "big" DE like KDE and Gnome and poorly fails at it, because it's trying to be lightweight, and it fails at being lightweight as well, because it tries to be "big".
If there is a DE we don't need, it's XFCE: If you want a bloated DE, go and get KDE or Gnome. If you want lightweight, you're much better off with Razor and LXDE.
If you're up for a very individual and/or slim desktop, you might even use a standalone WM.

XFCE is for those who used to love the big ones but have been disappointed by them, because they simply evolved.

But perhaps it's only that you're not yet ready to accept that others peoples "toolboxes" ain't like yours.
As for me, there's no need for KDE, Gnome and XFCE; LXDE and Razor are already enough, since you're still able to add all the stuff you love; but that doesn't mean I don't see a use in those for others.
Even for KDE-users, Razor might bring improvements, for it will broaden the range of applications.

I Like It!

Warbirdnut's picture

I'm using Razor-QT in my SuSE Studio project and on my main desktop. It is nice and lean so it works well running from a USB key. It is very responsive compared to KDE on my Desktop. While I like all bells and whistles in KDE, you can't ignore Razor-QT's performance. I'll probably wind up switching to Razor-QT once figure out a few things.

The Razor-QT team has done a great job so far. I think you have a winner here.

More than just gnome and KDE

Keith Dart's picture

I've used XFCE for a long time, specifically to NOT recreate the gnome 2.x experience. I use XFCE for the XFCE experience. There is more to the Linux desktop scene than just gnome and KDE.

But since XFCE is written using the GTK toolkit the GTK and Gnome apps work very well with it.

I like it because I find it very productive, and not very intrusive. I want to concentrate on my work, not my "desktop environment". It's fast and responsive and very customizable.

Gnome 3 is exactly the wrong direction for me. I've tried it, but I won't be leaving my XFCE.

...

Anonymous's picture

Quite a stupid comment for a platform like this.

How can you write about Linux, if you are able to think only on categories like "KDE" and "Gnome"?
Linux is about much more, XFCE is a fully featured DE just like Gnome or KDE, LXDE is no toolcase to rebuild Gnome2, it too is a fully-featured lightweight Desktop Environment. It is highly modular and customizable, to customize it your own way, or stick with the default setup, but not for the single purpose of rebuilding Gnome2.

Razor-QT is a Desktop Environment with a very different approach to DE's than KDE4 (or KDE3), much more like that of LXDE.
Hell, yes, if you like to live in the past and stick with KDE3 for ever, that might be possible with Razor-QT one day, but I personally never liked KDE. Neither KDE3, nor KDE4.
When I heard about Razor-QT, I tried it anyway - and I do like it, BECAUSE it's so very different from KDE!
Meanwhile I migrated from my highly customized LXDE (that is hardly recognized as LXDE anymore) to Razor-QT, and I turned it into something very different from Razor out-of-the-box and much better than anything that could be achieved with KDE. It's quite similar to my LXDE-setup, both use Compiz, the main difference is the use of the QT-toolkit instead of GTK.
____

I just hope, nobody from Razor reads this or takes it serious, so they stick with their current ideas and goals - while guys like you might do a quick research on wikipedia (or whereever you guys do your "research") and go to Trinity or Mate or something like that.

This backward "morbus uniformitis", this requested conformity of everything to be "like good old G2" or "like good old KDE3", is sick.
Sure, there obviously is a need for Trinity or Mate...but there is no need for everything to be like KDE3 and Gnome2!

KDE 3, lives on as 'Trinity Desktop Project'

Anonymous's picture

KDE 3, lives on as 'Trinity Desktop Project'
http://www.trinitydesktop.org/about.php

About Trinity

This project aims to keep the KDE3.5 computing style alive, as well as polish off any rough edges that were present as of KDE 3.5.10. Along the way, new useful features will be added to keep the environment up-to-date.

Toward that end, significant new enhancements have already been made in areas such as display control, network connectivity, user authentication, and much more!

NOTE: This project is not an official continuation of KDE3.5 by KDE e.V., which will not be creating new releases of the KDE3 series. This is an independent fork using a largely separate developer community.

Interesting but ...

Andy Heasman's picture

You say "Unlike current Xfce, the panel is drag and drop enabled" but Xfce 4.8's quick launch area in the panel is definitely drag 'n drop enabled!

Ooops. I've just tested that,

Michael Reed's picture

Ooops. I've just tested that, and you're right. I've corrected the post. I wonder why it didn't work for me on another occasion? I'm particularly surprised as I've been using Xfce quite a lot of late and I'd been adding things to the quick launcher manually.

Let me off because it's my birthday? ;-)

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

Ok, because it's your

Andy Heasman's picture

Ok, because it's your birthday, all is forgiven :-)

In your defence, it does seem tricky to get it to work. It seems you have to add new items to the left of previous items. It would be nice to drop them where you wanted but one can't have everything I guess. You can shuffle them around once they are in place though (right click, move).

Looks good, perhaps a decent

John Knight's picture

Looks good, perhaps a decent choice in future for the Raspberry Pi?

John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.

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