Another important part of this update is specific to Loki. Previously, a network applet had been absent from the system tray. Well, that has been fixed! :)
The next step is to figure out bluetooth, and make sure it works with Loki. Gnome has no problem, and LXDE is probably fine too. If anyone wants to help, feel free to contact me via email, Google+, or on this website.
In other news, this website is always undergoing improvements. One recent improvement is that the About page is now actually informative and semi-relevant. The page now has some useful links to Newt OS stuff. Check it out, and let me know what you think!
Unless you are an involved user of SUSE Studio, you will not have heard about what I would consider attacks that happened in the past couple of days. To summarize, a new user published their work to the gallery on SUSE Studio. However, instead of being content with letting their work gain popularity, this user down-voted the most well-constructed appliances on SUSE Studio in order to make their creation the "most popular". Newt OS was among the appliances down-voted.
I find this sabotage of a free software community disheartening to say the least. Free and open-source software is not a thing to be taken advantage of for personal achievement over community benefit. By this, I mean that to me, open-source represents the idea of community, collaboration, and connections. It does not have a place for sabotage.
I have left messages to the community of SUSE Studio, sent feedback to the SUSE company, and contacted Bryan Lunduke, a popular Linux user and member of the SUSE board, to ask that something be done in response to these actions against the SUSE Studio community. As for myself, I will continue to use SUSE Studio to create and publish Newt OS.
So what's not to like? Shouldn't such a neat browser be default in Newt OS?
Google Chrome does a poor job of managing the resources it requires. Take these test results for instance: On my Linux system, a Firefox window with 4 tabs open uses about 600 MB of RAM. In Chrome, those same 4 tabs take up 1 GB of RAM. This is due to Chrome's use of "process isolation." This essentially means that when you open a new tab in Chrome, it will start a new system process, instead of building on the existing process. This prevents a single tab freeze from crashing the whole browser. As a side effect, a significantly larger amount of memory is used. While it may have been a good idea in concept, in my experience, large memory usage and separate processes means that Chrome will become sluggish when switching between tabs.
Additionally, Google Chrome does not integrate into systems very well. Chromebooks necessarily have a PDF reader built into the browser, as well as a print dialogue. Additionally, Google services like Google Drive will attempt to cache data on your hard drive to allow for offline work. All of these features are great on a Chromebook, but on any other systems, they're just a big pain. Printing becomes tedious and sometimes impossible, and often conflicts with system dialogues. For these reasons, I deem Google Chrome to be a bloated browser with unnecessary features galore.
Newt OS aims to be a system that anyone can use comfortably. I've put significant thought into application choices, and I can't include software that will 1) integrate poorly with the rest of the OS and 2) will not be usable on low-end computers.
I have nothing against those who use Google Chrome. It is not an inherently bad browser, and it does have some nice features. However, I feel that alternatives such as Chromium, Opera, and Firefox surpass Chrome in both usability and efficiency.
What browser do you use? Leave a comment below.