Re: Not for everyone, but...
> TinyMUCK for those rare times
> when my travels take me to MU*
Oops. I meant to say TinyFugue, not TinyMUCK (which is a Windows MU* client). Sorry 'bout that... I'm always getting the two program names mixed up.
Not for everyone, but...
After reading about this setup, I was intrigued enough to give it a try for myself. Overall I think it's a good option if you work primarily with console applications (although in that case, why you'd want to use X at all is something of an open question) or if you like to have your apps full-screen.
There are a few things about ratpoison that I don't particularly care for, unfortunately. One is that EVERY window that can be resized, is automatically set to full-screen - even transient ones such as GTK file selectors. The GIMP is rendered all but unusuable, because you have to switch to the full-screen toolbox (which looks as awkward as it sounds). And even applications that can normally be moved without need of a window manager's titlebar, such as XMMS, are forever stuck dead-center in the screen.
On the other hand, if you don't normally use GUI apps such as these, this setup can be just the no-frills desktop you're looking for. The combination of screen, ratpoison, and gnome-terminal gives the console fan the economy sized, mouse-enabled workspace he or she has been craving, without having to dicker with messy SVGATextMode and gpm configurations. And since it is running under X, it isn't necessary to sacrifice the ability to use GUI apps when the need or mood strikes. In that respect, it's a best-of-both-worlds approach.
Although I'm typing this right now using Galeon, most of my work in this setup is done using the console apps running under screen. I use mutt for mail reading, jstar for text editing (I'm *really* getting to love the WordStar command set!), epic4 for IRC chatting, links for browsing (though I'm thinking of trying w3m just to see what the fuss is about), TinyMUCK for those rare times when my travels take me to MU* territory, mpg123 for tunes, slrn for Usenet, and sc (a nice console spreadsheet program) for various mathematical chores. Graphically, Galeon is my GUI browser of choice, and I also use OpenOffice, gqview, pan, and evolution for various purposes - all of which work very well as fullscreen apps. However, when I have to use something like The GIMP, it's back into Fluxbox I go; the way ratpoison handles GIMPing is just plain not for me.
This combination certainly isn't for everyone, but if you find yourself using xterms more often than not for certain tasks, you may find it a fun change of pace. I consider myself a confirmed "GUI junkie," but this setup may convert me to the Dark Side yet... ;^)