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ROX Desktop

From Academic Kids

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Rox-desktop-2004.png
A screenshot of the ROX desktop.

The ROX desktop is a Unix Desktop environment based around the ROX-Filer file manager. Files are loaded by dragging them to an application from the filer, and saved by dragging back to the filer. Applications are executable directories, and are thus also installed (copied), uninstalled (deleted), and run through the filer interface. More recently, ROX has started using its application directories in combination with Zero Install, a caching network filesystem, to make software installation completely automatic.

It is inspired by the user interface of RISC OS (not to be confused with RISC/os). The name "ROX" comes from "RISC OS on X".

The desktop uses the GTK toolkit, like the GNOME and Xfce desktops. The design focusses on small, simple programs using drag-and-drop to move data between them. For example, a user might load a compressed file into a spreadsheet from the web by dragging the data from the web browser to the archiver, and from there into the spreadsheet. A program would be installed in the same way, by dragging the archive from the web to the archiver, and from there to the applications directory in the filer.

The screenshot shows how the filer is used to manage both data files (such as the video clips) and to access applications. The applications shown are being run via Zero Install. Drag-and-drop saving allows the user to save the text file to any directory they please, or directly to another application, such as the archiver on the panel.


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