The Null Device

Does this count as retrocomputing?

My favourite image viewer program is xv. A lot lighter than the GIMP, and is snappier and quicker to use than newer programs with "user-friendly" GNOME/KDE-compliant menus to navigate. xv is an X program of the old school; you use the 3 mouse buttons God gave you to call up windows and select, and pressing keys does convenient things (i.e., space goes to the next image, 'e' opens the colour editor). No GNOME integration, themeability (though it has a curious MacOS-6-lite look to its widgets), plug-ins or anything else.

Oh, and it's somewhat of a dinosaur. The last version was apparently released in 1994, and there's currently no Debian package for it (perhaps because they figured that everybody should get over it and move on to Electric Eyes or something). Even the page itself looks like a historical relic, with NCSA Mosaic-era HTML, floppy-disk-shaped icons ("daddy, what's that?") and a compress(1)-ed source archives for the people who don't have the new-fangled gzip program. But still, it does the job and does a better job for its humble task than more recent programs.

Mind you, this is coming from someone whose desktop consists of a window manager, an xterm window and xclock. (Yes, I've tried GNOME and KDE; though I found that they just got in the way.)

There are 4 comments on "Does this count as retrocomputing?":

Posted by: MQ http:// Sat Aug 10 17:22:48 2002

Could be in debian nonfreee, as it doesn't really meet the DFSG

Posted by: Filtered http:// Sat Aug 10 17:39:08 2002

qiv ( is a good replacement, and its packaged in debian.

Posted by: GJW Sun Aug 11 03:55:26 2002

I like gqview, but I try to avoid all things Gnome, I wish it was written with the TK toolkit.

Posted by: acb Sun Aug 11 14:24:32 2002

I've found Tk to be slow; though that's maybe an artefact of a lot of Tk scripts to be written in Tcl (not one of the more advanced scripting languages).

Personally, I'm fond of Qt, because of the elegant object-oriented API.

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