Wolf is correct — I did find him via UberWriter, a beautiful Markdown editor. There are lots of Linux tools that work well and there are lots of Linux tools that look great, but there’s not always a lot of overlap between the two. UberWriter looks great and works great. Wolf uses Synapse, an application launcher, within GNOME, which has some built-in launcher functionality, but that lacks the depth and finesse Synapse offers. Wolf’s other ideas for how to enhance GNOME are very interesting, too.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Wolf, currently studying mechanical engineering in Zurich. Besides studying, I program desktop applications and websites. I also organize one of the biggest Hackathons in Zurich (together with the people from the Entrepreneur Club). I guess I was chosen for this interview because I am the developer of UberWriter, a quite popular distraction free text editor for Ubuntu/Linux!
Why do you use Linux?
Because I love free and open source software (FOSS). I think all of us would be better off if the world was a more open place and the best software was readily accessible for everyone.
I’ve used Macs and Windows in the past, too, but Linux actually outperforms both of them for the tasks I am using it for. Besides that, most of the engineers here use some sort of Linux for work.
Using proprietary services, like Skype or Facebook, also begins to make me feel really uneasy. I was quite inspired to pursue a FOSS lifestyle by some of the talks from Richard Stallman, too.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
I am still stuck with Ubuntu, because it’s the easiest to install and works really well. However, I am in the process of moving at least one machine to Arch Linux to get cutting edge features.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I love GNOME (especially 3.10). They seem to be doing things right. If I want to get super-nerdy, I use i3-wm from time to time. There are two things I would want to have in GNOME Shell (or an additional program) though:
- Unity’s HUD feature, which is really great for searching through large menus. One of my plans was to use the HUD dbus-service and integrate it into Synapse (another DE-addition that I love and use all the time)
- a global autocorrect (like OS X has, I think) because I mistype things so often. I believe software should help me out, already! I envision a T9 for computers, but better.
I also use tiheums icons: http://tiheum.deviantart.com/art/Faenza-Icons-173323228.
What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?
Synapse is one of the tools I depend upon. It’s a super fast and convenient way to open applications and find files. Otherwise, I depend on a mix: Inkscape, GIMP, LibreOffice, Vim, Sublime Text, and Chromium — I depend on all of them equally, I’d say.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I have a Intel i7-4770k on a Gigabyte Mainboard and two Samsung 256GB SSDs. The graphics card is a Geforce 680-Ti which powers a nice 27" Dell monitor and another smaller display. I also use an i7 Thinkpad X1 Carbon for traveling.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Interview conducted November 11, 2013