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Re: [vox-tech] Public Access Terminals
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Re: [vox-tech] Public Access Terminals

On Mon, Mar 17, 2003 at 06:09:06PM -0800, Darrick Servis wrote:
> Hi
> Just joined the list.  I work at DCTV among other things.  I'm working on 
> setting up a Public Access terminal for the Food Coop.  Richard Lowenberg 
> from DCN said you (LUGOD) were going to install Linux on a couple of 
> terminals but you're waiting for the new version of Debian to come out.

Hey Darrick!  Nice to meet you. :^)  Welcome to the group.
(You missed a great talk from some KDE developers at tonight's meeting,
assuming you weren't one of the folks who came in late, that is...)

And yeah, I had actually been waiting for the new version of KDE (3.1) to
be released, as it had a much-improved 'kiosk framework.'
(Half of the answers I got to "How do I do this?" was "It does it in 3.1" :^) )

After that, I got busy/distracted, and most recently, laid off from my job
(and hence searching for work and brushing up on some other skills).

> Anyway, this is my problem.
> The Public-Web-Browser Howto has been helpful.

Have you got an URL handy for it?  It's not the one by Jamie Zawinsky, is it?

> But the trouble I'm having now
> is what browser to use.  I don't like Galeon because of all the libraries 
> installed.  I don't like konqueror for the same reason.   Opera has the ads.
> So, right now I'm thinking about hacking Mozilla.  Problem with mozilla is 
> the user directory needs to be writable.

Well, Galeon might be a better decision than Mozilla, especially if you're
considering Mozilla.

Galeon is based on Mozilla's rendering engine ("Gecko," I believe it's called),
and was meant from the start to be much lighter and less bloated than

I used it for a month or two where I worked (Debian Woody running Gnome)
until I got laid off.  I recently installed it on my box here at home
(Debian Woody running KDE 2.2), as a supplement for when Konqueror has

(What I REALLY need to do is upgrade to 3.1.)

> So, what kind of browser were you going to use and how did you plan to lock it
> down?

As I mentioned, KDE has a 'kiosk framework' (which you can learn about
over at the KDE website... somewhere or other), which lets you do things
like say "Get rid of the 'Print' button", "Don't let the user configure XYZ",
"Don't show any icons on the desktop", and "Don't let the user save the HTML
file to the disk."

> Also, what kind of deviations from the Howto were you looking at.

Again, I'm not too (if at all) familiar with the howto you mentioned.

The one by JWZ was from when he set up kiosks at the DNA Lounge in San Fran.,
and I think was from about 4 years ago!  I decided immediately to move on
to the next idea. ;^)

> I'm using Slackware with blackbox.  Is it worth my time to hack Mozilla for
> use as a public browser?

It can be done, apparently.  That was what first came to mind, honestly.
The problem I had was with how the 'kioskification' was done, and, especially,
what the example version looked like.  (BUTT UGLY!)

> Would you want to use it?  I don't want to duplicate 
> work but I just can't believe there's not anything out there to do this 
> easily.

Well, I'm hoping that once I get the Debian + KDE 3.1 system up and
running, I'll be able to duplicate it easily.  (I've kept comprehensive
notes the whole time.)

I want to say "I'd love to help out!", but then I realize "oh wait, I've
been too busy to do my OWN part in this lately!"
(Hopefully that'll change soon.)

Take care, and welcome to the group!


bill@newbreedsoftware.com                                            Hire me!
http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/    http://newbreedsoftware.com/bill/resume/
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