Conspicuously absent is xfig, an easy-to-use vector image editor. I used it for a bunch of projects before Inkscape rolled into town. Looks to still be maintained today unlike most of the programs in this list.
xfig also has one of the few implementations of x-splines (x means “cross” here, like “pedestrian xing”, unrelated to the X window system). I find x-splines very nice and intuitive.
Here’s a little x-spline implementation I made:
It was easy to learn because at each step, it showed an explanation what would happen if you clicked the left, right, or middle button. It was a very simple affordance that few applications since have copied.
I used it long after ‘better’ tools became available. It was ridiculously easy for making diagrams.
xman is so cool it was deleted from openbsd yesterday.
I used to use it every day. IIRC the feature it brought was that it let you browse with your mouse.
Many of these are only obscure if you weren’t around in Ye Olden Days when there were no real ‘desktop environments’ and stock X apps predominated.
Kinda surprised they didn’t include xlife
True, but some of them are hard to find these days. It took some time to locate the source code to Xchomp (why not play some Pac Man?). Be prepared to spend some time getting it work (hope you are up on your K&R C).
Oh no doubt! Compiling Xlife for OSX a ways back was an exercise in dusting off my old dis-used UNIX porting skills!
Had to dig xmkmf and friends out of mothballs as well :) Wish I’d taken the time to build a homebrew formula for it all :)
It’s a blast from the past, yeah. I remember the machinations required to get the xv binary running on ancient Iris machines to view images downloaded via xrn.
xfontsel was never cool. It was necessary, thanks to that ridiculous font specification system, but it was never something you put on the desktop to show off.
I had to check to make sure it wasn’t missing xsnow. I still have a few lines in my startup script that runs it if the month is December to February, with -notrees -nosanta, of course (those are too distracting, but the snow is nice). And feh –bg-fill file.png (or –bg-tile) for setting backgrounds via startup script.
Also, I feel that dockapps.net and Tower’s Window Maker Pages deserve mention, as those were highly popular in the late 90’s, and were constantly linked on Slashdot as Rob Malda was actively writing/maintaining several of them at the time. Although I use wmx instead of Window Maker these days, I still use several of the dockapps: wmCalClock, wmweather+, wmeather, wmmon or wmcpuwatch, wmifs, wmmisc, wmamixer. A few of these dockapps are a bit crash-prone (they were written in the good old days, and wmweather+ has sporadic SSL issues when retrieving remote content like radar images) and I plan to commit some fixes for these at some point this summer.
https://tools.suckless.org/x/ might be of interest
And the game my younger brother and I played on our Linux machine because it worked smoothly in pure 2d rendering: https://www.xevil.com/
Also because the source code was neat enough for little kids to modify to change game parameters.
oneko! Or, how Linux won my heart forever.
Lets not forget http://www.xpilot.org/
No mention of xfish!
If you like toys like XRoach, XPenguins is fun too
xwpe is interesting. TUIs (and pseudo-TUIs) have some advantages over full-featured GUIs, primarily predictable and clear input focus and full usability from keyboard. Emacs is an example of popular TUI environment.
Other interesting example of obscure IDE is XBasic.
xbiff! Man, that takes me back…
You should know that most of these utilities are heavily configurable through Xresources. (Although documentation is scarce and misconfigured xutils are prone to segfault.)
For instance, I took the liberty to configure xcalc’s RPN mode for eye-candy.
I’ve using (almost daily) a lot of them !
And yes, there are cool .. but obscure?
Even when I don’t consider many of these programs “obscure” and use some of them daily, XLennart is the program I truly love from now.
And yes, I see that AmigaOS button bar screenshot (with MagicWB icons) in XZoom! :D