February 22, 2019

The StartX Files: Like Sands Through the Hourglass... - page 2

The Beginning of Something

  • April 24, 2001
  • By Brian Proffitt

Liljenberg is right up front about who ultimately benefits from using PLWM: "First of all: myself. I wrote PLWM because I needed it, and I am constantly amazed that there are other people who seem to like it. Most of these are programmers with an urge to completely control their environment."

Not completely self-centered, Liljenberg seriously admits that he has been pleased to see other groups of users taking a strong interest in PLWM.

"The first group are disabled users," he explained. "PLWM is already controllable from the keyboard, and it is relatively straightforward to add more input methods, e.g. Morse signaling.

"The second group are developers of embedded systems," Liljenberg added. "The modularized implementation of PLWM makes it ideal to use in situations where a limited set of windows, typically a browser, are displayed on a screen where the user have limited control, [for example] for set-top boxes and devices such as intelligent fridges and microwave ovens."

This is not all just theory for Liljenberg, either: I have actually made an adaptation of PLWM for an embedded system displaying a single Netscape window. The rendering part of the window should occupy the entire display, and the menus and navigation bars should be hidden, so I put together a PLWM which forced this geometry upon Netscape. It took half-an-hour...

Citing PLWM's extensibility as his favorite feature of this window manager, Liljenberg hopes to capitalize on this feature be incorporating other user's extensions into PLWM. He also hopes to add increased window layout capabilities.

"This will make it possible to easily move focus among windows by moving up, down, left, right, even in complex window configurations. It would also make it possible to let PLWM choose an empty part of the screen for opening new windows, automatically resize and move windows so that they occupy the full
screen area without overlapping each other, etc.," he explained.

PLWM, which has a SourceForge page, still remains a very personal project for Liljenberg, particularly in his line of work.

"I like network protocols, mostly in an UNIX and C environment. I'm not really a user interface person and am frustrated by application development. The only reason I've actually have dragged PLWM to version 2.2 is that I needed it myself," he joked.

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