February 19, 2019

Window Managers - page 2


  • May 29, 1999
  • By James Andrews
TWM has been around since the early days of X Windows and is very basic. On the plus side it is light on memory and CPU use. It is also standard with all the distributions as a kind of baseline. On the minus side its applications framework is almost nonexistent.
FVWM http://fvwm.math.uh.edu/
FVWM has been in use for several years, and it does not use much memory. Compared with some of the others listed below, it does not seem that different from, say MS Windows 95 and there is even a version of it (FVWM95) that is an attempt to mimic the MS Windows 95 user interface. Behind the scenes, some differences are readily apparent. A lot of the set up of it is in plain text configuration files, which, if you go through the effort of ploughing through the documentation, provide a lot of fine grained control over all aspects of setup. There are also some features for centralized set up making for easy administration.
AfterStep http://www.afterstep.org/
If you liked the look of the NeXTStep user interface then AfterStep could be the choice for you. Even if you haven't things like its 'Wharf' free floating application loader that can "Swallow" running programs and its carefully designed set of consistent icons may make this the one for you.
Blackbox http://blackbox.wiw.org/
Blackbox is designed to be a very small window manager light on disk space, memory use and CPU use.
Enlightenment http://www.enlightenment.org/
After Describing what a window manager is ( see above ) the Enlightenment web page says:
"Enlightenment goes beyond this[ being a window manager], not just Managing Windows, but providing a useful, good looking graphical shell from which to work. It is open in design, and instead of dictating a policy it allows the user to define their own policy right down to the minute and infinitesimal details; from its functionality right on through to its looks.

Enlightenment is IN DEVELOPMENT and as a result its stability can vary from day to day in snapshots. One thing you can be certain of is that it DOES work - the developers run it all day themselves - There is a reason it doesn't work for you - it is likely something on your system."

KDE http://www.kde.org/
KVM is actually the name of the KDE window manager. Most commentators refer to the KDE though, and very popular it is! The application framework that it offers is the main reason for this. KDE aware applications have Internet awareness. They provide seamless access to net protocols. For instance editors know about URLs so can easily be used to write web pages. KDE is based on a library called QT which is owned by a norwegian software company called trolltech. The licensing arrangements are such that even if TrollTech were bought out by Microsoft tomorrow KDE would still be available in source code form. This means that trolltech do a lot of work on KDE and we have no copyright worries.
Window Maker http://www.windowmaker.org/
Window maker provides some appealing features like easily customization. For instance, it only takes a few mouse clicks to add an application to the Window Maker button bar. It is also popular and there are many Window Maker enabled applications. It is based on a similar set of concepts to Afterstep, but is developed by a different team.

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