Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2012 22:40 UTC
Window Managers After six years, development on Window Maker has picked up again. Other than mere bug fixes, the two new releases (so far) also include lots of code cleanup and, yes, new features as well. Welcome back!
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RE[3]: finally!
by Doc Pain on Sat 18th Feb 2012 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: finally!"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Last year at this time, I was using Window Maker on FreeBSD.


I'm currently using it on exactly that platform. :-)


Window Maker is an outstanding window manager, IMO the best stand-alone interface that there is. I would hesitate to consider it anything more than a window manager, however.


That's correct, in my opinion and experience, because I'm not using it for anything more than managing windows. I personally don't care about menu generation because I have the few things I need to access available in the dock.

To me, "just" a window manager is a great benefit. It stays out of your way and let's your workflow be elegant, efficient and free of fiddling with details.

It's configurability is really outstanding. Especially the excellent combination of mouse and keyboard options is great. I've not found those features yet among the "big ones" (like Gnome or KDE or Xfce). For example, I'm using a Sun USB keyboard with lots of extra keys on the left here. They are programmed using the Window Maker's configuration program to perform window actions (like hiding, shuffling foreground / background, switching virtual desktops, starting programs, setting audio levels, locking the system and so on). This means: pointing into (!) a window and pressing a key can cause some action. Together with "focus follows mouse" and the nice distinction between "window is in foreground" and "window has focus", managing windows across several workspaces and monitors is really easy. This kind of well-tought integration is one of my main reasons for keeping it in daily use.

Finally, Window Maker loads really fast and doesn't get hickups even if sessions last several weeks. It also doesn't have trouble managing windows from programs using many different toolkits (KDE applications using Qt, Gtk-based programs or even Xaw programs).

Some people like to throw it in with GNUstep as a complete desktop environment, but they are two separate projects that don't always work well together.


Window Maker is the official window manager for the GNUstep desktop, if I remember correctly, not more and not less. There has been a live system CD, I think it was called √Čtoil√©, containing a GNUstep based desktop (with Window Maker as its window manager, accompanied with many applications, running on Linux).

People pair the projects because they look the same, but this is like pairing fvwm95/qvwm with WINE because they look the same.


Maybe programming languages (Objective C) also plays a role here.

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