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!
Thread beginning with comment 507735
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: finally!
by shmerl on Sun 19th Feb 2012 04:11 in reply to "RE[3]: finally!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Is there a way to use Sun Type 5 keyboard through the USB adapter on Linux? It works nicely on OpenIndiana with all the extra keys in Gnome in KDE, but on Linux those keys aren't even generating any events.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: finally!
by Doc Pain on Sun 19th Feb 2012 12:15 in reply to "RE[4]: finally!"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Is there a way to use Sun Type 5 keyboard through the USB adapter on Linux?


Erm... Type 5 isn't USB, if I remember correctly. Only Type 6 and 7 have the standard (Sun) and USB plug variants. I've only been using the USB variants (Type 6 in the past, Type 7 currently).

There are some interesting building projects to make the non-USB Sun keyboards work on PCs, which is relatively easy as they are serial keyboards:

http://www.buzzard.me.uk/jonathan/sunkbd.html

http://www.snafu.priv.at/mystuff/sunkbd.html

It works nicely on OpenIndiana with all the extra keys in Gnome in KDE, but on Linux those keys aren't even generating any events.


That might depend on the keyboard driver. In X, check the output for the keys using the xev program, then assign them symbols using xmodmap that can then be picked up by the desktop environment. In my case, I assigned "add mod4 = Multi_key" for the Compose key, And F13...F27 for the other keys, as well as Meta_L, Meta_R and Multi_key (which is the compose key that really works). Window Maker will then pick up those symbols when the key is "captured" in order to be connected to a window management function or a program to launch (through the menu). This can easily be done using Window Maker's configuration utility. Just make sure you load your ~/.xmodmaprc file on X startup.

In Linux, it should work similar as I assume my approach depends on X, not on actual Linux keyboard drivers (which may be different from what FreeBSD offers, but X should be basically the same in this regards).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: finally!
by bogomipz on Mon 20th Feb 2012 14:03 in reply to "RE[3]: finally!"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

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.

No. Window Maker is not written in Objective C and does not share any code or libraries with GNUstep. It uses its own widget toolkit named WINGs, which is a recursive acronym for WINGs Is Not GNUstep.

The comment that they are paired because they were in fact meant to be used together is true. Window Maker even puts its config files in ~/GNUstep/Defaults.

Reply Parent Score: 2