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#1 2008-04-24 22:25:04

Smith oo4
Member
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2007-12-30
Posts: 34

What do you value in a window manager?

I have discovered that Metacity (the default window manager for Gnome) has compositing. This compositing is very basic, mostly adding shadows to windows, but it makes the desktop look and feel very nice (at least to me).  I find Compiz-Fusion or just plain Compiz too much, and this very refreshing.  There is how ever some functionality that I find myself missing.  The most notable is the ability to drag windows from one workspace to another.  This got me thinking about what functionality I value in a window manager:

It looks pretty -- Inviting window dressing with shadowing and fading. The transparency effects I never found that interesting.  I have tried Openbox numerous times (played with its themes and everything) and I always find it dull and never used it for long.  This realization came as a bit of a surprise to me, I had no idea that I valued looks so much.

Fast and clear way of browsing and selecting open windows -- I like it when this is not limited to one workspace, but does give distinction between the workspaces.  The window selector in the top right corner of the Gnome desktop or clicking the third button on the desktop in Xfce is prime examples of this.  Also, I like to have the option of doing this with the mouse or keyboard and I am annoyed that Alt Tab is limited to one workspace in most cases.

The ability to drag windows from one workspace to another

Simplicity -- I find that Compiz is too much.

I am curious as to what functionality or aspects of window managers others value, and would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you

Last edited by Smith oo4 (2008-04-24 22:26:41)

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#2 2008-04-25 00:22:17

cardinals_fan
Member
From: /dev/null
Registered: 2008-02-03
Posts: 248

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

I value speed and configurability.  Consequently, I use Openbox.

Smith oo4 wrote:

It looks pretty -- Inviting window dressing with shadowing and fading. The transparency effects I never found that interesting.  I have tried Openbox numerous times (played with its themes and everything) and I always find it dull and never used it for long.  This realization came as a bit of a surprise to me, I had no idea that I valued looks so much.

If all you need is shadows/fading, Xcompmgr will work inside Openbox and provide those 'features' (I personally dislike them).

Smith oo4 wrote:

Fast and clear way of browsing and selecting open windows -- I like it when this is not limited to one workspace, but does give distinction between the workspaces.  The window selector in the top right corner of the Gnome desktop or clicking the third button on the desktop in Xfce is prime examples of this.  Also, I like to have the option of doing this with the mouse or keyboard and I am annoyed that Alt Tab is limited to one workspace in most cases.

Xfce can set the Alt-Tab window switcher to work on all workspaces (I think).  My favorite option is the Openbox desktop menu (accessible by middle-clicking the desktop), which I have mapped to the desktop button on Pypanel (see attached screenshot).

Smith oo4 wrote:

The ability to drag windows from one workspace to another

On Openbox, I just right-click the title bar and select 'Send to desktop...'.  If you require the dragging functionality, most pagers (such as those in the GNOME or Xfce panels) allow you to drag windows.  Bear in mind that more minimal WM's such as the *boxes and Pekwm can run any panel that you want (or no panel at all), so you can bring your GNOME panel along with you.

menu1d9.png


Segmentation fault (core dumped)

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#3 2008-04-25 00:36:38

thayer
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From: Vancouver, BC
Registered: 2007-05-20
Posts: 1,560
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

You might already know this, but within Openbox you can drag a window to the edge of the screen and it will move to the next workspace.  Not quite as a fast as dragging within a pager, but works nonetheless and doesn't require a pager at all.


thayer williams ~ cinderwick.ca

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#4 2008-04-25 01:08:04

joyfulgirl
IRC Op
Registered: 2008-04-03
Posts: 69

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

Complete, comfortable 100% keyboard control is most important by far for me. Extensibility is also good. Simple configuration (i.e., an rc file), rather than needing to work through bunches of complex configuration windows. Sane default settings. Just working. Running at a decent speed.

So basically, just a window manager that absolutely refuses to get in your way. I know I'm a bit of a strange breed there. :-)

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#5 2008-04-25 01:32:16

Vintendo
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2008-04-21
Posts: 375
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

I'm using openbox right now, since a few hours:p, i like it very much. I used gnome before openbox but i didn't use any of the features. The only thing i mis are wobbly windows, i love those...

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#6 2008-04-25 01:52:30

peets
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2007-01-11
Posts: 936
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

Predictable - I like to be able to know exactly where windows will be placed
Flat - I don't like overlapping windows; what's the point?
Floating - I tried some tiling window managers, but I really dislike how they constantly resize windows.
Comfortable - I'm thinking of pekwm's feature that lets me switch between windows with mod4+hjkl or mod4+arrows
Clean - The bigger the decoration, the more chance for ugliness, the more clutter, the less elegance.

I've been using pekwm for almost as long as Arch. It's not perfect, but it has the above qualities.

Last edited by peets (2008-04-25 01:52:58)

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#7 2008-04-25 06:32:31

Arkane
Member
From: Switzerland
Registered: 2008-02-18
Posts: 263

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

peets wrote:

Predictable - I like to be able to know exactly where windows will be placed
Flat - I don't like overlapping windows; what's the point?
Clean - The bigger the decoration, the more chance for ugliness, the more clutter, the less elegance.

Like he said.
But also:

- Totally configurable.

- Fully and easily controllable with only the keyboard, and with one hand on the keyboard, the other on the mouse, and as much as possible with only the mouse. Of course this requires the above point.

- Comfortable control with really minimal effort- drag rather than click twice, all keyboard shortcuts executable with only one hand without moving it from its natural position, stuff like that. Once again, requires configurability because people don't really seem to share my notion of comfort on that point.

- Instant response.

- At least minimal eye-candy.


I've been oscillating between Awesome and Compiz-Fusion. Both are insanely configurable, though Compiz is better for mouse control (if only you could do stuff like drag windows to tags in Awesome), and tiling is almost necessary for efficient keyboard control. Compiz also has a clear esthetics advantage, but then it's not really as confortable.

I just can't decide -_-.


What does not kill you will hurt a lot.

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#8 2008-04-25 06:48:04

jbromley
Member
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2007-02-04
Posts: 268

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

joyfulgirl wrote:

Complete, comfortable 100% keyboard control is most important by far for me. Extensibility is also good. Simple configuration (i.e., an rc file), rather than needing to work through bunches of complex configuration windows. Sane default settings. Just working. Running at a decent speed.

I'm with you. So what do you use? I'll guess xmonad or stumpwm. I also value tiling to maximize my screen space. Eye candy does nothing for me (except make my system that little bit slower wink .)

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#9 2008-04-25 07:29:55

dolby
Member
From: 1992
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1,581

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

1) keyboard friendliness
2) lack of uneeded features. think menus,bars,etc
3) must be able to run every app fullscreen with the minimal amount of effort or configuration from the user. wide screens suck.
4) programming language. it must be written preferably in C.

Winner: ratpoison


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#10 2008-04-25 08:26:55

onearm
Member
From: Anywhere but here
Registered: 2006-07-06
Posts: 359
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

1) light and fast smile
2) Maximum configurability without being overly complicated (Openbox is just right to me)
3) Availability of a good number of themes (spending a day to create one is not my cup of tea)
4) Completely usable by keyboard
5) Optional features like a trayer or a pager are a plus but not needed


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#11 2008-04-25 09:04:43

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

My turn.

* It has to be 100% keyboard compatible, and if possible even mouse-unfriendly tongue
* It needs to have reasonable keyboard shortcuts by default (configuring ALL keybindings is hell)
* It needs to be very responsive
* It needs to have easy, intuitive configuration, the best example of how configuration should NOT be is Xmonad.
* It needs to be scriptable/extensible (ratpoison comes to mind here)
* It needs to provide (auto)tiling and floating. And stack, if possible.
* It needs to be compatible with the GUI apps, namely it needs to have a notification area. Therefore a panel is necessary.
* It needs to be minimalistic: I add what I need (but it shouldn't be difficult to add things)

Winner so far (even though it hasn't satisfied me 100%, and I still have to try Awesome): wmii.


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#12 2008-04-25 10:33:15

gunnihinn
Member
From: Torreón, Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-28
Posts: 80

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

I like:

* Keyboard shortcuts for the most used operations
* A light, responsive manager

and I use Evilwm. I didn't really figure out I liked those things until I got hooked on Evil, though, so the list is a bit biased. tongue

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#13 2008-04-25 20:40:56

shining
Pacman Developer
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 2,043

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

* tiling

Go go windows 1.0 !


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#14 2008-04-25 21:20:44

Misfit138
Misfit Emeritus
From: USA
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 4,170

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

It has to look great and perform better.

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#15 2008-04-25 21:49:37

pauldonnelly
Member
Registered: 2006-06-19
Posts: 776

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

I have to be able to move windows without going for the title bar. No decorations. Providing at least two virtual desktops is good, so I have somewhere to set windows aside.

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#16 2008-04-25 22:21:53

F
Member
Registered: 2006-10-09
Posts: 322

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

1. hackable source code.
2. minimalistic.
3. flat (no overlapping applications unless absolutely necessary, which is almost never, ever is).
4. keyboard control.
5. hackable configuration
6. elitist community.

Consequently, I use dwm. Granted, dwm has a rather friendly community. *shrugs* can't have it all, i guess.

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#17 2008-04-26 13:20:08

faelar
Member
From: Amiens (FR)
Registered: 2007-12-18
Posts: 232
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

I can't talk about tilling WM cause I didn't try anyone.

I'm an Openbox user, I like it because :
* It is light
* ObConf made basic configuration easy
* It looks nice with a good theme
* I can use keyboard as well as mouse shorcuts

I come to openbox first, but two other alternatives are fluxbox and pekwm, I need to try them both...

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#18 2008-04-28 00:00:30

celthias
Member
Registered: 2008-04-15
Posts: 83

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

- Light
- Fast
- Customizable (this includes source)
- It's gotta look nice, or rather allow me to make it look nice smile
- As little gui for configuring as possible (curse you obconf!)

So it's openbox for me smile

Edit: Seems I can't spell, or I can't proof-read, either one

Last edited by celthias (2008-04-28 00:03:42)

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#19 2008-04-29 01:40:04

anakin
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-11
Posts: 85
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

1. Minimalist (don't get in my way)
2. Light and fast (too obvious)
3. Easily configurable (stable configuration format)
4. Dynamic tilling (I don't want to loose time resizing/repositioning windows)

Points 1,2,3 above were perfectly fulfilled by fluxbox until number 4 got my attention. I've then tried several tilling window managers before settling in as a happy wmii user.


www.geekslot.com - a place where peculiar people fit

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#20 2008-04-29 04:04:43

idjut
Member
From: Oslo
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 176

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

minimal
responsive
good keychains

i decided to ditch openbox in favor for dwm for the above reasons. openbox is all of them, but dwm is more! only thing is the the tiling of new windows that i dont care too much about. guess i can set it up with devils pie (or something like that), but havent bothered yet


Linux user #403491

"Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect." - E. A. Poe from Eleonora

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#21 2008-04-30 00:33:44

B-Con
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2007-12-17
Posts: 553
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

* Simple
* Fast
* Keyboard configurable

Openbox for me

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#22 2008-04-30 09:06:07

iphitus
Forum Fellow
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

a window manager

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#23 2008-04-30 09:18:31

CuleX
Member
Registered: 2007-09-15
Posts: 107

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

* Fast
* Isn't eating my single GB ram
* Tiling
* Dosen't crash after five minutes (e.g. some StumpWM versions)
* Dosen't have too much dependecies
* Is still being developed
* Just works(TM)
* Is good documented
* Eventually used scripting languages are good documented

Or in other words -> Ion3.

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#24 2008-04-30 09:22:20

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

CuleX wrote:

Or in other words -> Ion3.

yikes


Have you Syued today?
Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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#25 2008-04-30 09:59:40

CuleX
Member
Registered: 2007-09-15
Posts: 107

Re: What do you value in a window manager?

finferflu wrote:
CuleX wrote:

Or in other words -> Ion3.

yikes

What's wrong?

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