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Rant: Window Managers are all the same.

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

X 2

Why are window managers all the same? Sure, programming interface is different, so is rendering, and other desktops. However, windows are always square, controls (iconify, close, maximize) are mostly the same, controls are always on top, and, windows do not allow rotation. Wouldn't that be appropriate for a *window* manager?

Why are window managers all the same? Sure, programming interface is different, so is rendering, and other desktops. However, windows are always square, controls (iconify, close, maximize) are mostly the same, controls are always on top, and, windows do not allow rotation. Wouldn't that be appropriate for a *window* manager?

I see screenshots, and most are just the guy showing off his background image, and the smoothness of borders. Good keyboard support is mostly ignored, and the plethora right-click menus can it a maze to find what you want.

I've never designed one (and as such do not what is truly involved), but where's the real innovation?

2 comments

Not entirely true (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 10 years ago | (#7577827)

I'd have a hard time surviving without Fluxbox-style tabbing. Makes working on a low-res laptop screen soooo much easier.

Also, it would be pretty trivial to modify Fluxbox to do title bars differently... I think I might do that after I add XTerm titles to mp3blaster...

not ALL the same... (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7584116)

Don't be too hard on WM for all being squarish single-orientation devices. They are, after all, just tweaked implementations of the same "multiple CLI window" paradigm with just a few changes.

The innovations that I see and like are in the technologies that create what's seen (PDF and vector-based systems seem rather nifty, as to 3d-enabled desktops), in how the windows behave (MS's auto-hiding icons and toolbars, Mac's movement additions, et al), and plain ol' better organization.

Now, while we COULD come up with a different paradim for interfacing with the computer, it's not too likely that the first-gen will be worth the hardship of moving to it. Likely we'll have a few small-concept UIs, such as we see in video games, that come up with new concepts that are badly hacked to work with the extant paradim.
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