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Sawfish 1.9 RC1 Released

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the blast-from-the-past dept.

GUI 50

Last Thursday, the Sawfish window manager project announced the availability of 1.8.92. The release brings several new features. Highlights include: support for MATE and Razor-Qt (along with better GNOME and KDE support), better edge action support, and improvements to the theming system. A new OS X style single window mode has been added, along with a really interesting shade stack feature: "Added shade-stack feature. It provides an alternative to iconify-window. Instead of iconifying a window or minizing it to a tray, the windows get shaded and sorted in a stack starting from the top-left corner (the number of columns can be changed). Combined with auto-unshade this offers — possibly — a better way of interacting with windows which aren't required at the moment. Original code by Luke Gorrie. [Christopher Bratusek]" This is the first release candidate for the new stable 1.9 series.

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Single window mode (4, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550899)

Added `single-window-mode'. Basically this feature is known from OS-X, though it's implemented in a more strict way. The `single-window-mode' window should get all of the users attention.

Single window mode hasn't been a standard feature of OS X since the public beta in 2000. I thought at first that it was referring to fullscreen mode in Lion, but it appears to really be talking about the original single window mode, which had a purple button in the upper right corner of a window before the button was turned into a white pill and made into a toolbar toggle. IIRC, the feature is still there if via a hidden defaults key.

Re:Single window mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551269)

Not this apple shilling again.

Re:Single window mode (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551901)

Single window mode hasn't been a standard feature of OS X since the public beta in 2000 [...] IIRC, the feature is still there


Re:Single window mode (0)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552347)

You seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. Or is your monitor faded in strange spots so you couldn't read the whole post?

Giving Half a Shit to Charity (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566183)

But marking it as a whole one for taxes...and maybe karma.

One could point out the intention may lie in the semantics of standard vs default. I'm just throwing in a, "One could." I don't own up to nothin'. My computer came with an operating system as part of the standard package, but I didn't like the default one they offered and replaced it with three Debian variants and an experiment with Gentoo (second version of stage 3 live CD was actually very impressive compared to the Ubuntu live CD of the same year).

Now, quick, before the fifteenth, how much is a shit worth?

What the hell is it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550935)

Please do us all a favor and put a one sentence explanation of what-the-hell-it-is early in the summary. Otherwise, it's just blatant, shameless click bait.


Re:What the hell is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551597)

Not only does TFS say it's a window manager, everyone (except you, I guess) knows it's a window manager, formerly known as sawmill, before some trademark issue forced them to rename it. Used to be the GNOME default, back before Metacity, so it's not like it's some niche thing.

So, in short, quit being ignorant, and learn to read so you won't complain about the summary not saying things it in fact does say.

Re:What the hell is it? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551727)

I'm late to the party here, but it sounds like we need version control with diff callouts for slashdot summaries.

Just a guess. ;)

And? (-1)

CitizenJohnJohn (640701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39550941)

Christ, Slashdot, could this post have been any lazier? How about mentioning what it is? Why we should be interested? That's not just good journalism, it's actually likely to generate page views too. FFS.

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551029)

FTFS: window manager.

Re:And? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551063)

News for Nerds.

Don't be so lazy []

Oh, and this is a news aggregator, not a news site, there are no journalists here.

Re:And? (0)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551077)

Why we'd want sawfish is interesting. So its got a lispy config file. So does my "awesome window manager". Well awesome uses Lua which is vaguely distantly scheme inspired. Doesn't sound like much difference. So I'd want to use "awesome" because... or "sawfish" because...

The standard /. car analogy is this is like a new car model press release that primarily mentions our new car has four tires, in contrast to the toyota camry which has 4 wheels. Um, OK, thats really interesting.

Re:And? (4, Informative)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551767)

So its got a lispy config file.

And a fantastic "sawfish-config" program that gives you GUI access to just about every configurable option, from basic to really esoteric, including theme-specific options. That way, you don't have to know Lisp or Scheme(*) to configure it.

(*)Or rep, the Lisp implementation developed by John Harper for his Sawmill/Sawfish project. "rep" is an abbreviation for "read-evaluate-print", the loop that Lisp-ish languages use. The desire has been expressed on the Sawfish Wiki, and on the mailing list, to re-work Sawfish for a more standardized Lisp-ish language, probably Scheme.

Re:And? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551111)

From the summary:
"the Sawfish window manager project announced...."

Its a Window Manager...says it right there. if you want, you can even look it up without going to the page the same way you can look up any term you don't understand: []

Re:And? (0)

CitizenJohnJohn (640701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551175)

Added after I put the boot in. At least someone's paying fucking attention.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551189)

>How about mentioning what it is?
Summary states it is a Window Manager.

>Why we should be interested?
It states the new features.

Do you need to be completely educated on the topic or something?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551755)

Christ, Slashdot, could this post have been any lazier?


How about mentioning what it is?

the summary uses the term 'window manager' and mentions both GNOME and KDE, implying that it is for Linux

Why we should be interested?

This is like those raspberry pi articles. If you know what it is, you want to know that something is happening. If you don't already know what it is, you probably won't care any more now than you did before reading the summary.

Re:And? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554901)

If you don't know what it is, you won't be interested. Sawfish was once the default window manager of Gnome, so some die hard Linux fans might be interested.

Sawfaget (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39550995)

LOL, fagets. I bet you like to sort your faget porn into stacks eh you fucken faget.

Belated April Fools (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551007)

This has got to be a belated April Fools joke.

Slashdot, circa 2002!!!

Oh, Joy. I Love Lisp (2)

ios and web coder (2552484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551027)

Any language that has more parens than keywords is all right by my book!

Re:Oh, Joy. I Love Lisp (4, Insightful)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551387)

Lisp has only two parentheses: the opening one and the closing one.

Re:Oh, Joy. I Love Lisp (3, Funny)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552181)

Silly you, it's the same parenthesis, upside down.

Re:Oh, Joy. I Love Lisp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557629)

And for some reason people like it a lot better if there are six kinds of parentheses [ ( { } ) ] and even don't even notice that there are just as many of them as there are parentheses in lisp.

Razor-qt (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551349)

Offtopic: Has anyone done a distro using Razor-qt yet? I'm going to be upgrading to a newer laptop in a couple months and I would like to give this a whirl.

Re:Razor-qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551771)

not direct distro, but a try:

Re:Razor-qt (3, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551787)

Sort of. Arch, obviously does. There is a repo for fedora as well. I've used it, its nice but a little rough around the edges. The psuedo start button menu pop up thing, doesn't do the submenus right. Switching to a sub menu only works if you keep the mouse directly to the right of the selector. Most desktops will give you a little bit of wiggle room. That's pretty much my only complaint

Re:Razor-qt (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552045)

I saw that there were repos as well. Thanks for the input!

Re:Razor-qt (1)

archen (447353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551973)

I don't think Razor qt is ready for distro based off it. I use it on Gentoo and it's mostly functional, although rough around the edges in spots. For instance there's no feedback when clicking on icons, no volume control and there isn't a theme manager hooked into the gui. Aside from click feedback I really wish there was a way to bring up a run command dialog. I'm not sure what the development pace is, but I'm sure most of this stuff will be cleaned up within the next release or two.

Re:Razor-qt (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552551)

Why do you need a new distro for that? Just install the package! I see one in my package management system.

Well, well, well. (1)

folderol (1965326) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551521)

Not heard anything about Sawfish for years. I'd come to the conclusion it was more-or-less abandonware. Great to see it isn't. It's an exceptional WM

Re:Well, well, well. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558291)

I also thought it was an abandoned project.

Standing on the shoulders of giants. (3, Interesting)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551541)

Saw(fish/mill) was my favourite window manager years ago and I was upset when GNOME replaced it's official status with Metacity. It was a sad day when Eazel went bankrupt and John Harper went to work for Apple. He eventually abandoned this great work but as a FOSS project, it never dies. It becomes a stepping stone for the next generation of developers. Software development might be slower in the beginning but after a few years, FOSS is standing on the shoulders of giants and that will be a force that no single entity will be able to match.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (2)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551985)

It used to be my favorite window manager. Then, in one release, they removed nearly all the features I liked, or at least removed their options from the settings -- apparently they could still be set by using some regedit-like interface or something, I don't recall exactly, but making it simpler and easier to use was the apparent justification for making it incredibly more complicated and difficult to use. I stopped using it after that.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (4, Informative)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39552539)

I added those features back. Then Christopher took over and continues his great work.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (4, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554587)

A bit more history:
- in 2000 John Harper created sawfish,
- in 2005 he abadoned it.
- In 2007 he gave me full access to repository. Then I was officially a new sawfish developer. I revived sawfish and made few releases, mainly I brought back previously removed features (such as viewports). Also I concentrated on creating a useful wiki, that would allow everyone to easily submit patches. This wiki worked beyond all my expectations. We had 1 nice patch/feature per week for several years. There was actually a reason to make new sawfish release every three or four months. This work attracted more and more people to the community.
- In year 2009 I passed lead to new developer Christopher Bratusek, who was one of the first to join after I got access permissions from John Harper
- Currently I am amazed to see that in 2012 Christopher Bratusek is still doing great job

Let me paste here my slashdot post about sawfish, which I wrote some time ago.
I am using sawfish and ROX for over 15 years. I wouldn't change it for anything else. Even though my wife & sister & friends went through various generations KDE, gnome, unity and I learned how to use them (just for the sake of helping them). Still sawfish is the MOST powerful & fastest wm ever. And rox the lightest fm (file manager), but of course I use mc a lot (where I had submitted some patches too, especially with tree view of directories in another panel).

Imagine, that in sawfish you can even UNDO window actions (movement, resize, anything else). Assign different window properties per window type (frame(less) type, coordinates, size, placement strategy). You cannot even imagine how configurable are the keyboard shortcuts. No really. You. Can't. Imagine. Do you want have a totally mouseless workflow in multitude of opened windows? no problem. Want tablet? No problem. Window tabbing & window tling are the BASICS. Not some advance features. I haven't seen tabbing in any of those popular wms, like kwin or metacity.

There is no way I would even seriously consider any other wm than sawfish.

why rox? There's nothing lighter that gives me icons, a desktop and panels. My 8 cores and 32 GB of ram are better spent elsewhere than on clumsy desktop environment. I am running dozen of simultaneous calculations almost all memory is used, and sawfish is still as responsive as if there was nothing clogging the cores. I never stop to be amazed at that. Especially when I look at other people's PCs when they open just a few apps, and their desktop becomes so unresponsive that I would get mad.

This comfort also made me a little lazy to "clean up" my desktops. I have 24 viewports, they are all full of windows - betweeen 100 and 200 windows open (I guess about 150 right now). And they get dusty. After few months I discover some forgotten window on some viewport and it brings nice memories about what I was doing back then.
== end paste

side note: Christopher thinks that my desktop is "old school" and outdated ;) Mainly because I use plain old simple ROX instead of bells & whistles that are available right now. That's so funny for both of us. And it demonstrates how flexible sawfish is.

to be honest, I did a little cheat there: I run sawfish at -20 nice priority. Because I am really clogging all 8 CPUs with tons of calculations and other stuff (sometimes even too big for 32 GB of RAM that I have). And I do not tolerate any lag on the desktop.
I made a special pager background for sawfish-pager so that all my 6*4=24 viewports are labelled, and it amazes my friends when they see how I switch between them :)
I have three LCD screens: 1600x1200,1920x1200,1600x1200, all wonderfully working with xinerama (nvidia) and tuxonice hibernation (in case if power runs out, and I can't afford terminating my calculations, so better to hibernate). Heh, I like to brag about this setup sometimes, because I'm proud of how great it works :) Also this big screen setup lead me to find several obscure bugs in sawfish, and to fixing them.

It's not a coincidence that for all this great setup sawfish is the most important ingredient. Without sawfish I would feel like with my hands crippled, almost like without CLI.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (2)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554903)

Oh, I even got an offer from Richard Stallman to push making sawfish a default GNOME's WM. Though I had to refuse due to lack of time.. since I focus mainly on scientific research and then keeping alive the tools I like (e.g. sawfish).

see full record on: []

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39554947)

re-reading those archived emails from 2008 shows that I was a little exaggerating, oh sweet lovely memories.

and btw - why all my posts look like a monologue? Perhaps I need to get some sleep :)

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (1)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39555367)

Actually quite interesting. It's nice to see the developers participate in the discussions. I can imagine the flamewars if Linus would have been a Slashdotter.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558889)

He might be lurking here every now and then. Here's a funny Linuxcon Portland 2009 piece [] where (pos 2:00) he is asked "so you actually read Slashdot?" and he shoots himself with a finger pistol.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. Memories. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589873)

I still have big sentiment to my first contact with sawfish. It was year 2000, and I was playing with my freshly installed debian box. I got rid of windows about 2 years earlier, and I was experimenting with everything that linux could have bring to me. I tried red-hat for 6 months, slackware, etc. Then I settled on debian. Next I was trying all desktop environments & window managers that dselect was showing in package listing (there was no aptitude at that time).

And I installed one by one, and used it for few days, maybe a week. Some of them felt strange, some felt crippled. Others like enlightement were slick, but looked unfinished. Then I found sawfish. It was nothing - just an empty screen. I was already accustomed with weird window managers, so without fear I tried pressing all buttons. Soon to discover that middle button is everything that I will ever need. I found the sawfish configurator and looked at what stuff I can configure. I was like, "whaaaaaa?"

First of all, I was always annoyed that to move a window I need to grab the titlebar, which sometimes is crazy small. So clickety-click told sawfish that I want to move the window by clicking *anywhere* on the window. And it worked! I clicked on the configuration dialog box, and started to move it around with reverence, which occurs to you, only when your wildest dream comes true.

Then a quick realization come to me: I forgot to use any modifier key. Left clicking on window was *only* moving it. I couldn't even click inside the window to start typing in whatever textbox was there. That was utterly cool & awesome! And of course stupid on my side. I used Tab key, and keyboard navigation to fix this problem in the configuration. Now I could move window only with left-click when Alt was pressed. That was awesome experience.

Next I started trying various themes and window frames, soon to discover that I could use a different window frame for every window! I used Bat theme, and called everyone who was at home to see how ridiculous it is :)

After a day or two I moved to another window manager, and kept trying all WMs that were in debian repository at the time. They all were wrong. Just wrong. Nothing could beat that weird window manager that did allow me to break mouse configuration. But I could not remember its name!

One evening I sat down at my PC determined to find that WM even if I will have to try every WM and every desktop environment that was offered in debian. Took a while, because I needed to find configuration options for given WM and check if it was possible to move window just by left-click dragging without modifiers. It was a shock, because soon I discovered that it is impossible in any of window managers, until few hours late at night I encountered this magical window manager: sawfish. What a happy reunion it was!

I don't think that I ever left sawfish alone, after that time.

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. Memories. (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589959)

correction: of course it was sawmill at that time :)

Re:Standing on the shoulders of giants. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39609745)

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like something I might be interested in. I'll check it out, and keep it in the back of my head.

How do I replace Metro in Windows 8 with this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551829)

In the related links I saw "Can Microsoft Afford To Lose With Windows 8?" so I presume this can replace the Metro UI, but the page linked from TFS isn't clear how to do that at all.

Re:How do I replace Metro in Windows 8 with this? (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39553453)

I'd actually *buy* Windows 8 for work if I could finally get a *real* window manager on that platform...

WM outliving DEs? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39551831)

Do these things exist independently of the DE that uses/used them - in this case what - GNOME 1 or GNOME 2? Since people have moved from GNOME 2 to various options - LXDE/XFCE/Unity/GNOME3/KDE et al, how does this WM still remain relevant?

Re:WM outliving DEs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39551959)

Do these things exist independently of the DE that uses/used them


how does this WM still remain relevant?

As long as there are people who want to use and develop it, it remains relevant, at least to them. If you don't care about it, no-one's trying to force it on you.

Re:WM outliving DEs? (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 2 years ago | (#39555115)

You can mix-and-match components ... right now I'm running the gnome2 desktop with sawfish and xfce-panel.

Re:WM outliving DEs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39573779)

Exactly. Half the reason I stopped using GNOME (3), it that tries to obsolete window managers.

Re:WM outliving DEs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39555117)

Sawfish (Sawmill) was always an independent project. GNOME happened to use it as its default window manager for a while, that's all.

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