WindowMaker (I prefer it without the space. That's just the odd way I am) is the complete opposite to most other DE
s out there, in that it is not configurable to any great extent
Try this. Open up KDE
s Control Center
. Take a look around and find hundreds upon hundreds of options you'll probably never ever use, ever. Admit it: you won't. However you delude yourself, you will never use the kernel configurator. And you use GRUB
, so the point of the LILO
screen is lost. Everything is far too configurable
. It's overwhelming. Contrast this with WindowMaker: the WindowMaker theming approach is to have some tiles scattered about, maybe a title bar pixmap
and that's it. Oh, and a background image. These are supplied by a theme package, as well-can't really mix and match. The WindowMaker preferences applet is a work of art: options very well laid out and well signposted. The menu editor is easy to use: select it and a menu pops up, which you drag items onto to use. Heaven.
I'm actually willing to bet that a Linux distribution based around WindowMaker with special configuration tools, like Red Hat's, would probably be easier for newbies
. It's minimalist. You can show the newbie how icons appear at the bottom of the screen, and can be manipulate
d; dragging an icon to the dock rather than having to go into a menu, find the application menu item and drag it onto a panel seems far more logical, does it not? Show them how to open applications from the root menu
. Show them how to change windows using the middle mouse button or wheel. It just plain makes more sense than Windows
and the clones like KDE and GNOME. And it's much, much faster to boot. And dockapps...who doesn't like dockapp
Any budding Linux distributors want to give this a go? Maybe a Gentoo
based system, Portage
already set up with X and WindowMaker...mmm. (/me sets to work)
More factual details now. WindowMaker is a very, very minimalist DE modeled around the NeXTStep
design by NeXT. Yes, this means it shares sort of the same foundations as OS X, and the dock in OS X
actually seems to be a lot like the WindowMaker dock. On starting a default WM set up, you get a few icons on the right hand side of the screen and a clip in the top left corner of the screen. The right hand side is the dock
: open programs have icons in the lower left corner of the screen which can be dragged onto the dock to become permanent fixtures, like KDE
panel buttons. Right clicking on the desktop opens the root menu, which is basically an application menu-infinitely customisable through the WindowMaker preferences applet. Middle clicking on the desktop opens up a menu with a list of open windows, which can be selected from. If you're accustomed
to KDE, GNOME
or Windows this feels very different, but as above it becomes second nature and seems much more logical.
s are one of WindowMakers main strengths: instead of having an open window and a little icon in the lower left, dockapps have just a little display in the lower left, which can be dragged to the dock to show anything: my personal favourites are WMFire
(which shows your CPU usage as a burning flame, which gets more vicious as you use more CPU time) WMMemLoad
(Just a memory indicator) Docker
(A KDE/GNOME system tray for WindowMaker, very useful) and WMBinClock
(a binary clock). There are hundreds available at www.dockapps.org, far more than any sane person would need. A lot of them are pointless-a lot are genuinely useful in the extreme.
Give it a go, you may just love it.
Inspired by doing a poster about WindowMaker for a GCSE IT DTP project...34/40, suck it :)