The Artist's Guide to the Linux Desktop, Part 3
There is actually a fair amount of documentation available for Window Maker. A user's guide for a previous release is on-line, but it's not quite up to date with the latest (0.61.1) release. A FAQ in text form comes with the source distribution, and an HTML version is available on-line from both the main Window Maker site (http://www.windowmaker.org/) and a few other user-supported sites. Man pages for all tools included in the source distribution are also available.
Window Maker has many nice features. For artists, Window Maker makes personalizing the desktop very simple. Themes are easy to create, easy to save and easy to install. This leaves the artist time to focus on the creative side—the creation of the tiles, backgrounds and other images used in the desktop. That's the way a desktop should work.
Window Maker also has many things I don't like. The icons are too big, initially. Since most Dock applications expect to be running in 64x64 icons, my laptop screen space is compromised. I can scale these down, but I lose the functionality in the dock appicons. I also don't like having the dock appicons running along the right side of my display. I like them along the top of the display, and I couldn't figure out how to change this orientation.
The lack of a visual pager is also a drawback. Although pagers take up screen space (and you'd think I would hate that), their usefulness far outweighs their size. The Clip is helpful, but not as much as the pagers you can get with Enlightenment or FVWM2.
Most importantly, I never iconize anything under FVWM2, so all this icon twiddling in Window Maker is a bit annoying to me. I far prefer configurable menu bars, like FVWM2's GoodStuff, where I can use very small icons (mostly for visual appeal) but still have quick access to many different applications.
Despite its drawbacks, Window Maker is a solid performer in various environments. It supports both KDE and GNOME and has a very easy-to-use graphical configuration tool. Themes are a breeze to create and save.
The main web site for Window Maker is a good place to get started, but it lacks any real details. The man page is well-written, with lots of details on what directories are used and what they are used for. Most of the truly useful information you'll find on the Web will be at user sites.
Window Maker is available precompiled in most Linux distributions these days. You don't have to build from source, but it's fairly easy to do so. There are few external requirements to get it running. This is how Window Maker differs from E: you can skip the need to know about compiling and installing software from source, something that Enlightenment depends on in its current state.
I like Window Maker, but between it and Enlightenment, I still prefer the latter. Then again, I'm an experienced desktop user. If you're new to Linux, you may find the graphically configurable Window Maker a little easier to learn. Both provide multiple desktops, themed interfaces and graphic-based desktop management tools. It's mostly a matter of taste.
The last article in this series is supposed to be on AfterStep, a window manager very similar to Window Maker and also based on the GNUStep environment. However, I may go with blackbox or sawmill instead. Both are very stable and provide some minimalistic aspects I find interesting. AfterStep is very much like Window Maker, and I'd prefer to talk about a window manager with a different design intent. If you want to get a jump on me, start out over at http://themes.org/. You can find links to all these window managers there, as well as some very useful information on configuring and using your favorite.
Michael J. Hammel (email@example.com) is a graphic artist wanna-be, a writer and a software developer. He wanders the planet aimlessly in search of adventure, quiet beaches and an escape from the computers that dominate his life.
|Designing Electronics with Linux||May 22, 2013|
|Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving||May 21, 2013|
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
- RSS Feeds
- Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- Designing Electronics with Linux
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- New Products
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- What's the tweeting protocol?
- Kernel Problem
4 hours 7 min ago
- BASH script to log IPs on public web server
8 hours 34 min ago
12 hours 10 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
12 hours 42 min ago
- All the articles you talked
15 hours 6 min ago
- All the articles you talked
15 hours 9 min ago
- All the articles you talked
15 hours 10 min ago
19 hours 35 min ago
- Keeping track of IP address
21 hours 26 min ago
- Roll your own dynamic dns
1 day 2 hours ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- 5-21-13, Prototyping Pi Plate Kit: Philip Kirby
- Next winner announced on 5-27-13!
Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?