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5. Window Managers

A window manager is much what the description would suggest; it is a program that manages the windows on an X "desktop." The functionality varies a lot; at a minimum, it tends to include providing interfaces to allow the user to select, move, and resize windows.

That is usually only the beginnings of the functionality, as window managers increasingly bundle in more and more functionality, including things like:

My personal preferences tend to fluctuate between "conventional" (e.g. - Window Maker ) and "minimalist" (e.g. wmx ), though I occasionally try out some of the wilder options. The wildest one I can recall, both in terms of behaviour and implementation, was GwML, implemented in Objective CAML.

By and large, I'd tend to consider it a waste to put vast effort into this area; window managers only control the "edges" of windows, not their insides, thus limiting the impact that twiddling with them can have. Furthermore, as a bit of a "bash" on attempts to have spectacularly sophisticated window managers, it seems all too easy for window manager developers to get rather excited about almost invisible bits of functionality that are attached to desktop behaviour vastly too abstruse for anyone less than a window manager developer to have a clue of what to do about it.


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