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Re: ui:initial brainstorming (window manager)

Luka (Peter) wrote:
> I'll use SEULwm from here on to refer to that primary wm, though what wm it
> is has yet to be determined.  We may also support 1 or 2 "seconday" wm's,
> basically to keep up with trends.  e.g. fvwm95 is pretty dreadful from the UI
> design perspective, but it's also pretty popular, so I would be inclined to
> NOT use fvwm95 as SEULwm, but since a lot of people will want to run it, we
> should probably list it as a secondary, which means we'll make sure SEUL runs
> reasonably well with it (almost, if not completely as well as with the primary
> SEULwm)
Why would one want to run a win95-lookalike? This will only lead to
comparing our
interface with the win95 interface. We should make a better interface.
Win95 still
isn't as intuitive as it should be.
> My own choice for SEULwm would be fvwm(2), potentially hacked a bit, but I
> don't have a whole lot reasons for that to be the case.  Among the wm's I've
> tried, fvwm tends to be stable, not too heavy computationally, reasonably
> configurable, and generally not-too-shabby-looking.  But note that I have not
> dug into it's (or any wm's) code/config too deeply, so someone else can
> probably offer a more expert opinion on this matter, and I haven't tried many
> window managers overall (less than 10 I think).  In particular, I don't know
> a thing about WindowMaker.  Since Kai gave this a thumbs up, I'd like to know
> a lot more about it.  Could we have some pointers to info/sources?  And if
> you've tried it, impressions would be good to hear.
> *** Input on this?
fvwm or fvwm2 should be o.k. I am using fvwm, and it is pretty
WindowMaker looks better, but I think the toolbar sucks. I prefer
but then we should provide some customize-util to change it. We don't
want the
user to dig in _any_ config file.
Enlightenment is of course more customizable and cooler, but my 486DX33
doesn't like it. It takes 3 seconds to realize that i want to resize or
a window (Tseng et4000 1MB). I don't think that's acceptable, because
should also be fast. Faster than 95.
> Last thing (which I kind of implied in various places above) is that we will
> have some general requirements specs for our choice of wm, which we need to
> meet.  jmunoz mentioned a few potential ones, all of which I think are good
> ideas.  Rather than spewing my own list of req's now, I think I'll just stop
> (this is getting too long anyway), and let other ppl throw out some ideas on
> this first.  What are features that we want our window manager to have?  Note
> that this includes obvious graphical features (such as level of color support,
> virtual screen support (and the interface to the virtual screens), support
> for icons on desktop?, etc), as well as performance requirements (it really
> /should/ be able to run on a 486/16M at more than one refresh/minute.... and
> our requirement should prob be a lot tighter than that), and anything else
> you think of....
> *** So, if you have any thoughts on what should/shouldn't be on the
>  requirements list (and WHY), let us know....
>  This can also extend to a separate thread on general UI requirements,
>  if you have some thoughts in that area...
> -luka, wearing my UI hat.
General specs & brainstorming & stupid ideas:

* ui boot menu (customizable). Probably with thumbnails or something. On
  start, give menu. Let user choose default wm. Give help on use with
menu (e.g.
  use shift the next time to get this menu)
* Something like the Themes-thingy in 95 to customize the wm. Should be
  and easy to use. The user should never have to edit some config-file.
* Maybe an update-tool which connects to the net and downloads
thumbnails of new
  themes and patches for the system etcetera?
* Tip of the Day (eventually configurable as fortune cookie thing)
* Each app should have a help function (preferably F1. this is "industry
standard :-)")
* Properly configured keyboard. No del/bs exchange, del should be del,
not bs,
  no ^H and ^[~331's in terminal windows.
* Every app should have an icon, for the toolbar (GoodStuff like). I
prefer using the
  fvwm95-mini-icons, otherwise the toolbar gets too large.
* Virtual desktop (V.D.) switching (should there be virtual desktops??):
  The fvwm-way is confusing (auto-switch within a few pixels from the
border). The user
  might think he accidentally closed a window or something like that.
Instead, switching
  should only be possible by single-clicking in some V.D.-manager tool.
The V.D.-manager
  should be resizable (adding V.D.'s by resizing) like olvwm does, but
it should have
  a reasonable limit (ever tried to un-stick the VDmanager in olvwm and
resize it to
  a few VD's large to have thousands of VD's? great fun!)
* Animated cursors and icons? Would be cool!

Well, that's about it. I think.

Michel Wilson