[TAG] One for Ben
ben at callahans.org
Tue Jul 13 23:14:33 MSD 2004
On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 06:25:19PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 12:31:44 -0400
> Ben Okopnik <ben at callahans.org> wrote:
> > the interface("Fear not, small human creature; KDE has decided on
> > everything you'll want and need, and will provide it for you.") I
> It does have "wizards" or the equivalent so that even the complete
> clueless can give it a go.
What, to handle the configuration end? Nothing special there; IceWM,
e.g., has "icepref" that does much the same thing. I'm very much a fan
of "vi" as a configuration wizard, myself, but others may differ.
> > IceWM is small, fast, and lacks nothing in features that I want from a
> > WM. From Thomas' previous rantings :), I gather that FVWM is much the
> > same sort of thing. It's like having a spoon that you bought for a
> Kind of. But there are a _lot_ of things Fvwm does that IceWM does not,
> and while I am not going to outline the individual merits of each, you
> cannot, for instance, in IceWM do event actions. And while I have used
> IceWm, it just doesn't have..., well, it lacks *something*. :)
EPID. That's why I didn't say that KDE was evil and should be wiped off
the face, etc. - some people love it. And FVWM doesn't have a lot of
things that IceWM has (i.e., a decent taskbar; I could never stand that
huge *thing* they use that takes up so much real estate.)
> Apart from the inherent motif theme  that Fvwm takes on by default (
> \o/ ), perhaps the other major attraction to it for me was the fact that
> you can define events based on actions. AFAICT this is an idiom unique
> to Fvwm, and no other WM/desktop environment (The module that provides
> this is known as 'FvwmEvent').
OK - so... since everyone else manages to do fine without it, it's not
all that critical - right? :)
> Perhaps another addition that you might appreciate Ben is the fact that
> you can script commands to Fvwm, using the underlying $SHELL. There is
> even a full set of perl-bindings . The power that this gives, to
> allow complex things to be done simply, is quite amazing. Not only that
> but Fvwm has its own internal widget set (FvwmScript) so that you can
> define all kinds of things.
Perhaps I'm just not visualizing a scenario where this would be useful,
but I can't really see the advantage. What WM functions would you want
to script, and why?
> For example, I have a function in Fvwm that displays the total number of
> windows that I have open, on the title for my pager. By "open", I mean
> those windows that are not iconified. You can see it here . You
> probably couldn't do that easily in anyother WM. Whether or not you
> would _want_ to, is another question entirely. :)
Yes. *That*' is the question I'm asking. If I really needed to, I'd
parse the output of "xwininfo -root -tree" and get the information, but
I don't see how it would benefit me in either case.
> /me comes down from his high horse.
> But it really does just depend. I ask of nothing visual from my WM in
> terms of eye candy. Ick.
Oh, I don't know. That one example of FVWM eyecandy you showed before
was _very_ impressive - and I like the idea of having a pretty desktop,
although to me that means a nice background plus some good looking
icons, not dancing rabbits that (again) waste my resources.
> The only thing I permit myself is xteddy. After
> all, a WM is just there to provide a means of being able to launch lots
> of rxvts. :)
Don't forget the GUIs, now. I use mine to launch "gmplayer" and Mozilla
quite regularly. :)
> > quarter; no matter *how* you improve the thing, it's _still_ going to
> > be a spoon, and the functionality of it will never be worth much more
> > than that price. Yeah, you could theoretically make it out of gold and
> That's where I diagree. The environment you work in is what you make it.
> And since Fvwm is free, the amount of things I can do with it, and the
> extendability of it is immense. I joke not.
What, exactly, are you disagreeing with? Whatever it is, it seems to
have no connection to anything that I've said above. You are, of course,
welcome to launch a diatribe or whatever, but until I see you actually
countering a statement of mine, I remain puzzled as to the subject of
> There are over 1000 styles
> in all to Fvwm. You can configure the minutest.
Have you seen the IceWM theme packs lately? I wouldn't be surprised if
there were a thousand or more of them available. I generally take one,
hack it a little, and use it for six months or so, and I don't see
myself running out anytime soon.
> > attach it to a gadget that will feed the baby, wipe up the spills, and
> > go to the store to buy the products to replace the ones it used up...
> > but it's neither a spoon any longer, nor is it nearly as useful as a
> > spoon is if you move away from the home/baby/store metaphor.
> Given that all of this is contained within Fvwm, the need to *add on*
> any features are irrelevant. It's ironic to think that despite all I
> have said, given my needs, I could quite easily go back to using TWM
> again.... 
I've actually spent a couple of weeks playing with TWM. Under that stark
look, it's amazingly configurable, and can be made to sit up, fetch,
roll over, and bark on command. I was amazed to find that it can do about
80% of everything I need; unfortunately, its window positioning and
handling metaphor was just a hair too primitive for me. I've also looked
at "qvwm", and was impressed by how much such a tiny gadget can do.
* Ben Okopnik * okopnik.freeshell.org * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette *
-*- See the Linux Gazette in its new home: <http://linuxgazette.net> -*-
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