Well, anyway, back in the days of hanging on on undernet’s #linux for far too many hours every day, Brad Hughes (who I used to know as nyztihke, and now goes by nyz) showed me some interesting code he was playing with–hand-writing his own window manager from scratch. At the time, you had to manually edit .Xdefaults and restart his code any time you wanted to change something. =:) Anyway, I was still so enthralled with all the neato options that the seemingly countless number of window managers for X offered, that I was switching window managers about twice a week. At the time, I bounced back and forth between AfterStep, that raster kid’s enlightenment window manager, the Ice window manager (icewm), Alfredo Kojima’s window maker, and fvwm 2. I did some theme-type stuff and it was decent, but nothing you’d want to write home about.
Nowadays, however, either I’m turning into an old goober and don’t care as much about changing the way my desktop looks every day… or (and I lend more credibility to the second theory than the first), I’ve finally found a window manager and X environment that I really, really like. =:) Today, I use Brad Hughes’s blackbox window manager. I’ll let you click on the link yourself to look at it yourself, but it is extremely well-written, in C++, from scratch, and it is VERY fast. There are many good themes for the blackbox window manager, but in my opinion, the best theme-maker for blackbox (and one of the most talented artists that I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know) is artwiz (Youngjin Hahn). Go check out his site, you’re in for a REAL treat. There are also some really great applications that have been written explicitly to take advantage of blackbox’s internal image classes (which are, did I already say it, VERY well-done and fast), and you can find many of them at John Kennis’s bbtools site. I’ve also written a few applications myself for blackbox that have been pretty well-received and you can find them on this here site on my bbkeys page and my miscellany code page….
Now, I absolutely recommend blackbox to anybody (and have converted several very skeptical individuals to blackbox’s simplicity, power, and speed)…. But I also realize that it’s not for everybody. =:) And again, this is a Good Thing ™, because as I said before, there are TONS of choices in the window manager department. There are also a couple of completely integrated window environments that can look, feel, and act very similar to the Windows (TM) operating systems. Check out the KDE site, and the GNOME project. They’re both very well-done–and they’re constantly getting better.