RE: GNOME Window Manager

  Dear Sean & list,

  I agree completely;
  The most confusing thing in GNOME, for me, at least, is the Window
Manager/Desktop split.

  Ever tried to explain this to your mom?
  "Well, the window display system is really quite different than the rest
of the desktop display..."
  My mom looks at me, thinking, "Maybe Microsoft isn't such a bad idea..."

  My uninformed opinion on how to fix things: Rework the "Gnome Complient
Window Manager" specs so that there is a very tight coupling between window
manager and GNOME.

  People are *really* emotionally attached to their Window Manager, so we
need to make sure that GNOME works just fine without a gnome-compliant
window manager tethered to it.

  But by default, GNOME should have a window manager that is, for all
practical purposes, __invisible__. You never know that it's there; it is
just a seamless part of the GNOME system.

  Take care,
    Lion =^_^=

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Middleditch [mailto:elanthis users sourceforge net]
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2001 10:42 AM
To: gnome-list gnome org
Subject: GNOME Window Manager

OK, this is a rant/question dealie, just to warn you.  ~,^  If I'm totally
off-track with my facts or ideas, don't be surprised.  Just smack me once or
twice and I'll shut up.

A problem I see with GNOME right now is the Window Manager - Sawfish is
excellent, it's what I use, I love it.  But, for the average user, the
configuration of Sawfish+GNOME is a nightmare.

For starts, there is some overlapping issues.  For example, Sawfish has
keybinding support to do various tasks on certain keys, and the GNOME panel
also does this for the menu/run dialog.  This should be merged somewhere.
There needs to be a GNOME-wide global keybinding setup.  I was recently
looking into different Window Managers, and found Oroborus - it has an
optional component called 'Key Launch' that basically sits there and runs
commands based on key presses.  This is complete seperation from window
manager and desktop environment.  If someone made a bonobo/CORBA app like
that, it could launch apps, call GNOME panels methods (like open menu),
control the WM, etc.  This could make things a lot nicer as far as
key-bindings go, and more uniform.  Not to mention we could have a
centralized configuration capplet for key-bindings.

The second issue is one everyone is familiar with, and I believe someone
else is working on: themes.  I believe it was the meta-theme project,
although I haven't seen an announced update to that in a while.  There
really does need to be just one 'Appearance' configuration capplet, and one

The third issue I've seen is mostly just the layout of the Control Center.
The 'Sawfish Window Manager' section is rather cryptic to the average user.
Not to mention the ten-billion configuration options (which I personally
enjoy, but then again, I'm not an average user at all).  In the
bare-minimum, the Sawfish controls should at least be put as a sub-tree in
Desktop, or Look and Feel, and have some of the sections renamed to more
obvious meanings (Meta, for example, could be User Level).

All in all, Sawfish either needs to be more tightly integrated, or perhaps
we need a fork/new WM that is tied very tightly to GNOME.  It should
*always* be possible to use your own WM choice in GNOME, but GNOME still
needs a very well supported and integrated default.  Perhaps the
sawfish-gnome interface could be expanded (definitely keep it optional, for
those who use Sawfish without GNOME).  Whatever is done, there just needs to
be an easier to setup and use WM for GNOME that is really a part of GNOME,
noe *just* GNOME-compliant.

Anyone else agree, or am I just a total raving lunatic moron?

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