Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

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Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:13 pm

My attempt so far at reviving a Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 laptop. 2.0 Ghz Pentium-4 with a paltry 512 MB RAM. The CMOS battery is dead which prevents me from booting from CD. I ram Mint 11's Mint4Win inside the existing Windows XP installation, upgraded the kernel to 3.0-rc6 (highly tweaked via menuconfig). Gnome was SLOW and hung all the time. So did XFCE. Fluxbox was ok, but really user-unfriendly and unintuitive (setting a desktop background in 2011 should NOT require editing a text file or using the command line!). Not to mention the themes in fluxbox are downright horrible, a good deal with unreadable fonts.

So I went back to a window manager that was a mainstay of mine about a decade ago. Window Maker! Not advanced degree is programming required to set a desktop background. As well customising the dock and the icons used therein is intuitive and simple as well. Window Maker is proof that you can have a lightweight desktop that looks nice, and that isn't a hassle to configure.

Check out my attached screenshot. (works best by right-clicking -> "view image")
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Window Maker. Because friends don't let friends use Fluxbox.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby xenopeek on Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:26 am

Glad to read you can get Mint 11 running on a machine with more limited memory, though I never could understand Window Maker properly (back in 1999).
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:07 am

I'm half tempted to buy a new CMOS battery ($3.99 on Ebay) and max out the RAM (2 512 PC2100 sticks, about $40 total) to see if I can boot from the CD to install LMDE.

Window Maker isn't hard at all to use.

[*]Accept that there is no taskbar
[*]The Clip (paper clip icon, upper left corner of screen) is used to navigate virtual desktops
[*]Right-clicking the desktop brings up the Main Menu form which you can run most programs
[*]The Dock is the bar of square icons that starts at the top right-hand corner of your screen
[*]Running programs have their icons displayed from left to right starting at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
[*]Any running application's icon can be added to the dock simply by dragging it there.
[*]Right-clicking dock icons allows you to launch, kill, or edit that item's settings.
[*]Double-Clicking the top bar of any running program rolls up that window Mac OS 9 style
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby linuxviolin on Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:21 pm

I have used Window Maker and I liked it. But there were no new versions since ages and in 2011 we need a complete and modern desktop. I hope you don't think to make a new Mint edition?
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby jeffreyC on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:28 pm

I find the plain text file configs of Fluxbox easier to deal with than the XML used in Openbox.
If you think the Fluxbox styles are ugly you did not spend time looking for a good one.
The default style in Linux Mint Fluxbox is not bad, but not the only good one, and the default Window Maker theme is no prize either.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:28 am

@linuxviolin:
there is really no need for a new version of Window Maker. Their aim was simplicity and stability, which they got right about 6 years ago (latest stable release). I am in no way affiliated/employed by Linux Mint. Putting "Window Maker Edition" in the title of my post was done to be ironic and humorous. I agree that the MAIN version of LInux Mint SHOULD be a complete and modern desktop. It SHOULD have Compiz AND Emerald installed and enabled by default. And it should be optimised for 64-bit SMP processors. That being said, the point of this post was about reviving a computer from an era when Dinosaurs roamed the earth. Mint 11 was much too SLOW on this old computer. There was/is a community edition of Linux Mint Fluxbox aimed at slower computers. I installed Fluxbox, which while updated much more recently than 2006, felt much LESS modern, and much harder to use than Window Maker. I was hoping my screenshot would show Window Maker's ability to "look like a modern desktop"... now on to Fluxbox itself...

@jeffreyC:
Never once have I had to edit by hand any XML files in Window Maker. All config is done through Window Maker Preferences icon on the dock.
Setting a desktop wallpaper in Window Maker is as simple as putting the image you want in Window maker's backgrounds folder, then selecting backgrounds from a right-click menu. MUCH easier than Fluxbox, which requires you to have "feh" installed, and then read the man files/Google how to use feh. After finding the right command to set a background using feh, you then have to insert that command into fluxbox's startup text file (if you don't, next time you log into Fluxbox, it will greet you with no wallpaper). That's one giant pain in the ass just to see a desktop background image.
I looked through every style that came installed with Fluxbox. I even downloaded a few extras. Here are my gripes with Fluxbox styles
[*]The Close/Minimize/Maximize widgets are so ugly and out of proportion, they look like they were drawn by a pre-schooler.
When I found a theme with acceptable widgets it was unusable for one or more of the following reasons:
---[*]The theme's font blended right into the panel, making panel text unreadable.
---[*]The theme's font was ridiculously small, making the panel AND menus unusable by way of being unreadable without a magnifying glass.
---[*]The theme's font was ridiculously large, enlarging the panel I had set to be small, and making menus WAY too wide/big.
---[*]The theme made menus to dark to read, I could only read one menu item at a time, by way of mousing-over the menu item.

The DEFAULT theme of Window Maker may be bland, but the INCLUDED themes blow away anything Fluxbox has to offer (You mean I can actually READ my menus? Thanks Window maker). I've always liked Window Maker's "Interlace" theme. Fluxbox was one giant fail after another from the moment I installed it, until the moment it got it's much deserved APT purge from my system :mrgreen:
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby linuxviolin on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:44 am

TheGreatSudoku wrote:there is really no need for a new version of Window Maker. Their aim was simplicity and stability, which they got right about 6 years ago (latest stable release). I am in no way affiliated/employed by Linux Mint. Putting "Window Maker Edition" in the title of my post was done to be ironic and humorous. I agree that the MAIN version of LInux Mint SHOULD be a complete and modern desktop. It SHOULD have Compiz AND Emerald installed and enabled by default. And it should be optimised for 64-bit SMP processors. That being said, the point of this post was about reviving a computer from an era when Dinosaurs roamed the earth. Mint 11 was much too SLOW on this old computer. There was/is a community edition of Linux Mint Fluxbox aimed at slower computers. I installed Fluxbox, which while updated much more recently than 2006, felt much LESS modern, and much harder to use than Window Maker. I was hoping my screenshot would show Window Maker's ability to "look like a modern desktop"...

I had understood your posts exactly like that... although I had some doubts. :? Don't worry. Although maybe, I don't quite agree to have no new version of Window Maker, even if, yes, it is quite usable at its current state. And about "look like a modern desktop", well, I guess currently only KDE 4 really matches this description... :roll: (but your screenshot is... quite "interesting" :P) Don't forget, as I said, I have used Window Maker and liked it, even if it was "a long time" ago :lol:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:11 pm

@linuxviolin here's another quote to add to your signature, one that pertains to Window Maker:

"don't change the line-up when you're winning"

Window Maker is good at what it does. I'd venture to say it is THE BEST Window Manager for low resource machines. It's Stable, lightweight, and MUCH more straight-forward and intuitive (and better looking) than it's lightweight counterparts like Fluxbox.

KDE to me crosses the line from modern desktop into "bloat". Even on systems where KDE runs fast, there's all kinda of extraneous KDE-crap, strictly for the sake of having the extraneous KDE-crap (like for instance, KDEs built in composoiting that's like Compiz lite. It's like compiz, with LESS! If we want compositing we'll use Compiz.)

The only "modern" desktop I feel qualifies is Compiz, and that's already how many years old going back to the Beryl days?
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby linuxviolin on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:53 pm

TheGreatSudoku wrote:The only "modern" desktop I feel qualifies is Compiz, and that's already how many years old going back to the Beryl days?

I never use Compiz and al, I hate it. "modern" is not synonym to "desktop effects", fortunately. But this is not the issue here... :wink:
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby jeffreyC on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:24 pm

Although it is not Mint, you should take a look at Liquid Lemur Window Maker, the man behind it is a serious Window Maker fan.
My comment about XML was in regard to such as Openbox.
The current Fluxbox has feh as a dependency, so it should already be there, yes it is annoying to set the wallpaper, I liked it when Kendall had it already set up.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby TheGreatSudoku on Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:01 pm

I added the lemer repos to my mint 11 install, and if nothing else, it gives me a chance to try out a git version of Window Maker. thanks for the info
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby linuxviolin on Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:39 pm

These "sources" for WindowMaker-0.94.0 are highly unofficial. Highly! There is no upstream where an official 0.94 tarball could be retrieved from.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby jeffreyC on Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Some of the Window Maker devs are involved in making the 0.94 sources it could be considered a fork.
If you are concerned the Liquid Lemur developer has researched it.
Also, he is very knowledgeable about Window Maker and making what he calls the Window Maker preservation project, to keep themes, dockapps and other resources from being lost.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby frascati on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:02 am

I just installed and placed on my panel a dockapp called wmwave. It's a little utility for monitoring wifi signal strength. I've never worked with, and to my knowledge do not have 'installed" window maker in my Linux Mint 11 installl.

The app launches from the panel menu, but the app window is only about 3/4 inch square and barely legible. "expanding" it in the option menu merely expandes a window leaving the little application still 3/4 inch square in the upper left hand corner.

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Is there a way to enlarge such a dockapp?
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby jeffreyC on Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:23 pm

Sorry but no there is no way to expand a dockapp, they are intended to be 64 pixels by 64 pixels.

I would recommend conky to monitor internet signal strength and speed.
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Re: Linux Mint 11 Window Maker Edition

Postby /dev/urandom on Tue May 29, 2012 6:20 am

I know this topic is old but maybe someone still cares:

jeffreyC wrote:Some of the Window Maker devs are involved in making the 0.94 sources it could be considered a fork.

Window Maker 0.95.3 was released on May 16th 2012.
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