What is this amazing program?

wm2 is a window manager for X. Using wm2, you can:

wm2 also adds a stylish frame to each managed window.

wm2 does not provide:

wm2 is therefore the ideal window manager for today's elegant and ascetic programmer.

Gasp. But how? And why?

The briefest contemplation of the modern window manager makes five points immediately obvious:

1. Icons are crap, because no existing window manager manages them at all well.

2. Configurability is crap, because it takes up so much time and can never truly compensate for using the wrong design.

3. Long lists of `useful' applications on the root menu are crap, because however much care you take to add all the applications you think you'll use, you never actually get it right.

4. The `click-to-focus' versus `focus-follows-pointer' war doesn't really matter, because most people can get used to either.

5. Appearance is important.

Armed with these certainties, therefore, I embarked upon a spiritualistic quest to write the perfect window manager. It has a lot of faults -- more faults than features, probably -- but the faults are perfect too.

What does it look like, and where can I get it?

It looks like this, and you can get it here. The distribution is a gzipped tar file of sources only. No binaries are available; you'll have to compile it yourself. (Binaries would be pretty useless anyway, as configuration options such as fonts need to be specified when compiling the program.) You'll need Unix, X11R4 or newer with the Shape extension, and a C++ compiler such as gcc. If you want to put soothing colored pixmaps into the window frame background, then you'll also need the Xpm library.

This distribution is the third release of wm2, which differs in some ways from the second release. (A new delayed-auto-raise focus policy is available; you can now exit from the window manager without having to kill it from the command-line; and you can choose to have colored textured backgrounds on the window frames, if you have any backgrounds you want to use.)

Note that wm2, even in this third release, does not support multi-headed displays. Also, ironically, wm2 does not support programs that run in shaped windows.

Who concocted this evil monstrosity?

Chris Cannam, cannam@zands.demon.co.uk. wm2 is partly based on the very minimal window manager 9wm, which I recommend to anyone who finds wm2 too gaudy.

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