December 10, 2011
As the user interfaces for Gnome/KDE advance I sometimes miss the old days when you had to chose your own window manager, compile, and carefully configure it to have a generally useful desktop. I remember putting hours into setting up Window Maker just the way I wanted it to be.
As I became a professional System Administrator I starting using the desktop environment that I “support” or otherwise encourage my own users to use. If I can’t stand my own dog food, I know I’ve got work to do.
While reading LWN I came across the Awesome Window Manager. I was very intrigued by LWN’s review. Its a modern window manager ment to get out of your way and windows are organized and delt with in much the same way as GNU Screen operates. I’m a big fan of GNU Screen. (Yes, I know about tmux. Tmux and Awesome, I think, may be even more similar.) Great keyboard support, less mousing around. Best yet, completely programmable. If I put the time and effort into setting it up well I may have a very functional and efficient desktop. Better yet, no one will know how to use it but me. ;-)
On the flip side, using and configuring other terminal applications like urxvt can be tricky. I like having my terminals 80 characters wide, but I still have 1280x1024 resolution monitors. Either terminal fonts are way too small, or I can get 79 columns across with two terminals side by side with the Terminus fonts. I haven’t found a winning combination there. But it may be worth the research. Suggestions?