"In this new series of articles I'm going to look at the coming
of age for the Linux Desktop. In particular, I'm going to talk
about window managers. The desktop has not been the strongest arena
for Linux. Many users have complained that the desktop is too
clunky or lacks basic features. But the problems that have been
pointed out simply require time - time for Linux to mature and
developers to write code. What Linux currently lacks in basic
features, however, it makes up for in pizzazz. The Linux Desktop is
an extremely personable place to work."
"Some might say its fluff. Others refer to it as eye candy. Call
it what you want, the Linux desktop has loads of personality.
Window Managers are a major part of this, although they should not
be mistaken for the entire desktop environment. In fact, this is
where we'll start. Just what is the difference between a window
manager and a desktop environment?..."
"Where KDE and GNOME provide that overall desktop experience,
window managers do something a little more basic. They provide the
facility which allows you to move your windows around the screen,
to iconize and maximize them, and to kill off those applications
which just refuse to go away for one reason or another. Window
managers also determine the look of the windows - the borders and
title bars, the background image, and so forth. The configurable
framings that you specify for your windows are called themes. It's
the pizzazz we talked of earlier. For artists, and for anyone
really interested in the personalizing of their private desktops,
the window manager is where you want to focus."
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