"They're the greatest thing since sliced bread or the biggest
waste of hard drive space imaginable. Some users wouldn't have gone
near a computer without at least one; others believe they're only
good for those rare times when a graphical Web browser is needed.
With recent developments between the GNOME and KDE camps, 2001
could shape up to be an entertaining year for the world of window
managers and desktop environments."
"Window managers on UNIX systems are hardly anything new; the
beginnings of the modern graphical user interface date back to the
mid-1980s, when MIT first released the networked bitmap services
that are now known as X11. Before X came W, along with a stream of
lesser-known window managers, some Open Source and some not, with
names like SunView, NeWS, and GEM that sound exotic to newcomers
and invoke nostalgia in the minds of programming veterans."
"Today, there's no shortage of window managers making use of X,
with form and function to suit almost any individual user's
specific needs. If anything, the major obstacle to installing and
using these extra services is more about publicity than technology.
With recent developments hinting at a battle for the Linux desktop
in 2001, it's possible that smaller window managers may suffer as a
"There are two giants in the Linux desktop world: GNOME and KDE.
Virtually all new Linux computers and most distributions ship with
one, the other or, more frequently, both of these desktop
environments. Both environments share services and features that
make it easier for users to administer their systems, but with the
inclusion of tools that don't always function reliably with
alternative solutions, also make users reluctant to test the
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