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GNU is Not Unix

GNU News 49

Couple of GNU tidbits today to report: First, Ethan James wrote in to say that WindowMaker has been Officially Named part of the GNU Project. The other notable is the link that Uruk sent us- this site tracks GNU apps and Y2k Problems.
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GNU News

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  • The point is that you're talking about a pre-configured Window Maker desktop. However, most of us actually want to configure stuff to our liking. Win95's configuration is still more user friendly than that of XF86Setup and most window managers I've seen (editing setup files, etc.)
  • No, because it's just a window manager: Windowmaker.

    The GNU OS, on the other hand, is what you're running, except for the kernel (HURD), which isn't completed yet. So you're using Linux as the drop-in replacement, hence the name GNU/Linux for the hybrid of the GNU OS and the Linux kernel.
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by Phantom of the Operating System:

    Sorry, really didn't catch your meaning.
  • I was looking at the screen shot of Gnome under WindowMaker. I can't quite figure out why the WindowMaker look is so much nicer. I guess that's why I'm a programmer and not an artist.

    The GNOME folks should borrow some of the WindowMaker Widgets. Or maybe the WindowMaker folks could spruce up GTK and use its widgets.

  • Your comment would have had a lot more weight if you had successfully resisted the sophomoric urge to turn it into a First Comment post.
  • The problem with developing OpenSource projects like this is that the vast majority (if not all) of the people interested in contributing are coders. Artists, psychologists and other non-coders whose input is invaluable in commercial GUI endeavors are left out of the loop. As a result, the "look" of most OSS applications ends up being done by the same coders that built it. Though it's not impossible to find coders that are decent graphics people, they're still relatively rare.

    The graphics people that *do* end up contributing to projects do so only after-the-fact. It's difficult to bring a good usability/GUI person into a project and have them provide input throughout the course of a project.

    It's not something most coders really think about, but non-programmers are just as valuable as programmers are when it comes to designing software.
  • Replace the keyboard, mouse and monitor with a single, touch-sensitive LCD panel built into (or just sitting atop) the desk (or even allow it to stand up on desk mounts for when you're just watching something). Make it wide, too (like HDTV/theatrical proportions). Put your computer speakers out of sight and you have a nice workstation. Allow the use of a stylus for fine-grained control (such as with writing or drawing), but otherwise use a virtual (sensitive enough for the fast typers) or optional attached keyboard for textual input.

    Make or enhance a window manager that supports and works well with this setup, and I will be one happy person (as soon as the LCD prices fall some more).
  • ...For a second there I thought this article was going to say that it was renamed to windowmaker2000. Hehehehe. Anyway, sorry for the lame post, I'm just trying to blow off steam after reading about that SightSound patent.

  • The "Free Film Project" is also part of Project GNU, and is looking for volunteers interested in writing software for object modelling, image rendering and video editing, amongst other things.

    The project is over at: esearchTriangle/Facility/6309/ [], and you can e-mail me at:

    I'm slowly migrating the pages relevent to the software side of this project over to the GNU web server. Hopefully, software will start migrating over there sometime soon, too.

  • by jd ( 1658 )
    If I'm reading this right, he's saying that Linux will function perfectly, so long as it believes it's on a desktop, as he clearly says the 2YK bug only exists on servers.

    (Note: The 2YK bug is a little-known bug caused by putting 1024 mirrors in a certain room in Colossal Cage.)

  • http://gnustep.current. nu/comments.php3?sid=99/01/27/125608 [] is the correct link for the story.
  • Now that Window Maker is now GNU they should be receiving more programming support. Which is great. A new distrobution once every other week isn't good enough for you? How about once a day! (We'll.. don't do that.. :-) Anyways I'm happy to see that my favorite Window Maker will now recieve the support beyond my expectations.
  • Hey hey hey... Virtual Desktops have gotta be one of the most useful things people. As a Web Developer I like to have 5 or 6 apps open at once. In win95/98 You gotta minimize them then maximize them.. etc. In Window Maker I just hit alt-2, and I'm good. When I do programming I tend to do the same thing. Often I'll have a tutorial or something open in Netscape, a term, emacs and the app all open at once. Not everyone has a 21' monitor at 1600x1200.
  • Yeah; until the inadvertent click which happens to us all every once in a while opens up some app which takes up the whole screen or at least has a huge window (Netscape's a good example), really slowing you down while you take care of the mess. Really, what's the big deal about a second click? It's not like it'll give you RSI, and it's more intuitive (one click to signal you want to act on something; the second is really just a shortcut for a more formal command).
  • If you're using Window Maker then there isn't much on the desktop to switch to. Instead, to get at other apps, try alt-click on the menu bar which drops it to the bottom of the window pile, revealing whatever was underneath it. This also reveals the launch bar at the side. Also, if you want the "root menu", you can make a window roll up by double clicking on the title bar; repeating this will roll it back down again.
  • yes but linux with bad 2YK bomb and mostly just for sevrers, not for on the desk-top. i do not recomend you to try this unless your VERY good with computers or have used them already.

    First off: What Y2K 'BOMB' in Linux are you referring to? Did you actually read the GNU Y2K issues article? Pray tell me where that Linux Y2K bomb is. Inquiring minds wish to know.
    Second: Your comment about Linux not being a desktop os defies logic. Obviously you have *NOT* used Window Maker, for if you had, you wouldn't be making this comment.
    Actually a preconfigured Window Maker desktop is vastly superior to Windows GUI in many ways. The software is evolving, so naturally it might be missing some functionality you might expect elsewhere, however, with each release Window Maker has proven itself to be more functional and reliable.
    So I completely disagree with the conclusions you have made on both Linux and its window managers.

  • Windowmaker is really nice. It's fast, and unlike some other ``pretty'' window managers it's also quite functional. Anyone who hasn't tried it really ought to.
  • Yeah, that alt+1 alt+2 alt+3, etc really strains the wrist. Hah.
  • You know you can change the config.. with WMPrefs or whatever. You can setup keys and mice to do whatever you want. It's easy.
  • The "part of the gnu project" link is broken. Anyone know the correct link?
  • Windowmaker is such a nice environment. I used to be impressed by AfterStep and to some extent the port of Wharf to Fvwm2, but now I have seen the light. All go nominate those guys for some awards, now!
  • Never mind the looks. WM has an anonymous everyday look.

    But it is so damned easy to configure to actually DO what you wan't to get done. It also has a lot of nice solutions to all those silly cases where others get stuck in a corner ..
  • I, as the one responsible for most of the graphics
    distributed with WindowMaker, being the icon set,
    the graphics and ColorPanel graphics
    tried to jump on this bandwagon BEFORE the fact.
    It started with some simple graphics but the latest versions have a definitive set which I hope
    people will appreciate. And I hope it adds to the
    general look and feel of WindowMaker of course.
    I tried to work very closely with Alfredo Kojima
    and Dan Pascu. I listened to all their comments
    and made modifications according to their wishes
    while trying to stay in style with WindowMaker's
    NeXT-alike look and feel.
    Therefore I guess Window Maker is an exception
    to the above illustrated example since this did
    not at all happen "after the fact" :)


  • You've got to be kidding here.
    single-click is extremely sensitive to error
    and firing up stuff you never intended to
    and more annoyances like that. It's just like
    the M$ active desktop stuff on windoze. It must
    be the most annoying thing they ever brought to
    an already shitty OS.
    NeXT didn't keep it all double-click for nothing.
    There's a reason for everything in this
    gui-concept and I think one of the reasons that
    Window Maker is so highly appreciated in the
    unix community is because of it's extremely
    functional gui philosophy, borrowed from NeXT of
    course. This is exactly where AfterStep went to
    hell: introducing inconsistant gui stuff, useless
    bloat and other similar things. It's a good thing
    the Window Maker developers are rather strict as
    far as the interface is concerned and I believe
    strongly that this is one of the strongest points
    that Window Maker has over a lot of other

    -- Marco

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI