cjames at opensite.com
Tue Oct 19 09:55:11 EST 1999
>Window managers come in a wide variety of colors and flavors. You have the
>basic "Motif" developed by OSF. There is also a "lesstif" which is
>the same as Motif but with a few additional bells and whistles. Then you
>the "fvwm", "twm", "afterstep" (derived from NeXT), "Gnome", "KDE", and a
>myriad of others. A window manager turns out to work just like any other
>program, the only difference is that it's purpose is speficic to managing
>windows. That is why you can change window managers on the fly. Kill one
>and start another and you have a completely different look and feel on the
Samantha, I appreciate your reply to the original question, but this
is going to confuse some people on the differences between a widget set,
a desktop manager, and a window manager. Allow me to explain further.
A widget set, such as Motif, Lesstif, or Athena, is a collection of
graphical objects such as buttons, sliders, radio buttons, text boxes, etc.
that make up the various parts of a graphical user interface.
A window manager is the piece of executable code that renders stuff
the screen for you, and allows you to open and close windows, drag them
around, resize them, etc. Examples include mwm (Motif window manager),
twm, Enlightenment, and many others.
A desktop manager is yet another piece of code that interfaces with
the window manager. It provides additional capabilities such as drag and
drop, and a toolbar across one of the edges of the screen. Examples
Gnome and KDE.
Note that to a great extent, these three pieces are independent of
one another. Gnome is designed to work with Enlightenment as its window
manager, but you can use any window manager you choose with it (possibly
with some loss of functionality). You can run two applications based on
different widget sets side by side. And so on and so forth.
I can see how all this could be quite a shock to someone coming
from the windows world, where there is *one* windows manager, *one*
desktop, and *one* widget set.
techtalk at linuxchix.org http://www.linuxchix.org
More information about the Techtalk