Topic: Window Maker: Or, Unity for people that think that Unity's stupid.
In my Off Topic posts, I tend to sing the praises of things that I like. This trend will continue in this post, where I talk about how Window Maker is my favorite Linux window manager, at least for the time being. Why say such a thing (as my opinion apparently carries utmost importance for my own rhetorical self)? I'll just start from the beginning. Window Maker is a GNU project (according to the homepage, anyway), that tries to make a good desktop for implementing features from GNUStep, which is a project that attempts to recreate libraries from the NeXT and Mac OS X operating systems in Linux. What this means is that the entire interface looks almost exactly like the NeXTSTEP operating system. What does this mean? Simple. At the bottom of the screen, you have the application listing, just like Mac OS X, as Mac OS X is based on NeXTSTEP. However, on the right-hand side of the screen, you have the Dock, into which you can drag applications from the application listing. Nothing new, right? But what Window Maker excells at is this dock, as applications aren't the only thing you can put into it. There are also "dockapps", or little widgets (Familiar to Chumby users?) that go into the dock and inform you about what's going on inside and outside of your system. I'll demonstrate. Here is my Window Maker setup. On the bottom are Audacious and xterm (for my screen capture utility). On the dock, however, is where stuff gets interesting. On the top is a nonmovable (to the best of my ability) link to the Settings utility. Under it is my browser, Iceweasel. Under that are my mail client, Minitube (a YouTube client), LxTerminal, and PCManFM. Under these application listings is where it starts to get interesting. The first dockapp I have is wmmon, a CPU monitor. Under that, there's wmnd, a network monitor, wmweather, a weather application, wmbatppc (a PPC battery monitor), and wmclockmon, a clock. There are many more Window Maker dockapps, however, and quite a few are in the Debian repositories. Want to learn more about this great product? Here's their homepage, which has documentation and a guided tour of the interface, as well as a mailing list and themes for your Window Maker GUI.