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Thread: What's the difference in window managers

  1. #1
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    What's the difference in window managers

    What does KDE/Gnome provide that IceWM doesn't, except the suite of apps.?
    Does IceWM have to run on top of some sort of desktop to function?

  2. #2
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    >What does KDE/Gnome provide that IceWM doesn't, except the suite of apps.?

    IceWM is a window manager, hence the 'WM'. It manages the windowing environment: the taskbar, the icons, the GUI minimize/maximize/close button. A Desktop Enviornment is a complete cohesive collection of applications that provide (this is going to sound really dumb) the User Experience. Both GNOME & KDE have their own Window Managers: GDM and KDM. The desktop environment gives the user a desktop with applications that share common user-interface traits like toolbars, widgets like dialog boxes, appropriate icons for Open or Close, and provide a complete framework & ruleset for applications to obey. Desktop environements like KDE & GNOME are designed to provide the user with a consistant robust user-friendly set of GUI applications because in the past Linux & Unix applications were not consistant and not user-friendly. Applications, task bars, menus, icons, error messages should be designed to interact and compliment each other and be easy to understand. GNOME has the nautilus file manager which compliments evolution, the email client. KDE has konqueror a filemanager/webbrowser which compliments kontact, the email client.

    Here are 2 screenshots of icewm in action: http://www.frankandjacq.com/picts/up...admin-menu.png and http://www.installfest.cz/images/applist/ss-icewm.png. It looks nice but each application can and usually will provide its own icons, its own scrollbars, its own buttons which will be different as compared to the next application. Some people find that this redundancy and mixing of divergent ideas acceptable but for many people it is too busy, too fragmented and they wish for a clean consistant interface. In IceWM you are forced to use applications that might be not consistant such as midnight commander the filemanager, firefox as the webbrowser, and K3b for CDR burning.

    Here are 2 screenshots of KDE by 2 different linux distributors: http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/267/24.gif http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/306_or/66.png. Here are 2 screenshots of GNOME by 2 different linux distributors: http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/173/87.gif http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/305_or/37.png. As you can see, consistant applications can be accessed by understanding the same user interface.

    The other point of a desktop enviorment is to provide a development framework so that other users & programmers can create applications that are consistant and easy to use. Both KDE and GNOME have GUI toolkits that describe the buttons, arrows, menus, icons for their applications. They also have network, sound, imaging & video toolkits that allow the developer to hook into and make their applications networked or video enabled.

    The DE also provides auxillary applications & control panels make the DE well rounded. Things like a Trash or a RecycleBin. A dialog for selecting wallpapers. A dialog for setting system sound events like a windchime sound for a new email. A comtrol panel for network or proxy settings. What WindowsXP calls accessories like a calculator, notepad, a command line terminal, a paint program. All of these (and more) go to give the user a well rounded User Experience.

    >Does IceWM have to run on top of some sort of desktop to function?
    No. IceWM which is a great fast window manager does not run on top of KDE or GNOME. You would run it instead of KDE or GNOME. You are always permitted to run KDE apps in IceWM or GNOME apps in IceWM if you so choose. But you might miss the consistant and familar feel of the desktop enviornment.

    I hope this helps.
    James

  3. #3
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    Wow!

    That's the kinda info I'm talkin 'bout, yea!
    That confirms what I'd been thinking it was all about.
    Ice would be good for just that, a light requirement desktop,
    few apps & not much interactivity, a DSL sort of thing.

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