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Re: X - window manager - desktop

From: Paul Johnson <baloo@ursine.dyndns.org>
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: X - window manager - desktop
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 23:06:00 -0800

On Fri, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:35:33AM -0500, Bruce Park wrote:
> the X? What exactly is a window manager? twm, enlightment, sawfish ... I

The window manager handles things like window title bars, resizing,
and other basic window elements.  You can run X without a window
manager, though you won't be able to manipulate windows easy or as
extensively as you can with a window manager.

So window manager is optional but not really necessary?

> Then there is the desktop like gnome or kde which are just desktops. Can
> anyone explain this to me?

Desktop environments sit above the window manager similar to how
window managers sit above X.  The desktop environment provides things
like iconic drag and drop representation of your filesystem, usually a
Windows/Macish toolbelt, etc., oriented towards being a replacement to
actually using the command line.  Some people find desktop
environments useful, I find them slow, bloated and a shiny, chrome
waste of space.  YMMV.

Paul, I too find having a desktop unnecessary. I do prefer using the command line most of the time because it's quicker. By the time I reach for my mouse, I've already wasted a good second when I could have type 5 or more characters. The reason why I want a desktop is purely for its looks. other times, I may use nautilus to peek at a page with 2 files and I dont' know which is which. Sure I can use a UNIX command to do this but sometimes this is easier and neater. Another reason why I like to have it is because I love having multiple emacs windows open. I usually open 2 files in one window and have about 2 more windows open when I'm developing software. Here, the mouse comes in handy but thats because I haven't gotten used using the alt-tab key yet.

Now for my next question, do desktops such as gnome and kde require a specific version of window manager?

 .''`.     Baloo Ursidae <baloo@ursine.dyndns.org>
: :'  :    proud Debian admin and user
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than to fix a system
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