Helix likes ion3, because it handles key accelerators very well, so I thought I'd try it.
I don't really like the "tiled or fullscreen" model it uses by default, but found the answer in the FAQ (after a rude RTFM comment which made no sense, since I already had RTFM and it doesn't give information on anything but runtime arguments): press F9 and get it to prompt for the type of the new workspace (the correct answer is the one with "Float" in the name).
All of the available themes use the "small grab handle around the title, but the rest of the titlebar isn't there" look. I don't like that (it's harder to find a place to grab to move windows around) though I suppose I could get used to it. Not a big deal.
It does look like it has good key binding support, and ways to specify different behavior for different apps, both of which would be very nice. Focus behavior on resize seems to be the same as openbox and icewm, though: if the window resizes out from under the cursor, it loses focus. Also the root menus (right-click) are a pain: they don't stay posted, and they're small, so it's hard to navigate them.
I'm sure ion3 has some coolnesses, but I decided that it didn't look likely enough to solve my problems to be worth learning how to configure it (and that unjustified RTFM left a bad taste in my mouth about how easy that configuration was likely to be). So I'm back on openbox for a little while, anyway.
Here's what I want out of a window manager:
- First, startup speed and basic operation comparable to icewm or openbox (my two faves so far).
- Intelligent handling of keyboard focus even when in "focus follows mouse"
mode. That means:
- When switching workspaces, focus goes either to the window under the mouse, or the window on that workspace which last had the focus (either one would be fine). Openbox does this pretty well; icewm's focus is pretty random.
- When resizing a window that has focus, it should keep the focus even if it resizes out from under the mouse.
- Click in a window focuses (but doesn't necessarily raise) that window. (Again, openbox does this well, icewm doesn't.)
- A new window or dialog gets focused.
- A way of setting up rules for different windows: e.g. I want xchat to be on all workspaces, or I want moonroot to come up with no window borders. I shouldn't have to do a right-click-and-menu-selection operation every single time I run xchat.
- Easy configuration to start apps with from a menu on the root or via key bindings (or, ideally, both). No dependance on having a panel (which was why I quit using xfce4). Both icewm and openbox handle this well.
- A way of navigating among windows using only the keyboard. Both openbox and icewm allow for easy movement between workspaces and moving windows between workspaces, but in both of them, alt-tab toggles between the current app and the last app on that workspace, and there seems to be no way to get to anything besides those two.
[ 18:36 Aug 09, 2004 More linux | permalink to this entry | ]