Eight Reasons for Trying Alternative Window Managers

Ubuntuforums.org is one of the Linux forums I like to follow even if I don't myself use Ubuntu at the moment. It has got pretty much traffic which makes it interesting to read and to participate in the discussions.

Some time ago, a forum member asked about the point of using lightweight window managers. He was apparently happy with GNOME and did not see any point in experimenting with lightweight alternatives:

I understand some are made for lower end machines. My machine runs gnome fine so does it even bother me to experiment around with them?
In my opinion, the lighweight window managers are worth trying for several alternatives. In fact, I was able to list at least ten reasons for changing GNOME for something else. These were the reasons I gave as my answer to the question:
  1. It is fun.
  2. One learns something.
  3. One will soon be bored with GNOME.
  4. All window managers look different.
  5. KDE is better than GNOME.
  6. Window managers are lighter than GNOME or KDE.
  7. One can install twm to see what Linux looked like in the middle of 90's.
  8. One is free to do anything with one's system.
But you don't have to try alternative window managers, if you don't want to.


blinton said...

I agree with all except #5 -for me at least. For some reason KDE doesn't like my laptop (vice versa). It is a Dell Inspiron B130. I use ubuntu now but even when i started out with PClinuxOS KDE gave me problems and still does today with ubuntu. I installed KDE 4.1 and even though it looks way cooler than gnome, i have to keep going back to gnome for functionality.

Mikko said...

Yes, at the moment even I prefer GNOME to KDE4. I'm still waiting for 4.2 before going back to KDE :-)

Sujoy Kumar Das said...

you missed the point about tiling window managers, they are great to work with specially for coders.

Mikko said...

Well, I'm not coder but historian by profession. If that is an acceptable excuse.

Anonymous said...

Number 5 is VERRRY debatable. :D

I have used KDE and GNOME, and I don't mind KDE 3.5, I dislike KDE 4 at the moment as it feels too beta-ish, and I like GNOME.

But the best thing is that you get the choice.

Dan Roberts said...

You're going to piss alot of people off claiming one desktop environment is better than another ESPECIALLY if you don't back that up with anything... people are pretty passionate about their desktop environments, and just flat out making an empty claim like that isn't very cool...

I agree with sujoy, screw around with some tiling window managers and make a point about that instead...

Mikko said...

Dan: #5 was there just to get some discussion. It was after all first given in an Ubuntu forum full of Ubuntu and GNOME fanboys. :-)

I find both KDE and GNOME very usable. KDE PIM is the reason I prefer KDE to GNOME.

Unknown said...

#5 is spot on:
GNOME makes me hunt down application locations in /usr/bin/ when it doesn't know what to do with a file; KDE presents a list of apps just like the KMenu

GNOME has a horrible open/save dialog; KDE's is slick and customizable;

GNOME wastes screen space but limits your options to do anything; KDE3.5 gives a lot of important options and uses screen space wisely (KDE4 wasted it last time I looked).

GNOME is a nice intro to to GUI Linux for a n00b. --end flamebait--