tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

Window managers…again

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So, after using wmii (window manager improved) as my default window manager for several months, I find myself using OpenBox, again.

openbox, xpostulate

Of course, I use openbox without any desktop icon managers, panels, or other trappings, solely as a window manager, and not as a desktop environment (as is done with, for instance LXDE, a “lightweight” desktop environment which uses openbox as it’s window manager). I do keep a small conky script running to display a clock and a few relevant system statistics (cpu/mem usage, running procs, network traffice, clock), but that’s it.

Why?
I was having issues with my CPU usage getting ramped up beyond believe, and, when taking a look at running process, it looked as though, for every wmii tab, another instance of wmii was running. Of course, I don’t blame wmii entirely for running up my CPU, since I was also running some rather heavy applications, such as OmegaT (translating for very large documents, while using directories chock full of large translation memories, glossaries, and dictionary files, etc.), and, Google Chrome (which, despite being a very nifty, and blazing fast browser, is rather memory heavy). But, I saw that there were numerous instance of wmii running, and killed them, and logged into openbox again.
Gosh…openbox is just so light and fast…seriously.
Now, I really, really dig the tiling feature of wmii and similar window managers, but, that can be achieved in openbox, using a nifty little program called (who’d have thunk it) “tile”.

openbox, roxterm, mocp

So, I find myself once more happily using openbox, which I’ve come back to time and again. I really like the ease of configuration, involving only editing a simple xml file.
editing openbox rc.xml in tcltext
It is quick and snappy, allows (via editing said rc.xml file) me to program in all of my own preferred keyboard shortcuts for my most used actions and programs, etc., and, I’ll even admit, it’s nice to have the program menu (rt-click on desktop) at my disposal. wmii offers not such menus. I right-clicked on my desktop once I logged into openbox, and found programs in the debian menu that I’d entirely forgotten I even had on my machine! That was a pleasant surprise.

So, while I still have many positive things to say about wmii, today I give two thumbs up to OpenBox.


posted with Xpostulate

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Written by tonybaldwin

April 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Posted in free software

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