GNOME 2.8 is going to be beta real soon now, which reminds me that I should start working on its port to NetBSD through pkgsrc. This means I have to zap all my desktop packages and configuration, and update them one by one. The operation is very, very time consuming, so I will be several days without GNOME installed (well... not really a problem ;-).

So I installed FluxBox 0.9.9 today... Wow! What a difference from the stable versions! (0.9 is unstable, in case you don't know.) It finally supports always on top (which I need to watch TV), edge attraction (I'd prefer edge resistance, but never mind), it's very usable through the keyboard and is really fast. Ah! And it supports tabs; I haven't got used to them yet, but many people finds them very useful (so do I in the web browser or in chats). It feels like if I had just bought a new computer.

BTW, using some of these "dedicated" window managers reminds me of several flaws in Metacity (the default window manager in GNOME). On the first hand, it is unable to remember the state of each window, in case you want; for example, it's very convenient to always start the TV viewer in the same place, with sticky state and on the top layer. AFAIK, you can't do this with Metacity, but is as easy as hell with FluxBox. On the other hand, Metacity often looses focus of the window that had it when switching desktops (haven't isolated the problem yet), which is a real PITA; FluxBox handles this pretty well too.

Give a try to this window manager. If you like minimalism, you won't be disappointed.

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