FVWM Will Soon Turn 10

Quite Saturday morning, I saw this story on one of my favourite geek news source:

fvwm Turns Ten

Which then link to fvwm's birthday page:

FVWM Brithday Celebration

F* Virtual Window Manager

Before you turn to say what the f* is fvwm, I have got no conclusive explanation on what the f stands for in fvwm either. However, it is something that draws quite a lot of memory (yes, again this is a blog that shows my age). When I started using Linux back in 1995, this is the default windows manager. Even at uni when all of us were using twm or mwm on Slowaris by default (on a monochrome X11 terminal), I'll set up fvwm because this open source window manager was just light years ahead of that ugly default X11 windows manager, and that crappy looking slow CDE equivalents.

Because everyone's favourite operating system from Redmond was released that year, I moved ahead to use fvwm95 to simulate that look and feel. But soon I moved back to fvwm again after disgusted look from my fellow geek course mates when I brought my Linux box to their place to do assignments. I've used fvwm until the end of '97, and I could not believe how many people actually copied my .fvwmrc at CSE.

I moved away from fvwm when Matthias Ettrich announced KDE back in '97. A few months later I downloaded and compiled a snapshot of KDE on school's x86 Slowaris' boxes, and it ran "ok" on the lightening fast 200Mhz Pentium's back then, even though it was a bit buggy. For the next couple of months through out '97, I pretty much updated the pre-beta KDE packages every two weeks on the CSE machines, as more and more people started using it. I guess most people then were coming from Windows background, and found click/drag/drop much easier on X11 boxes. As I finished uni, I have stopped updating CSE's KDE installation, and I have no idea on what they are using on the workstations these days. However, I doubt new students are taking up ancient window managers like fvwm anymore...

I have been an KDE person for a few years. Meanwhile I've tried different window managers on X11 - Enlightenment (of course was written by a fellow CSE student), Blackbox, Sawmil, etc. However, desktop experience on Linux (or X11 in general) continue to frustrate me. For the past two or three years, I have completely given up X11 desktop environments and moved to the dark side for my desktop needs, yet only uses my 'nix and 'nix-like boxens in terminals. I have no idea what has happened to the KDE or GNOME world...

Anyway. I've switched again, but this time to Mac OS X - a beautiful desktop environment that is actually consistent and usable. Moreover, it has a *BSD core, a 'nix file system and all the nice open source goodies that I can use. I am enjoying it so far, even though it is not without frustration sometimes. We'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, all the best to the fvwm guys. I remember you because you has helped me to step into the 'nix world. I might consider you again, if all I have happens to be a 200Mhz box :)