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Re: An *operator's guide to fvwm?

On Mon 26 Feb 2018 at 20:24:28 (+0100), Thomas Schmitt wrote:
> Hi,
> Richard Owlett wrote:
> > Without *ANY* customization, how much more can fvwm do for me?
> Without any customization by anybody it is quite useless.

Lest this give the wrong impression to someone coming across this
post, it's a bit harsh, and would assume that you'd done nothing
with ~/.xsession either.

I hid my ~/.fvwm and restarted fvwm to take a look at the default
configuration. You seem to get 2x2 desks each with 2x2 viewports,
its pager at top right (underneath my clock as it happened), with a
window selector down the right margin. The root window had a well-
populated menu of applications and utilities.

Because I don't use desks but a 5x4 set of viewports, I was limited
in what I could reach as three of the desks are empty. Restoring
.fvwm and restarting fvwm brought everything back to usual.

When I ran startx with no .fvwm, everything in my .xsession started
normally except that many of the xterms were stacked on top of each
other because they were all trapped in a 2x2 desk instead of 5x4.
(Restoring my .fvwm and restarting would still involve dragging
a lot of xterms to their proper places; I didn't bother, but went
back to startx.)

> With reasonable customization by an initial ~/.fvwm2rc and some additions
> by myself, it does for me:
> - Add handles to the windows so i can move, resize, iconify them, and
>   make them "sticky" to the glass of the screen.
> - Define meaning of mouse buttons.

The left one certainly worked in the root window.

> - Set background and create a first xterm after startup of the X Window
>   System.

My dynamic background colours were functioning. Everything in
.xsession started normally.

> - Provide FvwmPager by which i switch between the 8 pages of my
>   virtual desktop.

As I said, a pager was there (obviously lacking my usual buttons).

> - Install FvwmButtons panel with FvwmPager, xclock, "Fvwm2" button with
>   a master menu (very rarely used by me), and a button that creates
>   xterms with bash sessions (often used).
> - Define and perform my private definition of the MS-Windows keys
>   of my keybard:
>     Key Super_L A N RaiseLower
>     Key Super_R A N RaiseLower
> - Refrain from annoying me with xterm icons with fully active shell dialog:
>     Style "XTerm"           IconOverride
>     Style "XTerm"           Icon display.xpm
> The rest of graphical programs is started by shell comands in xterms:
> Web browser, PDF reader, own programs ...

Again, a populated root menu is there.

Just to give an indication of fvwm's stability, my ~/.fvwm/config
is dated 2002-04-08. It has 9 hooks: I use init-restart and
post (my main configuration) but I also read "last-post" hook in
the latter. Both init-restart amd last-post are symlinks to
-$HOSTNAME-$[screen] variants, though I haven't used a second
$[screen] since retiring.

Back then, the screens were on separate VDUs differing in size and
resolution. Not xinerama: only the mouse could move between them.
But I've always been accustomed to just one desk per screen.

Going back even further, I remember running X with three resolutions
configured (CtrlAlt+ and CtrlAlt- rotated through the alternatives).
I think this is why I always called fvwm's viewports (as above) by
the term "pages", which is also used by xterm. To me, at that time,
a viewport was the part of the root window you could see at any time,
and it slid around when you moved the mouse against the edge, like
sliding a large placemat on a tray. Viewports in this sense were
the bread and butter of graphics systems like eg GINO.