Comparison of Window Managers
As already mentioned within the pages and articles before a window manager represents a special system software that is responsible for both the placement and appearance of windows. Strictly speaking the very control of the placement as well as the appearance of windows occurs within a so-called windowing system which is part of a graphical user interface. In this context it has also to be mentioned that the majority of window managers are designed to user specifications which means that they are laid out to provide a desktop environment.
Furthermore it has to be distinguished between a window manager and a so-called windowing system. Strictly speaking this distinction proves to be important on those systems that are using the X window system. Fact is that an X window manager does not operate in direct contact with video keyboards, video hardware or mice because these functions are the responsibility of the general X server.
If you are also interested in the general X Window System you as a user have the possibility chose between many different window managers. For instance you get presented Metacity which is used in GNOME or KWin, used in KDE Workspace as well as a variety of many others. So be sure to compare its functions before you make a decision. Make a list that includes important criteria for the comparison of products, services, goods or whatever and consequently apply this procedure to the subject of window managers.
You should take into consideration that many window managers turn out to be modular. This means that users have the chance to use others such as Compiz for instance. Compiz represents a 3D compositing window manager that replaces the general window manager. Furthermore it is also possible to mix and match several components as well as functions of different window managers. An example are the window decorations from KDE Workspace’s KWin which can be used together with both the desktop and dock components of GNOME, a graphical user interface or desktop environment that runs on top of a general computer operating system.
Moreover you should mind the fact that window managers are often divided into three main classes. These classes do exactly describe how the windows themselves are both updated and drawn. Consequently you have to distinguish between compositing window managers, stacking window managers and tiling window managers. A fourth class of window managers would be so-called dynamic window managers. So before choosing a window manager, be sure to have decided for a special class of window manager. Furthermore you should think about those features and facilities that are of high importance for you and your general working with your window manager. Compare your favourite window managers with regard to essential criteria and then decide for the right one.