OT: How does dwm appear to non-users? (was Re: [dwm] improve config.mk)

From: Ville Koskinen <vrkosk_AT_utu.fi>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 13:45:15 +0300

On Thu, 07 Sep 2006 00:39:03 +0200
Petar Bogdanovic <p+lists_AT_2006.smokva.net> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 06, 2006 at 11:23:20PM +0100, Ricardo Martins wrote:
> >
> > My mom was just amazed at how fast I did whatever I want on the pc
> > when she saw me using dwm, jokingly asking when did I get my
> > telepathic man-machine interface.
> Lucky you! I already tried to impress a few bystanders but they were
> always pretty bored and looked at me like: ``Yeh, looks ok.. but it
> *has* to be retarded because you don't use your mouse.''

I haven't showed dwm to anyone yet, but I already know the responses it
would get. It's a bit inelegant to divide your friends into groups, but
I'll do that for the sake of discussion. Not that I would have *that*
many friends, but from those that I know, these three groups are
clearly visible:

1) Old Amiga and Mac users, who like eye-candy, but also like a
functional desktop.
2) Old Windows users who like the Windows paradigm.
3) Old Unix users (mainly Linux but some OpenBSD).

Incidentally, almost all programmers are in group 3, too. People in
groups 1 and 2 nowadays use either Windows or Linux, but if they do use
Linux, they would insist on KDE or GNOME.

If I showed dwm to the people in group 1, the response I would get
would be "Oh, neat. I like the idea, but does it have to look that

People in group 2 would say "Where are the icons? How can you launch
programs without a start menu? What about managing your files? Don't
you have Explorer or Konqueror? And why aren't you using the mouse at

And finally, group 3 would say "I should use dwm too."

I have to admit group three has only one person, so this is hardly
representative. And of course, I made some very broad assumptions and

As an aside, I think screenshots and text is not enough to really
explain what dwm is about. You have to see it in action to understand
the fundamentals, or maybe even use it yourself. Would a downloadable
animation or a video clip help in conveying the feeling?

Ville Koskinen
Received on Thu Sep 07 2006 - 12:45:45 UTC

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