Talking about getting started using FVWM, the topic started drifting to the default config for FVWM:
Well, you need an xterm to modify the setup, and a quit option to exit the WM. It couldn’t be much more minimal
Seriously though, a very little work on the default settings would make FVWM much more accessible to first timers. It wouldn’t take much.
Background. Something simple. A minimalist wallpaper would work, but failign that a gradient or even a solid color. Just something to show that something is in fact happening, and that the window manager didn’t crash whilst starting up. Maybe a message that says “click anywhere for a menu” since that’s not obvious.
Resources: A help option would be nice. Even if it just spawns
xterm -e more /usr/share/fvwm/getting-started-for-n00bs.txt
Something to point folks in the right direction.
Setup: I’d either lose the Fvwm95 setup form, or update it with some less antiquated options. It gives the impression that nothing important has happened for Fvwm in the last ten years.
Menu: A free font for the menu to make it a it easier on the eye. Maybe a colorset that uses something with a little more zing that battleship grey.
Just that much, and your newcomer would be so much more tempted to stick around.
The other thingI think would help is an improved theme architecure.
When I started with my first lightwieght WM. it was the themes that persuaded me to stick with it. Afterstep has this simplified “put the tarballs in the theme directory”. I downloaded a few themes, played mix and match until I had something I liked to look of, and then I was happy.
I still wouldn’t know how to do that with FvwmThemes. I’m sure it’s a very clever setup and all, but it seems less complicated to write my own config from scratch than to modify a theme to do what I want. And I’ve tried my hand at both.
Some sensible and modern application defaults would be nice as well. Maybe as part of a setup script. Mozilla or Firebird rather than Netscape - that sort of thing.
Of course, the question remains as to whether a larger userbase and/or greater mindshare is necessarily a good thing. I don’t think they should be the be-all-and-end-all for FVWM. But it seems to me some concessions to popular appeal could be made without losing out street cred entirely.