xmonad is a tiling window manager. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a peek at one of the screencasts. I've been using xmonad for the last couple weeks. It's been a couple years since I tried it last, and it's really improved:
- It's now a lot easier to install on Ubuntu.
- It's now a lot easier to integrate with panels such as gnome-panel or xmobar.
- It's now a lot easier to try out various layouts, and there are more layouts to choose from.
- They think that maximizing a window as much as possible whenever possible is useful. I think that's true with terminals and chat windows, but less so for many other windows. For instance, I always want GVim to be 80 columns wide.
- They think that minimizing windows to very small sizes is more acceptable than allowing windows to overlap. I disagree.
- They think that forcibly resizing windows won't break them. Unfortunately, forcibly resizing windows makes the Gimp look terrible, and it often cuts off the last line of text in GVim.
- They think that I don't care about having an integrated desktop environment such as the one GNOME provides. In reality, I like the idea of using weird window managers as part of my GNOME desktop. I really like all those things that Ubuntu puts on my gnome-panel such as the network manager, update manager, mixer, etc.
- It works with the gnome-panel.
- It has layout managers that can take hints from applications so as not to chop off the last line of text in GVim.
- It can create exceptions for certain applications, such as the Gimp, placing them in a "floating" layer that is more suitable for such applications.
- It has layouts that allow windows to overlap in useful ways.
- Having the computer help you manage your windows using smart algorithms is a good idea.
- Trying bold, new ideas in user interface design is a great idea.