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Twm start

The initial TWM screen.

Twm, originally known as Tom's Window Manager, then Tab Window Manager and now concurrently as the Timeless Windows Manager and Total Window Mess, is what happens when developers are too lazy to make decent software themselves and subsequently wind up forcing the users to do it instead. This is a fairly common tactic in the Linux/Unix-world, since most of the users of such software tend to be developers themselves, even if they only started out of necessity. They are also rarely paid, and thus unlikely to have any reason to care about the (other) users.

Twm is a window manager - a piece of software that manges windows - for the X Window System that was a reaction to the window manager that came with X at the time: uwm,[1] because uwm sucked. It had no icons, no titlebars, no mouse support for switching windows, required complicated key combinations to use (keys which had no labels), and was generally all-around bad. Twm, on the other hand, sucks... less, has really grainy icons, titlebars that do all of three things, mouse support for switching windows when clicking on exactly the right part of the windows, requires complicated mouse-button combinations to use (but they have labels (somewhere[2])), and is still generally all-around bad. Just less bad.

Despite the significant advances in window manager technology in the past 25 years, there remain, to this day, people who still use twm.

edit Tom

Twm was written by a user named Tom. By extension, uwm was most likely written by a developer by the name of Ulga. Ulga probably knew very little about technology, since at the time, despite Scandinavians being world leaders in computing technology due to not having anything better to do during the winters, there were even fewer women in computing than there are on the internet today. Dammit, RAHB, that was funnier the way you put it.

but uwm was evidently quite stupid to the point where titlebars were a necessary breakthough.

edit Objectives

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about TWM.

TWM has the following objectives:

  • Must be user-intuitive - When the user clicks inside a window, it is obvious that the window should not raise. Only if the user clicks on the window's titlebar should that window raise. Everybody knows it!
  • Must be small - It should fit in only one HD, there must not be the need for more than one HD.
  • Must be beautiful - Everybody likes the two-flat-color style of window decorations and menus. In fact, this wiki is ugly, it should have also the two-color style.

In addition to above, geeks who created TWM wanted to know if it was possible to make a software lazier than the users. They found it was possible, so TWM has one more objective:

  • Must be lazy - The window manager should not worry about where to place each new window. That would be too much work, even for a super computer. So, the user is asked to manually place each window at desired position.

edit Images

Twm menu
Twm xterms


Xeyes eyes

edit Notes

  1. The fact that uwm was a window manager is evidenced by the 'wm' in the name.
  2. Probably.
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