Options for making XFree86 useful + some questions


Ok, I've downloaded and built XFree86 (the CVS source code was 292 MB).
While downloading, I noticed a *huge* fonts-folder and thought "wow, maybe this is a real estetic system, looking good and all".
Imagine my surprise when I launched XDarwin and met twm (the window manager?).
I mean, at least OS X's shell got antialiased text and a color-setup that don't make you feel sick ;)

Anyway, a few questions:
* How do I get to use AbiWord and Amaya?
* Can I use GNOME with OS X?
* Is GNOME a substitute for XFree86 or a way of expanding XFree86?
* What options for window managers do I have? Any recommendations?
* Are programs specifically written for a window manager, or does the window manager only decide the cosmetics?
* All programs installed in the xc/programs folder, are they command-line programs only?

I'm open to any tips that make my 292 MB worth of modem download to look prettier and feel more useful =)


• I ported Amaya myself, check out www.darwinfo.org.

• I don't think GNOME has been ported, and last I checked nobody really cared. Go ahead and try, but you'll probably get lots of linker errors.

• GNOME is a library some people use to build X11 applications. It doesn't extend X11, it just provides another way to build X11 apps. Don't expect much. As for replacing X11, you can do that now by not running X11.

• I recommend Window Maker (wmaker) since you can edit it's options so X11 windows are activated like OS X ones. Thus you can click on a window and eat the click event so it's not passed to the X11 app.

• The window manager doesn't decide any cosmetics except how the window manager looks. Contrary to common linux weenie belief, the window manager doesn't customize a whole lot. It only effects how windows are moved, activated, put away, launched, etc. (If you want to see real customization check out Now Utilities in MacOS 7.6, it's free). Any X11 app ought to work with any window manager, but some are designed with a specific one in mind. For example GNUStep apps are designed to be used with wmaker so the icons and general appearance match.

wmaker will make X11 feel a little more useful. Otherwise you can't do much with this 20-year-old-and-never-improved-get-gets-more-bloated technology.