Re: [As-users] Issues with AS 2.00.01

Renegade Muskrat (
Mon, 17 Jan 2005 11:33:24 -0600

 >First, before I start complaining, let me just say that as a long 
 >AS user, so far I am liking AS 2.x a lot.  It looks great.

Agreed. Thanks to Sasha and the others who have built AS. It is the 
best window manager.

Below i've commented on the problems that i've also noticed. Some of 
the problems that were mentioned i don't experience because i'm not 
using the same modules or not using the window manager in quite the 
same way.

 >I am using the recent Debian build of AS.  As far as I know, it's a
 >fairly standard build.  I have also tried a CVS build I made as of
 >about three weeks ago or so with the same results.

I'm not very familiar with building packages from source on Debian, but 
i recently discovered that if you do an "apt-get source afterstep" and 
then look for the configure line in afterstep-2.00.01/debian/rules you 
can see how it was compiled. If i recall correctly, the AfterStep in 
Debian is version 2.00.01 with a few added patches from CVS. I tried 
changing some of the configure options (adding 
--enable-different-looknfeels and --enable-savewindows) and rebuilding 
it, but the version i built would crash when switching desktops. I may 
play with it later and try to figure out if it was a Debian problem or 
an AfterStep problem.

 >3) AS feels very slow
 >AS 2.x feels much slower than 1.8.  At the same time, slow operations
 >do not appear to consume a lot of CPU time.  For example, there is a
 >1/4 to 1/2 second delay when I use CTRL+arrow to scroll my desktop
 >whereas with AS 1.8 this occured with no such delay.  Because of this
 >delay, I can issue several scroll commands and then watch the screen
 >and pager as the scroll actually occurs.  While it is moving about, I
 >can watch the CPU monitor and see that it is nearly idle.  To me, 
 >means that whatever the delay, it's not caused by CPU munching.
 >It's not just desktop scrolling, either.  The AS menu is very slow to 

 >open and to open submenus.  Actually, any operation which opens or
 >resizes a window is painfully slow.  Additionally, there is a delay
 >between the time that I give a different window focus and the winlist
 >shows this.  Since the 1.8 winlist didn't show window focus status, I
 >don't know if such a lag was present then.

I've noticed that AS 2 is very slow as well. 1.8 was quite snappy on my 
hardware (dual processor PII-450 with a Matrox graphics card from the 
same era). With 2 i'm slowly learning to only use the first virtual 
desktop and to ignore the others. The cost (in time) of switching 
desktops in AS 2 is just too high. When a new desk draws in i can 
actually watch it filling the screen. The screen seems to be divided 
into blocks, which are filled in order from lower right to upper left. 
Multiple passes are used, the first fills in the blue values, a second 
pass adds the red and green. The best word i can think of to describe 
it is "chunky". Very odd looking, and it really slows things down. With 
1.8 the screen would draw in so quickly that i could not perceive it 
happening (which is exactly the way it should be). Sometimes i consider 
switching back to 1.8, but development and bug fixes have pretty much 
stopped for that version and i'm not a sufficiently competent 
programmer to update it myself.

 >5) AS modules always on top of other windows
 >With my old configuration, I had the AS modules set to AvoidCover.
 >These included pager, Wharf, and Winlist.  This would prevent small
 >windows from covering them, but if I opened a very large window, I
 >could cover them and the new window would be on top as well.
 >Now, however, these modules always seem to be op top regardless.  If 
 >open alarge window, it will be beneath.  Even fullscreen windows such
 >as Xine or mplayer output will be beneath these modules.  In the
 >default database file, these modules has "Layer" options in their
 >config.  I removed these, hoping it would make the modules behave 
 >other windows, but it did not help.

I've noticed the same problem. I have an image editor and viewer that 
can run in full screen mode. But since the most recent Debian package 
for AfterStep came out, when i switch the app to full screen it can't 
just take the entire screen. Instead i get a white outline the same 
size as my screen that i have to position where i want it, then the app 
draws into the box. Of course i place the outline to fill the entire 
screen. But Pager stays on top of the application. I don't know whether 
this is a general AfterStep problem or a problem specific to the latest 
Debian package, but it is annoying.

 >6) Window title changes not often shown in title bars or winlist
 >When a window is created, it will have some title.  Many programs 
 >change their window's title, such as Firefox or even aterm.  These
 >subsequent changes only occasionally become applied.
 >For example, when aterm starts, it shows "aterm", but when bash is
 >finished loading, the title should change to show
 >"user@machine:`pwd`".  Usually this does not occur.  Changing
 >directories will *sometimes* update it, but not always.  With 
 >the window title never seems to change, which can be annoying when 
 >want to know the current page's title.

I've noticed this too. Firefox' title isn't updated to the page title.

Sometimes the input on Firefox also gets a little screwy; if i have 
multiple windows open the foreground window will receive mouse actions, 
but keyboard input will go to one of the other windows (which may not 
even be on the same desktop). I haven't noticed this problem in other 
applications that can have multiple windows, though. So it may be a 
Firefox bug.
                                                -- Dan
             "I'm still sane on three planets and two moons."
       Daniel Ramaley                  3118 Cottage Grove Ave Apt 8
       dramaley at spatulacity dot cx        Des Moines, Iowa 50311                    (515) 271-5233

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