An Infinite-Pane, Zooming User Interface Window Manager and Survey of X Window Managers


This thesis describes a zoomable user interface window manager for the X Window System that aims to provide mechanisms for easily managing a large number of windows. This is motivated in part by greatly increased memory capabilities provided to modern computers as well as the relative stagnation of window managers since the desktop metaphor was first implemented. To address this, a window manager was written that allows the user to zoom over an infinite plane, on which windows may be arbitrarily placed. Taking advantage of the properties emerging from this model, algorithms were written to manage the windows using their associated Euclidean coordinates. Furthermore, a menu system similar to those employed in Oberon and Acme was written to provide the user with the ability to exercise greater control over the window manager. To ensure that it is usable on standard systems for a typical user workflow, it was developed on the X Window System, despite the system's shortcomings. While this is the first window manager developed for the X Window System with the synthesis of these features, it takes inspiration from other window managers, user interfaces, and HCI research. As such, a brief discussion on other research interfaces is included alongside a more extensive survey on X11 window managers, which provide a substantial source for contemporary window management research.



Zooming user interfaces, Window management, Human-Computer interaction, Unix, Linux