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Posted Sep 08, 2004

Screenshot Review: Kompose' - Expose' like, Full Screen Task Manager

Kompose' is a full screen task manager for KDE that has just gone to release 0.4.1 in two months. You really have to see it to understand, but imagine that tiny little box in your taskbar that indicates all our running windows blown up and on the entire desktop. Then add a tiny screenshot for each app.

Ok, now we're getting somewhere. This kind of task manager is new to Linux desktop users, but has been a staple of OS X users for nigh on a year and a half or so. If you have seen expose' in action on a OS X machine then you have a good idea of what Kompose' is like.

For those without an OS X box around we have provided these screenshots of Kompose' in action.

The author of Kompose', Hans Oischinger Luis Mayoral, warns that you need a currently powerful machine to make Kompse' not appear sluggish. He notes in the FAQ, "If you are dissatisfied with the speed Komposé shows up please buy a faster computer. Komposé uses Imlib2 to scale screenshots ultra-fast and drawing routines cannot be improved much more." As far as I'm concerned that's par for the course for any decent desktop eye-candy application these days, but you've been advised.

If you are incredibly pleased with kompose you might want to consider donating to Hans Luis for a new iPod mini. He lost his after a week. Perhaps you might also consider a belt clip for a mini too!

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Re: Screenshot Review: Kompose' - Expose' like, Full Screen Task Manager (Score: 1, Interesting)
by Anonymous on Sep 08, 2004 - 10:06 AM
This "innovation" is not new. I have been using CTWM since about 1992 and it has had a "Work Space Manager" feature since, I think, about 1996. The only improvement made by OS X's Expose and this Kompose is that they show little screenshots, rather than boxes with the title of the application. The full CTWM environment (window manager, application launcher, work space manager, virtual desktops, etc) uses a paltry 3MB of ram on my machine. Here is an old screenshot of CTWM in action (the box in the upper right hand side, under the clock, is the work space manager). You can click on an app in there and it takes you to it, and you can drag apps from one virtual desktop to another. Welcome to the club, OS X and KDE... what took you so long?

"author of Kompose', Luis Mayoral" (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Sep 08, 2004 - 11:48 AM
This is wrong, Luis Mayoral seems to be the packager of the Debian package only! What a poorly investigated story.

Re: Screenshot Review: Kompose' - Expose' like, Full Screen Task Manager (Score: 0)
by Anonymous on Sep 09, 2004 - 02:39 AM
What about skippy (, looks nicer to me and it takes advantage of the new extensions from

Hmmm, uses imlib for rendering the screenshots.... (Score: 1, Informative)
by Anonymous on Sep 09, 2004 - 11:45 AM
Imlib was written for the enlightenment window manager. (Which has also had this feature for a long long time.) Personally I have liked using enlightenment on systems with enough hoursepower to be snappy while running it. (I am looking forward to v17 and imlib2 looks like there will be many improvements - see Other favorites include very fond memories of olvwm (mentioned in another post), and icewm.

just in passing... I've never had any problem using gnome or kde apps under any of these WMs and support for both is pretty good in enlightenment.

I'll have to take a look at ctwm or perhaps go back to olvwm for times I want a low impact window manager with this feature.

Come to think of it ,for really low impact, the command line works pretty well and when you use it you don't need this feature because you already know what a text window looks like.

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