- Ion (window manager)
name = Ion
caption = Ion in use
developer = Tuomo Valkonen
latest_release_version = ion-3-20081002 (stable)
October 2, 2008
license = LGPL with non-free clauses
website = [http://iki.fi/tuomov/ion/ http://iki.fi/tuomov/ion/] In
Unixcomputing, Ion is a tiling and tabbing window managerfor the X Window System. It is designed such that it is possible to manage windows using only a keyboard, without needing a mouse. It is the successor of PWM and is written by the same author, Tuomo Valkonen. Since the first release of Ion in the summer 2000, similar alternative window management ideas have begun to show in other new window managers: Larswm, ratpoison, StumpWM, WMI, TrsWMand xmonad. First versions of Ion were released under the Artistic License, Ion2 and the development versions of Ion3 were released under the GNU Lesser General Public License(LGPL). However, the first release candidate of Ion3 included a license change to a custom license based on the LGPL. [ [http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=422527#10 #422527 - ion3: New upstream release available - Debian Bug report logs ] ] Since version 2, Ion has been scriptable in the Lua programming language.
As of April 23, 2008, according to a post on the Ion mailing list (Apr 2008), Valkonen might try to start working on Ion4 [https://lists.berlios.de/pipermail/ion-general/2008-April/001954.html] .
Tuomo Valkonen, the author of Ion, has been at the center of several controversies concerning the licensing and distribution of his software, in particular the proclivity of major
Linuxand BSDdistributions of making outdated development versions of Ion3 (the current unstable development branch) available as part of "frozen" software repositories. Often, such versions will include patches, such as for Xineramaor Xftsupport, both of which Valkonen disapproves of on professional and personal grounds and has had removed from the main source tree. Yet, such distribution would seem to imply that the patched version is the official Ion3 package maintained by Valkonen himself, which he sees as unacceptable. Valkonen has even recently become an outspoken critic of the entire free softwareand open sourcemovement (the "FOSS herd," as he refers to it [ [http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-ports/2007-December/045492.html] - FreeBSD Ports Mailing List] ) due to his perceived mistreatment at the hands of several major distributions, including Arch Linux, Debian, pkgsrc( NetBSD, DragonflyBSD), and FreeBSD.
On April 28, 2007, Valkonen warned the Arch Linux maintainers of possible legal action because the (unofficial) Arch User Repository contained scripts to install Ion3 with patches he did not approve of [ [http://archlinux.org/pipermail/tur-users/2007-April/004634.html [tur-users Ion3 trademark infringement ] ] . Later on he did the same with the
pkgsrcmaintainer of the NetBSDproject [ [http://mail-index.netbsd.org/tech-pkg/2007/10/28/0000.html tech-pkg: Outdated ion3 pkgsrc in violation of the license ] ] and the ports maintainer of the FreeBSDproject [ [http://docs.freebsd.org/cgi/getmsg.cgi?fetch=438877+0+current/freebsd-ports FreeBSD Mail Archives ] ] [ [http://docs.freebsd.org/cgi/getmsg.cgi?fetch=438877+0+archive/2007/freebsd-ports/20071216.freebsd-ports FreeBSD Mail Archives ] ] . As of December 12, 2007 [ [http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-ports/2007-December/045484.html Ion3 license violation ] ] , the development branch of Ion, along with other software by Valkonen, was pulled [ [http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-ports/2007-December/045534.html Ion3 removal (Re: Ion3 license violation) ] ] from the FreeBSD ports tree, after the author filed a complaint about outdated development releases still being available. Any version of Ion may still be installed from source code on any Unix system with proper libraries and dependencies.
Valkonen has implied in several mailing lists that he has become completely disillusioned with, if not openly hostile toward, the Free Software community in general. He plans to switch to developing strictly closed-source software for the Windows platform in the future [ [http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-ports/2007-December/045494.html Ion3 license violation ] ] , presumably following the stable release of the Ion3 branch.
Window managers similar to ion include
wmii, dwm, xmonad, larswm, and awesome.
* [http://iki.fi/tuomov/ion/ Official Website]
* [http://freshmeat.net/projects/ion/ Ion] on
* [http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-cpion.html Fun with the Ion window manager] (
* [http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/06/19/1634225 Ion, the efficient window manager]
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