When comparing musca vs Xmonad, the Slant community recommends Xmonad for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” Xmonad is ranked 2nd while musca is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose Xmonad is:
XMonad is written, configured, and fully extensible in Haskell. This means that users aren't limited to a small set of pre-programmed layouts and actions: anything can be programmed into the configuration. It's simple to modify basic settings, and the example config has lots of comments to get you started. Haskell keeps this code clean, concise, and readable, and its type system keeps you safe from any serious mistakes. This makes it fast and light, even on very small and slow systems.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Intuitive interface
All the defaults for musca are quite simple to understand and they work well, making for a very intuitive interface.
Pro Space efficient
Musca has zero panels, icons, tabs, or window decorations that take up precious screen space (though these items can be added on top by installing separate apps to perform these functions).
Pro Grouping system similar to virtual desktops
Windows are placed in named groups which can be used in a similar fashion to virtual desktops. Groups can be added and removed on the fly, and each group has its own frame layout.
Pro Multi-screen support out of the box
Musca has built-in multi-screen support and automatically creates groups for all available screens.
Pro Can handle floating windows
Since not all applications suit tiling, a more traditional stacking window manager mode is also available, allowing windows to float at any screen location and overlap.
Pro Uses the same commands in its commands menu as in its startup file
The commands menu uses the same commands as the startup file, making configuration very simple.
Pro Frames are either bordered or highlighted
Musca window manager has a slim border around its displayed windows, while there is a highlighted frame around the active window.
Pro Fully extensible with Haskell
XMonad is written, configured, and fully extensible in Haskell. This means that users aren't limited to a small set of pre-programmed layouts and actions: anything can be programmed into the configuration.
It's simple to modify basic settings, and the example config has lots of comments to get you started. Haskell keeps this code clean, concise, and readable, and its type system keeps you safe from any serious mistakes. This makes it fast and light, even on very small and slow systems.
Pro Very stable
Use of Haskell, in conjunction with smart programming practices, guarantees a crash-free experience.
Pro Absolutely minimal
The entire window manager is extremely small, and includes nothing beyond basic window manipulation and tiling. Out of the box, there are no window decorations, status bar nor icon dock; just clean lines and efficiency.
Pro Highly configurable
If you enjoy programming, you can even add features to XMonad to make it your perfect desktop environment, and the Contrib modules give you most of what you need to do exactly that.
Pro Efficient to use
XMonad is a very minimal and efficient window manager, especially if the user is familiar with Haskell.
Pro Great availability of libraries
The use of Haskell as an extension language means that popular pieces of functionality are easily shared and widely available as Haskell Libraries. Many default layouts, and tools for quickly and easily building your own, are available through XMonad-contrib, and highly re-usable configurations are commonly shared through blog articles and the Xmonad Wiki. The documentation in XMonad-contrib is very clear and easy to read.
Pro Xinerama support
XMonad has full support for Xinerama: windows can be tiled and managed across multiple physical screens.
Pro Edit configuration and reload on-the-fly
Configuration is compiled into the WM, and it can be changed/updated on-the-fly, without requiring a full reload.
Pro Handles multiple monitors well
XMonad can handle multi-monitor setups by default.
Pro Dynamic Tiling
XMonad uses dynamic tiling which means that it automatically handles arranging your windows into various layouts which the user can cycle through.
Pro Intuitive model which separates "screens" and "workspaces"
XMonad separates screens and workspaces. A screen "projects" a workspace. You can put a window to a specific screen, regardless of which workspace is currently projected onto that screen. This is more intuitive than other WMs e.g. i3, which only has the notion of workspace but not "screen" and requires you to remember workspace numbering. It is especially beneficial for multi-monitor setups.
Con Lack of status bar
If the user wishes to use a status bar, they will need to install one separately as there are none in musca by default.
Con Steep learning curve for uninitiated users
Like a lot of tiling window managers, the learning curve for XMonad is quite steep.
Con Requires knowledge of Haskell for configuration
Understanding of Haskell is required in order to configure XMonad.
Con Requires a lot of Haskell dependencies
XMonad depends on GHC (the Glasgow Haskell Compiler) which can take up about 700 MB or disk space.