When comparing Window Maker vs bspwm, the Slant community recommends bspwm for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” bspwm is ranked 9th while Window Maker is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose bspwm is:
It has a low footprint.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro It's unique
Different from any other WM which makes it a lot of fun to use.
Pro Lightweight and elegant
Window Maker is a very lightweight and elegant desktop with a dock for windows handling.
Pro Rare, retro feel
The look of Windows Maker is reminiscent of NeXT's GUI and should be appreciated by those who enjoyed it for its retro feel.
Pro Extensible with dockapps
Dockapps are available to extend the functionality of Window Maker.
Pro Actively developed
Window Maker is in active development. New features are added and bugs are bashed on a continuous basis.
Pro Very lightweight
It has a low footprint.
Pro Drag&drop / Mouse support for resize/move
You can resize, switch panes, and resize tiles via the mouse.
Pro Very flexible
The keyboard shortcut are handled by another module so it's easy to use other inputs. The configuration is also simple.
Pro Based on binary space partitioning
The windows tiling is handled as the leaves of a full binary tree. This makes it easy to partition as you like.
Pro Open source
Pro Live configuration updates
No need to restart for updating configurations.
Pro Simple, adheres to the UNIX philosophy
Configuration takes much less work than in similar window managers. Hotkey binding is handled by a separate utility, sxhkd.
Pro Simple interface
All actions of the window manager (like opening or resizing a window, changing the workspace, etc.) are handled by a program called bspc, which communicates with bspwm over a socket connection. The config file is just a shell executable making calls to that program. This makes it very easy to write your own scripts to handle bspwm's behavior.
Pro Adherent to the Linux philosophy: Do one thing and do it right
Con GNUstep dependency
Con Poorly documented
Compared to something like i3 for example, a user following through i3's documentation is basically guaranteed to get a working desktop suited to their needs. Setting up bspwm is much more of a headache due to developers assuming things are clearer than they are.
Con Lacks transparency support
Like most window managers there is no built in compositing, which means no transparencies.