When comparing TotalTerminal vs Slate, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” Slate is ranked 17th while TotalTerminal is ranked 22nd. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Allows quick access to the terminal system-wide
TotalTerminal is a plugin for Terminal.app. It provides persistent Visor Window which slides down when you press a hot-key.
Pro Quake style window show/hide
You maybe know or don't know Quake from Id Software. But this game had the best idea to hide/show a terminal window. Simply using full width but 26 rows. On show the widow slid down from top of screen. On hide it mode up to top edge of the screen until it disappeared. 2nd next best was the semi translucent background. You could still see through the terminal window while it was shown.
The same style is now available in TotalTerminal and iTerm2 (OSX Terminal replacement - no Terminal plugin).
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Con No longer under active development
Con Doesn't work on El Capitan with SIP on
Apple introduced a new security feature in OSX El Capitan, called System Integrity Protection, that, among other things, does not allow augmenting Terminal. While it's possible to turn SIP off (instructions on how to turn off SIP and get TotalTerminal working on El Capitan can be found here) it is not recommended.
Con Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.
Con Missing features
Unable to perform all tasks of software it was meant to replace.
Can not move windows between 'Spaces' (virtual desktops).
Con Video fail
Demonstration video failed to highlight any of the advantages of the windowing system. Or at least, the advantages were so subtly intrinsic that no-one who didn't already use the system could appreciate them.