AfterStep is a Window Manager for X which started by emulating the NeXTSTEP look and feel, but which has been significantly altered according to the requests of various users. Many adepts will tell you that NeXTSTEP is not only the most visually pleasant interface, but also one of the most functional and intuitive out there. AfterStep aims to incorporate the advantages of the NeXTSTEP interface, and add additional useful features.
aterm (AfterStep term) is an xterm replacement, based on rxvt v.2.4.8. It includes features such as NeXT style scrollbar, resource efficient pseudo-transparency. It understands root background changes by AfterStep Pager and Esetroot. The primary goal of aterm is to provide cool visual features without resource consumption. It can be compiled to utilize AfterStep's libasimage for wider image format support.
libAfterImage is an image import, storage, manipulation, and output library for X. It features support for antialiased, TrueTypei, and X text, a 128-bit internal graphics engine, in-memory RLE image compression, high quality image scaling/flipping/blending, multipoint linear gradients, superior quality image output on X drawables, and much more.
Thank you all for many years of support of aterm - it was fun.
aterm 1.0.1 is probably the very last release of aterm.
Everyone should start using rxvt-unicode as it is much more up-to-date and handles unicode realy well. All of the aterm's visual features will be and already are ported into rxvt-unicode, and I personally will work on rxvt-unicode exclusively from now on.
Random thought on minimalizm, distraction and visual interface
Minimalistic approach is cool, but unfortuantely is not suitable for many activities, for example GUI software development :) Also this particualr article is not a very good illustration of minimalizm, taking on accound the number and size of buttons in mozilla and xmms. Get rid of them all!
No Distraction is dubious advantage of above approach, since when IRC and IM are hidden, one tend to drop out of conversation, miss important ppl, etc. Sound indication does not help, since you tend to ignore them, burried in your current activity. When window is always present on the side of screen, its much easier to stay in sync. Not so when you burry it under other windows or even move it on the second head. Also, ditching computers entirely and going with paper is the only effective way to avoid distraction :)
GUI is not supposed to be simple. It was created mainly to fit as many things as possible on screen. If you start going about having single app on screen at a time, you could just as well stay in text mode.
Consider this: You have lots of gauges on your car's dashboard. Having single app on screen at a time would be similar to having only one gauge on your dashboard at a time.
Now about not having to mess around with config and themes. If you'd move to a barrell, you would not have to worry about decorating your living room.
Most non-minimalistic window managers are complex due to the fact that they attempt to give user flexibility to make interface as convinient as possible - not to put lots of bloat on screen. Most of them features come from real needs of real users, and ditching them on the side, would mean ditching many years of GUI evolution and painfull efforts to make computers as convinient and easy to use as possible.