The Ion window manager showing a man page.
The Ion window manager showing the Gimp main window. Ion absolutely insists on making all windows occupy the entire screen. You can then split them up into frames, but dealing with a program like the Gimp that uses a lot of small windows is extremely awkward.
I used version 20030814, which was the latest version in early September.
The man page is good.
Ion is by the author of PWM, which was probably the first tabbed window manager. He feels that Ion is the logical extension of PWM, in that every window should be placed in a frame, and the frames should subdivide the screen using all available screen real estate. He says he's working on a mode for windows that don't conform to standards and don't handle this forced maximization properly, but he makes it clear that the failing is with them, not with his window manager. He obviously doesn't use the Gimp. The Gimp uses numerous small windows, and managing these within frames is extremely awkward. The window manager is very keyboard-friendly and not friendly to mouse users: using the Gimp becomes an exercise in flipping between the keyboard and the mouse over and over again.
If you use primarily terms and maybe a web browser or two and you want a window manager that can be run entirely with a keyboard, this is a great WM (expect to take some time to learn the keyboard combos). Please understand that I don't dislike this WM, in fact I kind of like it. But as a heavy Gimp user, I won't be using Ion much until he gets a mode that allows certain apps to be unframed. Since the author seems to think this is a failing on the part of such applications, I'm not sure he's in any rush.
Good use of real estate. Xinerama aware. Light-weight.
Any app that uses multiple windows at once may be very difficult to use.