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#301 2012-03-17 21:06:17

cJones
#! Junkie
From: Oregon
Registered: 2012-02-21
Posts: 447

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

i3 and scrotwm look sweet 2Many, thanks for the reviews! I think jens was saying he prefers i3, lets see if he comes in and says anything


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#302 2012-03-17 21:14:01

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^Thanks cj. wmfs tomorrow...


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#303 2012-03-17 21:19:02

cJones
#! Junkie
From: Oregon
Registered: 2012-02-21
Posts: 447

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

That one looks pretty cool too...I just looked at the site and saw some nice screens


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#304 2012-03-17 22:14:43

Forthy
#! CrunchBanger
From: Warwickshire, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 184

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Actually downloaded this one - will give it a bash over the weekend and see if it convinces me over scrotwm.

I love the consistency of these reviews btw, very well written.  Should defo be tweaked in to a wiki when complete.

Help yourself to some choccy-philly and a beer...

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#305 2012-03-17 22:18:24

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ thanks forthy -- that's all I was hoping for smile

(and I hope you're getting 4.0 or better from testing or sid, if you plan to change the config file...)

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-17 22:22:04)


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#306 2012-03-17 22:26:42

Forthy
#! CrunchBanger
From: Warwickshire, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 184

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ If all you wanted was some choccy-philly and a beer I could have stopped you at day one lol

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#307 2012-03-18 02:53:20

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,326

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice write up 2manydogs.

Gave Wmii another look - and remembered why I dropped it for i3. Got it up and running though so maybe stick with it a bit.


"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe

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#308 2012-03-18 06:53:57

servingwater
#! Junkie
Registered: 2009-02-28
Posts: 462

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Very nice stuff here 2ManyDogs.
i3wm and subtle are my favorite tilers, so I hope you give subtle a look, too! big_smile

And thanks to you I seriously considering to pick up a stacker with windowLab.

One caveat on i3 if you allow.
IMHO the latest version (4.1.2) provides the most complete user expierence, so I would advise anybody who wants to give i3 a go to run with that one.

For example the configuration of the i3bar (starting with the 4.0 version) is alot better and more complete. It has top and bottom option and you could also have 2 i3bars statusbars.

Fullscreen has a bug in 4.0 which is fixed in the latest version.

And my favorite, there is native tray support (I think starting in 4.1) for your i3bar.

Last edited by servingwater (2012-03-18 06:54:51)

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#309 2012-03-18 16:24:24

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ thank you servingwater. Always good to get advice for an actual user. i3 version 4.1.2-2 is in the testing and sid repos now.

I may get back to subtle if I have time...


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#310 2012-03-18 16:25:45

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Day 14. Today we are going to look at wmfs, or "window manager from scratch." Wmfs is mainly a tiling window manager, but it can also tab windows and manage floating windows. Tiles can be arranged in a variety of ways, including a combination of tiled, tabbed, and floating.

Tiles on the left (you can also have them on the right):

2012_03_17_135312_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Tiles on the bottom:

2012_03_17_135248_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Same top tile, three tiles on the bottom now tabbed:

2012_03_17_135509_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

And floating windows on tiles:

2012_03_18_085835_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Wmfs has a large number of built-in window moving and resizing functions, as well as many layout manipulation functions. It also has a built-in status bar showing the available workspaces and highlighting those that have applications running in them. By default, it creates seven workspaces.

Building

Wmfs is not in the Debian repos. It is still in active development, so it is best to build from the most current source code. This is not difficult -- there are detailed instructions on the wmfs wiki installation page including a small list of dependencies that must be installed before wmfs can be downloaded and built.

Wmfs includes a .desktop file with its source code, but it does not install it to the /usr/share/xsessions folder. From the folder where you built wmfs:

sudo cp wmfs.desktop /usr/share/xsessions

Thanks to gensym, I also know that wmfs will not run unless you copy its default configuration file to ~/.config/wmfs. Wmfs includes a default config file with its code, so from the folder where you built wmfs:

md ~/.config/wmfs
cp wmfsrc ~/.config/wmfs

Remember that this default configuration file is always available if you break your local copy.

Using and Configuring

Once again, with a tiling window manager it is best to read (and possibly print) the man page before you start the window manager. The wmfs config file (wmfsrc) is a simple text file, so it is also handy to have this file open somewhere (or printed) as you learn to use the window manager. Wmfs also includes a keybinds_help.sh script with its code. The script displays a handy pop-up window showing many of the commonly used key combinations, and it can be bound to a key combination for easy access.

I did not think that the learning curve for wmfs is as steep as that for i3 or wmii, even though wmfs has a large number of built-in functions. Because all windows have title bars, and focus follows the mouse pointer, it is easy to move around the screen with the mouse. You can also select windows entirely with the keyboard. One interesting feature of wmfs is its layout "rotate" and "mirror" functions. These functions allow you to rotate the tiled layout around the screen and switch tiles from top to bottom or left to right, and they allow a wide variety of tile arrangement. Wmfs does not use the master/stack model, but with all the window and layout control functions it is not difficult to arrange windows and tabs.

For example, the super+f sequence changes the active window to floating mode. Super+f again returns the window to its original state. To move a floating window, hold the super key down and left-click and drag the window. Super+right-click+drag a corner to resize a floating window.

Tiles may be "tabbed" with their neighbors; this creates a combined window from the two neighbors, showing tabs for each application. Alt+shift+(h,l,j,k) tabs the active window with its neighbor to the left, right, above, or below. Alt+shift+u "untabs" the window.

There are also simple keybinds for moving from one workspace to another and for moving an application to another workspace. You can also select a workspace by clicking its number on the title bar. You can also give workspaces names in the config file. This line names workspace 2 "web" because it is in the second position in the [tags] array:

[tag] name = "web" [/tag]

Like many other window managers, wmfs can reload its config file after changes have been made. This line in the config file tells us that the sequence super+shift+r reloads the config file:

[key] mod = {"Super", "Shift"} key = "r" func = "reload" [/key]

This sequence, like all the key-bind sequences, can be changed. You can also easily add sequences to start applications. This code in wmfsrc causes the sequence super+w to start iceweasel, and binds the sequence super+shift+h to the keybinds_help.sh script in my ~/code/wmfs/scripts folder:

[key] mod = {"Super"} key = "w" func = "spawn" cmd = "iceweasel" [/key]
[key] mod = {"Super", "Shift"} key = "h" func = "spawn" cmd = "~/code/wmfs/scripts/keybind_help.sh" [/key]

There are too many key sequences to describe here, but the man page, the keybinds_help.sh script, and the online documentation helped me learn them quickly.

The config file also contains all the theme color and font information, and the color of any window element may be changed. Keep a copy of the defaults before you modify them! I tried modifying some of the colors, and believe me it is easy to make a very ugly theme very quickly. Someone with more talent with color may be able to improve on the defaults.

Wmfs includes a launcher in its status bar, similar to dmenu. By default, the super+p sequence starts a "Run: " command in the status bar. You can type the first few characters of a command and then use the tab key to cycle through the possible commands. This launcher may be replaced with dmenu (or dmenu can simply be added with a different key sequence).

# Launcher
#  [key] mod = {"Super"} key = "p" func = "launcher" cmd = "exec" [/key]
    [key] mod = {"Super"} key = "p" func = "spawn" cmd = "dmenu_run" [/key]

It is very easy to customize the status bar. According to the wmfs wiki, the status bar supports progressbars, graphs, positionbars, colors, rectangles, images and themes, and there are many custom status bar examples in the wiki. I was able to quickly get my simple conky running on the status bar using this code in my startup script:

(conky | while read LINE; do wmfs -c status "default $LINE"; done) &

Another nice feature of the wmfs config file is its ability to include other files -- you can keep all your custom key binds or theme information in a separate file and include them in wmfsrc with this directive

@include "file"

As you modify the config file, make regular backup copies and check your syntax carefully before you save and reload. Also remember Ivan's tip on switching to a TTY to fix wmfsrc if you break it. This saved me several times while I was testing wmfs.

What I Like About It

It is powerful enough, but not so complex that it takes a long time to learn and become proficient with. It has a good online wiki with easy to understand instructions and tips. It was easy to customize the status bar and easy to modify the default key bindings. I like being able to use the mouse a little more than with most tiling window managers (I know tiler-purists will not agree, but it's my review smile ). With sakura, thunar, and iceweasel running it was using about 118 MB, so it's about as light as any tiler I've used so far.

What I Don't Like About It

I think the default theme is a little ugly, and the best I could do was to make it uglier. I still prefer the master-stacker model for my tiling window managers. It's still in development, so there are bound to be a few bugs here and there.

Links

"man wmfs"
wmfs wiki
xeNULL's wmfs2 guide
wmfs in the Arch wiki
wmfs user's thread on the Arch forum

xeNULL's wmfs screen shot

Tomorrow: dwm
back to the top

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-04-04 20:31:00)


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#311 2012-03-18 16:35:35

safetycopy
urban legend
From: The Chatsubo
Registered: 2010-04-03
Posts: 1,311

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice write-up again. I think you've done a really good job at summarising and pointing out the subtle differences between WMs. Thanks for the work, mate smile


i wonder if i missed the warning
Skinny Puppy, Love in Vein

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#312 2012-03-18 16:41:40

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Thanks. That's what I'm trying to do, so it's good to hear you say I'm getting it done smile


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#313 2012-03-18 16:45:48

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice writeup on wmfs. I'm even slightly considering giving it a go, but it's way too Archy. Looking forward to dwm and xmonad.

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#314 2012-03-18 17:57:52

gensym
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 447

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice review 2ManyDogs! I might give this one a shot (I already have it installed in my system anyways tongue)

Edith asks: Is catwm the one to follow? (your screenshot got me curious).

Last edited by gensym (2012-03-18 18:06:00)


'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.', {Eric}

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#315 2012-03-18 18:01:01

doug piston
Member
Registered: 2012-02-11
Posts: 35

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

el_koraco wrote:

Nice writeup on wmfs. I'm even slightly considering giving it a go, but it's way too Archy. Looking forward to dwm and xmonad.


+1 to xmonad and hopefully awesome. Regardless, great work 2many, really enjoy these. smile

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#316 2012-03-18 19:00:46

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

gensym wrote:

Nice review 2ManyDogs! I might give this one a shot (I already have it installed in my system anyways tongue)

Edith asks: Is catwm the one to follow? (your screenshot got me curious).

Not tomorrow, but next week some time. dwm tomorrow.


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#317 2012-03-18 19:02:38

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

doug piston wrote:
el_koraco wrote:

Nice writeup on wmfs. I'm even slightly considering giving it a go, but it's way too Archy. Looking forward to dwm and xmonad.

+1 to xmonad and hopefully awesome. Regardless, great work 2many, really enjoy these. smile

Those two scare me a little (I don't know haskell or lua) and I don't know if I can do them justice in a short time. We'll see if I can get to them...


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#318 2012-03-18 20:50:30

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2ManyDogs wrote:

Those two scare me a little (I don't know haskell or lua) and I don't know if I can do them justice in a short time. We'll see if I can get to them...

Xmonad is like scrotwm, and you can figure out your way in the config file by taking the best guess big_smile

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#319 2012-03-18 20:57:14

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Thanks. I'll try to get to it before the end of the 30 days smile


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#320 2012-03-18 22:48:59

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,082

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^@2MD
Here an example ~/.xmonad/xmonad.hs. It combines the default config (with all the standard commented annotations/explanations) with my own as well as some borrowed bits . You can put this one against the default config side-by-side to get a better understanding, hopefully. Includes stuff for dzen2 (with xbm icons), struts, workspace hooks...etc.

http://pastebin.com/Htvw03xN

You don't have to know haskell to get xmonad working, since the defaults are pretty sensible, but it does help with personalization and stuff. Default tiling behaviour and keybinds are pretty sane. You'll feel right at home if you're a regular SpectralScrotumWM user.

Edit:
Gawd.... looking back at old configs makes me realize just how much fluff I used to have. QT, Ktorrent, Skype, SMplayer.... yeesh!! yikes

Last edited by gutterslob (2012-03-18 22:51:42)


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#321 2012-03-18 22:52:10

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Thanks. That does look straightforward enough to at least do some minor mods. I installed it on the test machine and after its 68.something M download and 368 M additional space used I still can't find the default config file xmonad.hs (not in ~, not in /etc, not anywhere on my machine as far as find can tell) but I can run xmonad. Where is the config file?

And what's the allure if it's just scrotwm + haskell?

(edit) I know what you mean -- I've ditched a bunch of crap from my default configs and menus as I work through all these minimal WMs...

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-18 22:54:32)


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#322 2012-03-18 22:57:46

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,082

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^Oh yeah, I think it doesn't actually come with an included default config. You'll have to grab a template from the Haskell Wiki. I think mine was based on version 0.8, though. Can't recall exactly, it's been a while and I no longer have Xmonad installed.

http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Xmon … nfig_files

Edit:
With regards to your question, Xmonad is definitely more modular than ScrotWM. As for the "allure", I can't really say since I ditched Xmonad (and DWM) for ScrotWM myself. I may not be a programmer, but I like studying code, and I just found Scrotwm to be much more elegantly coded. Granted, ScrotWM was nowhere near as clean or easy-to-install when I first had a go (Daisuke is probably the only other person here that knows how cumbersome it was to build on Linux ... thanks for the old lorder script btw, Dai-chan) at it, but it got the job done for me with way less messing about, so I stuck with it. The small size of ScrotWM compared to Xmonad+GHC helped sway me as well, I guess.

If wanna find someone capable of waxing lyrical on Xmonad, you'd best look for @Digit

Last edited by gutterslob (2012-03-19 00:53:51)


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#323 2012-03-18 23:20:22

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ thanks GS.

(edit) and it's going to take a lot for me to ditch scrotwm, but dwm + patches might do it...

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-18 23:35:56)


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#324 2012-03-19 04:31:23

doug piston
Member
Registered: 2012-02-11
Posts: 35

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

I have an example rc.lua for Awesome and it really isn't that difficult to figure out. Their wiki is also pretty well written. Another plus is if you mess with the config you can type "awesome -k" into a terminal and it will check the config for syntax mistakes. It isn't a catch all but useful IMHO.


Also its your thread if you don't feel like doing that one out of many WM's by all means do as you please. Won't hurt my feelings.

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#325 2012-03-19 07:39:44

h8uthemost
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-08-09
Posts: 299

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice wmfs review, 2many. Besides Scrot(and actually RP now) it was always a favorite of mine among the tilers. I love that it has it's own status tray, and that you can actually use the mouse to do things like resize the windows if you feel like it. And actually appears to be just about as light as some of the minimal tilers.

I never knew it had a tabbing function though. I'll have to look into that.

I'll dig into i3 if I can get the later versions installed.

EDIT: Wow, nevermind about WMFS. I just updated to it's latest version, and it's nothing the version I previously had installed(not sure what it was, i haven't used this wm in a few months). The theme is way different and there's no longer a status tray. Why would the devs get rid of that?

It's still light and fast, but I'm not sure I like the direction that devs are going.

Last edited by h8uthemost (2012-03-19 08:24:17)


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