[Haskell-cafe] xmonad 0.17.0, xmonad-contrib 0.17.0 released!

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Wed Oct 27 16:38:09 UTC 2021


New versions of xmonad and xmonad-contrib have been released.  Check out
our [download page] for instructions on where to get them.

It's been a little over 3 years since xmonad 0.15, and a little over 2
years since xmonad-contrib 0.16.  A lot has happened.  This post is an
overview of the most important changes.  To celebrate this milestone, we
would like to announce a contest for a new xmonad logo (see section 3).

Last but not least, in section 4 we're looking to raise funds to keep
the XMonad project and community alive and relevant in the next decade.
With the [final X.Org Server 21.1 release] being announced today, there
are some obvious challenges ahead of us.

[download page]: <https://xmonad.org/download.html>
[final X.Org Server 21.1 release]:

1 xmonad 0.17.0

  This release includes 156 non-merge commits by 22 contributors!  For a
  full summary of all the changes, see [xmonad's CHANGES.md] file.

[xmonad's CHANGES.md]:

  1.1 Major Breaking Changes

    • `util/GenerateManpage.hs' is no longer distributed in the tarball.

  1.2 Selected Features and Improvements

    • Migrated `X.L.LayoutCombinators.(|||)' into `XMonad.Layout',
      providing the ability to directly jump to a layout with the
      `JumpToLayout' message.

    • Improved handling of XDG directories.

      1. If all three of xmonad's environment variables
         `XMONAD_CACHE_DIR') are set, use them.

      2. If there is a build script called `build' (see [here] for usage
         examples) or configuration `xmonad.hs' in `~/.xmonad', set all
         three directories to `~/.xmonad'.

      3. Otherwise, use the `xmonad' directory in `XDG_DATA_HOME',
         `XDG_CONFIG_HOME', and `XDG_CACHE_HOME' (or their respective
         fallbacks).  These directories are created if necessary.

      In the cases of 1. and 3., the build script or executable is
      expected to be in the config dir.

      Additionally, the xmonad config binary and intermediate object
      files were moved to the cache directory (only relevant if using

    • Recompilation now detects `stack.yaml' (can be a symlink)
      alongside `xmonad.hs' and switches to using `stack ghc'.

      Additionally, deprecation warnings during recompilation are no
      longer suppressed.  These can still be suppressed manually using
      an `OPTIONS_GHC' pragma with `-Wno-deprecations'.

  [here]: <https://github.com/xmonad/xmonad-testing/tree/master/build-scripts>

2 xmonad-contrib 0.17.0

  This release includes 582 non-merge commits by 57 contributors!  For a
  full summary of all the changes, see [xmonad-contrib's CHANGES.md]

[xmonad-contrib's CHANGES.md]:

  2.1 Major Breaking Changes

    • All modules that export bitmap fonts as their default

      • If xmonad is compiled with XFT support (the default), use an XFT
        font instead.  The previous default expected an X11 misc font
        (PCF), which is not supported in pango 1.44 anymore and thus
        some distributions have stopped shipping these.

    • All modules still exporting a `defaultFoo' constructor

      • All of these were now removed.  You can use the re-exported
        `def' from `Data.Default' instead.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar', `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar.PP' (previously
      `XMonad.Hooks.DynamicLog') and `XMonad.Util.Run'

      • `spawnPipe' no longer uses binary mode handles and defaults to
        the current locale encoding instead, `xmonadPropLog' and
        `xmonadPropLog'' now encode their input string in UTF-8, and
        `dynamicLogString' no longer encodes its output in UTF-8.  When
        these functions are used together, everything should continue to
        work as it always has, but in isolation behaviour might change.

        To get the old `spawnPipe' behaviour, `spawnPipeWithNoEncoding'
        can now be used, and `spawnPipeWithUtf8Encoding' was added as
        well to force UTF-8 regardless of locale.

      • `XMonad.Hooks.DynamicLog' will be deprecated soon in favor of
        `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar' which offers a nicer and easier to use
        interface for status bars.  Laptop users who (dis)connect
        external monitors dynamically should definitely try this new
        interface: `XMonad.Hooks.DynamicBars' has been deprecated

    • `XMonad.Hooks.EwmhDesktops'

      • It is no longer recommended to use standalone hooks directly:

        Instead of `ewmhDesktopsStartup', `ewmhDesktopsLogHook(Custom)'
        and `ewmhDesktopsEventHook(Custom)', users should now use the
        `ewmh' combinator.  The `Custom' variants have been replaced by
        a [more composable interface] which now also allows simply
        marking windows that request focus as urgent instead of
        immediately focusing them.

        Instead of `fullscreenEventHook', use `ewmhFullscreen', which
        now advertises fullscreen support to applications, fixing
        fullscreen in [mpv] and many others.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.Script'

      • `execScriptHook' now has an `X' constraint (was: `MonadIO'), due
        to changes in how the xmonad core handles XDG directories.

    • `XMonad.Actions.WorkspaceNames'

      • The type of `getWorkspaceNames' was changed to fit into the new
        `ppRename' field of `PP'.

  [more composable interface]:
  [mpv]: <https://mpv.io/>

  2.2 Selected Features and Improvements

    • `XMonad.Actions.EasyMotion'

      A new module that allows selection of visible screens using a key
      chord—inspired by [vim-easymotion].  See the animation in the
      vim-easymotion repo to get some idea of the functionality of this
      EasyMotion module.

    • `XMonad.Prompt.OrgMode'

      A prompt for interacting with [org-mode].  It can be used to
      quickly save TODOs, NOTEs, and the like with the additional
      capability to schedule/deadline a task, or use the primary
      selection as the contents of the note.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar'

      A new module, providing a nicer, composable interface for status
      bars that replaces `XMonad.Hooks.DynamicLog' and
      `XMonad.Hooks.DynamicBars'.  Supports property-based as well as
      pipe-based status bars, multiple status bars (Xinerama), and takes
      care of restarting the bars as needed.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.Rescreen'

      A new module, providing custom hooks for screen (xrandr)
      configuration changes.  These are used internally by
      `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar' to restart status bars/systrays after
      xrandr, and can also be used to invoke xrandr or autorandr when an
      output is (dis)connected.

    • `XMonad.Util.Hacks'

      A collection of hacks and fixes that should be easily accessible to
      users, like a fix for the fullscreen behaviour of chromium based
      applications when using windowed fullscreen, or a fix to make
      certain Java applications play more nicely with xmonad.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.WindowSwallowing'

      A new module to implement window swallowing; optionally via
      sublayouting.  Hide parent windows like terminals when opening
      other programs (like image viewers) from within them, restoring
      them once the child application closes.

    • `XMonad.Util.ClickableWorkspaces'

      A new module providing `clickablePP', which when applied to the
      `PP' pretty-printer used by `XMonad.Hooks.StatusBar.PP', will make
      the workspace tags clickable in XMobar (for switching focus).

      Note that `XMonad.Layout.IndependentScreens' and
      `XMonad.Actions.WorkspaceNames' now also use the same composable
      `ppRename' interface as `XMonad.Util.ClickableWorkspaces' so it's
      much easier to use them with one another.

    • `XMonad.Util.Loggers'

      • Added `logTitles' to log all window titles (focused and
        unfocused ones) on the focused workspace, as well as
        `logTitlesOnScreen' as a screen-specific variant thereof.

    • `XMonad.Actions.TopicSpace'

      • Added `TopicItem', as well as the helper functions `topicNames',
        `tiActions', `tiDirs', `noAction', and `inHome' for a
        drastically simpler specification of topics.

    • `XMonad.Hooks.ServerMode'

      • To make it easier to use, the `xmonadctl' client is now included
        in `scripts/'.

  [vim-easymotion]: <https://github.com/easymotion/vim-easymotion>
  [org-mode]: <https://orgmode.org/>

3 Logo Contest

  We'd also like to announce a contest to create a new xmonad logo to
  replace the current one.  If you want to participate, please submit at
  most /three/ logos (in SVG format) to [this GitHub Discussion] by the
  31st of January.  Please do not vote for a logo yet—voting will start
  after the above deadline. Your logo will need to be licensed under a
  suitable freely distributable license; for example, the CC BY-SA 4.0.

  The prize for the winner is `$100'!

  For voting, we will use an [instant-runoff] type system.  In short:

  • Users rank a minimum of three submissions according to their
    preferences in decreasing order.
  • If a logo wins a majority of first-preference votes (> 50%) it is
  • If not, we eliminate the logo with the least amount of first
    preference votes, exposing the second preference of those who voted
    for it.
  • Rinse and repeat until we have a majority.
  • If at the end of all that we still don't have a majority, we will
    act as a tiebreaker and internally vote for a winner from the
    remaining logos.

  We will retain veto power in case of inappropriate logos.  Team
  members whose submitted entries are amongst the remaining choices will
  not partake in the potential tiebreaking vote.

[this GitHub Discussion]: https://github.com/xmonad/xmonad/discussions/343
[instant-runoff]: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting>

4 Looking for Funding

  TL;DR: We would love your support to keep xmonad alive!  You can
  support us via [GitHub Sponsors] and the [Open Collective] is our
  fiscal host such that our funds are fully transparent.

[GitHub Sponsors]: <https://github.com/sponsors/xmonad>
[Open Collective]: <https://opencollective.com/xmonad>

  XMonad has been around since 2007 and has a great track record in
  stability.  There's an active, vibrant community of users and
  developers who help each other and contribute fixes and extensions.
  Keeping this community organized, reviewing and merging contributions
  and responding to bug reports is almost a full-time job, however, not
  to mention doing actual development.  We've been struggling to find
  volunteers to do all this work, especially the less exciting bits like

  Despite that struggle, we managed to repay a portion of our
  technological and organizational debt over the last year, and to pick
  up the [pace of development].

  We're worried about the sustainability of that pace, however.  As with
  the previous generations of maintainers, our studies and sabbaticals
  won't last forever.

  Your help is needed to keep the project alive and well!  We'd like to
  raise enough funds to enable at least one core developer to work on
  XMonad full-time (or several part-time).  To learn more about our
  plans for the future, see our [GitHub Sponsors] profile.

  Thanks to [one unexpected appearance on the Hacker News front page],
  we already gathered a couple dozen sponsors who donate in total over
  $300 a month.  We're incredibly grateful for this support!  Our fiscal
  host is the [Open Source Collective], so our budget is fully
  transparent on [our Collective's page].

  If you also want to aid our efforts going forward, please consider
  becoming a supporter as well.  We accept both monthly and one-time
  donations through [GitHub Sponsors] and [Open Collective].

  Thank you!

[pace of development]: https://xmonad.org/images/xmonad-0-17/commits.svg
[GitHub Sponsors]: <https://github.com/sponsors/xmonad>
[one unexpected appearance on the Hacker News front page]:
[Open Source Collective]: <https://www.oscollective.org/>
[our Collective's page]: <https://opencollective.com/xmonad>
[Open Collective]: <https://opencollective.com/xmonad>

brandon s allbery kf8nh
allbery.b at gmail.com

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