[xmonad] does it make any sense?

Christian Thiemann mail at christian-thiemann.de
Fri Nov 16 17:31:10 EST 2007

Hi Andrea,

I have been missing a lot of the activity on xmonad in the last two 
weeks and thus I was somewhat puzzled by the main inversion leaving the 
darcs version not compiling on my machine.  Meanwhile I upgraded to GHC 
6.8 and read your documentation and now I got a good idea of the new 
xmonad philosophy.  I still need to find some time to actually convert 
my config, but the documentation helped a lot to understand how to do it 
(well, at least to make me think that I understand how to do that ;-) ).

Regarding the issue about non-haskellers having to handle things like 
Data.Map for modifying keys, I think you made a good move to mention the 
EZConfig and CustomKeys modules in the documentation.  Especially the 
EZConfig thing looks quite intuitive and easy (though I can't judge if 
there are conceptual drawbacks with respect to CustomKeys).

So, the Documentation module is indeed great work.  I also like Don's 
idea of making it a wiki article which would probably make it easier for 
non-coders to add documentation (because they don't need to get into 
recording and sending darcs patches), but on the other hand your 
integrated-with-the-source approach is very stylish and I don't know how 
many "normal" (i.e. not code-contributing) users would be able to 
document how to use features that others write but do not document ;-)


Andrea Rossato wrote:
> Hi.
> Sorry if I keep bothering with that. I don't know why, but
> documentation is something I care quite a lot about, and I don't know
> if what I'm doing, which is also quire time consuming, is worthy.
> I'm writing the new Documentation module[1] as if it were a tutorial
> for haskell beginners or intermediate users who want to start playing
> with configuring xmonad. The idea, in part supported by David if I did
> correctly understand him, was to have an introduction to xmonad
> internals...
> ...which brings me to two question:
> 1. who should be the audience of a documentation like that, which
>    remains a Haddock library documentation?
> 2. what is a user required to know in order to being actually able to
>    configure xmonad? 
> I mean, if I get it right, customizing the key bindings means dealing
> with a Data.Map.Map, with insertions, unions, and so forth. To be done
> explicitly in Haskell. Which makes configuration so powerful and
> everything so exciting. This is why we like XMonad, after all. This is
> why we did not write a window manager, but a library to let every user
> write a window manager in 3 lines of haskell! But if you don't know
> Haskell at all and don't care anything about it?
> I think I need some help documenting that: should I stick with my
> initial proposal or should we find a better way to write something
> targeted at a broader audience? i think that, in this second case,
> things get more complicated. And is it the right place for something
> intended for the general user?
> Any suggestion is welcome.
> Andrea
> [1] http://gorgias.mine.nu/xmonad/xmonad-contrib/Documentation.html
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Christian Thiemann
mail at christian-thiemann.de

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