[Xmonad] darcs patch: An alternative mosaic layout implementation

David Roundy droundy at darcs.net
Tue Oct 2 10:28:06 EDT 2007

On Tue, Oct 02, 2007 at 02:45:12AM +0100, Jamie Webb wrote:
> This is a new layout which is very similar to David's Mosaic, but produces
> different tilings. The algorithm is simpler, but I think it gives more useful
> results. It divides the space in a more balanced way, in particular trying
> to avoid very narrow windows.

This looks pretty nice, although it is less flexible.  The algorithms that
Mosaic uses need to be totally rewritten, but I like the ideas behind them
(which is to write down a "goodness" function and then minimize it).  The
trouble is that discrete minimization is hard... but the real reason that
Mosaic has languished is that Combo works better for me.  Dynamical tiling
just has trouble competing with static tiling intelligently laid out.
Particularly when the dynamical tiling is constrained to display all
windows--very often there *is* no useful way to display all windows.

So if I get around to working on Mosaic again, I'll probably work on
finding a way of mingling it with something like Tabbed, so that it can
ensure that every visible window is usefully visible (e.g. no xterms less
than 80 chars wide or two chars tall, and no emacsen less than 80 chars
wide or two dozen chars tall).  This will also have the benefit of both
making the algorithm faster (fewer windows displayed means exponentially
fewer possible tilings) and as a result simpler (e.g. we may be able to try
exhaustive search of tilings, provided window areas are kept fixed).  The
trouble is figuring out which window to hide when the user clicks on one of
the tabs.  Plus, I don't have much time for xmonad hacking.
David Roundy
Department of Physics
Oregon State University

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