[Xmonad] [HUMOR] xmonad useless without programming skills ?

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Fri Sep 14 16:46:38 EDT 2007

> Spencer Janssen wrote:
> > Config.hs has been called our Haskell trojan horse -- perhaps it is time to
> > learn Haskell? ;)
> This is also an unspoken assumption in many of the replies to the OP,
> and there's an important point there which everyone seems to be brushing
> aside: Users who have absolutely no interest in programming or learning
> how to program (the majority of computer users -- and yes, even of Linux
> users) are going to be put off by xmonad and move on to some other
> window manager that's easier to configure. That's regrettable because I
> believe xmonad could benefit more than just programmers.

How many non-programmers are using tiling window managers in X11 though?

> Xmonad should be explicitly advertised as a "window manager you need to
> learn minimal Haskell to configure" unless a conventional configuration
> scheme is planned. Otherwise it's just wasting the time of users who
> would have chosen some other window manager had they known ahead of time
> what they were getting into. Frustrating such users on the off chance
> that one or two may decide to join the ranks of Haskellers is an unfair
> trade-off IMO.

We use Haskell as the configuration language for expressivity only --
leading to the amazing explosion of extensions.

Similar window managers make their own choices:

    ion   -- you need to learn lua
    dwm   -- you need to learn C
    wmii  -- you need to write shell (or ruby)
    emacs -- you need to learn lisp

Simple configuration of xmonad requires no Haskell skills, and we've
had very very few complaints about config files not type checking, so
all in all, I'm not terribly convinced the use of Haskell has been

What would the alternatives look like? Some ad hoc 1st (or 0th) order,
configuration language like .muttrc or something nasty like VimScript?

-- Don

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