[xmonad] Newbie: Problems with Layouts and Syntax

john spencer mailinglists at speedpost.net
Fri Feb 29 09:01:10 EST 2008


After having some contact with xmonad 0.4 (and dismissing it for some
reasons) I thought it's time to have a look at it again. And ... wow!
:-)) Maybe it's now time to change - if I can get some things right.

I'm currently a user of larswm; I configured it to have one large main
(master) area and all the other windows of the current workspace
stacked on the right site. With that configuration I am very fast
selecting the window I want and making it the 'master'. I never work
in one of the windows on the right site (you could also work in
fullscreen mode -I hear you say- but for me its much more convenient
to know in ONE look how many times I have to hit the 'next window' key
than checking it every time I switch fullscreen); this means that
these windows are never resized (just once when they are created at
the main area).

Long speech - short sense: I need a fast possibility to select the
window I am interested in. As I can see, I have several possibilities
with xmonad:

1. I could use the Hinted Tile Layout. As far as I understood, this
   layout shouldn't resize the windows when they are put out of the
   master. This would be the same configuration as I use currently
   with larswm. The problem is, it doesn't work always. Some apps
   (ie. aterm, konsole) seem to get resized which results in a nearly
   blank window when getting them back to the master. I don't know why
   the behaviour in larswm is different here - any ideas?

2. I could use the Tabbed Layout. Unfortunately the tabs currently are
   not giving me a really fast glue what is behind them. I have to
   read the title of the tabs - thats not very fast. I can image that
   some color-coding (ie. using regexps in the config) could improve
   this significantly. Also -since working on the terminal means
   looking at the bottom of the screen most of the time- putting the
   tabs at the bottom instead of the top would also be a great
   enhancement. What do you think?

Are there any other options you can think of? Unfortunately I don't
have any progamming skills w/ haskell. Which brings me to another
problem: I'd like to map a key to execute two actions: I want to execute
"windows W.focusDown" followed by a "windows W.swapMaster"; I have no
idea how to specify this:

((modMask .|. shiftMask, xK_Return), ... ??? ... -- windows W.focusDown
&& windows W.swapMaster

Could somebody help me with this? Thanks!

- john


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