[xmonad] Re: Config File Format

Justin Bogner mail at justinbogner.com
Fri May 16 00:09:36 EDT 2008

Braden Shepherdson wrote:
> But the principal goal is not simplification of configuration so much as 
> removing the GHC dependency. The target users here are people 
> downloading the Debian or Ubuntu packages for xmonad, who'd like to 
> change their mod key to Windows instead of the massively overloaded left 
> alt default. Whoops, they need to install GHC, get the template 
> xmonad.hs, make the change, and get it compiling. If someone just wanted 
> to "try it out", do you think they'd continue?
> But if the process was "create ~/.xmonad/xmonad.conf, and put the line 
> 'modMask = 4' in it, then press mod+q", that's not a big deal.

I don't see why a ghc dependency is a big deal in environments like 
debian and ubuntu, other than the fact that they lagged way behind on 
versions until recently. The overhead of installing ghc in order to edit 
the config is similar to the overhead of installing, say, python so that 
you can run a python app. Disk space is cheap and package management is 
transparent these days.

I kind of disapprove of there being more than one type of configuration 
in the core, as I think it will just make things more confusing for new 
users (and how do you deal with it if somebody uses both configurations? 
Debugging new users' problems when they show up on irc is that much 
harder, and thus discouraging).

A very minor gui configurator, on the other hand, could just be a series 
of simple prompts (what do you want your mod key to be?) that address 
the things people very commonly change.
Justin Bogner

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