[xmonad] Layout question: can I have a little column for chat windows?

W. Kaplan walter.kaplan at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 12:15:32 EDT 2009

Hello all,

I am looking for a way to be able to stack some chat windows (Psi) on
the side of my screen. The way I imagine it would make use a narrow column.

The problem I have so far is that, no matter what I try, I am always
encumbered in one way or another.

These are the things I tried:

I can kind of create the layout I want using Tall or
XMonad.Layout.ThreeColumns (depending on how I want my main windows to
be arranged). These arrangements take a little while to set up though,
and just one new window messes everything up again. That's why I'm
hoping to find a way to have windows that are pretty much ignored on the
side while using a normally behaving Tall layout for the rest.

I could use XMonad.Layout.Gaps and floating windows on top of that empty
space, but that, of course, just feels terribly wrong. After all I would
have to manually resize several windows then. Besides that it would do
what I'm looking for though.

XMonad.Layout.IM is great because the roster column is inflexible and
doesn't get in the way when managing the other windows. I also like the
idea of defining a specific window class to be put into that column.
However, that column is meant for a single window and I couldn't spawn
new windows inside it.

XMonad.Layout.LayoutCombinators would be an incredibly flexible way to
do it. However, the shrinking/growing etc. keys are applied to the
parent layout. This makes it hard to actually manage windows in the
contained layouts. Additionally I couldn't spawn new windows inside the
second layout either. No matter what layout I set it to it always seemed
to be Full with only one window. Maybe these problems can be solved with
extra keys or so?

I am pretty new to XMonad and like to assume that I just don't know of
the right way to configure it. I just hope I could make myself clear enough.

Thank you for your help.

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