[xmonad] Thoughts on the floating layer

Jan Vornberger Jan.Vornberger at Informatik.Uni-Oldenburg.DE
Fri Aug 13 08:45:40 EDT 2010

Hi there!

I would like to discuss some ideas which I have been tossing
around regarding the floating layer.

In Bluetile I discourage the use of the floating layer and hope that
people use the stacking layout instead, because I feel that the floating
layer is fairly confusing to novice users. It feels pretty alien and
managing windows that are currently floating is somewhat cumbersome
(like how to bring one floating window in front of another).

But unfortunately I can't get by completely without it in Bluetile,
because things like dialog windows need to float even in a tiled layout.

So I'm thinking about how the floating layer can be improved. Looking at
the implementation, I feel that the floating layer is a little bit
'bolted on'. So my proposal: how about changing the core so that it
allows to specify a _layout_ for managing floating windows?
At the same time, floating windows could be integrated properly into the
StackSet data structure. Each workspace should have two stacks
associated with them: one that contains the windows in the tiled layer
and the other stack contains the windows in the floating layer.

Obviously few of the current layouts make sense for managing a floating
layer. X.L.PositionStoreFloat might be a possible choice, but one would
probably write a standard one based on what Xmonad core is currently
doing in regards to floating windows.

Having floating windows managed by a layout would remove their 'special
status' and would allow for more customization: For example the
possibility of adding decorations to floating windows as well.

Thoughts on this?

Best regards,

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