[xmonad] Thoughts on the floating layer

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Fri Aug 13 12:58:01 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.

I think it should be possible to have an elegant 2-level StackSet , with
sensible navigation between the two layers. However, the logic for
managing the boundary cases where focus switches from the first to the
second layer is significantly more complicated than the current very
clean code.

-- Don

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