[xmonad] A special 'normal' WM-ish virtual desktop

Jan Vornberger Jan.Vornberger at Informatik.Uni-Oldenburg.DE
Thu Nov 4 15:37:10 EDT 2010

Hi Joseph!

On Thu, Nov 04, 2010 at 12:26:20PM -0500, Joseph Garvin wrote:
> What would be the easiest way to setup having a specific virtual desktop act
> more like a traditional WM? Most of the time I want tiling, but occasionally
> a coworker will want to show me something in a multi-windowed app and be at
> a loss as to how to move things around, resize, etc. It'd be nice to just be
> able to switch over to a desktop that acts like a regular window manager and
> have them use that. Alternatively, if there's a way to setup a key combo to
> switch between tiled mode and normal-WM mode, that might even be better. I'm
> sure this is possible since bluetile does it, but I'm not sure how to put it
> together.

Bluetile uses the layout PositionStoreFloat for its stacking mode. You
can use it like any other layout and by activating it for a workspace
you will put that workspace in stacking mode.

You need:
  - X.L.PositionStoreFloat	the layout
  - X.H.PositionStoreHooks	an Event- and ManageHook to deal with
  				 how windows look in stacked mode
  - X.L.NoFrillsDecoration	a decoration to allow windows to be moved around
  - X.L.BorderResize		a layout modifier to allow windows to be
    				    resized with the mouse

If you have a dual-head setup, you might also want to look at
X.H.CurrentWorkspaceOnTop which is a workaround to make dragging windows
from one screen to another work better.

The documentation for all those modules should explain how to integrate
them into an exisiting configuration. But you can also look at
X.C.Bluetile (especially at the line where positionStoreFloat is used)
on how it all fits together.

Hope that helps!

Best regards,

PS: An entirely different approach would be to run something like Xnest
    (or xserver-xephyr is what is used for this today?) on one of your
    workspaces and run a traditional window manager inside of that. I
    used to do that for a while, but the biggest disadvantage is, that
    your clipboard isn't shared with Xnest so copy & paste doesn't work
    as one would like.

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