[xmonad] thinking of switching...

Eyal Erez oneself at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 16:09:30 CEST 2011

I don't know Haskell very well at all.  Although I am a developer (mostly
Python and Java).  I find Haskell's syntax annoyingly confusing.  However, I
have a pretty extensive and very customized xmonad.hs file.  I was able to
create it by reading documentation, and asking the xmonad mailing list many
many specific questions.  And the investment has been well worth it.  The
community around xmonad is fantastic. It's really active, and very
responsive and supportive.

I won't lie, it does take some time and effort, but I was able to get xmonad
to work _exactly_ the way I want to.

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 21:22, Norbert Zeh <nzeh at cs.dal.ca> wrote:

> Allan Wind [2011.09.07 1741 -0400]:
> > On 2011-09-07 17:01:55, serialhex wrote:
> > > my Q is:  how much haskell do i need to know to use it effectively?  at
> the
> > > moment i am pre-alpha grasshopper status in my haskell coding skills,
> (i
> > > know haskell exists and is high on my list of languages to learn)
> though i
> > > don't want to have to become a haskell guru in order to be able to use
> > > xmonad.  so really, what's the learning curve like to start using
> xmonad?
> >
> > It depends what you want to do, of course.
> >
> > I am happy with my 19 line configuration file constructed by
> > reviewing the excellent documentation and I think a couple of web
> > searches.  No prior knowledge of Haskell and next to none now.
> >
> > Why not give a try and see how it goes?
> I second that.  I know Haskell reasonably well by now (it's my #1
> language for any project where I don't have a good reason to use
> something else) but I would consider most of my 267-line xmonad.hs to be
> little more than specifying configuration options that happen to be
> written in Haskell but whose meaning should be clear even to people
> without any knowledge of Haskell.
> You need to know more Haskell if you want to do stuff that's currently
> not in core xmonad or in the quite extensive xmonadcontrib extension
> library (that's why my xmonad.hs is so long).  But then, since you say
> Haskell is high on your list of languages to learn, once you reach the
> point that you'd be interested in a feature that's currently not there,
> trying to implement this feature may just be the right kind of toy
> project to get your feet wet and dig a little deeper into the language.
> One thing that I can see to be a bit of a challenge is to get the types
> of things in your configuration file right.  When I started using
> xmonad, I was constantly bitten by trying to bind pure functions that
> manipulate the window list of a workspace to a key, while a key can only
> be bound to an action in the X monad.  However, if you run into any
> issues like that, there's always the mailing list ;) and it doesn't take
> too long to get a hang of it.
> I came to xmonad from awesome 3 years ago.  I was quite hooked on
> awesome back then but had enough when it segfaulted on me when working
> to meet a conference deadline.  So I was looking for something more
> stable and with similar functionality, found xmonad, and it didn't crash
> on me once in these 3 years.  The Haskell compiler being so anal about
> lots of things, including types checking out, is I think a big part of
> why xmonad is so stable.
> Cheers,
> Norbert
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*Eyal Erez <**oneself at gmail.com* <oneself at gmail.com>*>*

There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.
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