[xmonad] Using Xmonad as your IDE

Amy de Buitléir amy at nualeargais.ie
Fri Jan 6 18:18:38 CET 2012

I've been using Xmonad for years, and have it customised so that it perfectly
suits the way I work. So I hate using most IDEs because they have their own idea
of how the edit panes, etc., should be laid out. And I often want multiple
terminal windows associated with a project, which most IDEs don't support.

Finally I hacked together my own minimal "IDE" in the form of a shell script.
I've been using it for 6 months now, and I find it very convenient. To give you
an idea how I use it, I associate each project with a different Xmonad desktop.
One keystroke invokes the editor. If the current selection is a filename, it
will be opened. Otherwise, it prompts me for a file to edit using dmenu (so I
usually only have to type a couple of characters to find the file I'm interested
in, no matter where it's located in the directory structure). The selection can
include line and column information, e.g., "MyProg.hs:8:15:"; the cursor will be
set to that location.

You might be interested in trying my script if:

1. You want an ultra-lightweight IDE.

2. You use an Xwindow manager that automatically lays out your applications. (I
use Xmonad, but you should be able to use wIDE with any Xwindow manager.)

3. You want to edit files using the editor and terminal of your choice.

4. You don't need an IDE to find function, variable and class definitions for
you. (I might add ctags support late, but for now, wIDE is probably best suited
for one-person projects.)

5. You're familiar with Unix shell scripts. (wIDE is a small shell script, so
it's easy to customise and extend.)

The current version is available at http://code.google.com/p/wide/ . Happy hacking!

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