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Could someone reccomend me a tiling WM

#1
I'd like to start using a Tiling WM but i don't know where to start.

What's a good tiling WM for someone who's never used one before? I'd like one that's easy to configure with xml, plain text or something simple (not haskell)

Not looking like shit would be a bonus as well.


Would have asked /g/ but i managed to screw up my browser so it doesn't display recapcha Sad
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#2
I started with wmii because it had external config files and they were in Bash, something I was familiar with (as opposed to Awesome's Lua or XMonad's Haskell for example). People will tell you that the config format does not matter because there are plenties of examples to use as inspiration and it's all a matter of copy-pasting them. I wouldn't hear any of that because I personally don't really like taking code from people without trying to understand it first. So wmii it was.

wmii was alright! Pretty great even. I did all my getting accomodated to tiling WMs with it and it was excellent. Then it started getting slow after a major version bump (3.0 I think?), not because it was actually slow but because it was interferring with my (proprietary...) Nvidia drivers. Switching workspaces took a bit more than one second, so it was basically unbearable to use. It was still speedy using Nouveau drivers, but I needed the accel Nvidia drivers provided.

Anyway, I moved on to DWM. That was scary at first because the configuration file is compiled into the program, but I learned to work with that and I now find it awesome. It's made by a group of people who call themselves "suckless". They don't like clutter in software, and that's one of the reasons why the config file is just a .h file that sets relevant variables for the C code to use at compile time. I like that. It has about 2k lines of code (not logical lines of code, mind you) with good multi-monitor support and a good userbase that writes patches for additionnal functionality. If you're cool with compiling things and manipulating a couple of source files, this is a great tiling WM for you.

Note that you don't get DWM from your package manager, unless you want the default config. I tweaked the config.mk file to install the WM in my home directory under ${HOME}/usr/ and added ${HOME}/usr/bin to my $PATH. You do need an additional piece of software to launch programs, unless you want to start everything from a terminal. The default is dmenu, also a great suckless project, but you can use pretty much any launcher that you want. I really like dmenu (wmii had something very similar) so I kept that.

EDIT: I'm not sure what you mean by "not looking like shit". I set three color codes for the different elements of my WM and that's all there is. I use no wallpaper and it looks as good as it gets!
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#3
I've installed DWM through my package manager just to give it a go, it seems pretty good. The font rendering is OK (when i tested xmonad it burned my eyes), and i'm thinking of going with it, but this scares me:
Quote:Because dwm is customized through editing its source code, it’s pointless to make binary packages of it. This keeps its userbase small and elitist. No novices asking stupid questions. There are some distributions that provide binary packages though.

I don't know C, or any legitimate programming language for that matter, and i'm afraid that if i run into trouble i won't be able to find any support.


On the 'not looking like shit' note all that's really necessary is user customization.
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#4
Sorry if Mr.Bougo already mentioned this but here is my recommendations:

If you like prefer workspaces, use monsterwm, xmonad or spectrwm(aka scrotwm). If you prefer tags use DWM, WMII or awesomewm. There is also Bluetile that is designed to be working good for mouse-oriented usage and good GNOME integration. The things that makes the different window managers different is if they are dynamic or not, minimal or "bloated"(none is bloated, but some are extremely minimal some not), tags or workspaces, configuration(some will force you to use a certain language such as C(dwm,monsterwm) or haskell(xmonad) some allows configuration in text.

Here is some more info https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Win...w_managers

and here

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Win...w_managers

Just a question, what are you gonna have it for, for example, I use it due to the fact I like to use my keyboard only and tiling window management is the smoothest way to do that for me, some may use it since they simple dont wanna waste screen space, some they like the simplicity that some tiling window managers have, tell us why you want to use it? Smile


BTW: If you want it to look good you'll have to give it bit of time, you have to find good color-scheme(or make your own like me Wink ) configure the terminal, gtk theme, status bar, find a font and customize everything again with that one etc. And also find a good wallpaper! Tongue

Found this: http://dwm.suckless.org/dynamic_window_management it explains dynamic window management
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#5
machine, could you explain the difference between tags and workspaces? Don't tags provide everything workspaces do? (Unless you mean that workspaces have their own individual settings on how to display the windows they contain, which indeed DWM does not do natively but I've seen patches for this)

(10-16-2012, 01:25 AM)s1lencer Wrote: I've installed DWM through my package manager just to give it a go, it seems pretty good. The font rendering is OK (when i tested xmonad it burned my eyes), and i'm thinking of going with it, but this scares me:
Quote:Because dwm is customized through editing its source code, it’s pointless to make binary packages of it. This keeps its userbase small and elitist. No novices asking stupid questions. There are some distributions that provide binary packages though.

I don't know C, or any legitimate programming language for that matter, and i'm afraid that if i run into trouble i won't be able to find any support.


On the 'not looking like shit' note all that's really necessary is user customization.

That's indeed relatively scary, but I was fortunate enough not to see that when I jumped in, and I've never needed any support. I'm cool with the default feature set though, if you want to do advanced customization you might need to write some code.

Now that I'm using DWM, I don't mind that text blurb above very much. I've learned how to do the configuration (edit config.mk to suit my compilation/installing needs, change a few things in config.h, add some key bindings etc.) easily because I was already a bit familiar with compiling software and doing minor source edits. But if it turns out this isn't your thing, there are plenties of tiling WMs that are very lightweight and take inspiration from DWM, so you still have all these user-friendlier options available.
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#6
Workspaces are different desktops with its own settings, you can for example choose different layouts on different workspaces. With tags you only got one desktop, and the windows you have can be "tagged" to different views, so it is kinda like workspaces but you can't for example have fib tiling mode in tag 1 and b-stack tiling mode in tag 2, instead you can apply those to the windows. The workspace concept is old, not sure who first invented it, tags are an idea invented by Rob Pike. It was first introduced in acme a text editor in the operating system plan9, uriel(which sadly enough died recently :'( ) liked this idea and made wmii which is based on that concept, after that many adapted the idea, like larswm, dwm etc. Tags are designed for programming, aka managing terminals and text editors, but works great for normal window management as well.

BTW s1lencer, we can help you with configuring, patching and understanding dwm, monsterwm etc. so dont feel scared to try them, just post your question and i can assist you, and im sure Mr.Bougo will help too! Wink
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#7
I don't think I'll go through the trouble of learning a new WM, but if you have dwm-related questions I can try.

So yeah, I get the difference between tags and workspaces, but they are not really orthogonal concepts and I'm pretty sure there are patches available for many WMs to change from one to the other.
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#8
(10-16-2012, 02:16 PM)Mr. Bougo Wrote: I don't think I'll go through the trouble of learning a new WM, but if you have dwm-related questions I can try.

So yeah, I get the difference between tags and workspaces, but they are not really orthogonal concepts and I'm pretty sure there are patches available for many WMs to change from one to the other.

I didn't mean you have to learn a new wm, I though more if he chose to try dwm. Wink
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#9
Thanks everyone for being so helpful.
I think i'm going to try spectrwm(or more accurately the outdated scrotwm in the ubuntu repos) since it has a text config file.

Hopefully my head won't explode.
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#10
So you don't like xmonad? Sad

You don't need to know C, Lua or Haskell to configure a WM. Follow the documentation and try some examples. If you are stuck ask for help. There are at least 3 people who can help with DWM just in this forum.

----
Oh, new post. spectrwm is a wise choice if you don't want to touch code.
somewhere
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#11
Specrwm is very easy to configure and has all the basics I need right now.
I'm going to try to use it for a week and see how it is.

Machine! where should i go to get colour schemes?

EDIT:

found these for colors:
http://xcolors.net/

http://ciembor.github.com/4bit/
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#12
Here's some I like:

http://ethanschoonover.com/solarized

https://github.com/chriskempson/tomorrow-theme

https://github.com/klrr/cookies

What terminal and shell are you using by the way?
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#13
gnome-terminal

bash
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#14
Okey, well getting your WM look good is done this way:
1. Find a color scheme for your terminal and a fitting gtk(or/and qt) theme.
2. Make your WM in some color found in your color-scheme.
3. Make a cool PS1 and do aliases for your programs so those who have have their color options turned on
4. Found a cool wallpaper
5. Post a screenshot here Wink

EDIT: Dont forget finding a cool font and use it in your wm, terminal and gtk theme.
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#15
what's PS1?
Currently i have done the following :
generate a color scheme with the tool i shared
set the colors of my wm to match
set the font of my terminal and wm to terminus 9 pt
Make a minimalist wallpaper using my color scheme that i'm not sure i like.
found an out-of-the way firefox theme that doesn't look too bad. (I don't have any buttons or tabs on the UI)
Screenshots: (imgur album)

http://imgur.com/a/URZjs#0


I'm not really sure i like the color scheme, i want something more monochromeish and washed out.


I went to /g/ looking for some and some guy has a github repo with 8 themes and a bunch of config files and scripts. I like the 'deafheaven' and 'flower' ones

https://github.com/phallus/bkp

(scrots in the readme.md)

EDIT:
a quick rundown of my todo list:
[] find a dark gtk+ theme for the 1 and 1/2 apps that use gtk
[] install screenfetch or something similar (It will be the second app i have ever installed that's not in repos or PPA, the first being xonotic this morning)
[] consider changing color schemes
[] make a better wallpaper
[] wait for ubuntu update tomorrow to add overlay scrollbars to firefox


So today i learned the basics of make and chmod
tomorrow i might try to learn to clone with git Big Grin
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#17
OK, got a simple ps1 setup:
[Image: N22ts.png]
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#18
Big Grin
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#19
What exactly is a tiling manager? Does it work with DEs, or are they their own DE?
How long is a piece of string?
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#20
Tiling wm = An window manager that tiles the windows

DE = A complete set of desktop applications and shell(aka window manager, panel etc.)
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#21
(10-19-2012, 05:37 PM)anark10n Wrote: What exactly is a tiling manager? Does it work with DEs, or are they their own DE?

Usually tiling WMs are built with efficiency and minimalism in mind (except maybe that one Compiz tiling module Tongue) so I don't think you'll see them include enough specialized tools to make them a DE. A DE is, as machine said, a huge bundle of software that often comes with a WM included or sometimes two. Some DEs can make use of a user-specified WM instead of the default one, too.

For example, Gnome2 comes with Compiz and Metacity, and supports the WINDOW_MANAGER environment variable (supposedly) that lets the user chose a different WM. So you can totally use Gnome2 with DWM but it's not very practical with the panels that aren't tilable and therefore must be managed as floating windows for example.

A tiling WM makes use of your whole screen to display windows in a tiled fashion. So most of the time you don't have any windows overlapping. Because of that, they also make extensive use of workspaces or tags, which are ways to filter which windows are displayed on the screen. For example, I keep my web browsing in tag 3, irc in tag 2, temporary terminals in tags 0, 1, 9, etc. To get to my irc window I just press whatever shortcut I assigned to tag 2 (Super-2 in my case) and I have my irc window(s) right there.

Tiling WMs are very nice because they free you from using your mouse to manage windows. In a traditional stacked WM you can move windows in a continuous way, but tiling WMs constrain the arrangement of windows and that makes it more convenient for keyboard use. I don't like non-tiling WMs because they give me a huge clutter of overlapping and minimized windows that I need to alt-tab through to get to the one I want. And on top of that, the ordering of those windows always changes, so it's never the same amount of alt-tabbing to get to the same window. It takes time and mouse usage and that's super slow.

Another nice thing about tiling WMs is that they usually use screen estate optimally. You don't get huge window decorators (the title bar with the buttons to maximize/minimize/close) which are quite the waste of space. All my windows get a one-pixel border and their title shows in the bottom bar, which is the only bar that my WM displays and is 20-ish pixels tall.

EDIT: See screenshot:
[Image: HmRoTl.png]

EDIT2: And, as you can see, I like saving screen estate and using my keyboard, so I got the Pentadactyl addon for Firefox that lets me use vim-like bindings to do most of my webbrowsing and conveniently get rid of useless GUI elements such as the navigation bar.
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#22
Good explaination!
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#23
That's pretty neat! Man, FOSS is just the shit (excuse profanity)! Will have to try this some time, i need to cut down on my reliance of my mouse as well, @machine! and @Mr. Bougo thanks for the explanations.
How long is a piece of string?
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#24
I bet both OS X and Win32 have tiling window-managers too though.
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#25
Never meant to imply they didn't
How long is a piece of string?
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