Re: [dwm] Window management ideas

From: Ritesh Kumar <>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 08:04:18 -0500

On Dec 9, 2007 6:09 PM, Jonas Pfenniger <> wrote:

> I like that DWM is minimalist. Actually I don't care about the LOC,
> but as a user, it's simple to use and doesn't get in my feets. Well,
> almost. Actually I have two griefs : terminal resizes and I often
> loose a window and must go trough the different "tags" until I find
> it.

I guess using mod 0 should get you back your window. To know which tag the
window is in look out for a filled square above the numbers. Its kinda
obscure but the information is definitely out there. :)

> It's sad to say, but I think terminal will never be 100% flicker-free
> when resizing. There is no such thing as loosing line endings because
> you used Mod-0 instead of Mod-9. In the fact, I'd much prefer them to
> stay at 80char (or a multiple). It sounds weird to craft a special
> rule for xterm and it's brothers but text application are in another
> world than GUI apps.

I feel the same problem too. xterm is actually a bit better... it at least
preserves the bottommost lines. rxvt preserves lines on the top of the
window on resizing which leaves me clueless the moment I zoom back on the
window. Of course, both xterm and rxvt lose characters from right hand side
columns on a width shrink. Is there a reason why they don't lay out the text

> Tagging windows is quite boring. From the WMII highly-customizable,
> now DWM has simplified to 1-9+www. Is there a reason ? I think giving
> names is hard and this part of the brain is also used while coding. I
> know that DWM must stay simple, but visual elements may be another
> good approach.
> This may sound a great departure from DWM but I think that using
> OpenGL composition would allow to resize the terminals easily while
> keeping the 80chars with. I could also provide good visual feedback
> for window ordering. Think of all the ways you could browse trough the
> windows. This has nothing to do with fancy 3D but all with providing
> powerful mechanisms.

OpenGL based shrinking of the window can very easily make fonts ugly or even
illegible. The answer lies in reflowing the text through the window. I have
no idea why xterm doesn't do it already (or may be it does with an option?).
Plus, given the tiling, there isn't a window order really to convey to the
user... Of course using compositing can enable some nice "quick view" modes
for all the windows. However, I am pretty sure that seasoned dwm users
prefer to memorize and use a work -> tag mapping instead of relying on
quickview for ease/speed of use reasons.

Plus, opengl based window managers (or any simultaneously running opengl
app) tends to hinder the performance of opengl games (big issue for me, BTW
any ut2004 players here?). This whole opengl based compositing thing remains
afloat precisely for supporting animations in window management. If you just
wanted a "quick view" without animations... opengl is actually *not* needed.
Mac OS X's quartz display architecture is way cleaner than OpenGL + X11.
That's the reason why they can effectively mix OpenGL apps with their window
management tricks. Window management is way too critical to put on something
like OpenGL + X11.

Received on Mon Dec 10 2007 - 14:06:45 UTC

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