Re: [dwm] dwm: request to discuss

From: Anselm R Garbe <>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 10:03:02 +0100

Hi there,

2008/8/27 Maxim Vuets <>:
> So. What I want to know is that why dwm uses built-in status bar,
> when even such "heavy" WM as metacity does not has such one?
> The problems I see: dwm somehow needs to pass current tags
> status. Not a problem in fact. And not a requirement, is not it?
> Also dwm must do a padding to make another bar to fit. (Not sure.)
> Advantages: a lot. You can any status bar you want. (We can write
> our own suckless status bar.) (;
> Unix-way, because WM will just manage windows, but not shows
> some additional info. (Recall xmonad---it does not has status bar,
> only via extensions.)
> No body will annoy about that "stupid squares". *joking*

The reason for the built-in status bar is simplicity. In theory it would be
possible to externalize it, but then you would end up with adding some
kind of command interface to dwm to aim the mouse interaction from
the bar. In the end externalizing the bar won't really be a benefit, because
the modularized result will be more complex, and dwm might be
more complex.

Even if one considers a bar externalization as a shared object, which is
loadable, this would introduce the need of a plugin API, which won't provide
the same level of flexibility as hooking into the source code, which allows
you everything.

> Next, tags. Really cool idea for sure. But let's be honest: how much
> of us use them as tags, not as workspaces? I think not much.
> The most common usage would be the kinda this: you have tags
> "www", "devel", "gfx", "movie" and so on. On the first one you keep
> browser, mail reader. On the second one---vim or emacs, terminal
> or two... Etc. From time to time you are switching among them.
> This way is called named workspaces. No?
> I don't propose to get rid of tags, no! I propose to introduce
> workspaces in addition to tags. It will be just sets which keep
> current layout and selected tags. That's all!
> I want to use some layout scheme to one set of windows and
> another layout to another set. dwm cannot do it. awesome can
> (exactly for 2.x, don't know about 3.x). But it is broken---it tryies to use
> tags (yes, they are still tags) as workspaces. It remembers layout per
> tag.

It's the nature of dwm since the first minute to not follow the workspace model.
Actually I use the tagging concept with at least two tags at a time
quite frequently.
Adding a layer onto tags might suit you, but I doubt I will accept such a change
in mainstream dwm, since it adds at least two operations of navigation.

> Also small title for each window may be usufull. (Especilly, if status bar
> will be separated to 3rd-party app.) But not sure. Seems that it does not
> conform to the dwm philosophy.

We had small title bars on top of unfocused windows a while ago, but I
removed this
for simplicity reasons and because it is obvious what kind of client
is associated in a tiled environment ;)

Kind regards,
Received on Thu Aug 28 2008 - 09:03:02 UTC

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