Re: [dwm] newbie question: floating vs tiled layout

From: Anselm R Garbe <>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 15:41:28 +0100

2008/9/9 bill lam <>:
> What is the significance of tiled vs floating as that shown in the
> icon on the statusbar for []= ><> ?
> I'm puzzled because
> 1. each tag can have different layout yet the icon is common
> to all tags.

The data model of dwm looks like this:

[1...] screens : 1 main screen

1 main screen : 1 view (1 status bar)

1 view : [1...] tags overall, [1...] selected tags

1 view : [1...] layouts

1 view : [1...] clients

1 client : [1...] tags

So there is only 1 view in vanilla dwm, which means the current layout
algorithm in use is global, regardless what or how many tags are
selected. Some patches allow layout per tag however, but this is not
vanilla dwm.

> 2. take firefox as an example, the window can be dragged
> or resized (turned in floating) but the layout icon does not change

The layout symbol is global and it wether applies to all clients or to
non-floating/tiled clients. The floating layout applies to all clients
for instance, whereas the tiled layout applies to non-floating clients
only. If you move/resize any tiled window like firefox or a terminal,
it will be made floating implicitely (it can be returned using
Mod1-Shift-space to tiled state for example). But this is only
toggling the client state between not floating and floating, and might
have no real effect if the layout in use doesn't distinguishes between
floating and not floating clients like the floating layout.

The distinction between floating and non-floating has been introduced
because there are plenty clients which aren't usable in a tiled way.
That's also why dwm restacks floating clients on top of non-floating
clients in layout algorithms which support this distinction (like the
default tiled layout).

So the layout symbol is only about the layout algorithm currently in
use in the view, which is global by default.

The client state is symbolized by an existing or missing small square
in front of the clients title, clients in floating state have a small
squere in front their title, clients in tiled state doesn't.

Received on Tue Sep 09 2008 - 14:41:28 UTC

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