Re: [wmii] summary of some #wmii talk on 2006-03-02

From: Anselm R. Garbe <>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 08:31:12 +0100

Once you get used to dynamic window management, it feels exactly
what you call tacit, because you don't have to think HOW to
arrange windows, the WM does it for you and shouldn't get in
your way. Sure, one needs to get used to it.

And as we wrote in dynamic WM, I really doubt, that static
layouts ever will properly work and can be easily adapted to new
requirements or frequently changing tasks.


On Fri, Mar 03, 2006 at 06:11:43PM -0500, Karl Guertin wrote:
> Window managers exist provide two functions: window layout and window
> switching. I spend about 30 seconds arranging windows at the start of
> my day, regardless of window manager. It's more difficult with
> standard overlapping wms, but it's not really that big of a deal.
> Switching windows, on the other hand, is my primary use of a window
> manager. More importantly, switching windows occurs during workflow
> and the faster I can switch, the less chance I have of breaking the
> thought process. I therefore consider switching windows to be far more
> important than laying out windows.
> wmii took the wrong direction in its focus on dynamically laying out
> an arbitrary number of windows and as a result it became impossible to
> build up a muscle memory for switching to an arbitrary window. This
> means that once you decide to switch windows, you have to find the
> window you want to switch to, then work through the stack of windows
> to the one you want, and then switch. With expose you have to do the
> same thing , but at least you can see everything at once. With my
> tacit setup on wmi-10 (yes, I still use wmi) I can switch between a
> dozen apps using no more than three keystrokes and I always place the
> same apps in the same locations so I don't have to think about where
> they are.
> I actually want the exact opposite of a dynamic window manager. I want
> a tacit* window manager, one that has the ability to put the same
> window in the same place every time it appears. The challenge is
> mainly in determining what makes a window the 'same'. I wouldn't, for
> example, want every xterm in the same place, but only because it's
> difficult there to figure out what type of app an xterm will become
> (irc client?, news reader?, shell?, music player? etc). The other
> feature would be to allow me to jump to a given window as predictably
> as possible. wmi allows for this as long as you maintain a rigid
> window layout, but maintaining that layout is more tedious than I'd
> like.
> * In HCI parlance a tacit action is an action that can be achieved
> without thought, or at least without interrupting another thought
> process. An example: You're talking on your cell phone when you walk
> into a dark room in your house. The tacit action is turning on the
> lights. Do you have to stop your conversation, think about how to get
> the lights on, find the switch, and flip it on or do you just hit it
> while continuing your conversation because you know where it is and
> how to operate it?
> Back on topic, I'm pleased to see this happening. I think this is one
> step toward making wmii as usable as wmi. I'll probably take another
> look at wmii when wmii-3 comes out.
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 Anselm R. Garbe  ><><  ><><  GPG key: 0D73F361
Received on Sat Mar 04 2006 - 08:31:15 UTC

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