Re: [wmii] suggestions for the sanitizing of swapping

From: Stefan Tibus <>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 10:31:59 +0200

On Sat, May 06, 2006 at 07:34:38PM +0200, Uriel wrote:
> On 5/6/06, Sander van Dijk <> wrote:
> >On 5/6/06, Uriel <> wrote:
> >> You guys are wasting your time, larswm already got swapping and
> >> cycling(which is even more important) right many years ago, but Im not
> >> even sure garbeam ever learned to use cycling in larswm, no wonder it
> >> has never worked in wmi(i), but it was one of the greatest larswm
> >> features.
> >I've used larswm for quite some time and I agree that swapping was
> >very useful there. That does not mean that it can be copied to wmii
> >"as is" however. There's a fundamental difference between larswm and
> >wmii: in wmii neither the amount of columns, nor the amount of clients
> >per column is fixed. The reason swapping is simple in larswm is that
> >is has only two columns, of which the left one cannot contain more
> >than one client. Under those circumstances it is very easy to tell
> >where a client should go on swap: to the left "maxcol" if that's not
> >where it is, or to the top of the track if it was in the "maxcol". Due
> >to wmii's more general column layout (which allows much more
> >flexibilty), the decision of what client to swap with is more complex.
> >From my pov, as I already explained yesterday, swapping doesn't really
> >fit in the wmii approach, hence I'd personally like to see it removed.
> >However, if it is to stay, it should better work _predictable_, which
> >it doesn't right now; I'm not trying to reinvent any wheels here, just
> >to adapt them so they fit on the wmii vehicle a bit better :-)
> >Greetings, Sander.
> If Wmii can't do swaping and cycling like larswm I would find this
> this sad and pathetic.
> I don't buy the excuse that wmii's multiple columns system is a
> problem, you can always handle cycling and swapping in the context of
> the current column and the one to the left of the current column (if
> there is one, otherwise the one to the right).
> uriel
Hmm... Implementing cycling with more than two columns doesn't make
any sense. The much I liked it in larswm, the useless it is if you
have more than two columns. Trying to fix this by saying "cycle with
the next column to the left/right" is bad.

And actually one doesn't need cycling if swapping works well.
Cycling to the n-th client in the slave column is n keystrokes.
With swapping it's always n+1 keystrokes, but swapping is more
flexible and doesn't need an assumption of whether to cycle left
or right. Swapping is even more powerful if you think of a three
column layout with the master in the center.

The only problem swapping currently has is the lack of visual
representation of the swapping target. I think here we have to
get a bit more creative than just highlighting the tags but not
the full title bar or adding a sign to it. A second less-highlighting
color is not very creative as well, but may work as a start and
can flexibly be set to not be too attention-rising. Regarding the
question "where does my focus go?" this is not as relevant, but
would help as well. So it's not just for swapping. Since there is
a selected client in unselected columns there should be some
representation for it (and then unpredictability is gone).

Entirely removing swapping of wmii is not a good idea, and even
less good if its current unpredictability and some lines of code are
the only reasons to do so. Swapping offers a well-usable functionality
which is not easily replaced by several moves! And being open-
minded one should see this point. Who ever really used all features
of the software he uses? It's good to remove useless ones, but
not-used-by-everyone does not imply they're useless...

Received on Mon May 08 2006 - 10:32:32 UTC

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