Re: [wmii] "Rows" of columns? (feature/behaviour suggestion)

From: Chris Foster <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 00:53:34 +1000

On Wed, Feb 14, 2007 at 01:15:47PM +0000, Mark Gibbens wrote:
> >(1) I *really* like the way wmii has come to revolve around one
> >principal window management model. The column model is as close to
> >perfect as I can currently imagine. I think adding different
> >management models again would be a step backwards. There is an
> >inspiring purity of concept with wmii and I like the idea that you can
> >move closer to perfection by a process of constant simplification.
> Another aspect of the model is that there are exactly two levels: the
> columns and the windows within the columns. Your suggestion is to add
> another level whereas my suggestion is to keep the number of levels
> the same.

I think a row-based analogue of the column layout is so conceptually
similar that it wins over the idea of creating yet another layer.

> > (2) Horizontal stacking (or "shunting"?!) seems ugly, to my mind. The
> > only way I can think it might be achieved would be to revolve window
> > titles 90 degrees. This would start to break down the consistency of
> > interface. Also we are used to reading text horizontally, so vertical
> > reading would become more difficult (Though I imagine there could be a
> > strong case for vertical text flow in some languages).

This is indeed a problem - I'm very much a fan of the stacking mode,
but I think you're absolutely correct when you say vertical bars will be
difficult to read no matter which implementation was chosen. OTOH, I
think we would need vertical bars for consistency of navigation (the
idea of using h and l to switch between horizontally stacked clients
just doesn't seem right). I tend to remember windows by position rather
than inspecting the titles, so I think this may be a relative non-issue
for me personally.

> > (3) I think that multiple rows, each containing the familiar column
> > layout, would be much more useful and flexible that the entire screen
> > being either columns or rows.

I think those people who were around before wmii-1 will agree when I
note that usability and flexibility can be very different things. The
layout model in pre-1 was incredibly flexible, and also rather unusable

> > This follows on logically from what we've got, rather than
> > reimplementing it in a different but equally limited way.

Yes, equally limited, but in a *different* way. All the corner usage
cases I can think of right now which I have wanted to use - but which
are left out by the column mode - are covered by an analogous row mode.

> >I see your point!
> >On the other hand, there are already three levels - windows, columns
> >and tags. One branch of my original idea was simply to show multiple
> >tags on the same screen.
> Ah, I had read that but then forgotten. That is indeed quite
> elegant. It would also merge well with Xinerama: If there is support
> for showing more than one tag on screen at the same time, we might as
> well show them on different heads.

Having unions of tags on the same screen was a concept that was briefly
played with in the past (just after tags were first implemented) but
discarded as not very useful. That was without the idea of a row-mode
however. Note that a row mode of 1+2 would clash with any clients
tagged as 1+2 - IMHO a nasty IMHO corner case...

Personally I don't think I'd use this much, but I can see how it would
be very desirable from the xinerama point of view.

Thanks very much for keeping the rest of the list in the loop :-)
Received on Wed Feb 14 2007 - 15:53:47 UTC

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