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Author Topic: Keyboard-controlled window managers  (Read 4170 times)
Colonel Panic
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Posts: 526


« on: February 01, 2008, 04:12:52 pm »


Hi! I'm currently posting from ratpoison, a window manager that relies heavily on keystrokes to open and move between windows rather than using the mouse as is more common.

Does anyone else have experience of keyboard-operated wms, and if so, which one do they recommend?

Thanks in advance,

Colonel Panic .
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lagagnon
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 05:08:07 pm »

talk to our friend "kidd" - he knows all about them!
 
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"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
kidd
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Posts: 682


« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 07:31:04 am »

Hi Colonel Panic,
I've tried probably 70%  of wm's under 1Mb.

Most minimalist wm are just wm without useless features, but they do not provide real enhancements to kde/gnome/xfce experience. I'm talking about *box, waimea, flwm.... (well, fluxbox has the "tabbed windows")

Then there are tiling wm's, which do not bother you and just get out of your way. If you're on ratpoison you know what I mean,,, There are lots of tiling window managers around:

wmii:  A bit complicated to script IMO, but quite interesting because it organizes windows automagically.  Different desktops are organized like tags, and windows can belong to more than 1 desktop, so you can have different tags like 'coding', 'music', 'browsing'...

ion3: tiling and tabbed wm. quite advanced too. Scriptable in lua.

evilwm: not tiling but really minimal.  I like the feature to move a given window to screen corners (ctrl-alt-y (top left), ctrl-alt-u(top right), ctrl-alt-b (bottom left), ctrl-alt-n (bottom right) ). you can install it through vpackager cruxports. Not scriptable

awesome wm: inspired in dwm (a wmii clone) it's a young project but looks very promising... (it's on the repos). scriptable

ratpoison: What I'm currently using it's in the vpackager repo. The most minimal wm. really easy to script. Type in a console:
Code:
ratpoison -c "split";ratpoison -c "echo split done"

Stumpwm: it's a ratpoison clone written in lisp. scriptable in lisp too.

My ratpoisonrc and a bit more of ratpoison info on http://raimonster.googlepages.com/ratpoison  .
Feel free to ask anything about ratpoison

Ratpoison beeing the the most minimal of them, it just gets out of your way, and you can script it even to click somewhere in your screen.  ratpoison wiki is a great source of knowledge Smiley http://ratpoison.antidesktop.net/cgi-bin/wiki

btw, if you're interested in keyboard-controlled apps, take a look at  http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3023.0

hth, kidd
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Colonel Panic
Vectorian
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Posts: 526


« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 08:13:30 am »

Thanks! I've downloaded and am using ratpoison, which works pretty well. I launch it from a mouse-operated WM, hackedbox (a cutdown version of blackbox / fluxbox).

A number of the keyboard - operated WMs I've looked at rely on much bigger packages in order to work - such as Tritium, which needs Python - so their small size is illusory. Nevertheless, I hope to try some more in due course.

Once again, thanks for your very full reply,

Colonel Panic.
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Colonel Panic
Vectorian
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Posts: 526


« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2009, 04:39:36 am »

Kidd,

Since you mention ion, I found this bit from the ion wiki a bit disappointing;

"Valkonen has implied in several mailing lists that he has become completely disillusioned with, if not openly hostile toward, the free software community in general. He plans to switch to developing strictly closed-source software for the Windows platform in the future[8], presumably following the stable release of the Ion3 branch. Subsequently the author has indeed given up on Linux and become a Windows user.[9]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_(window_manager)

I may still try it though.

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Colonel Panic
Vectorian
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Posts: 526


« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 02:57:36 am »

Here's a good thread about keyboard-driven WMs;

http://noone.org/blog/English/Computer/X/The%20mouseless%20side%20of%20X.futile

BTW, I've now downloaded and installed Ion and whilst it looks good it disabled the keyboard for some reason so that I wasn't able to type anything in a text box. I tried to download wmii but the download always finished prematurely.
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