Since I started using Linux I’ve used several window managers. I felt used to blackbox and fluxbox and eventually used enlightenment and some others in the past, but nowadays its been a while since I became the user of an Desktop Environment. I’m using GNOME because it provides what I need and I don’t need to spend an hour to configure it before it suits my needs. After all I’m lazy.
With respect to the fact that I’m quiet satisfied with GNOME, there is one feature I were always missing.
Because I spend much time with tiling and arranging windows on my desktops I noticed that I could need
a tiling feature. Something which was already a feature back in Windows 3.11.
GNOME/metacity does not have this features and given that a wishlist bug about this is open since almost 7 years
its unlikley that this will ever change. There are separate tools, which I recently learned about that can assist me with this. For example the perl script ‚wumwum‚. But this seems to be the wrong solution to a real problem. Additional wumwum does not work properly with metacity and so I’d need to another WM anyway, which lead to the point where I started thinking about integrating a true tiling wm into GNOME… once again.
First, I looked into awesome, which is a window manager I used some time ago.
But documentation about configuring it is basically an API documentation, with no obvious entry point.
It seems to be the best to study the whole API just to set some simple settings (e.g. a padding for the GNOME panel and some always-floating applications). I even thought about learning LUA, because it seems like a language which is quick and easy to learn, but honestly if I need to study a programming language and a whole API documentation just to configure a window manager then IMHO there is something conceptionally wrong with that piece of software.
After all I came to Xmonad. This window manager is using Haskell and I fear I need to learn this language as well if I want to configure weird things. But the wanted scenario is well documented and documentation for more common configuration settings exists all over the place so that I don’t really feel inclined to learn more then needed.
Remember? I’m lazy.
Now I’m feeling quiet happy with this combination. It didn’t cost me much time to get used to the most basic keyboard shortcuts or setting the whole thing up. GNOME and Xmonad work together like a dream team. I feel more productive now. As an additional plus I reinstalled the vimperator firefox plugin, because with my new desktop environment I more often use the keyboard for ordinary tasks like switching between apps or desks and I felt beeing able to quickly operate firefox with the keyboard, too, would be a plus. Well, it is.