Circuits Of Imagination

Whats up with Xmonad

02 Jun 2009

Xomnad… The new and hip tiling window manager written is Haskell, the new hip language. I’ve been hearing about xmonad a lot and have been trying to get into haskell. Ya know, gotta follow those trends.

So I go and grab a copy of xomand (0.8) and all the depends (I had haskell setup already). Compiling and installing was a breeze. At the time I had a pimped out gnome setup (compiz, emerald… the works). Just to see what would happen I run the fresh new binary called xmonad. All the friking windows start bouncing around the screen. It was kind of cool to see the two programs fight for control over to poor windows.

Getting used to the tiling thing took a little bit. I’m still working on getting used to it, but I haven’t lost much as far as productivity. Configuring xmonad is pretty fun since you have all of haskell to mess around with. But if you just want to do some simple configuration it still feels like any other config file (terminal = “urxvt”).

One of the cool things about xmonad is that it’s still small enough that you can mess around with it without having to spend a week reading up on documentation (I’m looking at you There are bunch of pre-made config files that are easy to read, a good starting point.

The contrib extentions are really cool… Well written, do cool things, small. Doesn’t get better than that. E.g.: Invisible.hs is only 45 lines, including documentation. But I have to shameingly admit that I have no idea what the hell it does. On the other hand XMonad.Util.Run is an example of awesome. Simple and sweet functions for spawning processes via xmonad.

I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and some times I can hear my video card calling for some changeling renders but alas. I think I’m gonna stay xmonad for a little longer. I’ve been using the trminal a lot more since I’ve gotten a new gig and, believe me, tiling window managers are made for terminals. I kind of expected they were before I starting using xmonad but I didn’t think I’d get used to it so fast. I can see every thing all at the same time with no wasted space. But for things other than that (say gimp or evolution) some times you end up looking at the screen and thinking to your self “wtf is up with that?”. Basically if you aren’t a programmer/sys-admin/I like to push a lot of buttons kind of person then xmonad is not for you.

And that ladies and gentlemen is a big part of how I ended up with mutt, which, depeding on how intersting my life is during the next couple of days, could be what I’m gonna write about next

P.S.: Grammer police, please leave me the fuck alone.