Wednesday, August 3, 2011

more awesome stuff

Of the DEs/WMs I use, AwesomeWM is easily the most difficult to configure -- I still don't understand everything that's going on in the config file, ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua -- but once it's set up it might be the best for doing a lot of work with several application windows open.

I really haven't been using Awesome enough to have acquired a good understanding of all of the things I can do with it. I log into an Awesome session perhaps once every two weeks or so.

It's the only "tiling window manager" I've had much experience with. There are like 9 different layouts to choose from, but I've edited my config file to use only 5 of them -- max, floating, tile, spiral, and magnifier -- and I use the first one, max, almost all the time. Maybe that defeats the purpose of using a tiling window manager, but I'm a rookie, so that's my excuse.

The max layout simply maximizes each application window. The floating layout is more like what folks are used to from other DEs/WMs in that you can move the windows around. I like the tile and spiral layouts because I can get a good look at each open window, and it's nice how the magnifier layout brings the active window (okay, "client" in Awesome talk) to the forefront.

The icon at the top right shows which layout you're using, if you know which layout each icon image represents.

A nice thing about is AwesomeWM is that, like Fluxbox, you can tab application windows. Another feature is that an application window (client) can have more than one tag (sorta like virtual desktops), kinda like having the same window open on desktop #3 as well as on desktop #1. Useful sometimes.

Further, different tags can have different layouts, so I can be using the max layout on tag (desktop) 1, and the magnifier layout on tag 3, for example.

I'm sure that in my comments here I'm getting some of the terminology messed up, but that's okay, I'll get better at it. For now, here's the order of my layouts, from the ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua file (left-clicking on the layout button at the upper right changes the layout in Awesome; right-clicking on it takes you backwards through the layouts):

layouts =

And here are some screen shots showing some of the different layouts I've been using, in the same order as above (note the layout icon in the upper right corner):

"max" -- my default layout:

"floating," with the gedit window dragged over to the side a bit:

"tile," with a view of all open windows:

"spiral" -- kinda messy:

"magnifier" -- here, the active window (client) is brought to the forefront:

And, finally, another view of the open desktop, for your viewing pleasure:

Not bad for a neophyte, right? :)

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