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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wmii

Recently, I stopped using XFCE in favor of wmii. Everybody else in the office was using a tiling window manager and I just felt left out. My C-fu and Haskell-fu just isn't strong enough to worry about both language syntax and window manager configuration so both dwm and xmonad were out the door. I was quite pleasantly surprised that I could use whatever language (including bash) to configure wmii. As proof, here is a snippet from my wmiirc that controls what shows up in the status bar:

status() {
  echo -n 'Wlan0:' $(/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 | sed 's/ /\n/g' | grep Quality) '| '
  echo -n 'Temp:' $(~/.wmii-3.5/temp) '| '
  echo -n $(acpi -b | sed 's/.*, \{0,2\}\([0-9]\{1,3\}%\),.*/Bat: \1/') '| '
  echo -n $(date +"%a %b %d %I:%M%p")
}

The temp script is something I wrote and placed in my .wmii-3.5 directory (incidentally, scripts placed in there will show up when pressing mod-a).

Navigation

The commands for navigating between created windows is very familiar, as they are the same keys used for navigation in vim. Moving the windows is also the same; they just involve holding another modifier key. In addition, wmii is pretty good about which windows should be floating, and which windows should not be. I'm quite pleased with the switch.

Autostart

One initial hurdle was that I was a little confused about how to autostart applications in wmii, but in retrospect I feel dumb because its ridiculously simple; just put the apps you want in your wmiirc. Here's what I have:

# Swap capslock and control
setxkbmap -option ctrl:swapcaps
# Set mouse acceleration to 1.0
xset m 1
# Run pidgin (if not already running)
[ "`ps aux | grep pidgin | grep -v grep`" =  "" ] && pidgin &

For some reason, my mouse acceleration starts out at 2, which is way too fast. And the last line is a trick to only run pidgin if it's not already running.

Pidgin

Lastly, I just needed something to notify me if I had messages in pidgin because I no longer had a system tray or task bar. Installing the packages libnotify1 and pidgin-libnotify, along with turning on the libnotify and message notification plugins puts a little asterisk next to the tag where pidgin is when you receive a message. However, I've just been giving pidgin multiple tags so I don't miss messages.

Conclusion

Critical result: HAPPY
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