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[RP] My dreams about ratpoison

From: Davi de Castro Reis
Subject: [RP] My dreams about ratpoison
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 12:43:25 -0300
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (X11/20050127)

Hi all,

First, I would like to say that I am a long time ratpoison user and this is great work. Before I found it, I was most of the time in the console using screen, and toggling to X only to use mozilla. This was really painfull, because toggling between X and the console takes a lot of time. Copying links between the console and X was a separated nightmare.

Working exclusively in the X environment was not a choice also. I simply can't stand the brightness of white and all those icons during my long coding sessions. Now with ratpoison I can have my konsole (I like it better than xterm, I never could get xterm to not bomb me with brighty colors and have nice fonts) and my firefox open and toggle between then without losing any time. What I could say? Ratpoison made my work a pleasure again.

That said, I would like to share some of my dreams for 2.0 release. Maybe someone already talked about that, and maybe this is simply not possible to accomplish, or it might even be already done, and I don't know how to use it, but let me go.

I want my windows organized in a tree with unbounded depth. And I want to highlight any vertex in this tree. I now use ratpoison with the rpws tool. What I get is a depth 2 tree. See the layout I often use when I am working with research papers.

  ---Workspace 0 (writing latex)
  ---Workspace 1 (e-mails + web)
  ---Workspace 2 (drawing graphs)
                 ---Dia Drawing Window
                        ----Dia toolbox
                        ----RPC (calculator)
  ---Workspace 3 (music)
                 ----xmms controller
                 ----xmms playlist

Why I say that I get a depth 2 tree? Because I can only navigate through workspaces (groups) and through leaves of the subtrees rooted at the workspaces (each leaf get a window id).

What I want to have is the tree as draw above. For that, I need groups inside groups (is this possible?) and I want to highlight any vertex of the tree. By highlighting, I mean, show this subtree in my whole screen. More than that, I want to be possible to reparent any subtree to any new parent vertex. I want also to flat any ammount of levels of a given subtree. Some use cases.

Sometimes I am writing in my konsole, and I want to split my screen so I can see the Dia Drawing Window at the same time. Today I don't think it is possible, because I don't know how to move windows between workspaces. And Dia really needs a whole workspace, because as it uses the (broken) floating windows paradigm, I need to organize these windows so I can see everything, no overlapping, at the same time.

When I am writing e-mails in thunderbird, it is often a good idea to have my xdvi visible at the same time. If I could have a shared leaf between Workspace 0 and Workspace 1, that would be awesome. The same could apply to the xmms playlist. How about having it available in my "drawing diagrams" workspace?

The idea behind it all is that the "application" concept is not really well defined. For me, the konsole and the xdvi are a single application when I am working with papers. So we have the same stuff as when we are working with those broken float windows applications, where a bunch of windows is the application. In my diagram writing application, the calculator is also part of the application.

So I when I am, for example, writing my email, I might want to see my writing diagrams application at the same time. You can realize the bit trouble it would be to accomplish this in ratpoison today.

We could even have a (cough, cough) GUI to manage this tree.

Well, these are just some random thoughts. Feel free to comment on it.

Davi de Castro Reis

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