I've been doing various Xlib projects off and on for a few years, but none of
them have been window manager projects because I was using a WM that pleased
me: Ion. Many years later, after following ion from ion 1, 2, and now 3, the
author decided to apply some user unfriendly licensing terms to newer releases
of ion-3. This license change combined with the author's efforts to require
distributions to comply with this license has resulted in most platforms
dropping the ion-3 package from its distribution because nobody wants to deal
I'm not going to get into a discussion about my opinions about the license.
Just know that it inconveniences me, and if you know me, you know that I tend
to solve problems of inconvenience with new software tools. That means I need a
new window manager.
I've tested other window managers, but none fit me as well as ion did.
A few weeks ago I started on a window manager project tentatively called tsawm
which implements features I like in ion but without the angry-author problems
ion has. I started working on it initially in C, since that's where I use xlib,
but C has some drawbacks. A nontrivial percentage of what I perceive to be
window manager behavior is basically managing some heirarchy of data (frames,
client windows, titles, some state). I started looking at Perl's X11::Protocol
and Python's xlib module. Python's xlib module is pretty neat, in that it's a
pure-python implementation of the X11 protocol.
Somewhat arbitrarily, I started prototyping to see if writing a window manager
in python was possible. Yes, it is. So that's where I'm at today.
I've mostly been hacking things together while learning more about window
managing in X, but what I have so far is promising: screenshot.
It's not pretty, but finishing this will help me get past the drama and
problems that ion and its author bring. Sorry tuomov, I still love ion, but any
licenses that keep me (directly or indirectly) from getting shit done aren't