Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Taowm is The Acutely Opinionated Window Manager. It is a minimalist, keyboard-driven, low distraction, tiling window manager for someone who uses a computer primarily to run just two GUI programs: a web browser and a terminal emulator.

INSTALLATION

To install taowm:

  1. Install Go (as per golang.org/doc/install or get it from your distribution).
  2. Run go get github.com/nigeltao/taowm.

This will install taowm in your $GOPATH, or under $GOROOT/bin if $GOPATH is empty. Run go help gopath to read more about $GOPATH.

Taowm is designed to run from an Xsession session. Add this line to the end of your /.xsessionfile:

/path/to/your/taowm

where the path is wherever go get or go install wrote to. Again, run go help gopath for more information.

Log out and log back in with the "Xsession" option. Some systems, such as Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise", do not offer an Xsession option by default. To enable it, create a new file /usr/share/xsessions/custom.desktop that contains:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Xsession
Exec=/etc/X11/Xsession

USAGE

Taowm starts with each screen divided into two side-by-side frames, outlined in green. Frames can frame windows, but they can also be empty: closing a frame's window will not collapse that frame. The frame that contains the mouse pointer is the focused frame, and its border is brighter than other frames. Its window (if it contains one) will have the keyboard focus.

Taowm is primarily keyboard-driven, and all keyboard shortcuts involve first holding down the Caps Lock key, similar to how holding down the Control key followed by the 'N' key, in your web browser, creates a new browser window. The default Caps Lock behavior, CHANGING ALL TYPED LETTERS TO UPPER CASE, is disabled.

  • Caps Lock and the Space key will open a new web browser window.
  • Caps Lock and the Enter key will open a new terminal emulator window.
  • Caps Lock and the Shift key and the '|' pipe key will lock the screen.
  • Caps Lock and the Backspace key will close the window in the focused frame.
  • Caps Lock and the Tab key will cycle through the frames.

To quit taowm and return to the log in screen, hold down Caps Lock and the Shift key and hit the Escape key three times in quick succession. Normally, this will quit immediately. Some programs may ask for something before closing, such as a file name to write unsaved data to. In this case, taowm will quit in 60 seconds or whenever all such programs have closed, instead of quitting immediately, and the frame borders will turn red.

  • If there are more windows than frames, then Caps Lock and the 'D' or 'F' key will cycle through hidden windows.
  • Caps Lock and a number key like '1', '2', etc. will move the 1st, 2nd, etc. window to the focused frame.
  • Caps Lock and the 'A' key will show a list of windows: the one currently in the focused frame is marked with a '+', other windows in other frames are marked with a '-', hidden windows that have not been seen yet are marked with an '@', and hidden windows that have been seen before are unmarked. In particular, newly created windows will not automatically be shown.

Taowm prevents new windows from popping up and 'stealing' keyboard focus, a problem if the password you are typing into your terminal emulator accidentally gets written to a chat window that popped up at the wrong time. Instead, if there isn't an empty frame to accept a new window, taowm keeps that window hidden (and marked with an '@' in the window list) until you are ready to deal with it. If there are any such windows that have not been seen yet, the green frame borders will pulsate to remind you. Selected windows are also marked with a '#'; selection is described below.

  • Caps Lock and the 'G' key will toggle the focused frame in occupying the entire screen.
  • Caps Lock and Shift and the 'G' key will hide the window in the focused frame.
  • Caps Lock and the '-' key, the '=' key or Shift and the '+' key will split the current frame horizontally, vertically, or merge a frame to undo a frame split respectively.

A screen contains workspaces like a frame contains windows.

  • Caps Lock and the 'T' key will create a new workspace, hiding the current one.
  • Caps Lock and the 'E' or 'R' key will cycle through hidden workspaces.
  • Caps Lock and Shift and the 'T' key will delete the current workspace, provided that it holds no windows and there is another hidden workspace to switch to.
  • Caps Lock and the 'Q' key will show a list of workspaces (and their windows).
  • Caps Lock and the '`' key will cycle through the screens.
  • Caps Lock and the F1 key, F2 key, etc. will move the 1st, 2nd, etc. workspace to the current screen.
  • Caps Lock and the 'S' key will select a window, or unselect a selected window. More than one window may be selected at a time.
  • Caps Lock and Shift and the 'S' key will select or unselect all windows in the current workspace.
  • Caps Lock and the 'W' key will migrate all selected windows to the current workspace and unselect them.

Taowm also provides alternative ways to navigate within a program's window.

  • Caps Lock and the 'H', 'J', 'K' or 'L' keys are equivalent to pressing the Left, Down, Up or Right arrow keys.
  • Caps Lock and the 'Y', 'U', 'B' or 'N' keys are equivalent to Home, Page Up, End or Page Down.
  • The 'I' or 'M' keys are equivalent to a mouse wheel scrolling up or down, and the ',' or '.' keys are equivalent to the Backspace or Delete keys.

Taowm provides similar shortcuts for other common actions.

  • Caps Lock and the 'O' or 'P' keys will copy or paste,
  • '/' or Shift-and-'?' will open or close a tab in the current window,
  • 'C' or 'V' will cycle through tabs,
  • 'Z' or 'X' will zoom in or out.
  • By default, these keys will only work with the google-chrome web browser and the gnome-terminal terminal emulator. Making these work with other programs will require some customization.

CUSTOMIZATION

Customizing the keyboard shortcuts, web browser, terminal emulator, colors, etc., is done by editing config.go and re-compiling (and re-installing): run go install github.com/nigeltao/taowm.

DEVELOPMENT

When working on taowm, it can be run in a nested X server such as Xephyr. From the github.com/nigeltao/taowm directory under $GOPATH:

Xephyr :9 2>/dev/null &
DISPLAY=:9 go run *.go

TROUBLESHOOTING

If taowm isn't working, error messages should be logged to the $HOME/.xsession-errors or $HOME/.xsession-errors.old files.

DISCUSSION

The taowm mailing list is at groups.google.com/group/taowm

LEGAL

Taowm is copyright 2013 The Taowm Authors. All rights reserved. Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be found in the LICENSE file.

SCREENSHOTS

Taowm is deliberately plain. It starts with each screen divided into two side-by-side frames:

screenshot

After opening a web browser window, splitting the right frame vertically, and opening a terminal emulator, it could look like this:

screenshot

Related Awesome Lists
Top Programming Languages
Top Projects

Get A Weekly Email With Trending Projects For These Topics
No Spam. Unsubscribe easily at any time.
Golang (163,706
Window Manager (999
Capslock (108