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Re: Poll: best hackable window manager or DE for Emacs-loving freedom ac

From: Samuel Banya
Subject: Re: Poll: best hackable window manager or DE for Emacs-loving freedom activists
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2021 09:45:31 -0400
User-agent: Cyrus-JMAP/3.5.0-alpha0-1369-gd055fb5e7c-fm-20211018.002-gd055fb5e

Hey there,

'exwm' is great if you're into Emacs, but I would personally use this on a 
'notebook' type laptop only where you use Emacs the most.

I think if you're a casual user that likes simple Desktop environments like 
Openbox, Fluxbox, etc, you can choose to run 'exwm' later when you boot up 
Emacs and 'switch into it', which is kind of neat to force 'exwm' to take over 
as your window manager.

But to be honest, on machines where I have Openbox + Tint2 on it, I don't use 
'exwm'. Its a bit awkward on those kind of 'Just Works' desktops where you just 
want a browser, some GUI apps, a terminal etc. Depends on what you like though, 
as I like getting some older machines from eBay, putting some cool Linux 
distros on it, and using them as daily drivers for different uses, ex: An 'art 
machine' for Krita, GIMP, and Inkscape, vs. another machine used for Emacs note 
taking, etc.

I use 'exwm' primarily on my Linux laptops though since I don't like most 
Window Managers I've tried. I would probably try SpectWM later on though but 
we'll see.

NOTE: There are a few weird things for 'exwm' that I had to deal with. If you 
want to use a GUI program like Firefox, you have to keep in mind that its 
running in 'line' mode, so you constantly have to spam 'C-c C-q' before any 
normal keybinding you might know like 'C-t' (Control + Tab) to open up a new 
tab in Firefox.

This part is a bit annoying. I would want to somehow get it to the point where 
I can modify segments in Firefox or do visual highlighting somehow but I don't 
know if that's possible with Firefox + 'exwm'. I've heard 'nyqt' browser is 
better for the 'exwm' workflow.

Hope this helps, and enjoy the journey.

If you need to steal someone Emacs config for 'exwm', you can check out mine if 
you get stuck as it will involve some manipulation of the init system I believe 
for xorg:
NOTE: I have a 'literate' config meaning I use an .org file for my config, so 
don't get confused by this. Its actually neat once you figure it out, so I'll 
link the entire section plus subsections for reference:



On Thu, Nov 4, 2021, at 7:58 PM, Jorge P. de Morais Neto wrote:
> Hi.  I love digital ethics, GNU and Emacs!  Which keyboard-driven
> hackable window manager (WM) or desktop environment (DE) do you
> recommend?  I currently use GNOME 3 DE.  Years ago I used Enlightenment,
> Xfce and Fluxbox but then I migrated to GNOME to learn a good libre and
> user friendly DE so I could assist unskilled users such as my family.
> I have now reconsidered---I want a hackable keyboard-driven WM or DE.
> I'll keep GNOME installed as plan B for difficulties with the hacker WM.
> Also, once in a while I will use GNOME just to preserve useful knowledge
> for assisting unskilled users.
> I also want to remap keys, so for example in IceCat and Gajim C-n will
> mean <down> as in Emacs.  I have read this is easy on StumpWM, I hope it
> is also easy in i3 and EXWM.  I would also prefer a WM with a system
> tray, so it is easy (for example) to check for new messages on Gajim.
> So far I am divided between i3 and EXWM.  EXWM would likely be cooler
> and more hackable but lacks Wayland support, and Wayland is the near
> future.  I don't want to have to learn another hacker WM for Wayland.
> So the leading candidate is i3, since Sway implements i3 concepts on
> Wayland.  I read it even accepts i3 config files.  Thus:
> * Poll: best hackable and keyboard-driven WM/DE for sw freedom activists
> 1. i3/Sway
> 2. EXWM
> 3. Ratpoison
> 4. StumpWM
> 5. Awesome
> 6. bspwm
> 7. xmonad
> 8. GNOME
> 9. Mate
> 10. XFCE
> 11. LXDE
> 12. Other---specify:
> Should support key remapping and be future-proof (Wayland).  Ideally
> hackable in Elisp, Guile Scheme, Common Lisp or Bash; Python and C OK.
> Low resource usage is desirable but good features take priority.
> Regards
> -- 
> - Many people hate injustice but few check the facts; this causes more
>   injustice.  Ask me about <>
> - Please adopt free/libre formats like PDF, Org, LaTeX, ODF, Opus, WebM and 
> 7z.
> - Libre apps for AOSP (Replicant, LineageOS, etc.) and Android: F-Droid
> - "What is free software?"

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