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Why use a tiling window manager?

Why use a tiling window manager?

I've been hearing a lot about tiling window managers lately. People seem to love them, swear by them, even wonder why everyone doesn't use them. But after searching for a little bit, I couldn't find anyone explaining why they make any sense at all.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 59
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"You won't get the answer to your question by searching. You won't even understand it even after asking here and reading the answers :-) You have to try it for yourself and see the bright sides. Of course, ending my answer here would keep its informational value at 0, so please let me share my findings:

a tiling wm doesn't imply mandatory usage of multiple monitors (I have one)
a tiling wm doesn't imply mandatory usage of a huge monitor with a huge resolution (still using 1024x768)
a tiling wm doesn't imply all your windows are on the same virtual desktop, tiling wms can have multiple virtual desktops just like non-tiling wms
windows in a tiling wm usually don't have border decorations, this saves some screen space
switching virtual desktops and windows using keyboard only is indeed much faster and convenient as soon as you get used to it
if you ever decide to try a tiling wm, this doesn't mean you should just get rid of your current wm/de, change and cringe in pain. You could try a tiling wm in a virtual machine or in a window (by using a nested X server like Xnest / Xephyr)

Take this with a grain of salt, I'm a very happy tiling wm newbie and I admit I may be partially biased."
Guest [Entry]

"The ""normal"" window managers are based on a ""search, select and use"" paradigm. It means the wm gives you ways to search for the app or the doccument you are loking for. This cycle involves that the user doesn't know where's the item he wants. The user needs to cycle thru the available choices and spend a little time in selecting or discarding them. That small time multiplies by the number of posible choices before the right one.

In tiling and stacking window managers user needs to know where left the aplication and select it. There's no cycling, no selection time, but there's a time for remember where do you left the window you want, just before select it And needs some discipline from the user.

Going back to the ""Desktop concept"" In a normal wm you'll have a bunch of documents manually placed, and in a Tiling mode, all your documents would be placed for you perfectly aligned. Of course you'll need a bigger Desk, But you could find a document without move anything around.

There's nothing wrong with tiling, there were certain approaches to the tiling concept in traditional window managers indeed:

Linux multiple desktop or third party windows software with the same feature: this is a tiling concept. Divides the workspace in several desktops to leverage the time searching thru opened windows, but the user must know in what desktop is the item.
Mac Expose or compiz plain switcher: These 'tile' the current apps to let the user select the app without cycling.
The new feature on Gnome3/Unity of half maximize, or the old one from Windows 3.x ""Tile/cascade windows""

In my experience Tiling is more useful when there's many windows of similar content (like terminals) and for extensive usage of one application, or few ones, the traditional."
Guest [Entry]

"a tiling wm places and resizes the windows (and the windows affected by your actions) on its own. with a floating wm YOU do the job (of the wm as some might argue).

so, a tiling wm could free up some time just because the windows are placed for you and you dont have to waste time placing them and keeping them ""connected""."
Guest [Entry]

with a tiling manager you stop being a windows nanny dragin, resizing and moving all of them and stop that insane ctrl +tab cicle, it's just so awesome until you find the flavor in it. I use ion3 on linux and by now whenever I use a standar window manager everything feels like a mess after 5 windows opened, with ion I can have up to 30 windows opened and feel everything under control
Guest [Entry]

"I think the best way to understand a tiling windows manager without having used one would be this: Consider using your mouse to select a menu item and drilling into the menu to find what you want vs. using the keyboard shortcut.

Stop typing, move mouse, click file, click save.
hit ctrl-s

More work to learn the system to start but much more efficient from that point on.

For me, the most important benefit is that I no longer need to use a mouse at all.

Also, tiling algorithms can automatically arrange windows in a particular way that suits the task. One might have ten images open at once, and have them arranged so they can all be as big as an efficient arrangement would allow, or a tall browser window on the left with documentation, and two wide terminal windows on the right, one to write code and one to run it and watch the output. This flexibility allows a configuration for a three monitor setup and then something different a netbook.

So one can be more efficient in managing the windows, but also be more organised with work if it involves many windows and tasks at once."