reviews about cwm

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reviews about cwm

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-08-02 16:45

Using OpenBsd, and I am using
cwm, it does not look any different, or better then with OpenBox, but to me is very "clumsy" to use, ...
Image
I can not say I have tried cwm on Debian, but I imagine it would be about the same, I don't see any advantages to use it, and in my opinion there are many disadvantages.
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby ruffwoof » 2018-08-02 18:52

cwm destop for me is just a wallpaper image. Define your exec key and press that then type the first couple of letters of a program is usually enough to reveal the desired program name ... and press Enter to launch it.

Some like tiling, personally I prefer maximised window per program and alt-tab (pinky and thumb) between them. If you use a browser with tabs, geany text editor, tmux ... etc. i.e. that have tabs within them then navigating around is easy and soon comes natural.

I tend to ctrl-alt-tab and log in as root (cli), under which I store my personal data/docs. Running tmux and the likes of mc aids in managing those files, along with performing admin functions. My console cli look very much the same as this image (taken under xterm as I can't snapshot my console)

Image

On the user/X/browser/internet facing side, ctrl-alt-m to maximise a window in addition to alt-tab to flip between windows and you can get by with relatively few keycodes. With time however you tend to naturally expand upon those. For instance I have additional tmux keys of F12 to step between tmux windows, F11 to open a new tmux window and I pretty much hit those without thinking (natural to me now).

Configuration is just a handful of lines in .cwmrc, and it steers you away from continually tweaking your desktop layout, its just there, out of the way until you need to do something.

Leave a 1 or 2 pixel "gap" at the top of screen so when windows are maximised there's still some access to clicking the desktop if you feel/have the need to show cwm's windows/groups/menu drop-downs respectively for left/middle/right mouse. With time I've found less need to do that however.

Yes sometimes you might want two windows arranged on the desktop perhaps to compare things and in having no title bar/border you have to use the alt-left mouse press to drag a window, alt-middle mouse press/drag to resize a window. Given your screenshot I suspect you might be drawn to using multiple window arrangement shown simultaneously and is where you're finding it awkward. Personally I've persisted at using single maximised windows per program for a few weeks now and I found that cwm is simply great. I've reduced down the number of third party packages installed ... down to pretty much just base OpebBSD and iridium - where I use iridium as a pdf viewer, image viewer, music player, video player ...etc. Its also my clock i.e. one of the tabs shows the date/time and when that tab is active I have bookmarks showing as its content. I'm using a word processor much less now also, a bit of basic HTML awareness you can knock out great documents using a text editor such as mc -e, view them in your browser, save/print them to PDF. So much so that LibreOffice that used to be one of my default installs is now a install on a as needed/removing it afterwards basis. Which drastically reduces down the attack surface i.e. I run with around 80 additional libs installed on top of base OpenBSD. In the past I have run with 1250+ type additionals (any one of which might have had a bug and hence potential security flaw).

For sound I have volume up and down set to the < and > keys (ctrl-alt activation, so strictly ctrl-alt-, for volume down, ctrl-alt-. for volume up).

Of course there are massively more alternatives/choices that you can set shortcut keys for ... along with setting which keys do what (highly configurable). Some seem to remember/use loads of such shortcuts, me personally I'm happy with just a very small number.

I use a desktop, however I imagine cwm and its primarily keyboard based focus would be good on a laptop where the touchpad was awkward/fiddly. I have seen a Youtube for a mac user of cwm who demonstrated just how much they could do without taking their hands away from the keyboard to reach for their touchpad i.e. a 15 minute video or so without them reaching for the touchpad once.
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-08-02 21:04

Thank you for sharing here, it will be interesting to see if there are even any other Debian users that use "cwm", or non Debian users as well,... I think I have seen H_O_A-S mention they use it, but don't remember for sure,..
Define your exec key and press that then type the first couple of letters of a program is usually enough to reveal the desired program name ... and press Enter to launch it.

Can you elaborate on this more, I did see where it says in the manual:
M-question Spawn "exec program" dialog.

For me the "M" is actually the left "alt" key, with a ? , and I get the "menu",
Code: Select all
cwm actions are initiated either via key or mouse bindings.  The
     following notations are used throughout this page:

           C       Control key.
           M       Meta key.
           S       Shift key.
           4       Mod4 (windows) key.
           M1      Left mouse button.
           M2      Middle mouse button.
           M3      Right mouse button.
 

Took me a while to figure out what a "Meta key" is :mrgreen:
but when I type in a program name, even the full name, nothing happens,
But no program launches, ? I still have not really read all of the manual, just parts, I do suppose , if and when one learns the available commands and has them memorized, it would be better.
=====
edit=== kind of off topic but:
----- a bit of basic HTML awareness you can knock out great documents using a text editor such as mc -e, view them in your browser, save/print them to PDF. So much so that LibreOffice that used to be one of my default installs is now a install on a as needed/removing it afterwards basis.

I don't use or have "libre office" installed , Why, what is it for ? (actually , no need to answer, maybe best not to go into that) ,.... But yes, there is no need for any special editors to write html documents, nor php, I just use a normal text editor, it can even be the FreeDos, editor as far as that goes. But I suppose that would be another topic, "text editors", etc,...
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby ruffwoof » 2018-08-03 06:18

The default exec key combination is alt-shift /
(as you say, in effect alt ?)
That shows a pop up window with just "exec" showing. As you type letters such as f it will show all commands starting with f ... and refine down as you type more letters. i.e. for me to launch iridium after just typing "ir" its enough to have uniquely identified iridium as the only program showing, such that pressing Enter will close that exec window and launch iridium.

Some like to set the exec launch key combination to other alternatives. For example a entry of

bind-key 4-Tab menu-exec

in ~/.cwmrc will (after cwm has been restarted) have the WIN+tab launch the exec menu.
The default Alt-tab to switch between maxmised windows, along with Win-tab (as outlined above) to show the exec menu (type in a few of the first letters of a program name is usually enough to have uniquely identified the program you want to run), along with ctrl-alt m .. to maximise windows after they've been opened ... can be enough to get by with.

Some like to have exec associated to alt-spacebar i.e. in .cwmrc

bind-key M-space menu-exec

... or set some other finger "pinch" type motions (in a similar manner to how you might thumb and pinky to hit the alt-tab key combination to switch between windows).

After a while when it all starts to become 'natural' for you to perhaps on a empty initial desktop be familiar with launching say swriter by pressing perhaps alt-space to show the exec menu, typing swr and pressing enter, or alt-space iri enter to launch iridium ...etc. without having to reach for the mouse ... then your workflow rate can increase. Maximising each window after having started them and pinky-thumb (alt-tab) between those two windows ...etc.

The lead part of my .cwmrc looks like ....

Code: Select all
# .cwmrc
#
gap                             2 0 0 0
ignore                          xclock
ignore                          xload
color inactiveborder            Black
color activeborder              "#494949"
color groupborder               "#01a252"
color urgencyborder             "#3d9751"
color selfont                   "#0034A9"
color font                      "#FFFFFF"
color menufg                    "#49F6F6"
color menubg                    "#333333"
#fontname                       "DejaVu Sans:size=11:antialias=true"
fontname                        "News10:size=10:antialias=true"


after that I have some bind keys such as
Code: Select all
bind-key M-space                menu-exec
bind-key CM-comma               "mixerctl outputs.master=-5"
bind-key CM-period              "mixerctl outputs.master=+5"

(mixerctl ... commands here are my openbsd commands to lower/raise the volume, which I have mentally bound to being the ctrl-alt and < and > keys but are actually the , and . keys)

After the bind keys I have a small number of command definitions in my .cwmrc things like ...

Code: Select all
command " iridium "             "iridium"
command " diary "              "xterm -e su - root -c 'vi /home/user/bin/diary'
"
command " cpu temp "            "/home/user/bin/.cputemp"
command " quit "                "pkill cwm"
command " Reboot "             "xterm -e su - root -c 'shutdown -r now'"
command " Shutdown "           "xterm -e su - root -c 'shutdown -p now'"

which define the menu that is shown when you right mouse-press (and hold) on the desktop. Leaving a 2 pixel gap at the top of screen i.e. gap 2 0 0 0 ... in .cwmrc as shown above better facilitates access to that menu even when windows are maximised (as maximisation doesn't extend into that gap region). Or you can adjust that gap to be on a different size on a different screen edge ...etc.).

Yes it can be awkward at first, but with persistence does soon start to become automatic/second-nature, and you start adding in other automatic key combinations/actions. alt-left mouse press/drag to move a window, alt-middle mouse (scrollwheel press in my case) press and drag to resize a window ...etc.

I run root cli in one console (ctrl-alt-Fn), user and X in another, storing data under root, using user for internet facing, and with user running cwm, root running tmux (along with some other key combinations to add/flip between tmux windows) and I find that pretty good for me. The console can be made quite colourful/good-looking (reasonable - as per the image I posted earlier), and tmux opens up console scrolling, cut and paste ...etc functionality. If you also have a server you can even ssh into that, run tmux and start off some jobs, such as a long compile, detatch from that and then later ssh in again, perhaps from another device such as a smartphone and reattach back to that same session again. Two or more of you can even ssh and attach to the exact same session, so whatever one types the others also see (collaboration). I have a old single core celeron that I use as a OpenBSD server, where the main TV is its monitor/display and that has some speakers attached, that I can remotely ssh into and start off perhaps a video/mp4 file. I copy files to/from that using scp (similar to standard cp (copy), but over ssh. The main difference being that you just have to prefix the filename with user@IP: for example scp user@192.168.1.4:/home/user/somefile somefile which copies from a remote system to the local system, or scp somefile user@192.168.1.4:/home/user/somefile .... copies to the remote system. I've installed dynamic dns so that I have a fixed domain name that points to a current dynamic IP address for that purpose i.e. so I can copy/retrieve files to/from that TV PC from anywhere in the world. That TV PC can also be a web/mail ...etc server (OpenBSD comes with all of those sorts of things as part of its base install). Add web cam's, remote control of things ...etc. and even a crappy old PC can make a reasonable family/home server. If running cwm that's quite nice as a wireless keyboard linked to the TV based PC/server has you using the key combinations more than using the mouse. My intent is to replace that PC with a fan-less/small format type alternative, a PC on a stick type device
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby GarryRicketson » 2018-08-03 16:24

Thanks, for going into detail...
I do enjoy experimenting with something new, so any way, it is kind of like a "new toy",
Yes it can be awkward at first, but with persistence does soon start to become automatic/second-nature, and you ---snip---

Similar, when I first started using openbox, it did take getting used to.
Most of the time when I log in , I just stay in the console, and no wm or de is involved, but that is another topic. I do need a display manager, IE Xwindow, to be able do view images, and use the "display" command on ImageMagick, ...
any way thanks again for taking the time on the details.
===== edit ========
Postby ruffwoof » 2018-08-03 00:18
The default exec key combination is alt-shift /
(as you say, in effect alt ?)
Finally it worked, I get a menu with all the programs that start with the letter , with 2 or 3 letters, it narrows it down, in some cases to just 1. Thnaks
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby ruffwoof » 2018-08-03 22:46

Most of the time when I log in , I just stay in the console, and no wm or de is involved, but that is another topic. I do need a display manager, IE Xwindow, to be able do view images

I tend to have both running. Log straight into X as user, run browser/internet facing using that (no doas, no su i.e. not a member of group wheel). So X is on ctrl-alt-F5. I then ctrl-alt-F4 and log in as root/cli/tmux. For quicker flipping between them (root/cli and user/X) see ...

https://old.reddit.com/r/openbsd/comments/94ee5e/wsswitchc_switch_from_console_to_x/

The .cwmrc entry to flip to the console is (alt+s) ...
Code: Select all
bind-key M-s                    "xdotool key ctrl+alt+F4"

which does require that xdotool is installed (pkg_add xdotool)

I store docs/data under root, away from any harm that a browser breakout (user) might cause.

I use a script to start tmux, which loads a number of tmux window so that they're ready from the offset (calcurse, mc, ksh, top ...etc). mpv --no-video some.mp4 works as a audio player under the console, but I find that playing videos using iridium is usually better for me.
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Re: reviews about cwm

Postby ruffwoof » 2018-08-08 10:52

If you compile/install skippy-xd (after grabbing a copy for OpenBSD I installed (pkg_add) giflib and gmake, edited the makefile to add libjpeg), then a simple script to add a couple of hot corners (requires xdotool) ...

Code: Select all
#!/bin/sh
# Retreive screen height
SCREEN_HEIGHT=`xwininfo -root|sed '/Height/!d;s/.* //'`
# subtract 1 as 0..899 for 900 xwininfo height screen
SCREEN_HEIGHT=`expr ${SCREEN_HEIGHT} - 1` 
BOTTOM_LEFT="0x${SCREEN_HEIGHT}"
TOP_LEFT="0x0"
while : ;do
   CURRENT_MOUSE_POSITION=`xdotool getmouselocation | sed 's/ sc.*//; s/.://g; s/ /x/'`
   if [ "$CURRENT_MOUSE_POSITION" = "$BOTTOM_LEFT" ]; then
       skippy-xd
   else
       if [ "$CURRENT_MOUSE_POSITION" = "$TOP_LEFT" ]; then
      # Assumes bind-key M-w menu-cmd ... is set in .cwmrc
      xdotool mousemove 100 100  # move mouse away from corner so doesn't retrigger
      xdotool key alt+w space    # key combination to launch applications>>
      # Note we add a space so it shows our menu entries with a space
      # and I set all menu entries with names of " abc " format
      sleep 1
      fi
   fi
   sleep 0.2
done

Bottom left corner launches skippy-xd. Top left in the above case runs my keycode to show the cwm menu.

I launch that script (in background) within .xinitrc
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