Saturday, February 14, 2009

xmonad, compositing, transparancy

I've been happly using xmonad for quite some time now. I love the fact that my window manager is just that, a window manager. At first I didn't even have a background image, since I never really did see my background. I've given in. It started with transparent urxvts which allow me to see my background. I'm discovering that using a tiling window manager does not have to equate with having an ugly work environment.

This story picks up with some of the envy I've been having about some features in compositing WMs. Specifically, global transparency (i.e. any and all windows are semi-transparent, ala uxrvt), and switching workspaces using "the cube". I realize that these are nothing more than eye candy, but life doesn't always just have to be about pragmatism, does it?

The main xmonad page seems to indicate that xmonad supports compositing. I'm not 100% sure I know what they mean by that. From what I seem to find in the intertubes, it means that you can run xcompmgr alongside. I need to jump into #xmonad and ask some questions about it. There seems to be some contrib modules that play in the compositing arena, but haven't found anything that seemed obvious.

I've managed to have some sort of transparency for any of my windows. This has involved installing xcompmgr, and transset. After running 'xcompmgr &', I can use 'transset .9', which gives me a cross-hairs pointer used to select the window I want to target. It's not the greatest thing in the world, as it only does opacity and targets a single window. Haven't found a way to do tinting yet. It's a start, none the less. Now, my urxvt terms are using their native transparency to bleed my background thru, and firefox is using 'transset .9' to let me see the background as well.


Aluink said...

you should post a screenshot!

Don Stewart said...

Yes, this is exactly what we mean. You can do all sorts of cool tricks with xcompmgr. shadows, in particular, are nice.