A simple window manager

Christian Helmuth christian.helmuth at genode-labs.com
Tue May 12 09:36:56 CEST 2020

Hello Paul,

your concept sounds pretty lean and also somewhat handy when thinking
about interfaces without precise input devices like mice and keyboards
(speak small touchscreens with clumsy fingers like mine). On the other
hand, such concepts cannot be evaluated without a demo. So, I'd
suggest you prototype your idea using a widget library of your choice.
I used Qt5 in the past, which is fairly easy to learn and does not
stand in the way. The prototype work can be done on any OS like Linux,
Genode, or even Windows with a fullscreen application and some mock
widgets. You may also use a browser-based prototyping environment,
which gives anybody the chance to easily test your proposal by loading
an URL...

When reading your proposal, I'd suggest you should thrive for
generalizing the tiling idea beyond 2 visible apps. My current desktop
screen is 2560x1080 which is 21.3:9 and I love to have 3 to 4 columns
in some work contexts. If the vertical tiling is also generalized, the
"sepcial" bars are just tiles any user may move to the region most


On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 01:35:48 CEST, Paul Dufresne via users wrote:
> I was thinking about an old idea, for a very simple screen manager... and it
> is becoming even a bit more complete.
> So I would like to share it with you... because I think it would be a nice
> fit for Genode.
> So at first I was thinking a very simple model...
> -Almost all the screen for one application
> -a bar at the bottom with:
> -- one left button at the left
> -- one right button at the right
> -- a title in the middle (of the application)
> Left, and right would navigate through the open applications
> Then the idea that screens are large enough for two windows wide came to my
> mind.
> Second model (at first):
> -Almost all the screen for one application
> -a bar at the bottom with:
> -- one left button at the left
> -- one right button at the right
> -- a title in the middle
> -- a 1 button
> -- a 2 button
> -- a pin button
> So like before, but the 1 button is activated at the beginning.
> If you click the 2 button, the screen divide in 2 windows
> So now you got:
> -left button in bottom left
> -right button in bottom right
> -the left window for application 1
> -- bottom-right title info for application 1
> -- bottom-left1 the 1 2 buttons (2 is activated)
> -- bottom-left2 the pin button
> -the right window for application 2
> -- bottom-left title info for application 2
> -- bottom-right1 the 1 and 2 buttons (2 is activated)
> -- bottom-right2 the pin button
> So the idea, is that under each application you got:
> -the pin button, that when activated, the application don't change when
> doing right and left button
> So if one of the side is pinned, right and left buttons affect only the
> other side.
> If none is pinned, pressing left (right goes to left, and right is filled
> with next open application).
> If none is pinned, pressing right (left goes to right, and left is filled
> with previous open application).
> (my guess is that if the right and the left applications are pinned, the
> left and right buttons are deactivated)
> - the 1 button, that return to the single application screen, with the
> current application
> And then, I realized we need the some more info...
> So I would add a upper-bar with:
> -a menu button for the applications to launch
> -clock
> -Quit button
> -mixer button
> -network button
> - etc.
> Does it seems a good idea?
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Christian Helmuth
Genode Labs

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