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Xmonad

Filed under: Hacking — Thomas @ 8:01 am

2007-4-23
8:01 am

A new window manager written in Haskell.  And here I thought sawfish was hard to hack on for picking a relatively lesser-known language to be implemented in.

I don’t know whether to be in awe or in tears.  Let’s read the home page.

Number of times use is used as a verb: 2

Number of times utilize is being utilized: 3

Ok, it failed the utility test – I’m in tears.

5 Comments »

  1. You might be interested to know that we were able to write the entire thing in 4 weeks. Experience with similar window managers written in C indicates they are far less stable after such a short period (typically taking several months for all the segfaults to manifest). The goal was to have solid, practical code quickly, and I think we’ve suceeded in that respect (indeed I was able to migrate to Xmonad as my full time window manager on day 2 of the project!)

    So that’s partly a reason to write it in Haskell. Also, all the developers use Haskell full time anyway (and some of us are employed to write Haskell), so it was an obvious choice.

    Comment by Don Stewart — 2007-4-23 @ 8:16 am

  2. other people’s fun makes you cry?

    Comment by Andy Wingo — 2007-4-23 @ 9:21 am

  3. I think it’s the unstoppable spread of corporatified linguistification that leaves him in tears. same here.

    Comment by AdamW — 2007-4-23 @ 9:22 am

  4. Adam, Andy, yes, the third utilization of utilize had the swing vote.

    Don, I am in awe of people writing window managers in “hard” languages. Learning Haskell is, like for many hackers I assume, somewhere on my very long-term TODO list. I think it’s great that people are still doing this, sometimes it feels people don’t experiment as much anymore in Linux. This is definately an example to the contrary.

    Comment by Thomas — 2007-4-23 @ 11:06 am

  5. I like how it’s described (as is every other program on the planet) as “lightweight”, as if programs had weight, or there was a consistent way to measure this.

    We need a buzzword-bingo card for open-source projects!

    Comment by ken — 2007-4-23 @ 9:09 pm

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