Skip to main content

Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

A week using tiling windows.

It has been a lit­tle over a week since I com­mit­ted to us­ing a tiling win­dow man­ag­er.

Sure, I am cheat­ing be­cause I am ac­tu­al­ly still us­ing KDE plus Kröhnkite but my win­dows are tiled and I am lik­ing it a lot.

Why this and not i3 or what­ev­er? Be­cause I don't want to change my lifestyle, I just want my win­dows to not over­lap gen­er­al­ly.

Kröhnkite pro­vides enough tiling func­tion­al­i­ty that I get (I think) the ben­e­fits with­out the mas­sive up­heaval of giv­ing up ev­ery­thing I am used to in my desk­top. I still use the Win­dows Key (ok, ok, the "Meta" key) to launch app­s. I still have a plas­ma pan­el with plas­moids at the bot­tom of my mon­i­tor, I can still float the win­dows if I want to! I can still use most of the short­cuts from my past 24 years us­ing KDE (yes, re­al­ly) and so on.

What are some things I had to change to adap­t?

  • I had to change to fo­­cus-­­fol­lows-­­mouse. BUT for the first time since I start­ed us­ing FVWM in 1993 I am lik­ing fo­­cus-­­fol­lows-­­mouse bet­ter than click­­-­­to-­­fo­­cus. It turns out KDE's im­­ple­­men­­ta­­tion of it is quite nice and al­­most "does what I mean". As it says in the doc­s, "like click to fo­­cus, but just don't click­­".

  • I re­­moved win­­dow dec­o­ra­­tion­s. Yes, you can keep them, but they feel out of place.

  • I set thick­­er win­­dow bor­der­s. Re­­siz­ing win­­dows via short­­­cuts is just not nice in gen­er­al, so thick­­er bor­ders help.

What are some things I have liked?

  • Fixed tiling lay­out in one mon­i­­tor and float­ing in the oth­­er is awe­­some when need­ed. And I can get it in place with one key­­press! So, in gen­er­al, dy­­nam­ic, sep­a­rate lay­outs for each screen is very, very use­­ful.

  • Hav­ing a "til­ing" wm that still re­spects most WM con­ven­­tions is good. So, pop­ups float. Yay.

  • The Al­t+En­ter short­cut to make a win­dow the "im­por­tan­t" one is neat.

  • Love how max­i­miza­­­tion/min­i­miza­­­tion work­s.

What are some things I have not liked?

  • The "tiled" lay­out has mul­ti­­ple ver­­sions you can switch be­tween with Ctr­l+I/D ... and well, some­­times none of them is ex­ac­t­­ly what I wan­t? Al­­so, the high­­er num­bered ones on­­ly are use­­ful when you have many win­­dows tiling, and if you don't they don't do any­thing.

  • Since I have no win­dow dec­o­ra­tions, the bru­tal in­con­sis­ten­cy on ap­p-quit­ting short­cuts is an­noy­ing. It can be ctr­l+q or ctr­l+x or esc or what­ev­er. I end up do­ing al­t+f4 which feels like win­dows 3.11.

  • The UX of KWin scripts is a bit lack­­ing. I in­­stalled an­oth­er one a while ago, called Quar­ter-Til­ing, and I have re­­moved ev­ery trace of it from my sys­tem... ex­­cept for its short­­­cut­s, which will ap­­par­en­t­­ly pol­­lute my con­­fig di­alogs for­ev­er.

So, ex­per­i­ment will con­tin­ue!

(Sor­ry, the video is in span­ish)

Using scripts to update my personal site.

These last few days I have been adding code in Niko­la to give it a more use­ful Python API. I added scripts then I start­ed a PR that lets you mod­i­fy posts pro­gram­mat­i­cal­ly.


Be­cause my site has 20 years of bag­gage. Which means ev­ery bad idea in the my 20 year his­to­ry of do­ing my own blog soft­ware is lurk­ing in it some­where.

For ex­am­ple, when Niko­la got start­ed, it had (it still has it!) sup­port for what I called "meta files". Ba­si­cal­ly, you put your post's con­tent in a file, say "my­post.tx­t" and you added things like the date, the ti­tle, tags and so on in "my­post.meta", which was the metafile.

That was good in that it was a way to quick­ly get it work­ing with­out wor­ry­ing about how to ex­tract meta­da­ta from source files, and to keep source files com­pat­i­ble with oth­er toolchain­s, like do­cu­til­s' or nor­mal mark­down.

BUT, then we added ways to have metadata in the files and keep them compatible. But I still had 1500 metafiles in my site. And getting rid of them would involve some sed some python and some pain, so I never upgraded the posts to the newer format.

Un­til now.

two_post_files = [p for p in site.timeline if p.is_two_file]

for p in two_post_files:
    p.is_two_file = False

What is that? Well, it filters the site.timeline and finds all the things that are in two files using the is_two_file property, and then makes them not be two files.

What is the re­sult?

$ git diff --stat 766d8e1c5dd495d4aa7e27bb0b7f6b2c62c6aa63 | tail -1
 3739 files changed, 20521 insertions(+), 7381 deletions(-)

Of course my site is under git, I would not dare do this without it. And hey, no more .meta files!

Hoy: Mosaicos

Tiling Win­dow Man­ager­s: cosa de nerds o cosa de su­per ul­tra re­con­tra ren­erd­s? De­bería sen­tirme mal porque me pare­cen in­có­mo­d­os y pre­fiero mi win­dow man­ag­er tradi­cional?

No te pre­ocu­pes, acá te mue­stro la ter­cera posi­ción, casi un per­o­nis­mo del mane­jo de ven­tanas: KWin + Kröhnkite, o "co­mo un tiling wm, pero lin­do"

No sé que miér­coles le pasa al sonido a los 2:58, pero no lo pien­so volver a grabar por es­o.

Server Architecture

Just for the record, I saw this hi­lar­i­ous tweet about what you need to "prop­er­ly" de­ploy Word­press in AWS:

So I quick­ly got my Leno­vo Pen out of its hold­er and pro­ceed­ed to do the equiv­a­lent for Niko­la:


Yes, that is my hand­writ­ing.

Contents © 2000-2024 Roberto Alsina