I don't know how good Kwin is as a half-baked tiling window manager (I say half-baked because as I understand it's not its primary purpose or design goal). But I use a real tiling window manager (ion3) and I have to disagree with you. I prefer leaving the applications tiling and tabbing mechanisms to the applications themselves. Imagine all those Firefox tabs suddenly out of Firefox, mixed with a similar number of Thunderbird e-mails plus half a dozen open text files in Kate. CHAOS, I say. A smart use of virtual workspaces would help, but I already do that and I wouldn't want all those internal tabs to be managed by my WM, however wicked and efficient I am with it.
If the application is well designed there shouldn't be any problems navigating it with the keyboard (think Firefox, Acroread or Kate). If it's crap it may be time to change application or complain until the developers realise it (The Gimp).
If you haven't tried any tiling WM I really encourage to do so, sounds like you'd enjoy it. Get your editor of choice, open some terminals, stack the output of your stuff where you like it most and there you have your personal IDE. As I mentioned above, I wouldn't like this for other programs, though.Originally Posted by Remco
The same idea as above goes for GIMP. It needs to be aware of the tiles. You need the concept of a tile group, where you have GIMP open three tiles next to each other, and the middle tile is then a tab group for its images. If you change the window configuration, that information is then stored into the session manager.If the application is well designed there shouldn't be any problems navigating it with the keyboard (think Firefox, Acroread or Kate). If it's crap it may be time to change application or complain until the developers realise it (The Gimp).
I have recently switched from Metacity to Compiz again because I learned of the grid plugin. It lets you turn your screens into 2-by-3 and 2-by-2 grids and uses Super+Numkeys to move windows to certain grid cells (or multiple cells). It doesn't have the idea of sharing borders between adjacent windows like 'real' tiling window managers, and applications are of course not aware of the tiling facilities.If you haven't tried any tiling WM I really encourage to do so, sounds like you'd enjoy it. Get your editor of choice, open some terminals, stack the output of your stuff where you like it most and there you have your personal IDE. As I mentioned above, I wouldn't like this for other programs, though.
I have used Ion on the university's computers once, but it's one of those minimalistic window managers where you need to learn it before you'll be able to use it. I may be tempted to try this again of course, because Compiz's grid plugin and my idea have renewed my interest in tiling wms.
That mitigates the problem, but doesn't really solve it. You wouldn't end up with a bunch of randomly ordered tabs, but you would still have a high number of them, possibly of a too short length due to lack of horizontal screen space. The navigation would still be very cumbersome. Instead, if you have e.g. three applications with their respective tabs you greatly reduce the number of keystrokes by first taking advantage of your WM to select the required application, and then using the application specific methods to select your destination. Bear in mind that I'm focused on keyboard navigation; with the mouse the number of clicks is reduced to one if you leave all the tabbing and tiling for the WM (all tabs visible at every moment), but you still have the problem of having to visualise which, among the 10+ tabs, is the one you are interested in.Originally Posted by Remco
Session management is cool, but I don't use it since I always hibernate my computer.
I'm not sure I understand what Compiz is doing with that plugin, but it sounds a bit restricted. It's probably like this program I use in XP to have virtual workspaces and tiling windows (I can't remember its name). Also, I watched a video of Kwin from KDE4, and unless they aren't showing everything, all it does is tabbing floating windows together upon explicit user request.Originally Posted by Remco
The key is that the WM has to automatically tile and tab your windows, allow quick and efficient moving and resizing from both the mouse and keyboard and offer a sensible way to navigate between them. ALT+TAB is not a sensible way to do it since it's just a linear list, grabbing the mouse is slow if you are typing, and I find the expose (is it expose?) methods to be a waste of time since you have to visually identify the target window among a bunch of mini screenshots randomly splashed in the screen--not at all quick when you have loads of stuff opened.
Tiling WMs are definitely not for everybody (*), their shallower learning curve and low graphical appealing will put most people off, especially in these days of pseudo-3D desktops, gadgets, transparencies, woobling windows and explosions--they just forgot a bit of light sex for it to be a Hollywood hit : )
(*) For instance, keyboard navigation, not intrinsic to tiling WMs but usually associated with them, may very well slower for many (perhaps most) folks.