GPG Key    Posted:

Version: GnuPG v2.0.21 (GNU/Linux)



Scripting Qtile    Posted:

To go with the new release of Qtile, I thought I would put together a demonstration of how Qtile automation works.

You could use the qsh shell or the prompt widget to execute arbitrary qtile commands; but the test suite, and any useful scripts that you might create, use of the libqtile.command.Client() object.

The demonstration uses IPython notebook. Before you can run the notebook you need to have installed IPython and Qtile.

To run the notebook:

  • create a ~/notebook/qtile folder in your home folder.
  • download the notebook to that folder
  • from the shell at ~/notebook/ run ipython notebook
    • or ipython2 notebook if your default python is v3

At this point you should have a browser open at and should be able to navigate to the notebook.

If you do not have qtile installed yet, the HTML version of the notebook is available courtesy of nbconvert.


Qtile Release 0.6    Posted:

Exactly 6 Months after the 0.5 release of Qtile, I am happy to announce that version 0.6 has been tagged.

There are some significant changes that will break your configuration if you are currently using 0.5, so please read the release notes before you update.


What is Qtile?    Posted:

Qtile is a tiling window manager that is written, configured and automated in Python

What is a Tiling Window Manager?

If you are not familiar with tiling window managers, I created a presentation for my local LUG using Sozi.


In essence, windows do not overlap on the screen and are forced into a grid like pattern. The windows are then managed by the user via keyboard commands.

This means that you only need to touch the mouse for applications that need it thus reducing RSI, and actually speeding up your work-flow (once you are acclimatised). It also makes working with multiple monitors much easier.

So, Back to Qtile

I have been using Qtile as my primary window manager at home since 2010 (there about).

I originally started trying out Tiling window managers because using the mouse all day every day was starting to become too painful, and I initially chose Qtile as I was determined to get better at hacking about with Python.

There are a number of other factors that have kept me using Qtile, primarily the Community around it.

A bit of history

Aldo Cortesi (the author of Qtile) is probably my first direct contact with an Open Source project lead. He was exceptionally help-full and keen to help people use and improve his project.

Since then he had to put the project on hold due to life, business etc. So for a while a number of users started maintaining their own forks, adding whatever features they wanted.

One of those users took it upon himself to aggregate all of those changes in his fork on github

I hung around in the IRC channel and watched as the community of users gradually grew thanks to talks like this one.

When a bunch of users discussed maintaining the project as a community, Aldo was happy to hand over control of the project to a couple of willing contributors.

Since then we have migrated documentation to sphinx, merged in everybody's changes, and made additional changes. We are well on our way to our second release since the handover.

What is Qtile to me?

  1. I have tuned my configuration to do what I want it to do.
  2. I have committed various changes and fixes.
  3. I have collaborated with others to improve Qtile.
  4. I have been able to help others get started with Qtile.
  5. The code is pretty easy to get into once you get started.
  6. The community is so small, that everyone's input makes a difference.
  7. Qtile has been the first project to which I have considered myself to be a contributor.

Qtile is my pet project

In my next post on this subject I will start to cover some the fundamentals of installing and configuring qtile.


A New Beginning    Posted:

I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a quick setup low maintenance blog / gallery type site system that I could use to host on my Python Anywhere account.

Last week I discovered Nikola so now that I have a nice place to put stuff I hope to put more of it out.

I plan to post on various topics including Arduino, Qtile, Python, Postgresql, Clustering, FreedomBox, Software Freedom Day, Free Software, Music, Family, etc.

At some point I'll probably have a go at creating a custom theme, will let you know how that goes :D


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