waysome - The first shot

In my semester project at my university, we’re developing a wayland based window manager for power-users, featuring very granular configurability and abilities to customize it.

As the lectures in this semester started on monday, we started hacking it on monday as well. We are 5 team members, me as repository maintainer and guy with the how-to-git knowledge, a close friend of mine doing the workflow and milestone organisations (as kindof scrum-master) and three other close friends of mine, all in the same course of studies.

In my opinion, we are very fast for this first week. Of course, when doing a scrum like approach, you have to get to milestones in short sprints, but I never imagined that we can do two milestones within the very first week, one of them beeing a picture on the screen! That was a very good experience, beeing that fast on the very first strike.

The next milestone, we want to reach in five days is using a desktop application with the windowmanager.

I almost forgot: The window manager is called “waysome”, for “wayland” and “awesome” in one word. We had this name in mind from the very beginning of the idea of writing a window manager on wayland, so we simply took it.

So, why is this so special? Because it is new! We use wayland, which is absolutely new technology when it comes to display server like things on linux. But not only this is new. We also do not define a behaviour of the window manager, but expose an API through which the user can send commands to the window manager for defining its behaviour. The API is meant for beeing used via scripts or utility programs the user has to write himself (not i3-like with “i3-msg bla blubb”). So the user has the power about every aspect of the window manager. This is also why we do not call it a “tiling” window manager, because it doesn’t do tiling. If the user writes a configuration/script/plugin which makes the window manager behave like a tiling window manager - fine! But we don’t define this!

The very idea is that you can “rebuild” your favourite window manager. You like i3, for example? But you want wayland? So use waysome and write a script which makes it behaving like i3! If you don’t like some quirks of i3, you can simply leave them out! If you like awesome more, your can make waysome behave like awesome. Or whatever other window manager you like!

So, that’s the idea. Our semester project should be finished at end of January 2015, I hope we can make it. We also have the idea of going to 31C3 and holding a short lightning talk about this. Maybe we will do this.

For more information and watching us working on it, feel free to watch us here.