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Not being very familiar with Haskell and lamenting that Ion 3 is now abandonware, I am curious if anyone out there has found a way of replicating the default Ion 3 behavior and aesthetics in XMonad. If I can't have a near-exact replica of Ion 3-style behavior in XMonad, here is what would be critical to me:

  1. Virtual desktops that are empty by default and that spawn full-screen applications, which can be split horizontally or vertically evenly, leaving an empty adjacent pane.
  2. The panes, which house open windows, are manually resizable, preferably via keyboard.
  3. The panes exhibit tabbed behavior, meaning that they can house multiple windows.
  4. Windows can be tagged and moved between panes / virtual desktops via keyboard sequence.
  5. A given window may be temporarily exploded into full-screen mode via keyboard sequence.
  6. Each new virtual desktop starts in the same state—i.e., with one pane.
  7. Each virtual desktop may have its panes divided independently of other virtual desktops.

From my investigation, it appears that there are several configurations that provide #3. For as much as I want to spend the time to familiarize myself with Haskell, I just simply don't have time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. As far as I can tell, Ion has no conception of master pane or window, so this behavior is not desired.

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Long live Ion 3, the best window manager that ever was. Replicating the same functionality in XMonad/Haskell would be something I'd be up for hacking on personally if I weren't stuck writing iOS apps in XCode these days. When I was using XMonad though, I did enough tweaking that I can say pretty confidently that most, if not all, of this should be possible. Question upvoted! – Yetanotherjosh Oct 21 '11 at 4:34

You may also want to check NotIon, which is a fork of the original ION3 window manager and seems to include its distinguishing features. Here's the url:

NotIon project at Sourceforge

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seems capable of most of that, I would suggest you to give it a run.

If you ever switch to Windows, HashTWM and the more recent HashWM provide similar functionality.

dwm is a dynamic window manager for X. It manages windows in tiled, monocle and floating layouts. All of the layouts can be applied dynamically, optimising the environment for the application in use and the task performed.

In tiled layout windows are managed in a master and stacking area. The master area contains the window which currently needs most attention, whereas the stacking area contains all other windows. In monocle layout all windows are maximised to the screen size. In floating layout windows can be resized and moved freely. Dialog windows are always managed floating, regardless of the layout applied.

Windows are grouped by tags. Each window can be tagged with one or multiple tags. Selecting certain tags displays all windows with these tags.

Each screen contains a small status bar which displays all available tags, the layout, the number of visible windows, the title of the focused window, and the text read from the root window name property, if the screen is focused. A floating window is indicated with an empty square and a maximised floating window is indicated with a filled square before the windows title. The selected tags are indicated with a different color. The tags of the focused window are indicated with a filled square in the top left corner. The tags which are applied to one or more windows are indicated with an empty square in the top left corner.

dwm draws a small customizable border around windows to indicate the focus state.

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Nowhere near ion3 which had manual tiling, very good keyboard AND mouse support (smooth resizing using mouse), window tabs, multiple scratchapds, very good scriptability and probably other great features I don't even use. – mateusz.fiolka Apr 22 '12 at 18:31
@mateusz.fiolka: No two programs are the same. – Tom Wijsman Apr 22 '12 at 21:15

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