euclid-wm: tutorial

This is intended as a short introduction to using euclid-wm. It is not exhaustive: see the manpage for more depth.

Once installed, euclid-wm should show up in your display manager's list of sessions, so you can start it just like any other WM. If you don't use a diplay manager you can start euclid with start-euclid
Once euclid has started, you will be greated by a big empty screen. So far so good.

To get some windows to manage we can do one of two things: <alt> + <enter> will launch dmenu (assuming you have already installed it), and allow you to start any application you like. <alt> + <shift> + <enter> will launch xterm, or whatever you define in euclid-wm.conf.
So let's start an xterm: <alt> + <shift> + <enter> Now your whole screen will be a single xterm. euclid always expands windows to take up as much space as is available.

Note the single pixel, blue border, this indicates that that window has focus. Of course since there is only one window it doesn't tell you much; So let's start another: <alt> + <shift> + <enter> Now you should have two xterms, stacked one on top of the other, the bottom one (which btw, is the new one) should have a blue border indicating that it is focused.

Go ahead and open 4 xterms so we can do some neat stuff: <alt> + <shift> + <enter> (x2) Now we have four xterms, still stacked one on top of the other.

This is a little-bit ridiculous, as the windows are getting somewhat short. So let's move the 3rd one from the bottom to a new "track".
First, we have to focus it. Changing focus uses the standard h/j/k/l keys (left, up, down, right) with the alt key. So, assuming the focus is on the bottom (4th, window) we select the 3rd window with: <alt> + k

Now we can move this window right. Moving windows the same keys as moving focus, except that it is distinguished with the addition of the <shfit> key. So to move this window right use: <alt> + <shift> + l Now you will have two equal, vertically-oriented tracks. The one on the left has three stacked windows, the one on the right has a single window. The window on the right should still have focus.

We can resize it using y/u/i/o Remember these are just like the standard movement keys, just shifted up a row. Think of them as moving the bottom right corner, so to make it wider move the bottom-right corner right. Hold: <alt> + o

Maybe we need it way bigger: <alt> + <shift> + <space> will toggle fullscreen.

Now we are done with the middle window in the left column and wish to hide it for now, so we add it to the "stack". First we focus it: <alt> + h

Then we minimize it to the stack: <alt> + .

It should now be hidden, with the other two windows in the collumn taking up the extra space.
Now it should be in the stack. You can toggle the stack's visibility with: <alt> + <shift> + <space> We can add another window to the stack too: <alt> + .

You can change stack focus by using <alt> + ; to go up or <alt> + ' to go down.
Bring one of them back: <alt> + , (Notice, , and . control putting windows into and out of the stack.)
One last thing before moving on to views: <alt> + <tab> will flip the orientation of the layout: a vertical layout becomes horizontal.

Okay, now about views. They are actually really simple. Views are just euclid's version of virtual desktops.
By default you are on view 1 (since you just started).
So you can go to view 1, by hitting <alt> + 1 Pretty simple. Of course you were already on view one, so nothing changed. Try: <alt> + 3 This takes you to view 3. It's blank, since you haven't put any windows there. So go back to 1: <alt> + 1 Now send a window to 3: <alt> + <shift> + 3 Whichever window was focused should have just disappeared, but it didn't go far, don't worry: <alt> + 3 Now you should see your window. Now we will go back to 1 a different way: <alt> + n takes us to the previous view, i.e., the empty view 2. Pressing it again takes us back to view 1.
But what if we want to put a window on 2? Let's send a window to 2: <alt> + <shift> + 2 Now go find it: <alt> + m takes us to the next view, which is now 2. Do it again to see 3: <alt> + m
You can read all the keybindings on the man page.
You can configure them (and lots of other things) in euclid-wm.conf.

A Quick Usage Hint

To riff on Larry Wall--euclid-wm seeks to make ordinary tasks easy and unusual tasks possible. Although euclid-wm will let you manage eight visible windows with another 12 minimized as painlessly _as possible_, working with 20 windows (eight of which are fully visible) is never exactly painless--regardless of what management paradigm you are using. Ordinarily you don't need such a layout, and trying to use euclid this way to do ordinary tasks will usually lead to unnecessary inefficiency and frustration.

One of the core goals of euclid is to give visible windows as much realestate as possible, and a key part of this is making it trivial and painless to move between lots of views (i.e., virtual desktops) and to switch in and out of fullscreen.

So for best user experience, use these features. Make it a rule to put windows in their own view unless you have a reason not to (e.g., for drag and drop or for referencing one window while typing in another), don't keep windows in the stack unless you expect that the next time you use them you will need to see them alongside another window in the view, and if you do have multiple windows visible on a view, make use of fullscreen while you are only using one of them.

Trying to cluster all your windows on one or two views is like trying to cruise at 80mph in 2nd gear: Euclid might be able to do it, but that doesn't mean you are getting the experience it was designed to give.

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