Ian Ward

CKAN contributor/tech lead
Urwid author
PyRF contributor
Speedometer author

Contributing to Open Source
IASA E-Summit, 2014-05-16
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Unfortunate Python
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wmiirc-lua, wicd and powertop

wmii logo
Posted on 2008-03-09.

Mousing around on my laptop is quite tiring, so I've been running the wmii tiling window manager on with the wmiirc-lua replacement event loop instead of Gnome for a few weeks now. I used powertop to measure the wmii's effect on my power usage, and wicd to replace the Gnome-centric NetworkManager application.

Tiling window managers let you keep your hands at the keyboard and make efficient use of your full screen. When you spend lots of time moving between applications and you have many windows open, tiling window managers are a great way to keep everything organized.

wmiirc-lua is very light on resources as compared to the original shell script that comes with wmii. It also has a suspend mode that lets you automatically put wasteful applications to sleep when they're not in focus. This is great for stopping some web page from draining your battery by busily animating advertisements or refreshing themselves on a timer.

I was already having trouble with NetworkManager (version 0.6 included in Ubuntu) and switching to wmii meant that NetworkManager no longer worked at all, so I went looking for a replacement. I eventually settled on wicd. wicd handles connecting to wireless networks without requiring an X login (sometimes it's nice to work from the console), and it works better than NetworkManager with multiple X logins. There are still some rough edges, but at least I can connect to wireless networks without digging around in configuration files.

Tags: Software