GNU ELPA - wconf


Minimal window layout manager
wconf-0.2.1.el, 2017-Feb-23, 12.2 KiB
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To install this package, run in Emacs:

M-x package-install RET wconf RET

Full description

* wconf
GNU Emacs 27.1 comes with ~tab-bar.el~, which provides all features of
~wconf.el~ that I consider important.
I will therefore no longer maintain this package.
This should make no difference in practice, as the code has not been
changed for more than 3.5 years, anyway.
** About
=wconf= is a minimal window configuration manager for [[][GNU Emacs]].  Its
goal is to have several window configurations easily available, to
switch between them, and to save them to disk and later restore them.

For example, I might have a default "workspace" for miscellaneous stuff,
and then I might have workspaces "UI", "MT", "DB" for a classic 3-tier

Can double as a "boss" key; not that you would ever use something like
that yourself.
** Using the Package
Make sure the files are in your =load-path=, and either =(require
'wconf)= or make sure its autoloads are known to Emacs --- if you have
installed from a package archive, that should take care of both.

Here is an example from my configuration to show you the intended use of
#+begin_src emacs-lisp
(add-hook 'desktop-after-read-hook      ;so we have all buffers again
          (lambda ()
            (wconf-switch-to-config 0)
            (add-hook 'kill-emacs-hook
                      (lambda ()

(global-set-key (kbd "C-c w s") #'wconf-store)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c w S") #'wconf-store-all)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c w r") #'wconf-restore)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c w R") #'wconf-restore-all)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c w w") #'wconf-switch-to-config)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-<prior>") #'wconf-use-previous)
(global-set-key (kbd "C-<next>") #'wconf-use-next)
After =desktop= has restored all file buffers from my last session,
=wconf-load= will get its stored configs from =wconf-file= (defaults to
=<YOUREMACSDIR>/wconf-window-configs.el=), and I want it to immediately
switch to the first configuration.  Then we hook into killing emacs to
store and save all our configurations in that same file.  The global key
bindings expose those commands that I consider useful in day-to-day
** Concepts
The main idea is +stolen from+ inspired by =workgroups=.  We keep a list
of configuration pairs.  Each such pair consists of an /active/
configuration (what you see when you switch to this slot of the list),
and a /stored/ one (what you have in the back, and maybe save to disk at
some point).  In =workgroups= parlance, these are the working and base

At each point in time there is (at most) one configuration current.  You
can explictly store and restore the current active configuration to/from
the stored one, or do likewise for all configurations.  For example, you
might decide that you have a carefully hand-crafted set of
configurations that you always want to start from, but that you do not
wish to change this setup, except when doing so explicitly.  That's
easy: just remove the =(wconf-store-all)= call from the above hook

A nice feature of =wconf= is that it does not alter any hooks or
settings outside its own small world, and I intend to keep it that way.
This implies that the currently active configuration is only updated
explicitly, via one the functions/commands in the package.
** Rationale, and Other Packages
I used for several years.  It is a
great package, which offers a lot of additional features besides the
core business of managing window configs.  It also has some
shortcomings, is somewhat complex (at 79k), and I occasionally
experienced minor glitches.  Most importantly, it has been unmaintained
for roughly 4 years now. promises to pick up where
workgroups left, and is actively maintained.  The main difference, as I
understand it, is the desire to restore "special" buffers as well (help,
info, org-mode agendas, notmuch mail, you name it).  Finally trying it,
it did not provide a lot of benefit for my personal needs, but added
still more complexity.  The functionality that I want should not require
179k of elisp.

Nowadays (at least since the GNU Emacs 24.4 release), there are proper
lisp-reader (de)serializations for both frame and window configurations,
and =window.el= and =frameset.el= provide functions to deal with them
(relatively) comfortably.  Desktop already (re)stores a single
configuration.  That's when I decided that it's time to roll my own:
build something light on top of what's already there, in order to
provide persistent switchable configurations.
** Notes, TODO
I only use a single fullscreen frame all the time.  An earlier version
of this package stored configurations as whole framesets, without any
effort to deal with the multiple-frames case.  It has now changed to
deal with window configurations in a single frame only.  This is much
better defined, simpler, and no longer suffers from annoying flickering

Calling the package commands from different frames inside a single
session may or may not result in the behavior you want.  In the latter
case, feel free to open an issue and describe what happens and what you
expected/wanted to happen.  I explicitly do /not/ guarantee that the
code will change to suit your wishes --- but if minor changes could
render it more generally useful, I am all ears.

I am thinking about some rescaling options to deal with restoring on
frames of different sizes (possible due to a different screen size).
Filtering options for what is generally (re)stored (and how) might be a
pleasant side effect.  Don't hold your breath.

Old versions

wconf-0.2.0.el2015-Aug-0311.4 KiB