Thanks for writing this up. Answers inline.

On Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 1:08 AM, Frederik Eaton <> wrote:

> Hello All!
> I just switched from Notion to i3 about a month ago. In general it's
> been a positive experience, I especially appreciate the smaller
> configuration file, the more sensible default bindings, the ability to
> put windows in a tree (if that's the correct word).
> After settling in, I made a quick list of some issues I ran into and
> wanted to report back to the developers.
> - As a user of the Dvorak keyboard layout, I was confused by the
>   result of running i3-config-wizard. I can see how h,t,n,s could be
>   used for navigation, but many of the remaining key bindings don't
>   make sense - why should 'd' split horizontally, or 'p' restart? This
>   wasn't really explained to me through the process of installing and
>   trying out the software. I ended up having to revert most of the
>   bindings to the Qwerty defaults. I think the wizard made things more
>   difficult in the end.

The key _positions_ make some sense, the key mnemonics likely don’t. I
don’t think this is a big problem, as users are very likely to change their
config file anyway. Also, you’re free to use/not use the wizard as you see
fit — for most users, using the wizard seems to be the best solution, which
is why it’s started by default.

> - Coming from Notion, I would have expected the default window layout
>   to be tabbed. At first I thought that i3 didn't support a tabbed
>   layout, because when I first started it (with killall notion; i3), I
>   ended up with 10 unusably-narrow windows. I still don't know how to
>   make tabbing the default - when I open windows on a new workspace,
>   they always come up split. If I kill and restart i3, then everything
>   comes up split (and uselessly narrow).

Does “workspace_layout tabbed” do what you want?

> - I had to ask the IRC channel for the name of the key binding to turn
>   a dialog box into a window - perhaps the documentation should be
>   improved so new users can avoid this hurdle (e.g. under TERMINOLOGY
>   in the man page, there could be an entry explaining that a "Floating
>   Window" is something like a dialog box).

Can you please send a pull request for which adds
an explanation where you think it makes sense?

> - Even after learning the "floating toggle" binding it sometimes
>   becomes annoying or confusing to have to press it each time - for
>   instance if I have to print a lot of stuff in Firefox, but I
>   sometimes want to navigate to other windows when the print dialog is
>   open. I also sometimes accidentally turn Firefox into a floating
>   window when I'm doing this, and then I wonder where all the other
>   windows went.... I would appreciate an option to have dialogs always
>   come up as windows by default.

If the print dialog is clearly meant to be floating, Firefox should set the
appropriate window hints. Since you describe you have to manually make it
floating, apparently Firefox doesn’t. You should file a Firefox bug, but
you can work around this with a for_window rule, see

> - "focus right" is not always the reverse of "focus left". For
>   instance, if the rightmost tab is split horizontally, then one
>   command will cycle through all the windows, but the other will get
>   stuck cycling through the children of the tab which has been split.
>   Same with "focus up" and "focus down" in the stacking layout, when a
>   child is split vertically. It seems it would be cleaner to have
>   these pairs be strict opposites.

There are several places where the directional commands don’t strictly
operate on the tree and hence focus left/right are not always direct
opposites. We believe that bottomline, this makes it easier for users. Even
if it didn’t make it easier for users, changing it now would be very
disruptive to existing users, so I don’t think we can do much about it.

If you feel strongly, you might be able to implement your own logic using
the IPC interface:

> - I like that "i3-nagbar" is available to display error messages, but
>   I don't know how to close it with my keyboard... seems like I have
>   to use my mouse to close it. I'd prefer to avoid the mouse...!

It’s designed to nag you, so this is working as intended :).

> Well, I hope this isn't too much stuff at once. I'm happy with i3 so
> even if you don't fix any of these problems, I'll still use it. As I
> mentioned above, I just wanted to report back since it's not always
> easy to anticipate how new users will experience a piece of software.
> Thanks for all your hard work in developing i3!
> Best wishes,
> Frederik

Best regards,

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