Floating Layout

The floating workspace layout mode mimics the more common desktop window management paradigm where windows are free ‘floating’ with the user dragging the windows around to match his or her preferences.

Though you can, of course, manage floating mode with the mouse cursor, efforts have been taken to make sure it can be controlled by other devices by binding the following menu paths (target/window/):

  • move relative: move(px_x,px_y)
  • move absolute: set(px_x,px_y)
  • resize absolute: set(px_w,px_h)
  • specialized: toggle fullscreen, toggle maximize

The navigation key bindings such as select-switch up/down/left/right are relative to the window position, so the switch is made based on the relative distance between window switching positions.

The navigation key bindings like select-switch up/down/left/right are treated positionally, so the switch is made based on the relative distance between window switching positions.

Durden treats windows in float mode as having a history. This means that if you switch back to float from a different mode, the last known float positions and sizing ratios will be restored (if possible).

The cursor management follows the common pattern of double clicking the titlebar to switch between maximized and normal, press-drag to move and and click-drag the border to resize.

It is possible to force-enable titlebars only for float layout-mode. This can be done through global/settings/workspaces/float-titlebar

Spawn Controls

The tools/advfloat.lua script (if present) extends the floating layout mode with additional features. One of them is spawn control, so that when a new window is to be created, you have more interactive options for position and size.

The added settings are registered under global/settings/workspaces/float/advfloat_spawn and can be set to:

  • click: window spawns with initial size at cursor position when clicked
  • draw: cursor switches to draw-region mode which sets size and position
  • auto: default, a position is selected automatically.

the Keyboard(attach, split, place) options uses the currently selected window and your ‘left/right/up/down’ bindings to position and place the window. Attach means that the window will be positionally and life-cycle linked to the currently selected window. Split means that the selected window will be shrunk by half in one axis so that the old window and new window together share space.


Another advfloat enabled script is a relayouter that repositions and possibly resizes windows to fit some dynamic layout heuristic each time the command is invoked. The available heuristics can be found (and triggered) via global/workspace/float/layouter.

Action Regions

Cursor action regions are another advfloat enabled script, that currently requires some manual scripting to be useful. The basic idea is that they define hidden squares, that when activated via some mouse action e.g. mouse over, mouse out, mouse drag, etc. will trigger some other menu path.

Look inside tools/advfloat/cregions_def.lua for the script file to edit in order to define action regions. The regions can be enabled or disabled globally via the global/config/workspaces/float/action_region path.


This advfloat- tool is a riff on the grid- plugin for Compiz. It works by splitting the screen into 9 dominant regions (nw, n, ne, w, c, e, sw, s, se). When activated, the selected window will be positioned and sized inside the corresponding region. These actions are best bound to the numpad, and the relevant menu paths can be found in target/window/gridfit/….

If the action is repeated in quick succession (timeout ~10 seconds) the window will be further repositioned within the constraints of this cell recursively. By activating the special ‘back’ path, one or several such recurses can be reverted.

Hide Target

This advfloat- tool can be configured via global/settings/workspaces/float/hide_target and determines the behavior of the target/window/hide action. By default, it does nothing, but can be set to hide or ‘minimize’ the window to a statusbar button region, or as some other UI element.

Future Changes

The float mode is treated with a lesser priority than the rest, but as the durden development settles and drifts towards maintenance and upkeep, the following features are planned to be added:

  • Desktop Icons
  • Configurable Titlebar Gestures
  • Input forward to background source when no window is selected
  • Alternative menu access UI (popup- style rather than HUD style)
  • More efficient border-drawing