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A i3wm grid controller for floating window automation.

Project description

i3-grid is a module to manage floating windows for the i3 tiling window manager. The code is split into several classes, each isolating the logic respective to its name. The process flow is as follows:

  • FloatManager: Manages the user input parsing and function dispatches

  • *Movements: Contains the functions that are directly called by the user to invoke window actions

  • *MonitorCalculator: Manages the xrandr display settings to make display agnostic window decisions

  • *FloatUtils: The meta functions of the manager that directly assist the movements and calculator

  • Utils: Additional utilities to abstract debugging, RPC calls, etc.

  • *Middleware: Manages socket connections for API bindings via library or command line

*Asterisk signifies meta classes that are under the hood.

We have utilized type hints and the typings library to make the code easier to understand, as well as autocomplete for VSCode, PyCharm, Vim, etc.


As seen in the, the classes we expose from the i3grid module are Documentation, FloatManager, Utils, and BASE_CONFIG. The main classes used in a library will hail from FloatManager. We will discuss the important methods below (the remaining are intuitive or not necessary for library usage).

You will notice that not all methods will allow an id field. This is because of the limits of the i3-py library. I will try to patch the library to allow these if requested but an override is to focus on a window and then act on it.

Additional low-level comments are available in the source code. Doc strings are also available for all abstracted functions and most internal functions. Calling help(<func>) in a REPL will display this information. All commands can also be seen by calling help on the CLI (python3 -m i3grid -h)

The method descriptions are as follows:

    - method_name
            Function Header



*Asterisk signifies an abstracted command. Highly recommended for usage

  • run*

    def run(self, cmd: str, **kwargs) -> list:
    An abstraction over the raw action commands. Dispatches command, updates i3 state,
    and cleans globals/grid leaks. The available commands are as seen in the CLI help menu.
    All kwargs are passed to the specific command function (not needed most of the time).
          center, float, resize, snap, csize, hide, reset, listen, multi
  • all_override*

    def all_override(self, commands: list, **kwargs) -> List[tuple]:
    Used to apply functions to multiple windows. The methodology is to focus on the window
    and apply the user defined action(s). Also applies any flags prior to running action (ex.
    auto resizing, etc.) Returns the windows in the current workspace. Uses the run function under
    the hood. The container id is available and can be activated by passing in a kwargs `id`
    boolean to True. Important kwargs:
          id {int} - Targets a specific window only (passed to the run function) *Not fully supported yet
          floating {bool} - Targets the floating windows only (default: false)
  • update_config*

    def update_config(self, val: dict) -> bool:
    Updates the config value used by i3-grid during the runtime. The BASE_CONFIG class will
    demonstrate how to utilize this mechanism. This will need to be called whenever you
    would like to update the configuration. This allows for you to keep multiple copies of
    BASE_CONFIG and call this function to change configurations on the fly.
  • custom_resize

    def custom_resize(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Resize the current window to custom screen percentage. The percentage is
    determined by the `DefaultResetPercentage` key in the BASE_CONFIG.
  • focus_window

    def focus_window(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Focuses on the window with given kwargs `id`
  • hide_scratchpad

    def hide_scratchpad(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Hides the scratchpad with given kwargs `id` or current window. If window
    is not assigned to a scratchpad, it will not hide it.
  • make_float

    def make_float(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Makes the current window float. If already float, do nothing.
  • make_resize

    def make_resize(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Resizes the following window into the fixed grid size (There is a seperate function
    for custom resizing) as determined by user input of Rows and Columns.
  • move_to_center

    def move_to_center(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Moves the focused window to the center of the current monitor.
  • multi_select

    def multi_select(self, \*\*kwargs) -> list:
    Allows for free range select across a grid quadrants. Utilizes the
    `multis` key from BASE_CONFIG to determine the upper and lower bound.
  • post_commands

    def post_commands(self) -> None:
    This function is under the hood and you will probably not need it (if you stick
    to the abstracted methods) but it is important to know. This command syncs the state
    of the workspace prior to each action to ensure data validity.
  • reset_win

    def reset_win(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Resets the window to default i3 size.
  • snap_to_grid

    def snap_to_grid(self, **kwargs) -> list:
    Snaps the focused window to the grid location of choice. The location may
    be changed via the `SnapLocation` key in BASE_CONFIG. Accepts a `tc`
    kwargs for custom true center.
  • start_server

    def start_server(self, data_mapper: collectionsAbc.Callable) -> None:
    Starts the live socket server for receiving other thread actions. Can be utilized as a
    data stream for bash or other message queues for daemon like features. Implemented for
    future updates.


A majority of these functions are for the library itself and may be ignored.

  • read_config

    def read_config() -> None:
    This is called when FloatManager is instantiated but may be called manually to override
    current settings.
  • i3_custom

    def i3_custom(cmd: str, id: str = None) -> str:
    Constructs a command using the command string. If ID is passed it, it will customize
    the raw function to apply to the window with the given ID.
  • dipatch_bash_command

    def dipatch_bash_command(command_str: str) -> str:
    Dispatch a bash command and receive the output as a string. This opens a
    bash subprocess. This can be combined with i3_custom to dispatch custom functions.

CLI Help Menu

  > python3 -m i3grid -h
  usage: [-h] [--cols COLS] [--rows ROWS] [--offset OFFSET [OFFSET ...]] [--perc PERC] [--target TARGET] [--multis MULTIS [MULTIS ...]] [--port PORT] [--all] [--floating] [--noresize] [--nofloat]
                     <action> [<action> ...]

  Manage your floating windows with ease.

  positional arguments:
    <action>              Actions are the functions to execute on the current window. Order of operations matters here. For Example: "python snap float --target 3" We can assume that this command is for
                          a tiled window (as the user passed an option to make the window float). This will try to snap the window to grid position 3 but fails, as it is not floating. The proper order would be:
                          "python float snap --target 3". A minimum of one action is required to run the script.

  optional arguments:
    -h, --help            show this help message and exit
    --cols COLS           Number of col slices in screen grid (default in rc file)
    --rows ROWS           Number of row slices in screen grid (default in rc file)
    --offset OFFSET [OFFSET ...]
                          On the fly offset per window {Array[top, right, bottom, left]} | Ex: --offset 10 0 (Can take upto 4 integers. Less than 4 fills the remainingvalues with 0. This example is the same as:
                          --offset 10 0 0 0)
    --perc PERC           Flag for action: 'csize' (Percentage of screen {int}[1-100])
    --target TARGET       The grid location to snap the window to (default in rc file)
    --multis MULTIS [MULTIS ...]
                          The range of numbers to strech the window across. Ex (4x4 grid): '1 2 3 4' or '1 4' (horizontal) or '1 5 9 13'or '1 13' (vertical) or '1 8' (2 horizontal rows)
    --port PORT           The port number to listen for i3-grid events (Overriding port for server requires overriding for the client also)
    --all                 Applies the action(s) to all windows windows in current workspace
    --floating            Applies the action(s) to all floating windows windows in current workspace
    --noresize            Override auto resize on the fly to be false
    --nofloat             Override auto float on the fly to be false

    center                Center the focused window to a float window
    float                 Toggle the float of a window (overrides config file for otf movements)
    resize                Resize focused window (if float)
    snap                  Runs grid placement of window (can be combined with all other actions). Flag args include rows, cols, and target
    csize                 Resize the window into a custom size of screen (1-100)
    hide                  Hide the current window to scratchpad (if scratchpad). Can be combined with 'all' flag to clear floating windows in workspace
    reset                 Resets the focused window into the middle occupying 75ppt (i3 default) screen space
    listen                Socket Listener (sole action) for event binding in native Python and command line (Listens on port flag or default: 65433)
    multi                 Stretch a window across a range of numbers (Use flag 'multis')


  • The CLI is seemingly far more useful as this should be a somewhat minimal library. The GitHub README contains the future features that have been inquired.
  • An important TODO for the library is to allow for deep kwargs on dispatches for more granular control.

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