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I'm wondering if an app like this exists - I like using desktop window managers, but would like to be able to open a multi purpose "frame", which I could split into panes as needed and embed windows in those panes. In this way, it would be kind of like a tiling window manager in its own window (as opposed to the root window, I guess).
Hmmm Xephyr looks like it could do what I want, but it seems like a bit of overkill to run a whole new X server - also, ideally it would be good to be able to move windows in and out of the "frame", and I assume windows cannot easily be moved between X servers. Actually running a WM inside another WM would not be the solution, that's just how I was trying to describe the behaviour of the end result.
I've looked at compiz plugins, but Grid just gives you Ctrl+Numpad short cuts that put a Window in the NE, E, SE, etc. segments (quadrants? octants? septants? lol), and I think allows Windows 7-style drag-to-edge. I think this would be beyond the scope of a plugin if it were some addon to compiz; maybe it would have to be implemented in the decorator as well?
With pytyle you can add automatic tiling to your wm. Sadly, while activated, it tiles every newly opened window on current desktop as most tilers do, which makes any tiling quickly quite annoying due to misbehaving application windows or dialogs which each have to be configured separately - to me, problems with tilers seems to be, too forceful automatic tiling, or too lazy manual tiling like in 'subtle' (which i still like).
I just sent a feature request to pytyle developer for considering a feature that new windows are only added to existing tiling grid manually by a keypress and also can be selectively untiled. I'd very much hope pytyle gets this feature since it complements openbox so nicely.