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Re: Windows-toolbar behavior in gnome (your not going to believe this!)

Thibaut Paumard wrote:

Le mardi 20 juin 2006 à 11:29 -0600, edwardsa a écrit :
I have just found the metacity.schemas file and find that a new schema


has two possible values: "smart" applies the user's normal focus mode, and
"strict" results in windows started from a terminal NOT being given focus.

Now, if I start a window from a terminal, why the hell wouldn't I want it to be given focus?!

E.g. because this new window is to display something you want to see
while still typing in your terminal window. When you're doing a task
that requires you doing it repeatedly, automatically giving focus to new
windows is a total PITA. OTOH, you may want to be able to close the
window quickly by typing "q", in which case it's not giving focus that's
a PITA. Actually, easy window navigation from the keyboard is more
important than the default focusing policy.

Raise policy is also a different issue. If you create a window from the
terminal, presumably you always want to *see* it ASAP (which is not
always the case for popups, where I often prefer my taskbar to flash,
allowing me to select when I'm OK with switching from my current task to
check it).

If I start a window I want it to be raised, given focus, and even a drink if it wants it! This makes me think that metacity should be renamed to perver-city.

I'm missing something here, can't you just change the
"focus_new_windows" setting?
You have only two choices, and neither produce the prior behavior for new windows. "smart" apparently looks at the focus behavior, which only changes the interaction of the mouse with the window. That is to say, once the window is created, focus_mode decides whether focus is given by clicking or simple placement of the cursor. It does not effect whether new windows are automatically raised. That is really my point. Currently, metacity is a "Have it our way" window manager.

I have run the same application (molden, a molecular visualization tool) in KDE and I am able to exercise complete control over new windows. The default was exactly the same behavior as in gnome, but I could change it with the configure window behavior option. I was also able to alter the annoying behavior of firefox, described previously, where new instances of the browser are initiated behind other windows.

I have looked fairly carefully at the metacity.schemas file and I have not found a way to alter the window behavior to customize metacity. I'm now using KDE because gnome/metacity had diminished my productivty. I miss the simplicity of gnome's presentation and would use it again if it met my needs. I realize that simplicity is one of the driving considerations for metacity. However, to misquote Einstein entirely out of context, things should be made as simple as possible, and no simpler. I would say that metacity is now a little too simple.
Should I file this as a bug? As it is, I'll using my stable boxes for anything serious until this is resolved.

IMHO, you should not file more than a wishlist bug asking for the
default to be "smart" (unless I did not understand the exact problem, of

Regards, Thibaut.

Thanks for your response,


Arthur H. Edwards
Senior Research Physicist
Air Force Research Laboratory
Bldg. 914
3550 Aberdeen Ave. SE
KAFB, NM 87117-5776

(505) 853-6042 (O)
(505) 463-6722 (C)
(505) 846-2290 (F)

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