2008-10-29: Metacity Journal

Another day, another Metacity Journal, and your chronicler still has not resurrected the script.


As ever, feel free to dive in with any of these.

  • GNOME bug 558058, Launchpad bug 258054, and possibly Launchpad bug 266929 were obscure bugs caused by dereferencing the values of GConf keys which are never null on a properly-configured system; changes in GDM allowed Metacity to be run sometimes without values for these keys, exposing the crashes.  Now fixed.
  • GNOME bug 558309: Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle noted that some names of variables weren’t double-quoted in error messages.  Now fixed.
  • GNOME bug 557921: Lennart Poettering suggests adding sound effects to Metacity.  What are your thoughts, gentle reader?

Around the blogs

There was a lot of discussion about theme patriation on gtk-list for apps such as icanhasedit; almost all the responses were negative.  This diverged into a discussion about window matching, which Thomas has promised a blog post on soon.


  1. Rui
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    I tried to put some objectiveness onto the Theme patriation thread.

  2. Robin
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    For me, Metacity also feels jerky with compositing on. So if increasing the refresh rate improves this, I’d say do it.

    The primary reason though why I haven’t turned compositing on yet is this: When restoring a window or calling up the window switcher with Alt+Tab, the windows that appear sometimes “flicker”. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s like the window contents haven’t been fully initialised yet but are shown already and so for a fraction of a second the “garbage” that is there primary to initialisation is visible. Do you have an idea what that could be?

  3. Posted October 30, 2008 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    @Robin: I know what you mean. I’m not sure what causes this, but I’ve heard someone mention it before now who had some suggestions. I wonder whether Iain knows. (I’m no expert on the compositor, at least not yet.)

  4. Posted October 30, 2008 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sound effects are *hard* to get right, especially sound effects triggered by user actions. Usually they’re simply annoying and add nothing to the experience. Notifications, on the other hand, have a legitimate use for sound effects (e.g. something to discretely tell you there’s a window flashing in your title bar).

    Don’t listen to me, listen to a good user interaction designer, if you can find one…

  5. Posted October 30, 2008 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Instead of hardcoding the FPS, why not ask xrandr for the refresh rate of the monitor?

    Obviously there are edge cases: some incomplete drivers this will be 0 (so assume 50?), and multihead will complicate matters.