Author Archives: Thomas Thurman

Mostly themes, triaging, and patch review.

How to help with Metacity

Someone was asking how they could help with Metacity. Here are some thoughts. Why it’s important.  Metacity is (for now) the official window manager of the GNOME desktop.  Even though Metacity supports compositing, one of its strengths is that it can also run in a non-composited mode: plenty of people run Metacity who can’t or […]

Plans for May

I want to apologise to all the people who have been waiting on Bugzilla recently, especially to those of you waiting for patch review. There’s a terrible mountain of work to do, and few people doing it, and I’ve had a lot of my time taken up writing a book. But none of that is […]

Theme-based button layouts

Some window border themes, such as Radiance Chrome or any theme attempting to recreate the look of OS X, have the window buttons carefully designed as separate images which can’t be re-ordered without breaking the design. At present, the order of buttons is under the control of the user, not the theme.  If a theme […]

Cowbell blog

Because the posts about Cowbell are threatening to choke the rest of this blog, and because it’s only of interest to a particular subset of readers, I’ve created a Cowbell blog.  See you over there.  Normal service will be resumed here.

Bug of the day: hiding “(as superuser)”

As we mentioned the other day, there are some situations where Metacity’s ability to mark a window as running as root is unhelpful. One of these is during installation: this naturally runs as root, but it baffles new users to be told “Install (as superuser)“. For this reason , GNOME bug 605137 requests a hint […]

Bug of the day

There are several hundred bugs still open in the Metacity bug tracker.  Over a hundred of these are enhancement requests. During the first quarter of last year, this blog ran a daily “bug of the day” or “squib of the day” feature, where suggested enhancements would be discussed.  Every so often, there’d be a roundup […]

“(as superuser)” considered harmful

About a year ago, we considered the idea of showing the name of the user running a program in the titlebar, as suggested by GNOME bug 549389.  So if you were running Epiphany as user fred, and you yourself were not user fred, you would see “(as fred)” in the titlebar.  More commonly, if you […]

Specifying button widths in CSS

The height of a button in a CSS theme is determined by the height of the titlebar, which in turn is determined in most cases by the height of the titlebar font, but occasionally explicitly.  The height of buttons cannot be set explicitly. For the width of the button, however, there are two common cases: […]

Themes roundup

Here are four pieces of news from the world of theming. Human may be replaced. We don’t usually cover news about specific themes here (although perhaps we should) but it’s worth noting that Ubuntu’s default theme, Human, although very beautiful, is a little long in the tooth.  There has been a proposal to replace it […]

Alt-Tab over all workspaces

At the moment, when you press alt-Tab, you cycle through a list of windows on the current workspace.  People use workspaces in many ways, though; some people keep only one application maximised on each workspace.  Very many people have asked for the ability to alt-Tab between windows on all workspaces, not just the current one. […]