Category Archives: Bugs and issues


I know what you’re thinking: you thought this blog was dead. Well, I have to apologise for the lack of attention to Metacity recently. I’ve been trying to rectify this, and I’ll try to keep it up. There have been things sucking up my time, but they are mostly over now. I’ve closed a few […]

Moving to GSettings

In the beginning, Metacity stored keybindings in GConf.  There was one GConf key for each action, and the string value gave the key bound to it.  If it was undefined or “disabled”, there would be no key bound to that action. In 2005 , GNOME bug 164831 raised the point that other platforms used several […]

Are there any SDL people out there?

Back in 2005, a Metacity crash when running certain SDL apps was reported in GNOME bug 169684. This bug remains at “critical”, but there has been no new comment on it for five years. Nobody appears to be experiencing the same problem now. Gentle reader, do you have any experience in SDL? Can you tell […]

Justified and ancient

Although it’s common for Metacity themes to have centred titles, there are still several themes which have the title justified to the left or right . GNOME bug 612940 makes the not unreasonable suggestion that the justification should be swapped when the system is running in a language such as Hebrew, Arabic, or Urdu which […]

Going back to the previous workspace

Eugeni Dodonov has asked for a keybinding to return to the previous workspace. For example, if you were on workspace 1 and switched to workspace 2, then pressing this key would jump back to workspace 1. Pressing it again would jump to workspace 2. Apparently this is a standard keybinding in xfwm4. This is GNOME […]

Switching between workspaces

Metacity allows you to keep your windows on workspaces.  You can have between one and 36 of them.  (The number 36 is rather arbitrary; it’s described as “a fixed maximum to prevent making the desktop unusable by accidentally asking for too many workspaces.“) You can switch between these workspaces either by using the switcher applet, […]

The order of windows in alt-tab

When you press alt-tab under Metacity, the windows you see in the switcher are displayed in most-recently-used (MRU) order, except that minimised windows are always sorted to the end, and urgent (“needs attention”) windows are sorted to the beginning. A comment in the source describes this as “Windows sellout mode”. In a recent blog post, […]

Setting the button order

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx was released last week. It modifies the order of the titlebar buttons so that they all appear on the left-hand side. Some people would like the buttons in another order. This post explains how to change the order of the buttons. Firstly, decide which buttons you want: Here are your choices. Only […]

The positions of sounds

GNOME bug 616743 includes a patch which, if you have stereo speakers, will make the system bell move horizontally depending on which window it happened in. For example, if you’re editing a file in a terminal on the left of the screen, and the terminal bleeps, the sound will come from the left. If your […]

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 […]