Category Archives: nargery

Short explanation: Posts in this blog flagged “nargery” go into more detail than is polite in civilised company.

Longer explanation: Once upon a time at Cambridge (so the story goes), before the days of state-subsidised tuition, there were two kinds of people you might meet. There were the gentlemen, the sons of the gentry and nobility, who were at the university because they could afford to be. They were often not very interested in academic work, preferring to spend their time rowing and hunting and gambling at Newmarket.

There were also the people who were there on scholarships because they loved their subjects, worked hard, and were fanatical about what they did. They would even talk about their subject in fascinated tones outside of lectures and tutorials— even, perhaps, at parties! The gentlemen of leisure looked down on these students, of course: they would call such a person a “narg”, because he was Not A Real Gentleman.

So as time went on, people who talked shop outside the times when it was necessary were called nargs, doing so was narging, and the practice of indecently talking about your subject in public is nargery. The great majority of computer scientists are guilty of it.

See also the Jargon File.

Come calm content serene and sweet

Most themes place the icon of the current application somewhere on the titlebar. Some operating systems (notably OS X) allow you to drag this icon as if it was the very file which is being viewed in that window. This behaviour has been suggested for Metacity in the past. One of the two main problems […]

Window managers and D-Bus

D-Bus is the standard way for applications to communicate with one another.  But the EWMH, supplemented for our purposes by libwnck, is the standard way for applications to communicate with the window manager .  GNOME bug 531512 raises the suggestion that even window manager communication should be done over D-Bus, or at least that D-Bus […]

Further thoughts on extending the window menu

The previous post about extending the window menu caused a great deal of discussion. It would seem that our readers would be interested in an implementation.  Thomas is considering working on this after the window matching experiments are more stable. Now, we can imagine that any package might want to add menu options when it […]

Copper: an experiment with CSS

Further to our previous discussion of CSS, Thomas spent a few hours on sketching out a possible design for a CSS-based theme format, and on representing Daniel Borgmann‘s Human theme using it. This is an experiment, all very blue-sky and unofficial, and is quite likely never to lead anywhere. The first question to resolve is […]

The window menu

The window menu is the menu you see when you click the menu button (which usually has the window icon on it), or right-click the titlebar. An identical menu appears when you right-click an application’s entry in the task switcher on the panel, although this menu is owned by libwnck rather than Metacity and is […]

Squib of the day: talking to ourselves

Metacity knows when a program is loaded, but hasn’t yet started, by using the startup notification specification.  In GNOME bug 114384, the suggestion is raised that when Metacity opens a new program (say, from a keybinding) it should also tell itself that the program is loading in the same way. This seems entirely reasonable. Photo […]

On enhancements which need changes to the EWMH

Some of the enhancements which have been suggested need some sort of hint to be set on windows.  For example, the recent squib about a special style for warning windows could only work if warning windows were marked in some way, and at present they’re not.  Similarly, drag and drop can only work better if […]

Squib of the day: Special frame style for warning dialogues

GNOME bug 102548 suggests that warning dialogues should have a special frame style, and it’s suggested that this could look like safety tape wrapped around the edge. This is not unlike the special frame style suggested here for root windows.  However, while there’s already a way for the window manager to tell whether a window […]

Squib of the day: Drag and drop should work properly

In GNOME bug 80984 (closely related to GNOME bug 76672), someone is asking for the window manager to help out with drag-and-drop.  The problem is that a drag-and-drop operation should not raise the window it begins in, because raising that window could obscure the window you’re planning to drop the object into. This is a […]

Squib of the day: keep the menu in one place

At present the system menu, which you see when you right-click anywhere on the titlebar, left-click the menu button, or right-click an entry on the pager, is hard-coded separately into Metacity and libwnck, and required to be the same in both places. I’ve been considering the idea of making it a property on the root […]