Category Archives: Tools


There has been some discussion on the last post about implementing functionality similar to Microsoft’s “Aero Snap”.  Your chronicler has never used Windows 7, but the idea is demonstrated in this video.  It appears to mean that: when a window is dragged to the left or right of the screen, it is vertically maximised, and […]

Expansion and external tools

In GNOME bug 517722, a new keybinding is suggested which will make the focussed window take up as much space as possible without covering any other window.  If applied to all windows, it would make Metacity behave like a tiling window manager. The main problem with this idea is the same one we were discussing […]

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 […]

Squib of the day: keys for windows

GNOME bug 97725 raises the interesting idea of associating keys with windows.  Two differing approaches have been advocated: Have a set of keys which work to “bookmark” windows, and a corresponding set of keys which mean “jump to bookmark n“. Have a keystroke which means “bookmark this window using the key I’m about to press”, […]

Squib of the Day: Ctrl+Alt+Delete

GNOME bug 130632 raises the idea of being able to put up the GNOME system monitor with a keystroke bound by default to Ctrl+Alt+Delete, as on Windows, so that users can kill applications and so on.  The usability people say this is fine as long as the system monitor gains a prominent logout button.  This […]

Quick mention: a theme editor

Someone is working on a Metacity theme editor called Metacity Themer. It appears to take rather a different approach from Opacity; it’ll be interesting to see how this turns out. I’m not sure whether I should abandon Opacity; I wasn’t working on it anyway much (though I had thought about it quite a bit) and […]

another crazy idea

Almost everything we bind keys to could be done with an external application via EWMH, and on my computer there’s no perceptible speed penalty.  (I’m sure there is on slower machines.)  Perhaps there should be a configure switch not to include the code to do everything except the things which pop up switchers (and another […]

Squib of the day: walk through workspaces

I don’t know why switching continues to be a source of squibs, but there it is.  In GNOME bug 570817 someone is suggesting a way to walk through workspaces (presumably only populated ones, but that’s not clear) in the same way that hitting and immediately releasing alt-tab moves you to the next window without regard […]

Some of the tools

Here are some of the tools that ship in the tools directory of Metacity: is the script that produces release announcements in both text form (for gnome-announce-list) and HTML (for posts like this one).  It needs some polishing. puts up an editor for a ChangeLog entry, then commits current changes.  It used to […]