When a Switch is On, It’s On

I’ve just rolled version 0.6 of Superswitcher – a compelling replacement for Alt-Tab.

You can find the download links (source tarball, or Ubuntu .deb packages) off the project homepage. Tijl Van den Broeck has kindly put together an amd64.deb, for those who swing that way. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m sure that it’s absolutely frabjous.

The key change since 0.5 is the ever-so-subtle but “forehead slapping, why didn’t I think of that” handy feature of not crashing immediately on Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10. There was an libwnck API/ABI change (in the active_window_changed signal handler), as unstable libraries sometimes do, somewhere on the journey from Feisty 7.04.  This API/ABI change broke 0.5-era superswitcher binaries, but as far as I can tell, it’s all peachy again with the latest and greatest.

There’s also window previews (a.k.a. thumbnailing), but this is highly experimental – they’ll need to invent letters that come before alpha to describe this one. I’ve seen a thumbnail-enabled Superswitcher crash whilst playing with Compiz, but I haven’t been able to reproduce this reliably.

Even without blingy thumbnails, Superswitcher and Compiz haven’t really played nicely together in the past. Prior to Gutsy, I haven’t actually used Compiz as my day-to-day window manager, since I’m a grumpy old bastard who thinks, “Ugh, hard-to-read text” when presented with a semi-transparent window. But with Compiz now part of the Ubuntu out-of-the-box experience, Superswitcher’s compatibility will probably see some attention soon. You’ll read about it here first. Unless, of course, you send me a patch instead. Yes, you.


#1 Adam Williamson on 10.24.07 at 1:59 am

okay, sorry for the lazy question, but I really am too lazy to download this to check it. Can you change the trigger key? It sounds like a neat tool and I’d like to test it out, but I use a 1991-vintage IBM Model M keyboard (and so do quite a lot of other geeks). No Super key.

#2 Nigel Tao on 10.24.07 at 9:41 am

Thinkpad keyboards similarly have no Super key. Run superswitcher with the -C option to use the CapsLock key instead.

#3 Sigi on 10.24.07 at 1:44 pm

AT LAST another blog post.