Re: how to focus on desktop automatically if no windows open?

On 11/10/05, Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org> wrote:
> On Sun, 2005-11-06 at 14:28 -0500, Brandon Kuczenski wrote:
> > I'm using Gnome 2.10.2 on Debian.  Sometimes I like to use the keyboard
> > instead of the mouse to navigate the desktop.  However, if I close a
> > window (using, e.g., M-F4) I go into what appears to be a 'no-focus'
> > state: pressing the arrow keys, tab key, enter, etc.. doesn't do anything.

But global keybindings (e.g. Ctrl-Alt-Arrow or Alt-F2) function
correctly, right?

> > I know I can bind a key to "Hide all windows and focus the desktop" in the
> > Keyboard Shortcuts dialog;

It should be bound by default, Ctrl-Alt-D.  No need to manually do so.

> > is there any way to focus the desktop by default if no windows are open?

Oh boy, that stupid function again (we've had so many bugs and
problems with it--still do, such as input-only windows erroneously
getting focus)...  ;-)

> Not to my knowledge, but this seems like a pretty reasonable
> behavior for Metacity (Gnome's window manager) to have.  I'm
> CCing metacity-devel-list.

It is?  Could you explain why?  I don't understand.  Why would the
user expect the window of type DESKTOP to be focused instead of one of
the windows of type DOCK (e.g. a gnome-panel)?  Why would the user
expect it to be focused at all (especially since there's no way of
notifying the user that it has focus)?  If the user did expect the
desktop window to be automatically focused, should it also focused
according to MRU (most recently used) order in the list (i.e. if the
user has five windows open, clicks on the desktop and does some stuff,
switches to one of the five windows and closes that window, why should
or shouldn't the desktop be given focus instead of one of the other
four remaining windows)?  We don't focus docks (e.g. gnome-panel)
automatically if no other window is focused; but if we should do so
for desktop windows should we do so for docks?  That would seem really
strange considering that we don't even focus docks when the user
clicks on it (unless it's got a keyboard entry field such as
gnome-dict or mini-commander).

Also, in mouse and sloppy focus, we don't want the panels to be
focused on mouse entry.  It seems sane to treat the desktop the same
way, besides, both modes seem totally broken if you try to focus the
desktop on mouse entry.  You may not see how this is related at first,
but think of it this way: If you switch desktops and no window is
under the mouse, which window gets focus?  If you pick the desktop
then you are being strangely inconsistent with the other invariants of
these two focus modes.  If you don't pick one of these, then focusing
the desktop when all other windows become closed seem strangely

To be honest, I virtually never use the desktop window (well, other
than to occasionally look at my cute background) and I also am not a
click-to-focus user (and I suspect that the usability scenario may be
different for this focus mode than the other two), so focusing the
desktop when no other normal window is available may be the correct
thing but I just don't understand the usage cases very well.  At least
one other person has filed a bug about this, though, but I really
can't fix stuff until I understand.


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