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

On Thu, 10 Nov 2005, Elijah Newren wrote:

On 11/10/05, Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org> wrote:

Metacity is doubtless focusing something or other. Try typing and see
what it is...

Well, I did, before even sending this message.
I hit the arrow keys, hoping to see a focus
ring or something moving somewhere, and hit
Enter, hoping something would activate.  But
no dice.

The only things I can see are a panel (I only
have one) and nautilus's desktop.  If something
has focus, I don't know what it is.

It's the designated no-focus-window (a window created by Metacity that
the user never sees but is around to ensure that global keybindings
work...).  That window can also get focused when certain bugs (e.g.
X11's utterly stupid RevertTo behavior) are worked around.

Okay, so a window that doesn't exist and should never be seen by the user has focus, but the desktop, which fills 100% of the visible screen space, is an 'utterly stupid' choice for focus?

That seems strange to me.

Perhaps it would help if we explained our metaphors. Here's mine: a desktop is the surface on top of which all things with which I am working lie. The mouse pointer is used to point to the thing I am interested in (I am a mouse-focus user as well, Elijah). As far as I know, not being a programmer but very much being an end-user, the only things that can lie upon the desktop, and the only things that can be focused on, are windows. When there are no windows, the mouse is over the desktop; hence, mouse-focus suggests [to me] the desktop should have focus.

That makes sense to me. Your earlier post seemed to be a part of a conversation to which I am not privy. Perhaps in context it would make sense, but I must say I could not follow it.

There is one exception: the MRU list. To me, it makes sense (and would, in this context, be a material improvement over the status quo) for the desktop to be part of the list of most-recently-used windows. I actually use the desktop to store files that I'm working with but have not categorized in directories yet; being able to bring it to focus by cycling through the active windows is appealing. As for your question about focusing docks, it seems like the mouse-focus metaphor already answers that question: if the mouse is over it, it should have focus.

Please do not take offense at these responses -- as both an end user and an advocate of collaborative software development, I find the discourse quite compelling.


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