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

On Fri, 11 Nov 2005, Elijah Newren wrote:

On 11/10/05, Brandon Kuczenski <b 301south net> wrote:
On Thu, 10 Nov 2005, Elijah Newren wrote:

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.

You totally misunderstood what I was saying.  ;-)  See  X11's RevertTo
behavior means X will often make no window have focus (not even an
unseen offscreen window), which results in the keyboard being totally
nonfunctional for X until the user clicks on some window.  It's a bug
in the X protocol.  We have to attempt to figure out when that has
happened and manually fix it up.

I brought it up just to try to help explain why the no_focus_window
exists, not to explain why we don't focus the desktop when all
"normal" windows are closed.

Okay.  I understand now.

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).

mouse focus or sloppy focus?  Sorry to have to ask, but many are
unaware of the difference and claim mouse when they mean sloppy.  I
suspect you really do mean mouse from something else you said, but I'd
like to be sure.  I'll postpone responding to most of the rest of what
you wrote until I know the answer to that so that I can respond

I didn't know there was a distinction prior to this conversation; after looking at your reference, I have decided I am a strict mouse-focus user (which isn't too surprising: I am fairly dogmatic). I don't know if my window manager is providing mouse- or sloppy-focus because the dialog doesn't use those terms. On Desktop -> Preferences -> Window, I have "Select windows when the mouse moves over them" checked.

No, it wasn't part of an outside conversation, I just must suck at
properly explaining things.  ;-)  Basically, I was just trying to say
that making one little change in focus policy often causes
inconsistencies elsewhere unless you have a good overall view of how
things should work and your change is made to be consistent with that.

Good point. I certainly have a new respect for some of the complexity inolved in designing a good user interface (I'm enjoying reading the discussion on bug 101190). That said, I still think the desktop deserves focus over, say, a docking window like the panel precisely because there is no real established keynav for panels (AFAIK) and, based on what you said, it doesn't sound like panels ever have focus. I want to stress again that I use the desktop as a storage space for current materials and sometimes I'd like to refer to them without mousing.

Basically, I feel like right now I have to 'click-to-focus' the desktop, even though I don't click-to-focus anything else.

Other than this, I have no focus-related suggestions, and I have been quite happy with the metacity interface.


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