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Re: Sawfish limitations with GNOME 2

On Thu, 2003-01-09 at 02:13, Matthias Saou wrote:
> Hi,
> As a great sawfish fan, I'm really frustrated about GNOME 2 : I've tried
> using Psyche's GNOME 2 with sawfish, but it was really painful and IIRC the
> sawfish package was buggy, and since the only machine I currently have
> Psyche installed is a multimedia box that I only use to play movies, watch
> TV and relax with xmame, I left metacity as it didn't make much of a
> difference anyhow.

Gnome2 is frustrating in general.

> But now, I've finally switched to GNOME 2 (using Phoebe, "I like to live
> dangerously" as Austin Powers would say) on my everyday use laptop, and not
> only do I miss many things I was used to, but using sawfish has become a
> non-option.
> I really understand that GNOME 2 is oriented towards apparent simplicity,
> which I totally agree with as it will be less scary for th rest of my
> family to use (no, really!), but I'd really like more advanced users to
> still be able to tweak more settings without everything bombing.

I don't agree with their push for simplicity, because they take it too
far. Metacity is a great example of that.

> A few issues (too vague to bugzilla them I guess) :
> - Switching to sawfish is a nightmare.
> The current "Sessions" preference program is probably buggy. Also, through
> gconf-editor, under "desktop -> gnome -> applications -> window_manager"
> there are two settings "current" and "default" that are originally
> "/usr/bin/metacity" and that act weird when changed, or else I
> misunderstood them. But if those two settings had descriptions, it would
> help! And if changing the programs there was enough to switch window
> manager when logging back in, I'd be very happy!

I wish this was easier, but it isn't that hard.

killall -9 metacity ; sawfish

Then save settings on logout. If you have to uninstall metacity. :)

> - When using sawfish, GNOME 2 acts weird.
> While running sawfish, I was unable to have the number of workspaces to be
> kept between sessions. Also, the "themes" preferences application would
> segfault immediately... and work again fine as soon as metacity was back!

You can set the number of workspaces in .sawfirshrc. I have also seen
the segfault with the theme capplet.

(defvar overriden-num-workspace-rows nil "If you have no
_NET_DESKTOP_LAYOUT root property, set this to the number of rows your
workspaces are arranged in")
(setq overriden-num-workspace-rows 2)

> - The sawfish included in Phoebe is limited.
> I don't really know if this is because the latest GNOME 2 compatible
> versions of sawfish have many options removed or what, but I wasn't able to
> find the advanced settings I'm used to like the ability to drag
> applications across viewports, the raise delays or even the sloppy focus!
> And I'm the kind that can't live without sloppy focus and a customizable
> raise delay (luckily, metacity does provide this!).

Gnome2 = no more viewports. If you meant workspaces, then the settings
are probably still there, but just have to be set via .sawfishrc.

> Anyway... now I don't really know what to do : I really miss many sawfish
> functionalities like dragging windows across viewports as mentionned
> earlier, matched windows with different themes, the "best fit" placement
> option (it's not in the current sawfish's default options...), the ease to
> hide applications from the panel's window list or have them sticky between
> sessions (still can't figure how to always have gaim on all workspaces by
> default when I log in using metacity!), applications to only focus on click
> etc.

Again, the settings are most likely there, but hidden and require
setting in .sawfishrc.

> Should I bug Havoc with RFEs for metacity? Should I bug GNOME people in
> general or the Sawfish folks in order to have better integration of both
> together?
> Oh, and is the current sawfish really so limited or am I missing something?

Bugging Havoc is most likely pointless in relation to metacity. You will
have better success with Gnome people in general to fix things like the
theme capplet. Sawfish is moving in the limited direction, but as I said
above most settings are still there, but just hidden. There is a file
that I can't seem to find at the moment that details most of the sawfish

> Sorry for the rants... ;-)

No need to apologize.

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