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Re: [wmx] suggestions: keyboard client menu like KDE

Damion Yates - Tue Apr 25 17:14:51 2000

On Tue, 18 Apr 2000, cannam wrote:

> Damion Yates <damiony@rd.bbc.co.uk> writes:
> > 
> > [...] I want to be able to hold alt (or whatever the main metakey is) and
> > then use the left mouse button to grab and move a window around
> I remember this as a feature of uwm.  Just about the only feature, in fact.
> (I think there may have been more than one window manager called uwm; I'm
> talking about the one that preceded twm, in some X11Rn for n < 4.)

9wm made you pull up a menu and select the function to apply against a
window, like what xkill gives (you'd know that already but this goes to a
mailing list).  A friend of mine who like things _ULTRA_ minimal took 9wm and
has built evilwm which is available on freshmeat and a few other places as a
.deb package, it's main goal is to be the most minimal, the mouse is only
needed for a few functions, he's not got resize sorted, that still goes from
a menu, but for moving he holds a key to grab the window from anywhere in it.
This is nessesary as the windows lack any frame at all, it looks like no
window manager is running.  Added to this keyboard function are an array of
other keyboard shortcuts for moving around the windows jump to top
right/left/etc, step 10lines in any direction etc etc, so he rarely needs the
mouse (uses a happy hacker keyboard too).

> I used uwm far longer than was really necessary, on a distinctly
> under-specified Sun 3, and at the time the alt-click behaviour (which was
> as you described) was a real problem when trying to use an application that
> expected to receive alt-clicks itself (I seem to remember problems with
> Epoch or some such).

All my keyboards have far too many keys.
> Now that PC keyboards have all those spare Windows keys that no app expects
> to use, I don't see why we shouldn't do this again.  I wouldn't be amazed
> if it was difficult to make it work reliably with all clients, though.  You
> said other WMs have this feature -- does it work well?

olwm and olvwm have an Xresource you enable that allows alt to be used to
drag windows round in combination with the left mouse, this is useful as
there is an xnodecor equivalent too (making another case for this feature
come to think of it).  strangely Meta will give a similar effect but at 10x
less motion, ie 10 mouse pixels up causes 1 pixel upwards movement, not
really all that useful if you're able to control pixel accuracy with a mouse
already, useful if you need it and can't.

Grabbing the think left bar or medium thin left/top side bars is not fast
enough to quickly move a window, also moving a window right off screen is not
possible unless I catch the right single pixel on the right/bottom (really

I know I use no apps that need this combo of keys and mouse button that I'll
ever use.

New-xterm/changing-focus/channel-switching/rotating-focus with right click
are all fast actions that don't require any real accuracy, the rest of my
functions are through the keyboard, which also doesn't require accuracy,
moving a window requires slowing down and aiming.

At the moment one fast technique is to focus a window fly off to background,
then right click, which takes the mouse to the top left bar.  But this still
involves some accuracy is difficult to stop moving timed with the right
click.  It's also slower that just going near the top left and slowing to
catch the edge and I'm looking for something quicker.

My C is pooh, C++ and infact OOP in general worse.  I possibly could have a
go but it'll produce shitty code.

If it helps I'll try at every possible opportunity I have to attempt to get
wmx in TV screenshots to aid in the BBC's editorial value of impartiality (we
only show Windows screenshots currently, breaking a main rule).


Damion Yates - Senior Internet Operations Engineer - Internet Services
email: Damion.Yates@bbc.co.uk - phone: +44 1737 839510