[nSLUG] KDE 3.x on Squeeze - Trinity anyone?

Ted Tibbetts intuited at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 23:33:13 AST 2011

I tend to have a workspace for each task.  For example, I have a "general
browsing" workspace whose browser has tabs for this page, Facebook, Google
Reader, etc. as well as a terminal for doing whatever I need a terminal for.
 If I'm reading, say, a book on a programming language, I will have a
workspace containing the viewer for the book itself, a terminal with vim and
probably a REPL (or a REPL in a vim buffer), and also likely a browser
window with a few related tabs.  I use a tabbed terminal emulator (currently
`roxterm`, which is basically a streamlined clone of gnome-terminal), but
find that I seldom use more than one tab, because I run `screen` in each

So with such an organizational system I just have to go to the appropriate
workspace and select from the tabs in that workspace's browser window.
 There are usually few enough of those that I can read enough the beginnings
of their titles in the tab line to identify which one I want.  It's also
helpful that they maintain a constant order, so I can often just remember
where one is without having to look.  BTW Vikram: I currently have exactly
50 tabs open; this is a typical number for me.  Although the browser itself
is fine, I am brushing up against the limits of my system, having only 2GB
of RAM and some other stuff going on.  I may have to restart Chrome soon to
release its leaked memory.  I would expect that Firefox can handle a
comparable workload without much difficulty, though since it runs in a
single process you might eventually run into issues on 32-bit systems where,
even with a PAE kernel, the memory limit for a single process is I think

GNOME, KDE, fluxbox, XFCE, and openbox (my personal preference), along with
basically every other modern window manager, support workspaces.  I think
it's possible to use a 2D array of workspaces with all of them; this can
definitely be done under GNOME, XFCE, and openbox.  This means that you can
use CTRL-ALT and the U/D/L/R arrow keys to navigate across a field of
workspaces.  I have a 6x4 grid.  You can name them, but I find that my
spatial memory is good enough that I tend to remember how they're laid out.

One notable downside to XFCE with respect to workspaces is that it does not
normally present a heads-up display or other transition when you are
switching windows.  GNOME, openbox, and I believe others will animate this
transition in some way to give you a better sense of where you are in the
grid.  XFCE doesn't seem to do this, at least not without enabling compiz.

Overall I find XFCE is sort of a bastard, incomplete mishmash of features,
and I don't like it very much.  One particularly annoying thing about it is
that the preferences menu will list applets for KDE, GNOME, and XFCE
together, so it can be difficult to pick the right one if you have installed
more than one desktop system.  Though this particular glitch may be a
product of having upgraded releases since an original install of ubuntu

XFCE does support, or perhaps enforce, stacking of taskbar boxes that
correspond to windows of the same application.  I'm not sure how it does
this; it may just start doing it when it runs low on space, the way XP does
if you had that option enabled.  I'm not sure if XCFE has an option to
control this or not, but it will definitely happen if you have 50 browser
windows open in the same workspace.  IIRC the XFCE "task list" applet, which
is the element of the panel that displays the boxes for windows of running
applications, has an option to control whether it lists all windows or just
the windows for the current workspace.

Actually, I would have expected there to be an option somewhere in the GNOME
preferences for this, probably in the Desktop applet.  These people seem to
think it's possible, unless I've misunderstood the point entirely, or it's
an ubuntu-specific enhancement (which seems unlikely):

XFCE, and presumably GNOME as well, does provide a "send to workspace"
sub-menu in the context menu of task list entries.


On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Vikram Chhatre <crypticlineage at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> Yeah, that's a problem.  I don't think fluxbox has a solution for that.  I
>> never had that problem because I never have more than 7 or 8 tabs open on
>> firefox, so I can usually easily locate the one I want.
>> Of course I assume that 50 is an exaggerated number.  No browser can
>> handle that many tabs at once, at least not comfortably.
>> Is this stacking feature supported in KDE or GNOME?
>> V
> Over the course of a few days of work, I often have over 50 open terminals.
> Sometimes I have up to 16 or more open browser windows.
> For example, I don't want to log in to the mail server each and every time
> someone needs amavisd-release run.  I look after many systems, and
> when I'm in project mode I might have more than 2 terminals open on
> one system.  My days have plenty of multi-tasking.
> I wasn't able to get KDE 4 working with customized "plasma" launchers, and
> after 30 minutes of finding everything in it unintuitive and time
> consuming,
> I decided it wasn't the KDE I knew.
> I'm not sure of the correct term for what I'm looking for.  There is a
> wikipedia
> page about compositing window manager, and it mentions many interfaces
> for flipping through active sessions.  They are all horrible because when
> the number of options is large, the user actions required to flip through
> them
> is too enormous.  I just want a pop up row of active session titles in 2D,
> I click on one and it is active, or right click and send it to a different
> virtual window.  Kicker had this.  Two actions and the rest of the work
> was done by my eyeballs against a static display, not repeated actions
> in the keyboard or mouse.
> At this point, my research in google is becoming poisoned by myself.
> As I think of different terms to search for, I now find sites which
> archive things like the debian users list and my own question
> fills the first page of matches in google.  The question is only
> a few hours old.  Good grief.
> --Donald
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