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Xchar for Linux 0.2

Company: Brian Keck
Date Added: October 18, 2013  |  Visits: 239

Xchar for Linux

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The Xchar module offers a set of programs for keyboard (mouseless) management (raising, focussing, moving, resizing) of X windows. It includes a taskbar. It is useful if you use so many windows that they can't all be seen at once.<br /><br />Xchar is not a 'window manager' like fvwm or metacity. In fact it only works if such a window manager is running.<br /><br />Xchar's novelty is the use of one-character names for windows (such as 'f' for Firefox). It also uses one-character names for screen geometries. These character mappings are normally defined by the user.<br /><br />Most of the work in installing Xchar is in adjusting the sample configfiles to define these 2 mappings, and in adding key mappings to your window manager configfile.<br /><br />The main programs are the daemon xtb, and the 2 commands xup and xmv. The daemon displays a vertical taskbar, each slot showing the character and iconname of the corresponding window. It is typically started soon after X (and the window manager). Currently it doesn't react to events in the taskbar (mouse clicks, key presses, etc). The command xup takes a window character argument. The command xmv takes a window character or an X window id argument, and a geometry character argument. Both these commands are normally run indirectly by a window manager key mapping. For example modifier1-f might cause xup to raise and focus firefox, and modifier2-p might cause xmv to move and resize the window with keyboard focus to geometry 'p'.<br /><br />The daemon is responsible for creating the character->window mapping. How it does this is defined by the configfile $HOME/.xtb, which includes a function that maps instance names to sequences of characters. The former is the usual X instance name (eg 'xterm' and 'Firefox-bin'). A sequence is allowed because there may be several windows with the same instance name. Xchar is nicer if these clashes are avoided, such as by using 'xterm -name xterm/c' and mapping xterm/c to 'c'.<br /><br />The daemon sets a property _XCHAR_CHAR on each window, containing the window's character. The commands, when they take a window character argument, search the toplevel windows for one whose _XCHAR_CHAR matches.<br /><br />The character->geometry mapping is defined in the configfile $HOME/.screens. By geometry is meant X geometry, such as 484x745+438+0. The command xmv makes no distinction between moving and resizing, just changing a window's geometry to that specified. It understands an extra wrinkle concerning zeros. A geometry is used by xmv in combination with an existing window. A zero width or height in the geometry is replaced by the window's width or height. A double 0 has the same effect with x and y, as in 0x0-444+00.<br /><br />The distribution contains two other commands. One is 'xtc', which sends simple messages to the daemon via the taskbar property _XCHAR_MSG. The set of messages changes by the week, but probably permanent members are 'exit', 'restart', and 'dump'. The other is 'xterms', whose main arguments are of the form p.w, where p is a geometry character and w is a window character. For each such argument xterms starts an xterm at the geometry 'p' and instance name xterm/w.

Requirements: No special requirements
Platforms: *nix, Linux
Keyword: Argument Character Command Commands Daemon Defined Focus Geometry Instance Linux Manager Mapping Mappings Names Taskbar Window Windows Xchar Xchar Linux
Users rating: 0/10

License: Freeware Size: 40.96 KB
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