[openbox] Ob4 ideas and suggestions (with bonus neat rc.xml! :-D)

Clay Barnes clay.barnes at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 15:25:33 EST 2006

David Barr wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-01-12 at 10:17 -0500, John Russell wrote:
>> I would love to see development start on openbox again.  I fear it has
>> started to stagnate although being as feature complete an unbuggy as
>> this its hard to argue.
> i don't think development ever stopped :) considering Mikael is the ONLY
> developer i think without people contributing patches people should not
> be so harsh.
> the inclusion of pango was a pretty big step, even if it was not all
> whistles and bells, it improves internationalisation no end.
> everyone just wants fancier windows crap, which is fine (so do i) but at
> the end of the day it is maybe not what openbox is about. 
I second that.  The less code change the better, once a project reaches 
its goals.  OB3 is by far my favorite WM simply because it follow two 
very forgotten (in the WM world) UNIX principals:
1)  Very extensive configuration options available, but excellent, well 
thought-out defaults.
2)  (Much more importantly)  Tools which do a task should strive to do 
exactly that task as well as possible, and nothing more.  If there are 
projects that do pagers and panels and desktop icons, why shove those 
features down the throats of people (like me) who find them all useless 
in a multi-desktop env. where the keyboard is the primary input device?  
Stick to your guns, Mikael, you're one of the extraordinarily few people 
who sees the power of traditional UNIX ideas in a graphical world.
> cosmetic changes to openbox are easier to do but no that *useful*
> something like optionally using freedesktop menus and better overall
> integration with standards, i think are the most important and the ones
> properly voiced so far...
> anyway for anyone who is brave of heart strong of spirit, ability to
> stand up and spit in the face of evil etc  
> here are pictures of some screens of patches to openbox,
> http://david.chalkskeletons.com/files/pics/
> including patches do: 
> removes menu title (sort of messy, but thank you mr Doug Whiteley,
> should be easy to make it an option depending if there is a set label?)
> adds split gradient (glossy) (thank you cai!)
> set static width for grips
> set dock to menu.bg.colour
> add a "menu.border.color:" to the themerc files or else it is black
> soften raised/sunken bevel (thank you mikael)
> things i would maybe like to see/do are:
> more control over buttons (somehow)
> some kind of compositing handling (for the kids y'know...)
> inactive/active frame (this should be easy?)
> internal/external frame (external just a rim around teh complete window,
> internal including title bar and grip etc)
> things in dreams:
> inheriting gtk colours
My current wish list isn't long, and if it were met, I'd probably 
explode with joy:

1)  Arrange all windows command, with handling of maximized windows as 
described in its bugzilla 
https://bugzilla.icculus.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2320 .
2)  Allow windows to be resized from any side (since at the moment, 
resizing and moving windows isn't consistent with windows that resize by 
character, such as xterm or gvim), described by 
https://bugzilla.icculus.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2321 .
3)  Something is broken with the resize to edge/move to edge code, but I 
can't seem to track down what it is, exactly.  My impressions are at 
bugzilla (Notice a theme? :-P) 
https://bugzilla.icculus.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2322 .
4a)  I'd like to have an option to turn off window titles (but allow 
them to be manually turned back on) by default somewhere in the config file.
4b)  Same thing for even the 1px border.  I am a firm believer in some 
UI principles that require the very edge of screens to have 
functionality rather than using them for a graphical buffer.
4c)  Allow the config of the border color.
5)  I would like to see OB3 shade windows where the title bar is not 
visible by showing it when the window is shaded (of course, hiding it 
when the window is unshaded is also important).  At the moment, the 
window just ignores the command if there is no title bar.

Well, perhaps that is a little long, but still... I'd say all that 
together would be less work than, say, re-writing xorg-composing inside 
OB3 :-P.
> i think what is important to not increase any dependencies and to try
> and have everything fall back to sane defaults.
> anyway, that is all, my point is *less whining more patches*
> if anyone thinks having an "openbox-love" day like "gnome-love" is a
> good idea i think it would be interesting.
> take care
> David
> ps if you are sensible and not very annoying #openbox at irc.oftc.net is
> full of people discussing openbox things as well as politics, current
> affairs, wittgenstein, general high brow activities or not.
>> On 1/12/06, dams <dams at dams-interactive.com> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I like very much OpenBox, and I use it in nativ, without gnome or kde
>>> stuff. I like its speed, and its mouse-wheel desk change :) (very cool).
>>> So, what can we add to openbox?
>>> I think than perhaps, some new windows style stuff can be add, for doing
>>> non-squad windows decoration, for exemple.
>>> An other stuff will be internal transparent composing, like fluxbox or
>>> kde can do, without xorg-composing tool.
I'd be very careful about adding features like this.  There are lots 
more users who like the fast, light aspect of OB3 than those who would 
like eye-candy, I suspect.
>>> But as it is, I think OpenBox is still the best.
>>> Thanks.

All in all, great work, and I love OB3!  Cheers!


PS- Attached is my rc.xml for those interested in my design of (mostly) 
mouse-less control with OB3, and an image which explains it is here:  
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/27637414/ .   I know the image is 
huge, but I think it's more useful in a state too big and needing 
scaling down rather than too small to be readable on everything.
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