[openbox] Helper Windows

Dana Jansens danakj at orodu.net
Sat Aug 25 18:49:18 EDT 2007

On 10/25/07, Jehan <jehan at zemarmot.net> wrote:
> Hello,


> I am new to OpenBox and really first, let me thanks the dev because you
> have done some pretty great job. So far, OpenBox is the first Window
> Manager which has so many of the features I have so often wanted without
> finding them. Before, I have known a few typical Desktop (Windows-like
> or close, KDE, Gnome), fastly gone to the OpenStep WMs (WindowMaker,
> then Fluxbox, and Blackbox, both very good one). And lastly I have been
> on Ion3 for several monthes (very good ideas in some place which made me
> continue to use it but many other enerving features, and difficult to
> customize).
> Now I discover OpenBox and I really wonder why this is not better known.
> So... thanks.

I'm happy you like it :)

> Now comes my question, for which I subscribe to the list. :-)
> In the page for new features of v3.4, I saw the part about the Helper
> Windows. I will copy it here so that everyone can have a look without
> the time lost to search for it:


> And so... I said "Waw!!!". That's so good. But... I could find no other
> reference to this in the documentations, nor in comments in the default
> conf files. As for search engines, there are pretty scarce with these
> keywords ("helper windows" + openbox).
> So the question is: how does this work? Do we have to activate
> something? Because if this is supposed to work by default, I don't
> understand. For instance Gimp is given as an example in the wiki. And
> this is true that Gimp is exactly the example of a program which can
> become sometimes a pain in the ass: losing focus all the time, so many
> windows (so annoying to cycle through them when you would like to be
> able to focus them with one simple shortcut). But I made tests in Gimp
> and none of the announced features (I am in 3.4.2) work. So what to do
> please? Any hint is welcome.
> Thanks.

Gimp, by default, does not provide the hints for Openbox to know which
windows are helper windows.  I know not why.  You need to go to
File->Preferences->Window Management and set the toolbox and docks to
be "Utility windows".  Then it'll all work as described.  Many
programs don't use these hints at all, sigh, but when they do then
Openbox can help make life better. :)


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