[openbox] Ignore size hint for specific applications

Anthony Thyssen a.thyssen at griffith.edu.au
Tue Nov 6 01:57:01 EST 2018

That is quite normal.  Many older terminal programs (urxvt, xterm) define there size based on the number of rows and columns of characters, rather than on a pixel dimension.

I myself had to deail with this as I wanted to place xterms in specific tile-like layout on a display that automatically adjusts according to the physical display size.

For this I ended up actually picking the font the xterm's is to use and from that calculating the pixel dimensions that would result for that window, so I can either define window positions, or adjust the row count (fixed 80 column width) to fit the desired height space available.   The script once made has been in general use for more than ten years, only being tweeked occasionally due to window manager changes (title bar size and window border settings).

The script does all the calculations, sets xresources for the terminal windows, and exports some environment variables for the xterm geometry (size and position) on screen.

Some code extracts (watch out for unicode substitutions by mailers)....

stored in a script "xset_resources"  and run using     eval `xset_resources`  as part of the x window client start up sequence.

# ----- Collect Server information -----
# Get Display width and height...
eval `xrdb -symbols -screen | sed -n '/^-D\(WIDTH\|HEIGHT\)/{s/-D/X_/gp;}'`

# ----- Basic Positionings of terminals -----
# These values may also depend on my window manager setup
x1pos=5      # position of first (left) xterm window (gap for left gnome-panel)
y1pos=100    # space above xterm window, for other popup applications.
x2pos=''     # X location of right xterm windows calculated below
y2pos=$y1pos # Y location of right xterm is same as the first

wgap=5      # window gaps (5) -- not used if $x2pos is defined
hbot=2      # enforced space at bottom of display (above a panel)
hgap=0      # an exact vertical gap between terminals (if non-zero)

# XTerm application extras
wapp=15     # xterms extra width (scrollbar (9+2), text sep (2x2)
happ=4      # xterm extra height: internal seperation of text to window edge

# OpenBox Decorations ( title is display DPI dependant? )
openbox_wdcr=4      # borders (2) X 2
openbox_hdcr=31     # titlebar (20) + handle (3) + borders (2) X 4 => 31

# other previous window manager constants left out.

xfce_left=60        # icons=48  2*( margin=3 box=1 magrin=2 )
xfce_bottom=28      # icons=16  2*( margin=3 box=1 magrin=2 )

# ----- Display Size (Font and position changes) -----

# this gets quite complex...  one example shown...
if [ "$X_WIDTH" -gt "1600" ]; then      # ------ Wide Laptop Display ------
  [ "$VERBOSE" ] && echo "HDMI or Multi Screen Displays (Width>1600)"
  font_w=9; font_h=15                   # Standard xterm "large" font
  x1pos=50; wgap=30                     # increase intra-window gaps
elif [ "$X_WIDTH" -eq "1400" ] ||
     [ "$X_WIDTH" -eq "1280" ]; then    # ------- Solaris/PC Display --------
  [ "$VERBOSE" ] && echo "PC Display (Width=1400 or Width=1280)"
  font_w=7; font_h=13                   # Slightly bigger font


else                                  # ------- unknown display size ------
  echo >&2 "x_set_resources: unknown display size ${X_WIDTH}x${X_HEIGHT}"
  font_w=6; font_h=13                   # Default font


# Font selection also complex...

# Font selection using the pixel width and height... (Actually this is also quite complex)

# ----- Adjustments for window manager and panels -----

# Assume no panels will be in use

# Assume openbox decorations for windows

# xfce4-panel

# add margins to the windows appropriatally
x1pos=`expr $x1pos + $X_LEFT_MARGIN`
y1pos=`expr $y1pos + $X_TOP_MARGIN`
hbot=`expr $hbot + $X_BOTTOM_MARGIN`

# ----- XTerm Size Calculations -----
# Calculate placement xterm windows to fit font and display settings
width="`expr $font_w \* 80 + $wapp `"     # width = 80 columns + app width
height="`expr "$X_HEIGHT" - $y1pos - $hdcr - $happ - $hbot`"
                                          # height space available to use
rows=`expr  $height / $font_h`            # number of rows for large xterm
[ ! "$x2pos" ] &&                         # calc for side by side arrangment?
  x2pos="`expr $x1pos + $width + $wdcr + $wgap`" # x2pos = width + window gaps

STDGEOM="${width}x${height}"              # standard window size (pixels)
XTERMGEOM_L="80x${rows}+${x1pos}+${y1pos}" # left side xterm
XTERMGEOM_R="80x${rows}+${x2pos}+${y2pos}" # right side xterm

# Set up a two vertically stacked windows on the left hand side
height="`expr $height - $hdcr - $happ - $hgap`" # space lost by extra xterm
rows=`expr $height / $font_h`             # rows to divide between two terms
rows2=`expr $rows \* 1 / 4`               # divide text over two windows
rows1=`expr $rows - $rows2`
XTERMGEOM_L1="80x${rows1}+${x1pos}+${y1pos}"  # left top xterm window geometry

# If no gap given, center lower window in the space left
height=`expr $height - $rows \* $font_h `    # more space lost to the text
[ "$hgap" -eq 0 ] && hgap=`expr $height / 2` # gap is half the remaining space
y2pos=`expr $y1pos + $rows1 \* $font_h + $hdcr + $happ + $hgap`

# use the upper left window size for default xterm size (with minimum)
[ ${rows1} -lt 25 ] && rows1=25

# ------ Set Resources and Output Environmnt ------
# Set X resources, including the font I picked above...
# Do NOT let xrdb use "mcpp" for preprocessing.
# As mcpp adds a space at end of defines, unless an option - at old or - at kr is
# added (which cannot be added by users)
( cd;   # go home in a sub-shell as a precaution
  xrdb  -cpp /bin/cpp \
        -DFONT="$FONT" -DBFONT="$BFONT"     \
        -merge .Xresources

echo "X_WIDTH=\"$X_WIDTH\""
echo "X_HEIGHT=\"$X_HEIGHT\""
[ "$VERBOSE" ] && echo "FONT=\"$FONT\""
[ "$VERBOSE" ] && echo "BFONT=\"$BFONT\""


From: openbox <openbox-bounces at icculus.org> on behalf of sunnycemetery at gmail.com <sunnycemetery at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, 1 November 2018 10:39:01 PM
To: openbox at icculus.org
Subject: Re: [openbox] Ignore size hint for specific applications

> I'm using OpenBox as my window manager, and I have some hot keys configured to move windows into certain areas of the screen with a specified window size. All windows are respecting this, except urxvt which is calculating its size based on the font size of the characters it is displaying.

Have you tried using percentages in your resize actions? XTerm (and most terminal emulators, I imagine) reports its window size as $COLUMNS × $LINES, yet sizing it to, say, 50% of the screen results in the correct pixel size. Example:

<action name="MoveResizeTo"> <width>50%</width> <height>50%</height> <x>-0</x> <y>-0</y> </action>

This is one of those quirks that initially bothered me but has since become irrelevant.
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