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"Linux" Annoyances

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Feb. 5th, 2007 | 06:10 pm

I've started using Linux on the desktop again after a couple of years of using OS X. By 'Linux', I of course mean Ubuntu Edgy running Gnome with the default window manager. Here' what irritates me so far:

  1. Lack of a keyboard-driven way to launch applications or switch between open windows by name. That is, lack of Quicksilver.

  2. No convenient way to cycle between open windows of an application. The equivalent OS X operation is Cmd-`. I suspect this is why many linux apps have sprouted tabs.

  3. New windows steal focus. I've talked about this a little on IRC. If you launch an application from the menu, then switch to IRC to type something witty, the new application's window might appear and steal your focus mid-witticism. Very irritating.

I'd say more about applications, windows, switching and launching and how some of them are the same and others are different, but I'm really, really hungry.

Punters, let me know what I can constructively do about my Linux annoyances.

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Comments {5}

Am I a punter?

from: corydodt
date: Feb. 5th, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)

While I don't have any experience with quicksilver on osx, gnome-launch-box claims to be heavily influenced by it, and it sorta looks like what you're talking about. apt-get install gnome-launch-box, then you have to give it a hotkey. I got it to work with <Super>l as a hotkey by following the directions at http://developer.imendio.com/node/77#comment-173 but I'll be the first to admit the fact that you even have to do those two things to get it is an annoyance.

Also, I don't see how it's so much better than Alt-F2, which is always available in gnome and has been since gnome existed.

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Re: Am I a punter?

from: blackjml
date: Feb. 5th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)

As far as I can tell (I'm not at my linux machine atm), Alt-F2 doesn't let you switch between open windows. And neither does gnome-launch-box.

The beauty of Quicksilver is that you just type "em" hit enter and it gets you Emacs in the quickest way possible: switching if it's running, launching if it's not. That parallels the behaviour of the OS X dock, which acts as a switcher for applications which are already launched.

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Re: Am I a punter?

from: nafai77
date: Feb. 5th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)

Have you looked at the Gnome Deskbar Applet? I admit it doesn't work as well as QuickSilver (which is something I'm jealous of)...but I wrote a plug-in for it to switch windows:


The plug-in is now in Deskbar Applet proper, but I link there so you can see my screencast.

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Re: Am I a punter?

from: 7wrc
date: May. 2nd, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)

Oh, thanks for this info.

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Christopher "radix" Armstrong

(no subject)

from: carmstro
date: Feb. 5th, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)

Everything sucks. Here's yet another comment that will disappoint:

Alt-f6 is supposed to switch between windows in an application as of the version of Gnome in Edgy. However, it doesn't work. The way it decides that two windows are from the same application is incompatible with gnome-terminal and emacs, and probably many more applications.

I filed a bug which got a crappy response so far here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/72732


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