Xfce Shortcut Manager

Ori Bernstein rand_chars at rogers.com
Tue Jul 19 05:09:29 CEST 2005

Today, I was thinking a bit about the state of shortcut management in Xfce - it
seems like the most common feature request for xfwm4 is more shortcuts, and it
seems like the consensus is that the way to go is getting a general shortcut

I'd like to propose a few changes to the architecture of xfwm4 to allow this to
happen and to work nicely, along with providing some nice side effects.

The problems as I see them:
 - Adding general shortcut management to xfwm4 would add bloat.
 - Reducing the scope of xfwm4's shortcut management to only window shortcuts
   and adding a separate shortcut manager leaves the user with two places to
   configure shortcuts. IMO, that's very bad interface design.

My proposed solution:
 - Remove shortcuts of any sort from xfwm4. This includes window management
   shortcuts. Instead, let xfwm4 listen to events on some sort of interface,
   probably a socket, and be controlled by a "remote control" program of some
   sort. This program would be invoked by a general shortcut manager.

Example of how it would work: 
 - you press "alt-leftarrow" to move windows between desktops. the shortcut
   manager launches 'xfwm4-remote -c"window-move-left"', which signals xfwm4 to
   move the window left.

Cool side effects:
 - Xfwm4 becomes scriptable. It doesn't seem too far-fetched to me to be able
   to end up with a small shellscript like this to search for a lost window:
   "xfwm4-remote -c"focus" "$(xfwm4-remote -c"list-windows" | grep $TITLE)"

   I'm sure people here can come up with cooler things.

So, what does everyone think? Am I stoned? or might this crazy idea actually

I'd need help on the xfwm4 side of things to split out the shortcuts, I
think, but I'd definitely be willing to work on writing a shortcut manager.

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