Focus Stealing Prevention

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Thu Jun 30 22:22:00 CEST 2005

Hash: SHA1

Olivier FOURDAN wrote:
> Hi
> You might be looking for the hidden option "prevent_focus_stealing". Please check the documentation here:
> (note that documentation also ships with xfwm4)
> The implementation is probably not perfect, but all of the standard framework is there (it's not just the job of the window manager, the hooks are in the applications too)

Yeah, I'd meant to bring this up at some point.  Olivier, I'm not sure
how much the WM controls this, but I've noticed some annoying behavior.
 For example, I have ctrl+shift+2 bound to open a new terminal.  It
generally opens quickly enough after I release the keys that the new
terminal doesn't get focus.  For other instances it's really useful when
I'm typing somewhere and another app opens a random dialog, or when I
start up a slow-starting application and go to type somewhere else where
it loads.  But it just doesn't feel as smooth as (sorry to say it)
Windows does in this regard.  Maybe it's just a matter of tweaking
timeouts, but I often find that some windows that should be getting the
focus, aren't.


> Regards,
> Olivier.
>>Message du 30/06/05 15:44
>>De : "Richard Stellingwerff" <remenic at>
>>A : "XFCE4 development list" <xfce4-dev at>
>>Copie à : 
>>Objet : Focus Stealing Prevention
>>I'd like to make a little feature request. I don't have a bugzilla
>>account on, and I don't intend to make one either, so I'm
>>doing it here. I hope that's OK with your guys.
>>Something I feel that's missing in XFCE is focus stealing prevention.
>>I'm sure all of you have experienced how annoying it is when a window
>>pops up while you're typing. It can result in accidently closing the
>>popup (without even knowing what it was), or sending something to
>>someone through an instant message on gaim (just to name an example).
>>Imagine this could be your password. Ouch.
>>Some applications will let you disable focus stealing, but many
>>things, like popup messages, ignore this. Besides, fixing this problem
>>per application is a silly thing to do anyway, since it's the task of
>>the Window Manager.
>>Now, without saying more things that people could disagree with, I
>>have the following solution in mind.
>>The Window Manager (XFWM4) should ONLY give focus to a new window when
>>the user hasn't typed anything in the last 2/10th of a second (just to
>>name a number). So basically, when someone is typing something in a
>>window, the user would not be disturbed by any sudden new windows. The
>>window that requested focus should get the URGENT state, so that the
>>window will screem for attention by flashing.
>>It sounds like a simple idea on paper, though I have absolutely no
>>idea if it's easy to implement. If I remember correctly, both KDE and
>>GNOME (in FC4 I think) already have this feature.
>>I hope you guys like this idea too. 
>>Kind regards,
>>Richard Stellingwerff.
>>Xfce4-dev mailing list
>>Xfce4-dev at
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