Keyboard shortcut themes

Jelle de Jong jelledejong at
Sun Aug 31 19:18:00 CEST 2008

Jannis Pohlmann wrote:
> Hey,
> I'm kind of back working on the alpha release and the keyboard
> shortcuts of xfwm4 in particular. However, it occurs to me that the 
> keyboard themes which we have in both xfwm4 and the command shortcuts 
> make things overly complicated, especially if we want to avoid 
> conflicts between xfwm4 and command shortcuts.
> Before we can finish this several questions have to be answered:
>  a) Do we want to share themes between xfwm4 and the command shortcuts?
>  b) If a), how do we make this behaviour transparent to the user? Just
>     imagine a user creates a new theme in xfwm4 and loses all his
>     command shortcuts because the command shortcuts are now empty or
>     copied from a default theme?
>  c) If not a), how do we handle conflicting shortcuts? Imagine there's
>     one xfwm4 theme and two command themes and the user creates a new
>     xfwm4 shortcut - what if this shortcut already exists in one of
>     the command themes?
> The way I see it, there are four possible solutions: the good (2x), the
> bad and the ugly:
>   Good: Merge both shortcut dialogs (I already have some ideas on how
>         that might look like). 
>         Pros: Clearly transparent behaviour, it's easy to handle 
>               conflicts inside one theme and conflicts are impossible at
>               any given time (unless you edit the configuration files
>               manually).
>         Cons: All xfwm4 features available for shortcuts have to be 
>               maintained inside xfce4-settings.
>   Good: Get rid of the themes concept. Whether this is good or not
>         depends on how frequently this feature is used though. I can
>         imagine several situations where it might be useful but in most
>         of them I'd personally rather create another user than to switch
>         the keyboard theme.
>         Pros: Transparent behaviour, conflicts can be avoided globally
>               and are thus impossible, less maintainance overhead and
>               not much work to be done before the alpha release.
>         Cons: Reduced configurability/functionality.
>   Bad:  Don't handle conflicts at all. Alternatively handle them by
>         checking the currently active themes only. 
>         Pros: Not too much work.
>         Cons: Leaves conflict handling to the user (which is pretty
>               nasty) and may lead to introduced conflicts when switching
>               themes.
>   Ugly: Implement share themes between both shortcut dialogs.
>         Pros: Conflicts are not much of a problem.
>         Cons: A lot of work, difficult to make the behaviour
>               transparent for the user, difficult design decisions as
>               explained in a), b) and c) to be made.
> I'd be fine with either one of the "good" solutions. Are there any
> other good ones you can think of? What are your opinions anyway?

I got a similar question about shortcuts and xfwm4. I hope its not to
much off topic, if so please correct me.

I invoke xfwm4 from my /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
xfwm4 --compositor=off --daemon

Is it possible to completely control the xfwm4 keyboard behavior with
command arguments? Because I use xbindkeys so a lot of bindings are
handled by that. But things like alt-tab are controlled by xfwm4. And
since I also don't use xfce-mc-manager I can't control xfwm4. How can I
set the number of workplaces and some other options (like show content
when moving windows) of xfwm4 with command arguments during xfwm4 invoking?

Best regards,


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