Over the last few days, I’ve been letting my laptop fall in the hands of other people for showcasing and entertainment purposes. You know, the occasional “checking of Facebook” or “lemme see that code?”. It’s been very amusing since how people accidentally open a can of worms. A bit of background, I use Kubuntu on my laptop with a self tweaked kernel for power saving options, hardening and security1. The window manager2 I use is the de facto of KDE, KWin. It has a lot of bells and whistles and I try to use only as much as I need like per application window switching, no thumbnails for windows at all, etc. The environment has this nifty features called “Screen Edges”. It allows me to trigger actions whenever I hit a corner or edge of the screen.
For my setup, I have the following enabled:
- “Present Current Application Windows for Current Desktop” when you hit the center top of the screen,
- “Show Dashboard Widgets” when you hit the top right of the screen,
- “Present Windows for All Desktops” when you hit the bottom left of the screen and
- “Present Windows for Current Desktop” when you hit the bottom right of the screen
The difference between the “Current Application Windows” and just “Windows” is that the former shows every single window open for a specific application whereas the latter show only the most recently used window for each application on a said desktop. It comes in handy when you have dozens of terminal, browser, and vector image editing windows open.
Now, a friend of mine and I were watching a few videos on
YouTube. She meant to raise the volume, but didn’t hold
Fn. This causes my
drop down terminal appear. She ignored it and just clicked back on Chrome.
This time, she moved the cursor to the top of the screen. Wham! Windows for days since I was on my “Social” desktop, you had Facebook, Hacker News, my personal RSS reader3, dozens of dedicated windows for Ars Technica, Phoronix, The Verge, it goes on. She called me over and asked for help.
You might wonder why can’t I just keep things simple and just have a regular setup (or just a Mac™). I can’t tweak OS X the way I can with my laptop, I’ve tried. And being fiscally disadvantaged, I can’t see why I’d pay $5 for window tiling and snapping, it doesn’t just add up to me. Of course, each set up is (hopefully) as unique as its user/owner so that’s that.