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X11 Window Managers, and Dr. Evil

Linux: wmctrl and Devil’s Pie — two nifty tools for window control. Both are command-line tools that use NetWM, a standard for X11 window managers, to hook into window manager policy and apply scriptable control to windows as they appear (in the Devil’s Pie case) or to pre-existing windows (in the wmctrl case).

I’ve just reverted back to sawfish from KWin recently, in order to get this control back; I probably wouldn’t have if I’d found these in time.

(In case you’re wondering why I reverted: specifically, sawfish allows the user to control window position very efficiently from the keyboard using corner.jl, and the KWin folks weren’t interested in a patch to do the same there. In addition, sawfish has wclass.jl , which allows windows to be controlled by name; it’s very handy to say ‘Show Mail’, and have xvoice de-iconify your mailreader in response. Both are killer features for rodent-free use of a UNIX desktop.)

Funny: Dr. Evil’s monologue about his childhood from the first Austin Powers movie. Sheer genius. ‘Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.’

Open Source: Tim Bray goes through a couple of open-source studies; first is the clueless ‘Where do you want to go, Aiden?’ essay I mentioned here a couple of days ago, but the second is a study from a couple of French economists I hadn’t heard of. I’ll just reproduce the translation:

Choosing software is not a neutral act. It must be done consciously; the debate over free and proprietary software can’t be limited to the differences in the applications’ features and ergonomics. To choose an operating system, or software, or network architecture is to choose a kind of society. We can no longer pretend that free and commercial software, or Internet standards and protocols, are just tools. We have to admit at least that they are political tools. After all, fire and the printing press are ‘just tools.’

Ireland: Some new Irish weblogs: