Big Button Game: Metacity Introduces Flexibility

Mar 25, 2010

The current button arrangement redesign in Ubuntu causes numerous bugs in GNOME and Ubuntu. The Metacity team now wants to step in.

The recent hot discussion around the redesign of the three standard window buttons to move them from right to left in the Ubuntu 10.04 window alerted Metacity window manager developers to a problem they've long been grappling with: if a designer includes specific images for the buttons in a developed theme, they can't be moved without breaking the underlying design.

A GNOME user can now freely determine where the buttons go, but themes present a special problem in that the button_layout key specifies their position in the GNOME configuration. The solution is not optimal because button_layout is persisted across themes (the global setting) so that a user can't change the positioning when introducing a new theme.

GNOME developers want to solve this problem so that future themes will overwrite the button_layout setting, which would require a new Themes v3 format. Metacity developer Thomas Thurman in his blog is rather recommending a workaround involving a separate GKeyFile configuration file in the theme directory that would parse the key-value file to set the button layout for any new theme.

Related content

  • Compiz 0.6.0 improves multi screen support

    The new 0.6.0 version of the compositing window manager Compiz now supports multiple x-screens and has new plug-ins.

  • First Look at Gnome 3

    The new Gnome desktop offers a simpler work environment – once you become accustomed to the new navigation tools.

  • Brightside and Devil’s Pie

    If the no-frills Metacity window manager doesn’t give you the functio nality you need, try the Metacity add-ons Brightside and Devil’s Pie.

  • Gnome 2.16

    The changes in Gnome 2.16 are more than cosmetic: the current release sees a leaner and faster version of the desktop.

  • Gnome Do

    Information at your fingertips with actions to match – Gnome Do merges search engine and application launcher functionality to create a new and convenient tool.

comments powered by Disqus

Issue 172/2015

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $9.99
(incl. VAT)

News