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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Fri, 28 Mar 2014

Xfce Theme Manager is kind of a train wreck, but I ended up with borders on the sides of my windows (and that ain't bad)

I was looking through the Fedora packages for Xfce applications I hadn't yet installed, and the Xfce Theme Manager came up.

I installed it. Then I ran it.

It screwed up my desktop. Not all the themes in my system were in the Theme Manager, and I was switched over to one of the few themes that were in there. My icons all grew larger in size. (Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. Please be sure to tip your waitress.)

So I had to re-select the Adiwata theme and manually shrink my icons.

But something good came out of it. For some reason Xfce themes have been "losing" the borders on the left and right sides of windows, and I have no idea now to restore them.

The Xfce Theme Manager has managed to do this for me, and I wouldn't want to reverse this change even if I knew how.

But otherwise the Xfce Theme Manager is trouble. I already removed it.

However, it did get me borders on the left and right sides of windows. And for that it was worth it.

Fri, 01 Nov 2013

I like the Xfce Whisker Menu

Those who saw yesterday's entry know that I at once discovered and installed the Xfce Whisker Menu on my Fedora 19 Xfce system.

I already had the standard Xfce Application Finder bound to my alt-F2, alt-F3 and Super (aka "Windows") keys, though I didn't use it that much. What I was going for with the Application Finder being bound to the Super key was Unity/GNOME 3-like functionality in terms of finding and launching applications while retaining the speed and stability of Xfce.

I haven't even used the Whisker Menu for a full day, yet I just used the Xfce Keyboard settings' Application Shortcuts to bind the Whisker Menu to the Super key.

Aside from the Whisker Menu actually working, since it saves me a keystroke/mouse click over the standard Application Finder when searching for and launching an application, I'm pretty much sold on the Whisker Menu.

I'm sold enough that if I find it really working out, I'll remove my application-icon-filled panel on the left side of my screen.

The point: I like the Whisker Menu.

Thu, 31 Oct 2013

I installed the Whisker Menu for Xfce

I just read about the Whisker Menu for Xfce at OMG! Ubuntu and installed it on my system from the Fedora repositories.

While I'm happy with my panel on the left and the traditional Xfce Application Finder, I thought the Whisker Menu would be worth a try.

Once installed, the menu itself can be added as a panel item (that's a step that took me a second or two or 10 to figure out). After you do that, you're ready to go.

Not only does the Whisker Menu provide an alternative to the stock Xfce Applications Menu, you can access your 10 most-recently used applications, create favorites for their own portion of the menu, or easily plop an application launcher onto the desktop or into the panel.

It's a nice little application that Xfce users might very well want to check out.

Thu, 17 Oct 2013

I like what GNOME 3 and Unity are doing, so I'm replicating those things in Xfce

It sounds screwy, but I'm taking some of the elements I like in GNOME 3 and Unity and implementing them in Xfce.

First of all, I really like the idea of having a panel on the left side of the screen for my application launchers. Given that laptops are now widescreen and there is not enough vertical space but plenty of horizontal space, it makes sense to have the application launchers consume as little horizontal real estate as possible.

So in Xfce, I moved the lower panel to the left. That was an easy one.

The other thing I like about both GNOME 3 and Unity is the ability to click the "Windows" or Super key and then type in the first few letters of an application to launch it.

Xfce already has a great application finder that does this. On Fedora with Xfce, it's configured to open with alt-F2 and alt-F3. I went into the Xfce keyboard configuration and set the Windows/Super key to open this same application finder. Now I can click Super/Windows, type in a few letters and have my desired app open without going through the menu. Just like in GNOME and Unity.

Of course my favorite apps are already in my panel on the left. But for those that are not, this is a nice feature to borrow/steal from GNOME 3 and Unity.

That Xfce can replicate this behavior says a lot about what you can do with this lightweight, stable and very configurable desktop environment.

Wed, 16 Jan 2013

Is your screen blanking in Xfce despite your xscreensaver settings? I have the fix -- and this time it's for real

Some readers might have seen this post appear and disappear, appear and disappear again. That's because my first "fix" for this annonying Xfce problem didn't really work.

Neither did my second attempt. Nor my third.

Screw proverbs. The third fourth time now seems to be "the charm." That finally fortunate circumstance allows me to resurrect this entry yet again with my now-new onetwo-line script to keep the screen from blanking on its own -- without xscreensaver's help -- with a fix that has worked for me over the past couple of days. And this time I'm sure of it:

Here's a quick fix for Xfce users whose screens are blanking even though they have a much-longer screen-saving interval set in xscreensaver. This includes me.

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