Metacity: Expansion and external tools

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http://blogs.gnome.org – In GNOME bug 517722, a new keybinding is suggested which will make the focussed window take up as much space as possible without covering any other window.  If applied to all windows, it would make Metacity behave like a tiling window manager. The main problem with this idea is the same one we were discussing almost a year ago: the same action can fairly easily be done using an external script and the EWMH.  So on the face of it there doesn’t seem to be much reason to add it into the window manager as well. Of course, this could also be said of several of the less-used bindings, such as “move to southwest corner”.  Indeed, some have called for major keybindings such as alt-Tab to work this way.  The problem here is that external scripts are slow to start when the computer is overloaded: it’s important that alt-Tab keeps working even when the system load is high.  The same thing can’t be said of “move to southwest corner”, though. Window managers which incorporate a programming language don’t have this issue, since a keybinding can be easily written to reconfigure a window in any way the user pleases, assuming the user is a programmer.  But Metacity aspires to be a lightweight window manager, and so does not provide this. Both of these are reasons why your chronicler is not minded to accept this patch.  Perhaps both of these are arguments for moving keybindings such as “move to southwest corner” out to an external script as well, although we could say they are grandfathered.  Perhaps also there should be a general policy against anything that can be done in an EWMH script being accepted into Metacity in future. The number of external EWMH scripts to do this kind of thing continues to rise. Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen has been working on putting a number of them together, including one to expand windows, and calling it WinWrangler. Photo © widdowquinn, cc-by-nc-sa. (Software)