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Old 01-17-2014, 11:52 AM   #1
lordadamson
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what if I want a text editor on the background instead of a wallpaper image?


what I want is to have a note-taking environment where I can use my desktop as a notebook.

so for example, instead of having just a picture in the background, I want to have a canvas where I can write and draw and insert pictures and more.

you'll find attached a picture that describes how it would look like.

how do I do it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dream desktop.jpg (71.5 KB, 24 views)
 
Old 01-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
sag47
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You can use a tiling window manager which will effectively make all windows embedded in the background. Certain Window managers such as KDE provide an option called "Keep below others" which is the opposite of "keep on top of others" (others being windows in the WM). In fact, a lot of the things you claim to want to do can be handled by KDE widgets. You should check out KDE.

For Keep below others in KDE, right click on the Title bar > Advanced > Keep below others (check).
 
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:28 PM   #3
rtmistler
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You could have a file which you edit and that is then used as the picture for your desktop and further have a daemon script running which detects updates to that file and when it sees an update, it then updates the wallpaper with the new image.

The issue I see with that is finding an easy graphical edit tool; not that they aren't pretty easy, but my point is many of them allow one to draw areas; circles, squares, and so forth, very easily. Text can be written, but you have to choose a location for it and it may not be aligned unless you grow an existing table of notes or something.

Overall, I think it can be done this way, and it really becomes how much effort you wish to put in to automate or make things easier.
 
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #4
lordadamson
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That is an awesome feature in KDE indeed!

however, it is not exactly what I'm looking for sag47, you see? I am willing to do coding to acheive this, but I just don't know where to start or what to do.

I want it to be a part of the Desktop, integrated and designed beautifully. (I am the kind of guy who care about looks)
 
Old 01-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #5
rtmistler
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Why not try one or both of the proposed solutions which would work in some manner? The one sag47 recommends is available in source because it's part of a distribution. The one I recommend is; I believe viable merely by writing a script and persistently editing an image file.

My point being, what you want is likely nothing that exists natively anywhere as yet, so start it somehow now, grow it to make it work the way you want and then either (a) your concept is a big thing that many have noticed and would like, so you'll eventually find something exactly like what you want, (b) you eventually get your rendition to exactly what you want and may consider making it a product, or simply offering it to the community.
 
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #6
sag47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordadamson View Post
I want it to be a part of the Desktop, integrated and designed beautifully. (I am the kind of guy who care about looks)
http://postimg.org/image/3zkv997ij/full/

And that's my KDE desktop that I screenshot a few seconds ago. It took me minutes to recreate your image except mine is real. All of them are embedded into the Desktop background and yes, those are file browsers at the top showing the contents of directories where you can have whole heaps of study materials placed. If you don't like the look of my default KDE then there are always themes to play with.

Last edited by sag47; 01-17-2014 at 12:53 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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knotes?
 
Old 01-17-2014, 03:06 PM   #8
lordadamson
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sag47: I really appreciate your effort trying to help me. KDE is a very awesome and customizable and whatever you wanna do you can do it one way or another with KDE. but that still wasn't exactly what I was looking for
I simply want a canvas instead of the wallpaper image, where I can draw, type text, insert pics, draw figures and more.

rtmistler: what you are saying is awesome! but excuse my lack of experience, and please tell me more about that scripting thingy.
I understand the part where the deamon detects change in the file and apply that to an image (which is the wallpaper)
but how can the user edit that wallpaper and draw, type etc.. ? (I'm sure there is something I didn't understand correctly)
and what is it that you mean by "graphical edit tool"? please elaborate more and give me some suggestions and hopefully some stuff to read?

Habitual: not really what I am looking for but thanks alot for the suggestion!
 
Old 01-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordadamson View Post
Habitual: not really what I am looking for but thanks alot for the suggestion!
No worries. I popped into KDE myself to have a peek at it.
Couldn't stand it! I'd rather take a shower in Prison.

Xfce or nothing!
To each, their own, I guess.

A Women's Prison you pervs!
 
Old 01-17-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
rtmistler
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You'd have to find out how to change your desktop wallpaper by a command line. Say you're using gnome, here might be an example which I haven't tried, just did a quick search for it Change Gnome Wallpaper with a command line.

Next the script would be a shell script, you either know how to write those, or not and you could make it a script which runs all the time. The logic would be something like:
  1. Upon entry, set wallpaper to the chosen JPEG, BMP, or PNG file
  2. Save the last modification date of that image file
  3. Periodically check the modification date of that image file and compare to the last known modification date; say check every 10 seconds
  4. If the modification date has changed; set the wallpaper to that same image file (because it has been updated) and update your memory for the last modification date of that image

Things to do would be to figure out the best ways to determine file modification date which are easy. You can do it with /bin/ls, the -l argument gives you the long listing, there are other format arguments, you can hide fields you don't wish to see and probably a lot more. That would be my first effort at determining file modification date changes.

As far as editing the file, it's a BMP, PNG, JPEG, some sort of fixed image. I'd probably recommend either PNG or BMP which is exactly the same size as your desktop. You just open that file and edit it, when you save it, your script would be designed to detect that you changed the file and then it would update the wallpaper.

My "style" is that I use the keyboard mostly and have multiple desktops. So I would reserve a desktop where I'd have that file open for editing and then add items of my preference so that it would update my screen background for my other desktops so that I wouldn't always have to be in the desktop which had that editor open.

It's not the cleanest, hence why I recommend that you give one or the other a try and see if you can grow the concept.

For instance, you can take a picture; say a family photo and add overlay text to it, something to say "Little Joey's Birthday Party - 1/17/2014 - 3 years old!" And place that text at the bottom of the photo. So one thing you can do is use an append tool ... I forget which one I've used, to stick text onto your picture file at an XY coordinate location. The problem there is, you can't do the reverse. It adds text, but you can't say "remove that text and restore the imagery", no it overwrites those pixels, it doesn't do layers. I've used convert Unix Convert to do this, it allowed me to add the time and date to a picture taken, because the pictures were taken same place all day to either monitor or record an environment for perpetual log purpose.

So instead of editing the file all the time, you could have a way to say "upper left corner - add 'Pick up milk'", the problem then becomes how you manage your text append locations exactly. You can add to it, keep the old notes and add more stuff it would just fill in same location in iteration; I don't know if it would degrade the location; something to experiment with.
 
Old 01-17-2014, 03:40 PM   #11
jamison20000e
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I know their probably not the drones you're looking for but Ardesia plus Tilda? Otherwise learn to search... or make a WM\DE.

Edit: also check "Similar Threads" at the bottom of this page.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 01-17-2014 at 03:45 PM.
 
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
lordadamson
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Thank you all for the replies! I really appreciate it!
you guys have openned to me a lot of closed doors and now I understand a lot of things better.

A question: Through the research I've been making I ran into the root window in X11, and I read that there are virtual root windows such as that of nautilus used by GNOME. should I create (or hack into an existing) virtual root window where you can draw and type and insert pictures instead of only viewing a background wallpaper? Am I on the right path?
 
Old 01-20-2014, 10:18 AM   #13
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Gimp? plus leafpad, bluefish, anjuta, ... Most WMs allow you to full screen and ALT+TAB between apps. But if there's no keyboard to use, that might be difficult. There are virtual onscreen options for software keyboards. If we're talking touch screen tablet type stuff.

I use CWM which lets you ALT+Down Arrow apps to the background. With the old school mouse over == active window. You can type on the sub windows without bringing them up in the layering. It's a nifty thing to have a transparent hand clock over your document while you work. Not for everyone, but having no taskbar, or window decorations on my already limited screen real-estate is worth a few sacrifices for my uses.

xsetroot, xpmroot, Esetroot, and other options to set the background images on a command line. Esetroot from Eterm, xpmroot from fvwm, xsetroot from x11-xserver-utils. The xsetroot doesn't do full png, jpg type images. It'll do xbm images, but those are on/off black and white images. But xsetroot does have command line options for setting solid colors and stuff. Like -solid Blue4 if you're homesick for certain M$ products.
 
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:37 AM   #14
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordadamson View Post
Thank you all for the replies! I really appreciate it!
you guys have openned to me a lot of closed doors and now I understand a lot of things better.

A question: Through the research I've been making I ran into the root window in X11, and I read that there are virtual root windows such as that of nautilus used by GNOME. should I create (or hack into an existing) virtual root window where you can draw and type and insert pictures instead of only viewing a background wallpaper? Am I on the right path?
Find out how to change your wallpaper and figure out how to change that using a command line. You'll get the allowances and/or requirements from that process. For instance if you must use a bitmap or a jpeg, or are best advised to have said image file be the exact size of your screen, and so forth; you'll learn that by trying to just do it. Once you know how to set your wallpaper from "a file", then you can proceed to write the script and fine tune it. The further refinements would be to figure out ways to append/edit that image file in the most automated way for you so that you can create new notes, edit existing notes, or remove notes and/or rearrange them at will. The first step is to establish the framework. I would not try hacking an existing window; I would just "set" the background. If you're really thinking that modifying the root window would work for you, you can explore that as an upgrade. But remember; once you have a new window manager, finding a way to take an existing script and merely altering how the background is set is way more portable than determining how to modify the root window of a different window manager. Say you stay with one release for a long time, OK fine. But say you install Linux on several systems and each has different distributions or versions? That is what I have. I keep an old Ubuntu around because I prefer it, but other systems have different versions and different distributions.

Another point which just occurred to me is that you can set your wallpaper from a web-based document. The benefit there is if you have several systems, you can employ the same "set my wallpaper" tactic, but the source of the image lies in the web; so if you edit it at work and then go home ... guess what? You'll see your notes in both locations.

I think this is a moderately cool idea, but I'm not so fired up with it that I'd personally employ it. Just different styles of organization.
 
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