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OK I don't really have a good title yet but I figure I can post works in progress and other tips I've come across or other interesting things.
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Fluxbox - Display Message on Desktop

Posted 12-30-2010 at 01:05 AM by lumak

Well I couldn't find a good solution to displaying text on the desktop similar to what conky does without actually using conky with only text display, So I decided to go with controlling window settings based on the custom window class of an xterm. I think it came out nicely.
# Not -R is a vim flag for Readonly to prevent accidental edits.
xterm -rv -fn 10x20 -class DMsg -e vim /path/to/textfile.txt -R
[app] (name=xterm) (class=DMsg)
  [Dimensions] {500 500}
  [Position] (BOTTOMRIGHT) {0 0}
  [Deco]   {NONE}
  [IconHidden]  {yes}
  [Sticky] {yes}
  [Layer] {Desktop}
  [Alpha]  {90}
The upside is I get a nice transparent terminal window on the desktop that's opened to a read only file in vim. It's still editable and sizeable (if you can alt+mouse to control sizes). It is also on the Desktop layer so it doesn't get in the way of other windows.

However, on the down side, it's still focusable and you can not create static text displays.

I suppose to get exactly what I want, I will have to install conky and set it up to display only a text file. Theoretically, since there is nothing to update, this should take up less memory and resources than xterm/vim... right?
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  1. Old Comment
    Wow after testing conky out... it may be better to just use the xterm under fluxbox. Conky seems to freak things out when it's set to the root desktop, and neither xcompmgr or cairo-compmgr provide true transparent background color support in fluxbox... it seems like it's a fluxbox thing. This leaves you stuck with the fake transparency support which leaves the background jacked up until the next refresh cycle if you move the window.

    However, with conky it's more intuitive to have different colors in the message.

    # Conkyrc file for displaying just text on the screen
    background no
    alignment top_left
    gap_y 650
    gap_x 700
    font 10x20
    update_interval 3600
    own_window yes
    own_window_type desktop
    # Without own_window_argb_visual, own_window_transparent does fake transparency
    # for the background color.  argb color does not work with xcompmgr or cairo-compmgr.
    own_window_transparent yes
    draw_outline no
    draw_shades yes
    # color0 3C0B51
    color0 FFFFFF
    color1 E400FF
    ${color0}Hello ${color1}Jim.
    Posted 01-03-2011 at 10:36 AM by lumak lumak is offline
    Updated 01-27-2011 at 10:44 AM by lumak


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