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How I would like to use a desktop switcher

Posted 11-12-2012 at 07:01 PM by Skaperen
Updated 11-14-2012 at 03:51 PM by Skaperen

I currently use the compiz desktop switcher. It's also what is known as a "compositor", but I really don't know what all the functions are that it needs to perform. Clearly among them is switching desktops. So I guess it places windows from some sets of windows (and other GUI objects) on to and off of the screen as needed.

How compiz is working is that is displays some effect on the screen to show how you are doing switching. Some people like the cube effect where when you make the change, it shows the desktops on a 3D cube image. I assume that limits them to 6 desktops as the cube only has 6 faces. Or maybe they can do more with a magic cube that hides more faces somewhere in the 4th dimension.

What I'm using is just a grid. I shows a grid on the screen highlighting the one I'm in, and allows me to use the directional arrow keys (with Ctrl+Alt) to slide around in this grid. I set it for zero time between desktops, so the actual desktop effect is not sliding for me. It just jumps.

I don't really want the effect. It was cute when I first tried it. I was seasick around the 9th usage.

But even what I have now is not really what I want. I want to have a key combination (keychord) to just go directly to a desktop, without even a relationship between desktops. Right now a full screen window in one desktop will dangle its shadow effect into another. For other reason I should argue that full screen windows should not have shadow effects. But that will be for another blog post.

What I want is keyboard positions relating to desktops that topologically have no other relation to each other. There is this Windows key (one on the left and one on the right) on virtually every keyboard these days. Why not use that in some way. Anyway, some keychord, whatever it might be, PLUS some other key anywhere on the keyboard, including all the FX keys along the top, plus any digit, letter, or even special character, can be used to each go to a distinct desktop. Then leave the arrow keys (same keychord) to move through them sequentially.

Suppose the operating keychord is Ctrl+Win. Then if I do Ctrl+Win+F1 I will get one desktop. Doing Ctrl+Win+6 gets another. Ctrl+Win+h gets yet another. Ctrl+Win+/ gets yet another. That would give me about 62 (64 with space and enter) different desktops.

Now compiz does have a means to configure specific keychords for specific desktops. But it is limited to just 12 of them. If this limit could be extended to at least 64, maybe even 128, that would be great. I know I could make use of 64. And it would be a lot easier (for me, at least) to go where I want to be that way. But I think it would be a lot easier to just configure what the keychord prefix is that will make the switch, and let all the other keys operate with it.

Anyone know enough about the inside design of compiz to make a patch to do this?
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