Text-configured "infinite" keybindings: fluxbox and what else?


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Thread: Text-configured "infinite" keybindings: fluxbox and what else?

  1. #1
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    Text-configured "infinite" keybindings: fluxbox and what else?

    Simple question:

    Anyone who has ever had the dubious fortune of listening (or reading) as I rave on and on about my fanatical devotion to the fluxbox window manager probably knows that my favorite fluxbox feature is the capacity for programming virtually infinite keybindings with a text file. I've been told that there millions of possible key combinations, and whether or not that's true, there are certainly as many as I am ever going to need. With a very rudimentary understanding of line commands, you can program a keybinding to open nearly any application, any file, any directory, any script, and because it's all done by editing a text file, you can save the file (I like to keep it in my gmail account) and use it again and again whenever you install a new system or open a new account. I've got about a hundred bindings in my ~/.fluxbox/keys file, and, although, to tell the truth, I only regularly use about a dozen or two, those keybindings alone have saved me lord-only-knows-how-much nedless searching through menus, and I never use them without taking a special joy. Nothing could possibly be faster or more direct, and since I set the keybindings myself, they're easier to remember than you might think.

    Yes, I know; you've heard it all from me before. So here's the simple question:

    What other window manager or desktop environment has that capacity? There must be several; am I right?
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 06-04-2007 at 12:52 AM.

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    /me hacks your gmail account...
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  3. #3
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    No need for that, here's my keys file. It's got a lot of old keybindings that are no longer valid, and now that I look at it, my previous estimation of well over a hundred was probably way over the top, but here it is. I'll explain how I've got these organized sometime when it isn't three in the morning.


    Control Shift 1 :execCommand iceape /home/storage/documents/OReilly.Running.Linux.5th.Edition.Dec.2005/index.html
    Control Shift 2 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/Wiley,.Linux.Bible.2006.Edition.Boot.Up.to.Fedora. KNOPPIX.Debian._2006_.DDU.pdf
    Control Shift 3 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/_ebook - pdf_ Linux - Teach Yourself Shell Programming in 24.pdf
    Control Shift 4 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/oreilly - linux cookbook 2005.pdf
    Control Shift 5 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/Learning_the_Bash_Shell.pdf
    Control Shift 6 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/O_Reilly - Learning Debian GNU Linux.pdf
    Control Shift 7 :execCommand acroread /home/storage/documents/Debian GNU-Linux Bible 2001.pdf
    Control Shift 8 :execCommand iceape http://zsh.sunsite.dk/Guide/zshguide.html
    Control Shift 9 :execCommand iceape http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
    Control Shift 0 :execCommand iceape http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/linux/cmd/
    Control Shift k :execCommand kwrite /home/elvis/.fluxbox/keys

    Mod1 Tab :NextWindow
    Mod1 Shift Tab :PrevWindow
    Mod1 F1 :Workspace 1
    Mod1 F2 :Workspace 2
    Mod1 F3 :Workspace 3
    Mod1 F4 :Workspace 4
    Mod1 F5 :Workspace 5
    Mod1 F6 :Workspace 6
    Mod1 F7 :Workspace 7
    Mod1 F8 :Workspace 8
    Mod1 F9 :Workspace 9
    Mod1 F10 :Workspace 10
    Mod1 F11 :Workspace 11
    Mod1 F12 :Workspace 12

    Mod4 k :execCommand mozilla http://www.kcrw.com/pls/kcrwsimulcast.pls
    Mod4 e :execCommand firefox http://www.kcrw.com/pls/kcrwmusic.pls
    Mod4 a :execCommand firefox http://www.airamerica.com/listen/
    Mod4 r :execCommand xterm -e mplayer -shuffle ~/rock*/*
    Mod4 u :execCommand xterm -e mplayer -shuffle -loop 0 /data2/home/elvis/mp3/subliminal/*
    Mod4 m :execCommand xterm -e mplayer -shuffle -loop 0 /data2/home/elvis/mp3/mozart/*
    Mod4 j :execCommand xterm -e mplayer -shuffle -loop 0 /data2/home/elvis/mp3/jazz/*
    Mod4 p :execCommand xterm -e mplayer -shuffle -loop 0 /data2/home/elvis/mp3/popular/*
    Mod4 s :execCommand firefox http://gundam100.liquidviewer.net/sms


    Mod1 Control f :execCommand firefox
    Mod1 Control o :execCommand opera
    Mod1 Control g :execCommand gedit
    Mod1 Control k :execCommand konqueror
    Mod1 Control x :execCommand xchat
    Mod1 Control z :execCommand mozilla
    Mod1 Control i :execCommand gaim
    Mod1 Control n :execCommand gtk-gnutella
    Mod1 Control h :execCommand hot-babe
    Mod1 Control p :execCommand kpager
    Mod1 Control 9 :execCommand xterm
    Mod1 Control 0 :execCommand gnome-terminal
    Mod1 Control 8 :execCommand konsole
    Mod1 Control a :execCommand xterm -e alsamixer
    Mod1 Control r :execCommand fbrun
    Mod1 Control v :execCommand vmware
    Mod1 Control m :execCommand kmix
    Mod1 Control s :execCommand cd ~/Secon* ; ./secondlife

    Mod4 Control f :execCommand konqueror ~/.fluxbox
    Mod4 Control g :execCommand firefox /data2/home/elvis/gogo
    Mod4 Control j :execCommand firefox http://www.justlinux.com
    Mod4 Control h :execCommand konqueror ~
    Mod4 Control e :execCommand konqueror /data2/home/elvis
    Mod4 Control n :execCommand konqueror ~/gtk-gnutella-downloads/complete/
    Mod4 Control s :execCommand konqueror /home/storage/
    Mod4 Control m :execCommand konqueror media:/
    Mod4 Control d :execCommand konqueror ~/Desktop
    Mod4 Control f :execCommand firefox http://www.npr.org/templates/rundown...n.php?prgId=13
    Mod4 Control o :execCommand firefox http://www.kcrw.com/archive.html
    Mod4 Control b :execCommand http://cf76.org/forum/read.php?4,693
    Mod4 Control a :execCommand konqueror ~/down-them-all

    Mod1 Mod4 a :execCommand firefox http://www.archive.org
    Mod1 Mod4 b
    Mod1 Mod4 c
    Mod1 Mod4 d
    Mod1 Mod4 e
    Mod1 Mod4 f
    Mod1 Mod4 g
    Mod1 Mod4 h
    Mod1 Mod4 i
    Mod1 Mod4 j :execCommand firefox http://www.justlinux.com
    Mod1 Mod4 k
    Mod1 Mod4 l
    Mod1 Mod4 m :execCommand firefox http://www.gmail.com
    Mod1 Mod4 n :execCommand firefox http://www.nytimes.com
    Mod1 Mod4 o pera http://my.opera.com/community/forums/forum.dml?id=45
    Mod1 Mod4 p :execCommand firefox http://www.poe-news.com
    Mod1 Mod4 q
    Mod1 Mod4 r
    Mod1 Mod4 s :execCommand firefox http://safari.oreilly.com/mybookshelf
    Mod1 Mod4 t :execCommand firefox http://www.tldp.org
    Mod1 Mod4 u
    Mod1 Mod4 v
    Mod1 Mod4 w
    Mod1 Mod4 x
    Mod1 Mod4 y
    Mod1 Mod4 z
    Mod1 Mod4 3




    Control F12 :Maximize
    Control F11 :Close
    Control F10 :Minimize

  4. #4
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    So there's no other window manager with the capability to configure freestyle text-based keybindings?

    I really need to know, because I'm sure we can all agree that would cement fluxbox's position as
    the greatest desktop gui OF ALL TIME!!!!
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 06-07-2007 at 10:40 PM.

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    You'll get no argument from me
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    Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed about how I'm not being tounge in cheek--

    but it can't be the only one, can it? I'm not a developer, but I can't see any reason why that feature couldn't be built into any desktop at all, because it's independent of the graphical interface

    ...and it's such a great feature! It's the fastest way to do ALMOST ANYTHING!

  7. #7
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    I think enlightenment has similar features...but remember, most people would rather use their mouse to open stuff, and use their keyboards for typing www.myspace.......
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by je_fro
    I think enlightenment has similar features...but remember, most people would rather use their mouse to open stuff, and use their keyboards for typing www.myspace.......
    *shudder*

    I think Fluxbox's key support is based on bbkeys, which is an external program to Blackbox so it might work in other WM's too.

  9. #9
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    fvwm, IceWM, for two, have ways to create many key bindings. Not sure if they are as rich as what you have demonstrated, but yes, you can go pretty crazy with key definitions. Actually any X-based window manager either does, or ought to, have key binding capabilities.

    As for KDE and GNOME, they have some capabilities, but they may be a bit more limited in scope. I know that they have default bindings for stuff like cascading through windows, minimizing, maximizing, and routine stuff like that. You can associate a particular key with a specific action.

    That can be pretty powerful. In practice, I have not seen people go very far with this.

    Back in the days of UNIX window managers based on either Xlib or the Xt (X Toolkit), and later the Xm (Motif) toolkit, I used to bind quite a few keys to various functions, and I used to start up around a dozen applications directly at login time.

    When I first encountered CDE, the Common Desktop Environment, I thought that the environment took several steps BACKWARD. Yes, they did offer inter process communications between tasks, enabling stuff like dragging a file icon onto an application to have it perform a particular task. But hey, within my shell (whether it was DCL on my proprietary DEC VAX/VMS system), the Korn, Bourne, or Bash shells on my UNIX system, or my DECwindows graphical user environment, I would have shortcuts established. At the shell level, I would use one, two, or three character mneumonics to replace fairly long and extensive commands, or perhaps a script that ran MANY commands. At the GUI level, I would create keypad accelerators AND mneumonics that would allow me, in one to three keystrokes, start virtually everything I did.

    Within my applications, and my editor, I would define keystrokes, usually only one key, that would allow me to do all the things that I did most commonly. Whenever I changed what I was doing, if I found I wasn't using a keystroke very often, I'd assign it to something I DID use often.

    I still do that today, but to a lesser degree. Today I use a combination of function keys, accelerators, and I also use mouse actions. That way I can vary the way my hands are used and reduce the likelihood of any kind of repetitive motion problem. Been using computers since 1973, a professional since 1979, still have all limbs working, no carpal tunnel syndrome, so what I do works well for me.
    Brian W. Masinick
    Masinick at Yahoo Dot Com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by je_fro
    I think enlightenment has similar features...but remember, most people would rather use their mouse to open stuff, and use their keyboards for typing www.myspace.......
    Well, Fluxbox has those features!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mas
    As for KDE and GNOME, they have some capabilities, but they may be a bit more limited in scope. I know that they have default bindings for stuff like cascading through windows, minimizing, maximizing, and routine stuff like that. You can associate a particular key with a specific action.
    Both KDE and Gnome (also XFCE) allow you to set keybindings with a GUI. Basically, they'll open applications for you, nothing more specific than that. KDE gives you the most choices (KDE for SUSE gives you even more choices-- keybindings for Gnome apps as well as KDE apps, it's one of the little touches that make SUSE the most polished distro I've ever used)

    To be fair, KDE and Gnome give you the option of creating desktop launcher icons that are pretty much as powerful and flexible as fluxbox keybindings. Back when I used to run Gnome, I had a great time with custom destop launchers. You can enter just about any command you like, and use any image you like. I had a button on my desktop with a picture of Mozart. Click on it, it plays Mozart! And so on.

    But I think setting keyboard shortcuts is faster and easier, both to set up and to use. And I love that clean clean desktop! Other desktops have "eye candy", but with a decent monitor, a nice piece of desktop art, and a well-selected (or custom created) menu theme, fluxbox can provide the eyes with a feast!

    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 06-10-2007 at 12:55 PM.

  11. #11
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    Just a quick question in the pic how did you open the menu.When I boot into fluxbox i can't open menus thanks in advance.

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    right click
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  13. #13
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    Right click, anywhere on the desktop.

    Incidentally, like the keybindings, the menus in fluxbox can be be completely customized by editing a text file

    I can get an ugly, but perfectly functional, representation of the usual desktop icons by opening Konqueror to ~/Desktop. Of course, I have a keybinding for that.
    Last edited by blackbelt_jones; 06-11-2007 at 01:07 PM.

  14. #14
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    Most desktop/window managers will allow a nice clean desktop. Here is an example of Enlightenment slightly cluttered with gkrellm monitors and a transparent shell. I can set all the keybindings I need just fine. It really comes down to the small things that make you stick with a particular program. For me, its the virtual desktops with previews(and drag and drop to/from) that keeps me in Enlightenment.

    gkrellShoot_06-11-07_152815-800x600.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by trilarian
    Most desktop/window managers will allow a nice clean desktop. Here is an example of Enlightenment slightly cluttered with gkrellm monitors and a transparent shell. I can set all the keybindings I need just fine. It really comes down to the small things that make you stick with a particular program. For me, its the virtual desktops with previews(and drag and drop to/from) that keeps me in Enlightenment.

    gkrellShoot_06-11-07_152815-800x600.jpg

    I don't want to get competitive about this. In fact, now that I know about Enlightenment's keybinding capability, I intend to check it out... HOWEVER, when I want a drag and drop display of virtual desktops for fluxbox, I use a keybinding to open kpager. I think Kpager may actually work better with Fluxbox than with KDE, where it tends to get in the way.

    http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/4742/fluxss1dp6.png

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