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[RP] New user questions & suggestions

From: Phil Endecott
Subject: [RP] New user questions & suggestions
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 18:15:03 +0100

Dear All,

I have just bought myself an ASUS Eee and I think that even those people who use a regular GUI system on a desktop machine will appreciate the benefits of ratpoison (and its ilk) on its small screen. I have been spending a while setting it up to my tastes and I would like to ask a few questions and make some suggestions, if that's OK.

1. I don't seem to be able to get the "source" command to work from inside my .ratpoisonrc file. Am I doing something wrong? Where do error messages during .ratpoisonrc parsing go?

2. It would be great if the documentation either listed the default keybinding for each command in the command index, or listed the command name for each keybinding in the default key bindings page. Or alternatively if there were some way to get a running ratpoison to dump its current keybindings.

3. I decided that rather than the C-t prefix I'd use one of the otherwise-useless extra modifier keys. I chose the one to the right of the keyboard with a menu symbol on it. I set this up by putting this in my .xmodmap:

keycode 117 = Hyper_R
add Mod3 = Hyper_R

Then I had to replicate all of the existing root-keymap bindings in a new top-keymap with the H- modifier. It would be been great if I could have dumped the existing keybindings, and piped them through sed or awk, to do this. But doing it by hand was a good way to discover all the commands I suppose. Anyway, pressing e.g. Hyper-0 seems a lot simpler than C-t 0, especially on this cramped keyboard.

On my desktop system I have one of the other modifier keys (the Logo key to the left of the spacebar) set up to launch terminals on various machines. With shift it makes it a root terminal, and I use different colour schemes for the terminals to make them easy to recognise (it could be a bad mistake to run a command on the wrong machine!; I use reverse-video colour schemes for root). So I have now set this up in ratpoison; it works well and it's a technique that I recommend:

definekey km s-x exec x-terminal-emulator -bg lightblue ssh xylophone
definekey km s-X exec x-terminal-emulator -fg white -bg blue ssh address@hidden

4. It took me some trial and error to work out that I should write s-X and not s-S-x. The docs list S as the modifier for shift.

5. Say I have four terminals running in four frames. If I want to "zoom in" to one of them I can "only" it. But I don't see a way to "zoom out" again, i.e. I can't undo or otherwise reverse the "only" command. Also, maybe I'd like to really zoom in (i.e. increase the font size). I could imagine tiling the window with small terminals, and then zooming in so that the other terminals are still in the same relative positions but off the screen. Does that make any sense to anyone? Maybe it's not a ratpoison thing, but I think it could still be useful especially on small screens.

6. Totally off-topic: if anyone knows how to change the font size that Firefox uses for its menu bar and status bar, or better still how to get rid of the menu bar entirely, I'd love to hear from you! All those wasted pixels.....

Thanks for reading,


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