Posts Tagged 'ubuntu'

Compiz’s Scale plugin in Hardy Heron

I recently upgraded my workstation and Asus EEE to Ubuntu 8.04. To save on screen space on my UMPC, the top button was set to autohide. The bottom panel was removed and replaced by the avant-window-navigator also in auto-hide mode so I can have larger window icons. The final step was modifying the behavior of the scale plugin to activate whenever I place my mouse cursor at the TopRight of the screen.

Compiz session activating the Scale plugin window picker

The Scale plugin of Compiz shows all the thumbnails of opened windows in the current workspace. It looks like something in Mac OS X. The screenshot below shows a sample activation of the Scale plugin window picker using the default Shift-Alt-Up:

To enabled the mouse gesture behavior of the plugin, simple open the gconf-editor program and go to /apps/compiz/plugins/scale/allscreens/options. The initiate_edge name-key pair is by default set as an array so that you can combine multiple-key definitions like Ctrl-Alt-BottomRight. But indicating only a mouse gesture does not work. The workaround I did was to unset the key. Aftewards, it will change from an array list into a text field. Then write TopRight or whatever mouse gesture you want to activate the window picker.

To unset the initiate_edge key-value pair, simple right click on the entry and choose the “Unset Key” option.

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Upgrading to Gutsy Gibbon

A few weeks ago, I decided to upgrade my desktops from Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn to 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. Using the upgrade instructions from the Ubuntu website, I used the network upgrade method for Ubuntu servers. I did not want to use the update-manager application to manage the upgrade because of a bad upgrade experience from Dapper Drake. To resolve my previous problem, I performed a complete reinstall of my system.

Most blogs and reviews of Gutsy highlights enhanced 3D Desktop support using compiz. For my non-Linux friends, below are some screenshots of my desktop:

Gutsy workstation

The figure above shows the Shift Switcher plugin. It cycles through all of the window applications through a nice panel shuffler interface. Below is the “Mac-like” Scale Window plugin. It gives an overview of all the windows present on my Desktop.

home desktop on gutsy

Another key upgrade of Gutsy was the shift from using the teTeX disribution to TeXlive. These are the package distribution for the LaTeX/ TeX typesetting suite. As an academic, this is one of the most important applications in my workstation’s setup. Here is an excerpt from the tetex-bin transition package:

teTeX is no longer developed upstream, and has been replaced by the TeX Live collection. This is a transitional package to bring former teTeX users a decent selection of TeX Live packages. It can be safely removed (unless some external packages still depend on tetex-bin).

Note, however, that the functionality of the TeX Live subset that is chosen is not exactly the same as that of tetex-bin, due to the different splitting schemes.

When I upgraded my home desktop, the LaTeX upgrade took most of the upgrade time because it keeps caching the fonts for every package. Thus, I first remove the tetex-* packages from my office workstation before performing another upgrade. When the upgrade to Gutsy was finished, I installed the related texlive-* packages.