Here's a screenshot. rpbar is the small bar at the bottom.
The 'default' way to switch windows in Ratpoison is to press
C-t-w to get the
window list, find the number of the window you want to switch to (let's say
it's 2), and press
C-t-2 to switch. rpbar is a simple taskbar that gives a
permanent display of the windows in the current group in order to make the
C-t-w unnecesary. As a concession to The Rat, clicking on a window title
will select that window. This is useful for one-handed window selection.
The other inspiration is ratbar.pl. rpbar does less that ratbar.pl, but does it better. As far as I can tell, ratbar.pl uses polling to update its window list. This makes it unresponsive, which is very annoying. rpbar uses Ratpoison's hook feature to refresh as soon as you select windows, close windows, change groups, etc. It's not as fast as it would be if it were part of Ratpoison, but it's pretty usable.
How it works
rpbar is a pretty simple C++ project. It consists of two executables:
rpbarruns in the background. It gets the window list from Ratpoison and displays it using the Xlib library.
rpbarsendsends a message to
rpbar, telling it to refresh its window list. It should be invoked by Ratpoison hooks.
Compilation and usage
Obviously, you should have a working g++ toolchain. You'll also need Xlib and
Xft. If you're using Ubuntu or Debian, what you need is in the
libxft-dev apt packages.
Then you should:
rpbarsendin your path.
Add the following to your
# tell ratpoison to ignore rpbar unmanage rpbar # leave space for bars set padding 0 14 0 14 # start rpbar exec rpbar # hooks addhook switchwin exec rpbarsend addhook switchframe exec rpbarsend addhook switchgroup exec rpbarsend addhook deletewindow exec rpbarsend # RP versions >= 1.4.6 (from the git repo) have these hooks. # Recommended! # addhook titlechanged exec rpbarsend # addhook newwindow exec rpbarsend
Restart Ratpoison or manually execute
rpbar(it should run in the background).
Now, what if you don't like the colors? The font size? The bar height? Right
now, the only way to change them is changing
settings.hh and recompiling, a
la dwm. I know, it's unfriendly. I'll eventually add the capability to read a
config file at startup and/or take command line arguments.
- horgh for revamping font drawing with Xft
I consider rpbar to be alpha. Maybe beta. It's "good enough" for my daily use, but it's pretty rough in the edges. Caveat emptor.