[xmonad] Emacs frame with STRUT+DOCK doesn't get keyboard focus

Ted Zlatanov tzz at lifelogs.com
Tue Jun 7 22:20:33 CEST 2011

On Tue, 7 Jun 2011 15:32:48 -0400 Brandon Allbery <allbery.b at gmail.com> wrote: 

BA> 2011/6/7 Ted Zlatanov <tzz at lifelogs.com>:

>> OK, but I'm talking about the default settings.  Is it reasonable to
>> block docks from getting the keyboard focus by default?  What is gained
>> by that?  Or is there no default and my configuration is the problem?

BA> Most docks don't expect keyboard input directly and either open a new
BA> window or explicitly request input focus (e.g. gnome mini-commander
BA> applet), so users get confused when input focus goes to a dock
BA> especially in click-to-focus mode.  I think one of the early
BA> minimalist docks did the wrong thing with input focus, too.  

OK.  There should be a way for an Emacs frame marked as a dock (or any
dock, really) to tell XMonad that it can handle keyboard input, then,
without any special configuration.  Can you think of a way to do that?
Maybe with some WM hints?

BA> In any case, it's somewhat unusual for a dock to want the input
BA> focus, and strange things can happen if you grant it.  (Even in
BA> newer ones; I had some odd behavior from KDE4's Plasma while working
BA> on my freedesktop.org extensions due to unexpected input focus.)

I only want an Emacs frame to get the keyboard focus, not docks in
general.  I think Emacs can handle it, and will ask the Emacs developers
to fix whatever bugs we find.  Like I said, if the window requests the
focus, then you know it can handle it :)

BA> Iyt wouldn't go into core, it would go into contrib with ManagDocks
BA> and ManageHelpers.  I don't need a bug for it though (well, there
BA> already is one) as it's in my own to-dos and I'm using xmonad
BA> regularly enough that just use is enough of a reminder that it's
BA> incomplete. :)

OK.  I'll warn XMonad users about this, since it doesn't seem it can be
fixed easily.

On Tue, 7 Jun 2011 16:04:38 -0400 John Yates <john at yates-sheets.org> wrote: 

JY> I regularly have attempted to create a single emacs mini-buffer docked at
JY> the bottom of my screen for all of my frames.  (My goal is to approximate
JY> the experience of the Apollo Computer DM's command window.)  I have never
JY> been entirely successful.  Are you suggesting  that mine is a vain quest?
JY>  Or can you suggest how I might actually get it to work under Xmonad?

I want to do something similar but more like a gnome-panel replacement
with many "tiles" of interactive, dynamic, and static content.  At least
one "tile" will be a command window like you describe, basically a


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