The Linux Cast

Daily Linux Content on YouTube and Odysee

Missing Scratchpads

So as I've been talking about both in the Patron Exclusive Pod (available to all tiers) and on the channel, I've switched to XFCE. My plan is still to be on XFCE for 2 months (As I write this, I'm only a week in).

I do miss my window managers, that's for sure. I'm going to be itching to go back once this experiment is over, I have a feeling.

But there is one thing that I miss more than any other and that is scratchpads. Now, I do have a dropdown terminal (I use Tilix, and that has a quake mode, which is pretty nice), but it's just not the same.

When I'm on i3wm or whatever, I always have about six scratchpads that I open up many times a day. I have newsboat there, I have pulsemixer, I have ncmpcpp or whatever it's called, I have ranger, and couple extra empty terminals. All of them are available via a separate keybinding for ready and easy use. It's awesome.

On XFCE, none of that is here. Not that's not possible, because I'm sure that with some effort I could replicate that functionality (in fact, I'm sure I could, and I may do), but it's just something that isn't default or something that I think most people would even consider unless they've used a window manager before.

And that brings me to Workspaces. I mentioned this on my patron-only pod, but I don't use workspaces nearly as much on XFCE as I did when in a window manager. One of the reasons why is that windows pile up and don't tile by default. So I don't have to deal with smaller and smaller windows, and can just leave a whole pile of them on one workspace and alt-tab to the one I need. Another reason why is the absolutely crap way XFCE (and other DEs) handle workspaces with multiple monitors. They treat both monitors as a single workspace, so when you change workspaces, both monitors change. You can't get them to be independent. It just feels inefficient and against everything I know and love when it comes to workspaces.

Honestly, the mess of it all is driving me batty. Right now as I look at it, I have seven windows on my second monitor, all piled on top of one another. I can only see the top two. It feels so...trashy. And completely inefficient. Obviously, this is not an XFCE problem, but it is a DE problem, and it's a big one. The workflow here is just anathema to the way I have worked for the majority of the last three years.

So, those are the two big problems. Scratchpads are probably something I will solve on my own because I do miss them enough that spending the time to figure all that out makes sense. The workspace thing is something that will continue to just drive me nuts until I eventually say eff it and either install i3 and use it with XFCE or I abandon XFCE completely. Who knows which way that will go.

I hope everyone has a nice week. If you're reading this on the website, you can get all of my blog posts early by supporting me on Pareon.