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#1 2015-01-02 01:42:11

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

It seems that the only 2 options for using 2 monitors is:

1. Have both monitors mirror each other. I don't have a use for that, but I suppose it would be quite useful in a learning environment where a 2nd monitor is facing a different direction.

2. To have the 2nd monitor as an extension of the current workspace.

The 2nd option is the one I'm using, but I'd like to be able to use the 2nd (smaller in my case) as a place to put things like a system monitor, weather, clock, security cam, etc. So, I think, what I need is for the 2nd monitor to be a separate workspace. I can put things on the 2nd monitor right now, but when I change to workspace 2 (or whatever) all that disappears.

I'm sure I've missed something! Solutions?

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#2 2015-01-02 01:51:46

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 578
Website

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

Solutions?

Not possible with xfwm, but you can try awesome: http://awesome.naquadah.org which uses tags instead of workspaces http://awesome.naquadah.org/wiki/Awesom … figuration

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#3 2015-01-02 03:10:52

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: Where Mr. Bankruptcy is Prez
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 1,068

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

IDK if you can do it permanently or not, but why not set monitor one as workspace (desktop?) one and monitor two as workspace two. That's what I always figured the multiple workspace option was for, since I can't figure out how it would be useful otherwise. I mean... I can put Firefox in one and Thunar in another - but I can just as easily (easier, actually) just use the one workspace for both and then use Alt-Tab to switch. Hmm... Did old versions of XFCE not have the Alt-Tab function and require people to manually go to their panel and select the application that they want? Hmm again ( roll ), that still seems easier than messing with the pretend-you-have-multiple-monitors(-if-you-don't-actually-have-them) multiple workspace thing... Did old versions of XFCE not have any of {Alt-Tab, panels, minimizing/maximizing, and probably more}? If that was the case, yeah, I can see where the multiple workspaces would be useful to people who only have one monitor. Then again, if that were the case, they'd probably not know about it because they'd have taken about 60 seconds to switched to GNOME 2.x and they'd probably still be making fun of us XFCE users. So... "I'm sure I've missed something!" Two (the sequel).

Regards,
MDM


Mountain Dew Maniac

How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#4 2015-01-02 03:24:37

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,445

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

I can put things on the 2nd monitor right now, but when I change to workspace 2 (or whatever) all that disappears.

How about setting the sticky flag on all of those items on the 2nd monitor so they appear on all workspaces on the second monitor? This way it will look as though they stay on the same workspace as workspaces change on the main monitor.

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#5 2015-01-02 03:28:38

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

I think you might have missed something smile And, this is probably off-topic smile

Multiple workspaces are a godsend. Here's a simple example ...

1. I have firefox in workspace 1. It's open all the time since I use it for mail. So, checking mail or doing some net stuff is simple as hitting ctrl-F1 or the workspace switcher in the panel

2. I'm working on a something in emacs. Let's say it's a web doc. So, I do this in WS-2. Now, I can switch to WS-1 and preview it, etc.

3. I leave my doc open in WS-2 and go to WS-3 to work on a sheet of music. Again, for me, this is a matter of firing up another emacs out of a terminal. Then I switch between emacs and the preview of the music. Completely separate from 1 and 2.

4. Now, I need to create an accomp for the music. So, another WS (4). More terminal/emacs and here I use my program MMA to create the accomp and play it back on a synth.

5. Leaving 1-5 alone, I might do some file management in WS-6.

etc.

And, please don't talk to me about gnome. I spent about 2 hours today trying to get a desktop working in gnome-3. Never did manage to figure out why banshee just disappears (but keeps playing), how to get an extension loaded, etc.

Best,

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#6 2015-01-02 04:07:31

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: Where Mr. Bankruptcy is Prez
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 1,068

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

I think you might have missed something smile And, this is probably off-topic smile

Yes, and my apologies to you for getting side-tracked in your thread before you received/found a solution to your issue.

Mellowbob wrote:

Multiple workspaces are a godsend. Here's a simple example ...

I do pretty much the same thing. Well, I use a standalone email app instead of a web browser to check my email (even the "webmail" accounts) and use different editors than emacs, but still do multiple things with multiple applications. I just use Alt-Tab or select the application I wish to use from one of my panels. I figured out some time/OS/computers ago that windows keep the size/position that I set them to be, even after minimizing/restoring, so the single workspace is adequate for my needs. Perhaps emacs doesn't provide for multiple tabs or, alternatively, multiple instances on the same workspace. If it's not that advanced, then I can see how the multiple workspaces would be a necessary workaround. The same would be true if Firefox didn't allow multiple tabs or multiple instances of the app to be running at the same time (however, it allows both). Other than that... I still don't get it. But, as you mentioned, it's not relevant to the thread, so I won't ask for further explanation. I would not mind if you chose to send me a PM about it, assuming you can figure out how (I never have, it seems to be hidden, unlike how it is set up in vBulletin, but it seems to be a lot more advanced in general) or an email if not. Because I am genuinely curious. Maybe it just comes down, as so many things in linux do, to having multiple choices / ways to do things (which is a good thing)?

Mellowbob wrote:

And, please don't talk to me about gnome. I spent about 2 hours today trying to get a desktop working in gnome-3. Never did manage to figure out why banshee just disappears (but keeps playing), how to get an extension loaded, etc.

Lol. I was simply theorizing that the function might have been created at a time when XFCE was much more primitive than it is now, and used GNOME 2.x as an alternative. I tried the newer GNOME a few times, and to be honest with you, couldn't see the point unless the developers were tired of maintaining the project and wanted to let it fade away, but wanted to make sure that they'd chased all their users off, first, so that no one would be left to complain about their eventual "we quit" announcement. Apparently, there are still GNOME users out there. I'm surprised, but only mildly so; I live in the United States and have seen lots of examples of entities telling people what they will like - and the people then liking it. We also have a... thing here called WalMart, and many millions of people have been conditioned by shopping there to believe that "take it home, WHEN it breaks, take another one home" is perfectly acceptable, so things like Gtk3 version updates probably don't seem that disruptive/dysfunctional, either. I don't know, to be honest; I've come to believe that the species is pretty much doomed to eventually fade away in obscurity, and whatever next evolves to have a greater intelligence (et cetera) than the average human - some kind of plant, perhaps, lol? - will have many a night's entertainment from telling tales about those creatures that were homo sapien. Again, off-topic with a helping of rambling thrown in. I'll try not to do so again for a while.

I do hope you resolve your issue. It seems that there is room for improvement where multiple monitors are concerned, and I like the concept of them not being tied together. I'd even go so far as to suggest that it would be nice (but probably overly complicated) if one could set certain applications to always/automatically appear on a certain monitor when they are started, even after a reboot / power cycle. A person might have a small display close but off to the side that they would use solely for system-monitoring information (and that might be a good place for certain warnings/notifications), a "main monitor" in front of their keyboard for actual work, a large monitor or television on the wall for video, or whatever suited them. And they could safely shut down their computer when not using it without having to worry about painstakingly configuring everything again when next they powered up their system. That'd be nice. It'd probably be really useful in a research lab, medical environment, et cetera. I doubt even the commercial OS have anything like that, and they would have been able to spend money on it and leverage their relationships with hardware (monitor) manufacturers to get something added to the monitors if it would have made such a thing easier to do. <SCRATCHES HEAD> It'd be neat if someone intelligent enough to do that came along, patented the technology, then licensed it to every "free and open" OS in existence, then charged healthy fees to the commercial ones. I cannot say whether or not it'd be an ethical thing to do... But I suppose that the linux (et al) world ought to have a little credit built up where ethics are concerned roll wink . Oops, rambling again. Take care and thanks for the discussion!

Regards,
MDM


Mountain Dew Maniac

How to Ask for Help <=== Click on this link

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#7 2015-01-02 07:00:50

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,445

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

I think you might have missed something smile And, this is probably off-topic smile

Multiple workspaces are a godsend. Here's a simple example ...

1. I have firefox in workspace 1. It's open all the time since I use it for mail. So, checking mail or doing some net stuff is simple as hitting ctrl-F1 or the workspace switcher in the panel

2. I'm working on a something in emacs. Let's say it's a web doc. So, I do this in WS-2. Now, I can switch to WS-1 and preview it, etc.

3. I leave my doc open in WS-2 and go to WS-3 to work on a sheet of music. Again, for me, this is a matter of firing up another emacs out of a terminal. Then I switch between emacs and the preview of the music. Completely separate from 1 and 2.

4. Now, I need to create an accomp for the music. So, another WS (4). More terminal/emacs and here I use my program MMA to create the accomp and play it back on a synth.

5. Leaving 1-5 alone, I might do some file management in WS-6.

etc.

And, please don't talk to me about gnome. I spent about 2 hours today trying to get a desktop working in gnome-3. Never did manage to figure out why banshee just disappears (but keeps playing), how to get an extension loaded, etc.

Best,

I do something very similar at work. My laptop screen is my main screen and the external monitor is set up as an extension of the current workspace. I have a need to use use Windows so I connect to a terminal server using rdesktop. I put this connection on my external monitor in fullscreen mode. I also had the same problem of switching workspaces and losing the visibility of the rdesktop connection when not on Workspace 1. However, when I set the rdesktop window with the sticky flag, it sticks to all workspaces so no matter which workspace I am on, the laptop monitor displays the different programs from the different workspaces, but the external monitor always displays the rdesktop program.

I may be wrong, but this is what I understand your initial request to be. Instead of rdesktop, you have a number of other programs (system monitor, weather, clock, security cam, etc.) that you want always to be visible on the second monitor no matter which workspace you are on, on the first monitor. Wouldn't flipping the sticky flag for those programs on your second monitor accomplish the same thing for you as having a single, separate workspace for the second monitor?

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#8 2015-01-02 16:51:44

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

ToZ wrote:
Mellowbob wrote:

I can put things on the 2nd monitor right now, but when I change to workspace 2 (or whatever) all that disappears.

How about setting the sticky flag on all of those items on the 2nd monitor so they appear on all workspaces on the second monitor? This way it will look as though they stay on the same workspace as workspaces change on the main monitor.

Oh ... good idea. I tired it and it works just fine. Only problem is that we need to set the "always visible" option from the window bar and it shows up on the workspace switcher panel. But those are minor things.

Thanks for the great suggestion!

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#9 2015-01-02 16:53:35

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

ToZ wrote:

[

I may be wrong, but this is what I understand your initial request to be. Instead of rdesktop, you have a number of other programs (system monitor, weather, clock, security cam, etc.) that you want always to be visible on the second monitor no matter which workspace you are on, on the first monitor. Wouldn't flipping the sticky flag for those programs on your second monitor accomplish the same thing for you as having a single, separate workspace for the second monitor?

Yes, the sticky flag does the trick.

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#10 2015-01-02 17:00:32

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

MountainDewManiac wrote:

I do hope you resolve your issue.
MDM

Just a few comments:

- emacs has tabs, etc. I'll have many tabs open at one time in a single instance of emacs. No problem there. It also is said by some (certainly not me) to be the best editor ever created ... it is certainly the most programable. It also has a built in adventure game, mail, web brower ... and is a religion smile.

- using the sticky window attribute appears to be a viable solution.

- as far as doing everything in one workspace ... it's a matter of putting / isolating different tasks which require mutilple applications. I often will have 2 or 3 or 4 applications open in a workspace for days on end.

Best,

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#11 2015-01-02 19:12:09

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,445

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

Only problem is that we need to set the "always visible" option from the window bar and it shows up on the workspace switcher panel.

I use devilspie for that. Specifically this .ds configuration file:

(if
        (matches (window_name) "rdesktop - 137.15.134.151")
        (begin
                (pin)
        )
)

...and every time rdesktop starts with the title "rdesktop - 137.15.134.151" (my work terminal server connection), it automatically pins (sticks) to that location.

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#12 2015-01-02 23:59:01

Mellowbob
Member
Registered: 2011-10-16
Posts: 158

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Thanks.

I've never been able to get this app working smile

Tried again ... and I'm still a failure.

Here's what I tried (file firefox.ds in .devilspie):

; generated_rule firefox
(if
  (is (application_name) "firefox")
  (set_workspace 1)
)

Oh, this is case sensitive? So, changed the name to "Firefox" and it seems to be okay.

Thanks again.

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#13 2015-01-04 18:49:13

oyvinds
Member
Registered: 2015-01-04
Posts: 7

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Mellowbob wrote:

Oh ... good idea. I tired it and it works just fine. Only problem is that we need to set the "always visible" option from the window bar and it shows up on the workspace switcher panel. But those are minor things.

Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks -> Skip Windows that have "skip pager" or "skip taskbar" properties set

So how do you set these secret properties? There is absolutely no way to do this by clicking anything in the XFCE4 GUI. Does that mean it is impossible? No. Here is what the apparent kick-ass hackers do: http://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?pid=24732#p24732

So you can make some things not appear in the workspace switcher panel.

I also feel compelled that "stick window" can be part of your window decoration buttons so you just click that on windows and you can also assign a hotkey that toggles it. Some window decorations don't have that button but many do. Blackwall, which I use, has it and the default xfce4 theme also has it.


All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the GNU World Order (not exact quote)

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#14 2015-01-25 09:14:40

acppcoder
Member
Registered: 2015-01-24
Posts: 9

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Will Apple kick up a fuss if linux desktop managers copy the idea of a separate desktop list per monitor? the way that works in OSX now is perfect IMO.

I know of the "pin" tweak, thats' a good enough workaround, but its' one more thing to explain to a newcomer.. separate workspace lists would be slicker. (or maybe even one shared pool of desktops, and the pager picks between them on each monitor... although apple gets a similar effect by allowing you to drag entire desktops between monitors)

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#15 2015-05-15 11:07:40

edgrif
Member
Registered: 2015-05-15
Posts: 1

Re: Dual Monitor - use as new workspace

Hi,

If you are working on X Windows (which I assume you are with xfce) then X allows the definition of several separate "Screens"  with each "Screen" corresponding to a separate physical monitor. This has to be configured at a level below xfce. xrandr seems to be the extension that does this these days.

If xfce can handle multiple X Screens then you will end up with separate workspaces for separate physical monitors

I haven't worked out how to do this yet but I want to as I write code for an application that is best run on separate screens rather than one giant virtual screen.

If I find out more I'll post it here.

Ed

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