No Title: Working around the missing –title parameter in Gnome Terminal

About a year ago the Gnome developers took away the option to run Gnome terminal with the –title parameter. This allowed you to give the terminal window a custom name like ‘SSH@MYBOX’ or ‘myProject’ instead of just ‘Terminal’. Why did they do that? I don’t know. It seems to just be what Gnome developers do these days.

If you prefer separate terminal windows for separate tasks, naming those windows is a nice way to tell them apart. This applies to general orientation (i.e. looking at the windows in the Activities overview and deciding which one to click on) and for scripting purposes (i.e. writing a script targets windows by title).

For me personally this latter option is the more important. I have a local terminal and a remote terminal and I would like be able to access either quickly and easily with a simple keyboard shortcut rather than mucking about with tabs. Here I will detail a way to accomplish that without the missing –title parameter.


Everything in it’s Right Place 5: Toggles or Now you see it, now you don’t

This is the fifth and final post in a series on achieving an orderly desktop environment in GNOME 3, using no add-ons, only old school hacks. See also the first, second, third, and fourth post in the series.

So far we’ve covered static workspaces, windows spawning on designated workspaces and starting and moving between the windows on your workspaces. As I said in the introduction I think there are certain applications that do not require your undivided attention. These applications we simply want to appear briefly on top of other windows – what is the name of that song playing, is so-and-so online yet, etc. – and then dispense with. We wish to assign a single keyboard shortcut for toggling this window on and off so as to make this procedure as quick and easy as possible.


Everything In It’s Right Place 1: My idea of a proper desktop

I’m working on polishing a collection of minor desktop hacks that will transform my Gnome Shell experience into something more palatable than vanilla. In preparation for an article on how best to achieve these goals I wrote down the following as a sort of vision and mission statement for the project. The how-tos will appear over the following weeks months under the everything in it’s right place tag.

My desktop philosophy is that everything has it’s place. Yes, it’s very anal but I’ll take that as a compliment. Browsers here, Terminals there. The desktop metaphor is apt: I have books on my desk. They belong in the upper right corner. I have a keyboard. It’s place is in the center in front of the display. Etc. That is where I expect them to be and that is where my eye automatically goes when I need them. Certain kinds of things, like pencils, should be pulled in to wherever I need them and then ideally disappear into another dimension until I need them again. Of course real life pencils don’t do that. But surely that would be a more ideal office than one in which pencils are lying about all over the place simply because you never know when or where you might need one.

So much for metaphor. This is how it translates into virtual space.