MS-Windows focus-follows-mouse Registry hacks

This post is also available at my personal web site: http://milosophical.me/blog/2010/03/10/ms-windows-focus-follows-mouse-registry-hacks.html


I like the “focus follows mouse” window-focussing model from X11, because

  • I don’t have to click on the window, just move the mouse and the window it’s over is focussed
  • I can focus a window without bringing it to the front, which is sometimes handy. If I want it in front, I can click it.

However MS-Windows follows the old-fashioned, Macintosh/Smalltalk style of having users click on a window to focus it for the keyboard. How do you make MS-Windows behave more like X11?

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Registering local DTDs or XML schemas with NetBeans

This post is also available at my personal web site: http://milosophical.me/blog/2009/05/12/registering-local-dtds-or-xml-schemas-with-netbeans.html


The NetBeans online help describes the steps for registering a local DTD or XML file with NetBeans’ DTDs and XML Schemas Manager. It’s succinct and to the point, but for the slow people in the room it’s a bit confusing. So here’s my tip for registering a local DTD file with NetBeans so that you can use NetBeans’ awesome XML validation and completion features.

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XMing screen size and changing multiple monitors

This post is also available at my personal web site: http://milosophical.me/blog/2009/02/20/xming-screen-size.html


My work’s notebook (Windows XP) is running Xming as it’s X11 server, and it travels between work, home and on the train.

My work office has a docking station and a rotating second display. Typically if I start Xming with this display plugged in, Xming will adjust it’s screen size to use both displays, but if I start it without the screen plugged in, it’ll size to just the notebook screen. If I later add the 2nd screen (by docking the notebook), Xming won’t use it without a restart. Also if I rotate the screen, only the top 1200 pixels will be used by Xming.

The solution is to specify a screen size to begin with that is as wide and tall as both of the screens. On my docked notebook the two displays are the notebook’s display (1920×1200 pixels)  and 2nd display (1600×1200 pixels, which rotates to 1200×1600). So that means the combined screen width is 3520 pixels, and the tallest screen hight is 1600 pixels. Specify this to Xming when it starts:

path\to\xming.exe :0 -clipboard -multiwindow -screen 0 3520x1600

Now I can add/remove/rotate the second screen and still use all of it without restarting Xming.

Multiple Xming servers on a single Windows host

One use-case we have at work for Xming is to be the X11 server on a Windows RDP terminal server. For security reasons (don’t ask!) we can only access certain Unix hosts via an RDP session from our desktops, not directly over the campus LAN. So, we installed Xming on the TS and it works well. Except if two or more people wish to use it at once. Then it’s first come, first served.

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NetBeans 6.5 and Python

NetBeans 6.5 is out! You can run it with the Nimbus look and feel too! There’s also an Early Access plugin for Python. All very nice.

I recently had occasion to play with some Python at work (a small script to do some configurations, and I didn’t want to do them in bash), so I took the time to get all of this set up. It’s all so very easy and not worth writing about. However I thought that the interactive debugger (which is awesome, btw) has a small issue that needs resolving. Mean-time, here’s a work-around.

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