Can you load dzen2 into Openbox’ dock?

September 3, 2008

Here is a question to all of my kind hearted readers with some knowledge of programming. πŸ™‚

I’m one of those users that loves the dock in Openbox. For nearly as long as I’ve been using Openbox (once I figured out what it really was), I’ve used it to load the few things I normally required from a panel: a clock (initially bbtime and later lal) and a system tray/notification area (always the simple docker). Later I added bbpager to it, and now, inspired by mulberry, created a little dock by combining all the above with bbdock (modified so its default icons are 24×24 in size, rather than the standard 64×64). Here is what it looks like:

bbdock, lal, bbpager and docker

I’d like to do more with the dock, though. Unfortunately, most dockapps are either too big (the standard 64X64 Window Maker squares) or aesthetically not very pleasing, or both. The BB-tools, created to be used with Blackbox, are much nicer and smaller, but rather limited and no longer developed (apart from bbpager, it seems).

For a little while now, I’ve been trying to get more things to display in my dock. I’d like to be able to show my reminders in it (using remind), and possibly even things like current cpu/memory usage (in a more attractive way than the existing dockapps). The things I normally use conky or dzen2 for, in other words.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could load conky into the dock? Or even better, wouldn’t it be great if you could load dzen2 into the dock?

Awesome is able to do something like this, by creating widgets with dzen2 and loading them into the statusbar — though this seems a little less complicated than it would be in Openbox (you can’t autohide or move the widgets around like you can in Openbox’ dock).

I don’t know exactly how something similar would be accomplished in Openbox, or even if it could. Perhaps the dzen2 code could be modified so as to give it the window properties of a dockapp, or perhaps this would be done through a third party application that loads into the dock and into which dzen2 loads, perhaps Openbox itself would need to be modified.

I am no programmer — I know just enough bash to get me around and can only make some very simple modifications to existing code, often through trial and much error, and that is about it. But if you are a competent programmer, you share my enthusiasm for this and are willing to invest some time into it, please do! You’d make this happy Openbox user, and perhaps countless others, even happier. And you might even become famous. πŸ˜‰


6 Responses to “Can you load dzen2 into Openbox’ dock?”

  1. David said

    If you have never seen the glory of wmswallow you can grab it here:

    You can swallow anything into the dock but if it resizes like visibility, it does not resize with it. It is not perfect but it might be OK for a few circumstances.

  2. Alejandro said

    First, congratulations for your blog. There are many things really interesting.

    I’m a lover of openbox since the first moment that I saw it. I’ve been reading a lot and I have it more or less as I want it to be, but there are some things that I still have not managed to solve. What bothers me most is aMSN and pypanel. I understand that pypanel is no longer in development …

    My problem is that I have to use pidgin to see the notifications in the system tray of new messages. Is there any way to see the notifications of new messages in aMSN as KDE or Gnome?

  3. Ben said

    Hi urukama,

    Great idea to use those programms as dockapps…
    Thats why I also tried to get a solution for this πŸ˜‰

    ..But I got only the half working.. Conky works, dzen dont.

    I wrote a python script which needs to be run as daemon like devilspie. I’ve pasted it here:

    maybe one would like to do it like this:
    “ conky”, but I wrote the basis of the programm as a icon changer for urxvt and some other apps that don’t have an icon.

    Maybe I could help you, like your blog often did to me πŸ™‚

    greetings ben

  4. dwindle said

    Hello, I really like what you did with the dock, and it inspired me to use bbdock, but I find it very clunky. How would I be able to decrease the default icon size to 24 like you did?

  5. urukrama said

    dwindle, I’ve just written a post describing how to change the size of BBdock. I hope that helps.

  6. d3m3t3r said

    I patched dzen2 to set “withdrawn” WH hint on it’s window. It kinda works in Openbox dock with “-dock” option.

    Index: main.c
    — main.c (revision 267)
    +++ main.c (working copy)
    @@ -437,7 +437,13 @@

    + /* XXX set to “withdrawn” */
    + XWMHints wm_hints;
    + wm_hints.initial_state = WithdrawnState;
    + wm_hints.icon_window = wm_hints.window_group =w;
    + wm_hints.flags = StateHint | IconWindowHint;
    + XSetWMHints(dpy, w, &wm_hints);

    static void

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