Thursday, 27 August 2009

One small problem with Conky 1.7.2, through no fault of its own

So Conky 1.7.2 was released on Monday...Among the new features is $desktop (and a couple similar functions), which I was excited about particularly because I thought that if you combined it with the $if_match variable, you might be able to create a different Conky on each workspace!

So I dove straight in and started testing the $desktop variable with
Desktop ${desktop}/${desktop_number}

which should output "Desktop 1/4", etc. Uh, except that it didn't. It only gave me "Desktop 1/1". On every desktop.

First thing I did was treble-check the syntax, since I'm notorious for screwing it up (!), but it was right...So what was the problem? I decided to test and see if ${desktop_name} worked, but realised that my desktops didn't have names, and I didn't actually know how to name them!

A quick Google search later, I came up with this bug over at Launchpad. It's an old one, but I still seem to be getting the same problem: whilst running Compiz, all of my desktops are "Desk 1", despite the fact that hovering over the desktop switcher on the panel shows them all having different names. If I turn off desktop effects, no problemo, and the Conky ${desktop} variables work fine.

I guess I'll just have to do without for now, as I care for my eye-candy more than knowing my desktop name!

If any of you clever clogs out there aren't using Compiz and want to have a go with the "different Conky for each desktop" idea, do let me know how you get on!!!

EDIT: As it turns out, the root of the problem with desktop names actually has to do with how Compiz controls your desktops. Compiz actually uses "virtual desktops", all drawn on the same "actual desktop"...The default Compiz settings (if you use desktop cube) are
Horizontal Virtual Size 4
Vertical Virtual Size 1
Number of Desktops 1

It would appear that Conky only sees that "one" desktop rather than the four virtual ones. It's unclear at this point whether adjusting some of these values will allow you to use the $desktop variable and still have your lovely spinning cube...

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