xalf-0.12: description + notes

xalf is a small utility to provide feedback when starting X11 applications. Feedback can be given via four different indicators: An invisible window (to be used in conjunction with a task pager like GNOMEs tasklist_applet or KDEs Taskbar), a generic splashscreen, an hourglass attached to the mouse cursor, or an animated star.

Invisible Window: Xalf creates an invisible window, to be used in conjunction with a standard task pager like Gnomes tasklist_applet or the KDE Taskbar. The name of the window is the application name within parenthesis. The small window icon (KWM_WIN_ICON) is set to a small hourglass. This indicator is default.

Splash screen: An generic splashscreen is displayed during application launch.

Mouse cursor change: Xalf adds an hourglass symbol to the mousecursor for the root window and the Gnome panel. Note that the cursor is not changed for the Gnome foot-menu windows.

Animated star: An animated indicator resembling the look of that on SGI/Irix machines (a kind of yellow animated star).


Xalf is included with GNOME 1.4. Xalf also works with earlier GNOME versions if you have Gnome-libs version 1.2.11 or newer. You can control Xalf via GNOME Control Center (or by editing ~/.gnome/xalf).

You can prepend NO_XALF to desktop entries commandlines to disable Xalf for a specific application. This is especially useful for launching applications that doesn't start new processes but only creates new windows. Gmc works like this, so I recommend change "Exec=gmc" in /usr/freeware/share/gnome/apps/Gmc.desktop to "Exec=NO_XALF gmc".

USING SAWFISH "Matched Windows"

Beginning with version 0.11, Xalf sets different WM_CLASS names for the different indicators. The class name is always set to "xalf". The instance name is set to "invisiblewindow", "splash" and "anim", depending on the indicator that is used.

This can be used with Sawfish to automatically iconify, for example, the invisible window. This can be done by:

  1. Create and match on Class: xalf/invisiblewindow
  2. Set its state to "Iconified" in the State pane.


If you are not using GNOME with built-in hooks, prepend xalf to your commandlines. For example, create an desktop icon running: "xalf gnumeric"


-h, --help
display this help and exit
-v, --version
output version information and exit
-t, --timeout nseconds
use a time-out period of nseconds seconds
-n, --noxalf
do nothing, besides launch application
-m, --mappingmode
compatibility mode: Do not distinguish between windows. All new mapped windows turns off indicator
-i, --invisiblewindow
use an invisible window as indicator (default) (for use with Gnome panel, KDE taskbar etc)
-s, --splash
use splashscreen as indicator
-c, --cursor
add hourglass to mouse cursor
-a, --anim
use animated star as indicator
-l, --title titlestring
Title to show in the tasklist

The Xalf home page has more information.

To auto-install this package, go back and click on the respective install icon.