KDE Window Behavior Tweakage

My mother does email and not much else, so I set up her PC to power on in the morning, shut down in the evening, sign her in automatically, fire up Kontact (which starts in Kmail mode), and (oh by the way) let me do remote admin via SSH from 250 miles away.

Works like a champ.

I’ve tweaked the KDE Window Behavior settings for Kontact so that it runs full-screen (with no border), thus eliminating a bunch of clutter and many opportunities for things to go wrong. To do this, click the small icon on the far left of the window’s title bar and select Configure Window Behavior.

You can also fire up System Settings -> Window Behavior -> Window-Specific Settings, then use the Detect button to load the window ID stuff from the window you’re tweaking. Then select

  • Geometry tab, Fullscreen -> Force -> checkmark

This differs in some subtle ways, which I don’t understand, from the combination of

  • Geometry tab: Maximize horizontally -> Force -> checkmark
  • Geometry tab: Maximize vertically -> Force -> checkmark
  • Preferences tab: No Border -> Force -> checkmark

Remember this magic keystroke: Alt-F3. This pops up the same menu you get from the small icon in the far left of the title bar, which just ain’t there for borderless windows. You can also wade through System Settings, but Alt-F3 is faster.

I also set the Kontact Composer (why not Komposer?) window to behave the same way, so that the only obvious way out is to either send the message or close the window using the toolbar icons.

Now, I wanted to set up Firefox similarly and it looked like it should work fine.

Alas, there’s a non-obvious interaction with new windows triggered by Javascript. If they’re the sort of pesky windows that suppress the Firefox menu & tab bar, then there’s no way out unless you happen to remember Ctrl-W or Alt-F4 will close the current window. Maybe you know that and use it every day, but it’s not reasonable to expect my mother to remember such trivia.

So I set up Firefox thusly:

  • Geometry tab: Maximize horizontally -> Force -> checkmark
  • Geometry tab: Maximize vertically -> Force -> checkmark

By not selecting the No Border option, Firefox and all its subsequent pop-ups fill the screen, but each window also has a normal border with the all-important Close button in the upper-right corner. Thus (desired) popups, like video players, can be killed when they’re done, even if they lack a separate Close This Window option.

Yes, Firefox is running Adblock Plus and all the usual extensions…