E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


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Technology wanted: FFE

When I'm using my PowerBook with an external screen in spanning mode, this sequence happens more often than I'd like:

  1. Working on in Application A on the internal screen, I need to refer to something displayed in Application B on the external screen.
  2. I look over at Application B and read. When I'm done reading I realize I don't need that window anymore, so I press cmd-W.
  3. Frontmost window of Application A closes -- say, a browser window with unsaved content in a web form.
  4. I make an "aaaargh" noise.

In the world of window management, there's click-to-focus, and there's focus-follows-mouse. What I really want is Focus Follows Eyeballs.

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

0 comments pending approval
Comment from Justin Bayer , later that day

Word. That is truly annoying. =)

Comment from miguev , later that day

Haha, it may be WIP just now! :D

Comment from joel , 1 day later

Yeah, the problem with using two different screens is that it's hard on the eyes to refocus between screens, or at least it takes time. I always forget what happens on the other screen, or end up using just one screen. Too bad the 2500+ pixel wide screens are so expensive. Still they are getting cheaper.

Comment from Andrew , 1 day later

I've been annoyed by this for some time, only my problem has traditionally been using a 20in iMac. The terminal emulator (iTerm) that I use claims to support focus follows mouse, and it does, as long as iTerm is in focus. However, like any configuration of iTerm, I can't get it to stick. I just keep copying configurations over from when I originally got it to work. I would like focus follows mouse on OS X though natively, but I wonder if it's even possible, since I haven't seen it done yet.

As far as your FF Eyes, Glen Murphy made a system which was capable of moving the mouse based on finger position. It's not Eyes, but I'm sure the same sort of technique could be used. Implant ultrabright LEDs into your eyes and you'll be all set :) . I supposed you could, instead use freelook which works similarly.

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