16 April 2008

Prompt for new firefix window

I tend to run my window manager (fluxbox) with four desktops, and I typically have firefox windows open in two of them. Occasionally I have to open a firefox window on the third or fourth desktop, and it's a nuisance to go to one of the first two desktops, open a new window (Ctrl-N), and move the new window to the other desktop (and I acknowledge the irony of considering that a "nuisance").

I recently discovered the -new-window command-line option to firefox. It takes a URL as an argument, and it opens that URL in a new window. So I wrote a shell script that prompts me for a URL and then opens that page in a new browser window. If you want to try this, save the following to a file (I saved it to ~/bin/ffwin), and remember to make the file executable:

#!/bin/bash

URL=$( dialog --stdout \
--backtitle ffwin \
--title 'new Firefox window' \
--inputbox 'URL:' 8 40 )
if [ ! -z "$URL" ]; then
exec firefox -new-window $URL
fi


When you run this, a new xterm window will open, and dialog will prompt you for the URL. Preceding the firefox call with exec means that the xterm will go away after you enter the URL.

As a further refinement, make it so that you can run this from a menu-click. I added the following entry to ~/.fluxbox/menu, so that I just have to right-click on the desktop and select "ffwin":

[exec] (ffwin) {xterm -e ~/bin/ffwin}


Other window managers would likely allow you to create a custom application launcher from a toolbar or menu or widget or something.

1 comment:

zachatharsis said...

Genius! I love it.