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FvwmEvent - the fvwm event module


FvwmEvent is a more versatile replacement for FvwmAudio. It can in general be used to
hook any fvwm function or program to any window manager event. E.g: Delete unwanted
Netscape Pop ups or application error pop ups as they appear, play sounds, log events to a
file and the like. Be creative, you'll find a use for it.

FvwmEvent is spawned by fvwm, so no command line invocation will work. From within the
.fvwm2rc file, FvwmEvent is spawned as follows:

Module FvwmEvent

or from within an fvwm pop-up menu:

DestroyMenu Module-Popup
AddToMenu Module-Popup "Modules" Title
+ "Event" Module FvwmEvent
+ "Auto" Module FvwmAuto 200
+ "Buttons" Module FvwmButtons
+ "Console" Module FvwmConsole
+ "Ident" Module FvwmIdent
+ "Banner" Module FvwmBanner
+ "Pager" Module FvwmPager 0 3


The FvwmEvent module communicates with the fvwm window manager to bind actions to window
manager events. Different actions may be assigned to distinct window manager events.

FvwmEvent can be used to bind sound files to events like FvwmAudio (RiP) did. It can be
used for logging event traces to a log file, while debugging fvwm.

FvwmEvent can also have builtin support for the rplay library. (heritage of FvwmAudio)


The invocation method was shown in the synopsis section. No command line invocation is
possible. FvwmEvent must be invoked by the fvwm window manager. FvwmEvent accepts a single

-audio Enables FvwmAudio compatibility mode.

alias Makes FvwmEvent use alias as its name. This affects which lines from the user's
configuration file are used.

Invoking FvwmEvent as FvwmAudio (either by using an alias or creating a symlink)
enables FvwmAudio compatibility mode.


FvwmEvent gets config info from fvwm's module configuration database (see fvwm(1), section
MODULE COMMANDS), and looks for certain configuration options:

*FvwmEvent: Cmd command
This determines the fvwm function that is to be called with the event parameters.
You might want to do one of the following (details below):

# play sounds
*FvwmEvent: Cmd builtin-rplay

# execute distinct fvwm functions
*FvwmEvent: Cmd

# execute distinct external programs
*FvwmEvent: Cmd exec

This version of FvwmEvent has builtin rplay support which does not need to invoke
an external audio player to play sounds. The rplay support is enabled when
FvwmEvent is compiled with HAVE_RPLAY defined and when FvwmEvent: Cmd is set to
builtin-rplay. See remarks below if FvwmEvent is invoked in FvwmAudio compatibility

For example:

*FvwmEvent: Cmd builtin-rplay
*FvwmEvent: add_window drip.au

rplay can be obtained via anonymous ftp at

<URL:ftp://ftp.sdsu.edu/pub/rplay> or

FvwmEvent also has support for any other external program. e.g: the rsynth 'say'

*FvwmEvent: Cmd "Exec /rsynth/say"
*FvwmEvent: destroy_window "window closed"

You can also use fvwm's builtin Echo command as FvwmEvent: Cmd to obtain debug
output for fvwm events quietly. I used this setup to debug FvwmAuto:

*FvwmEvent: Cmd Echo
*FvwmEvent: focus_change "focus change"
*FvwmEvent: raise_window "raise window"

You can even call different shell commands for each event just by setting

*FvwmEvent: Cmd exec
*FvwmEvent: add_window 'killname "APPL ERROR"'

*FvwmEvent: PassId
Specifies that the event action will have an ID parameter added to the end of the
command line. Most events will have the windowID of the window that the event
refers to, new_desk will have the new desk number. The windowID is a hexadecimal
string preceded by 0x, desk numbers are decimal.

*FvwmEvent: window-manager-event action-or-filename
Binds particular actions to window manager events.

e.g. for audio-events:

*FvwmEvent: startup TaDa.au
*FvwmEvent: shutdown Elvis_Left.au
*FvwmEvent: unknown doh.au

*FvwmEvent: new_page beam_trek.au
*FvwmEvent: new_desk beam_trek.au
*FvwmEvent: old_add_window drip.au
*FvwmEvent: raise_window swoosh.au
*FvwmEvent: lower_window swoosh.au
*FvwmEvent: old_configure_window hammer.au
*FvwmEvent: focus_change boing.au
*FvwmEvent: enter_window boing.au
*FvwmEvent: leave_window boing.au
*FvwmEvent: destroy_window explosion.au
*FvwmEvent: iconify ploop.au
*FvwmEvent: deiconify ploop.au
*FvwmEvent: window_name huh.au
*FvwmEvent: icon_name beep.au
*FvwmEvent: visible_icon_name beep.au
*FvwmEvent: res_class beep.au
*FvwmEvent: res_name beep.au
*FvwmEvent: end_windowlist twang.au

*FvwmEvent: icon_location beep.au
*FvwmEvent: map beep.au
*FvwmEvent: error beep.au
*FvwmEvent: config_info beep.au
*FvwmEvent: end_config_info beep.au
*FvwmEvent: icon_file beep.au
*FvwmEvent: default_icon beep.au
*FvwmEvent: string plapper.au
*FvwmEvent: mini_icon beep.au
*FvwmEvent: windowshade beep.au
*FvwmEvent: dewindowshade beep.au

*FvwmEvent: visible_name beep.au
*FvwmEvent: sendconfig beep.au
*FvwmEvent: restack beep.au
*FvwmEvent: add_window beep.au
*FvwmEvent: configure_window beep.au

*FvwmEvent: visible_icon_name beep.au
*FvwmEvent: enter_window beep.au
*FvwmEvent: leave_window beep.au
*FvwmEvent: property_change beep.au

The window related event handlers are executed within a window context. Previously
PassId was used for this purpose, but now using PassId is not needed.

Note: The enter_window event is generated when the pointer enters a window. With
the -passid option, that window's id is passed to fvwm. An enter_window event is
generated too when the pointer leaves a window and moves into the root window. In
this case, the id passed is 0.

Note: When the shutdown event arrives, FvwmEvent may be killed before it can
trigger the associated action.

Provided fvwm supports it (not yet), there's an additional event to replace all
fvwm beeps with a sound:

*FvwmEvent: beep beep.au

*FvwmEvent: Delay 5
Specifies that an event-action will only be executed if it occurs at least 5
seconds after the previous event. Events that occur during the delay period are
ignored. This option is useful if you don't want several sounds playing at the
same time. The default delay is 0 which disables the Event delay.

*FvwmEvent: StartDelay delay
Specifies that an event-action will only be executed if it occurs at least delay
seconds after the startup event. Events that occur during the delay period are
ignored. This option is useful when fvwm starts and restarts using an audio
player. The default delay is 0.


The following options are only valid with builtin rplay support. i.e: when FvwmEvent was
compiled with HAVE_RPLAY defined. They are used only if FvwmEvent: Cmd is set to builtin-

*FvwmEvent: RplayHost hostname
Specifies what host the rplay sounds will play on. The hostname can also be an
environment variable such as $HOSTDISPLAY.

*FvwmEvent: RplayPriority 0
Specifies what priority will be assigned to the rplay sounds when they are played.

*FvwmEvent: RplayVolume 127
Specifies what volume will be assigned to the sounds when they are played.

FvwmAudio Compatibility Mode

When invoked in FvwmAudio compatibility mode (see above), FvwmEvent accepts the following
options to provide backwards compatibility for FvwmAudio:

*FvwmEvent: PlayCmd command
This is equivalent to using *FvwmEvent: Cmd to Exec commands. This determines the
independent audio player program that will actually play the sounds. If the play
command is set to builtin-rplay then the builtin rplay support will be used.

*FvwmAudio: Dir directory
Specifies the directory to look for the audio files. This option is ignored when
rplay is used.

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