I mentioned dmenu in the last post, and I should add that I find it quite useful. Going back all the way to gmrun, and perhaps even to those quirky little command line widgets for the Gnome desktop, or maybe even GnomeDo (if I understand it correctly), everybody loves typing a few letters and getting the program they want.
See? You secretly love the command line. Admit it.
My only disappointment with dmenu was that it refused to show any xft fonts for me, as it was installed in both Crux and Arch. No matter what I did, or which system I was using, I kept getting the awful core X fonts in the dmenu bar.
Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but apparently there was no configuration file that handles dmenu’s behavior, and that all of its few options are triggered when it is spawned. I have no problem with that, except that I was awaiting the crucial information — is it possible to use xft fonts at all — before recompiling Musca to trigger dmenu, and hopefully make it work.
Arch came to my rescue again, this time in the form of an AUR package that pulls in a patch to allow dmenu to show those fonts. Colin Zheng’s conversion script did the work and within minutes, I could show dmenu with the Terminus font on my Pentium.
Again, I might have gone about this in completely the wrong way — I have a reputation for finding solutions that are far out of date, or worse, completely unnecessary. But in this case, a quick patch and a cross-compilation, and I don’t have to look at that awful X font any more. All in the name of science, of course.