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16.3 Event Actions

Sawfish recognizes keyboard actions and mouse actions.

Key Press
Key Release

Keys pressed on the keyboard generate one or more key press events, followed by a key release event. Bindings normally recognize key press events only. To recognize key releases, add a Release modifier to the bound event.

Generally keys have the same names as their X keysyms. The following unusual names are worth listing: ‘SPC’, ‘TAB’, ‘RET’, ‘ESC’, ‘BS’, ‘DEL’, ‘Up’, ‘Down’, ‘Left’, ‘Right’.

For example, pressing the Delete key while Control is held down generates a Control-DEL event, while releasing the a key while Hyper is held down generates a H-Release-a event.

Button Clicks

Button presses generate Click actions. If Sawfish receives several clicks in close succession (less than multi-click-delay milliseconds between clicks), the second and third events are Click2 and Click3, respectively. Any further clicks are simple Click events. For consistency, Click1 is a synonym for Click.

Button Releases

Once the button has been released from a ClickN action, Sawfish receives a corresponding OffN action. The actions Off and Off1 are synonyms.

Pointer Motion

Pointer motion generates Move actions. The action does not indicate anything about the pointer position; use e.g., query-last-pointer to find that information.

For example, a single click of the left mouse button with the Meta key held would be described as M-Button1-Click1. After triple-clicking with the Alt key held down, Sawfish will receive a Alt-Off3 event.

Variable: multi-click-delay

An integer indicating the maximum number of milliseconds between successive clicks. Defaults to 250 milliseconds at startup; if nil, Sawfish uses 250 milliseconds.


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