As a fervent multi-monitor user, I ran into issues with the latest Ubuntu (9.04) in combination with Gnome and Eclipse. When I switched to another application which was (partially) overlapping Eclipse (in my case: Zend Studio 6.x and 7.x), I could not switch back to Eclipse by clicking the item in the taskbar. Nothing would happen, and if I clicked multiple times, the application would actually get hidden. I could switch back to Eclipse by either alt-tabbing to the right icon (which takes a lot of time with many apps and windows open), or by double-clicking a file (effectively opening) in an Explorer window (PHP Explorer in my case). The issue seemed to be with un-docking windows, because when all windows are docked, the issue would not happen. Not really a solution, as that would limit my screenspace in Eclipse itself, and leave a monitor for decorative uses only. So off to Google for a solution.
After a lot of googling, I could not find anything related to Eclipse or Ubuntu or Gnome that could relate to this issue. Until I stumbled upon a similar issue with undocked toolbars in OpenOffice 3. This did come up with a possible lead. One message said that this could be related to window managers and focus-stealing-preventions. So, off to install Compiz. This is done quite easy in Ubuntu, as it’s just enabling the ‘Extra’ window effects in the desktop manager. This resulted in the error ‘Composite extension is not available’. After playing a bit with nvidia-settings, disabling Xinerama, enabling TwinView, and following the suggestions in this Ubuntu forum post about the Composite extension, I got Compiz up and running. Starting Zend Studio 7 quickly revealed that the issue was gone, the weird stripes are gone, everything is better than ever! I like Ubuntu again!
Filed Under: Tutorial
Released: on Aug 25, 2009 under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (CC-BY-ND) license