(defun switch-nerd-mode ()
(shell-command "wmctrl -r :ACTIVE: -btoggle,fullscreen"))
(global-set-key [f11] 'switch-nerd-mode)
(Note that this assumes you'll have the menu bar and scroll bar switched on when you're not in full-screen mode. It also assumes that you switched off the toolbar, which is on by default.)
Now, this _almost_ works. But there's one problem:
For whatever reason, there's a thin strip of desktop peeking through. I'm not sure why: Firefox fullscreens perfectly. But Gnome Terminal has the leftover strip. (I don't use any other programs, really.)
I was too lazy to actually debug it, so I did what any respectable nerd would do: I set the desktop background to the same color as my emacs window. I set the desktop to solid black, installed the emacs-goodies-el Debian package, which includes a bunch of color themes, ran M-x color-theme-select, and picked Retro Green, which looks like this:
Yes, that's my whole display. No title bars, scroll bars, task trays, menus, clocks, widgets, heatmaps, thermometers, netload meters, mail indicators --- nothing.
One problem with Retro Green is that its narrow color selection (green and black) mean that fancy major modes with lots of colors are less useful: for instance, in python-mode, I typed os.exec instead of os.system and was wondering why pylint was throwing a syntax error on that line. If I'd been using the standard mode, the exec keyword would have been purple.
One last tip: if you launch ediff, the ediff control window might sometimes appear under your main window, or somewhere off-screen entirely. If you're using Enlightenment 0.16 (which is the least terrible WM I've used), just hit Ctrl+Alt+Home and E will move it to the front so you can put it somewhere sensible.
If someone has a more awesome Emacs windowing setup than this, I'd like to see it. (Note that I'll probably copy it.)
Update: Since I switched to Ubuntu, switching to full-screen mode actually gives me the full screen in both Emacs and gnome-terminal. Win.