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Re: Window manager interaction

From: Aria Stewart
Subject: Re: Window manager interaction
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 12:49:27 -0600

On Oct 18, 2009, at 3:21 AM, Richard Frith-Macdonald wrote:

On 18 Oct 2009, at 05:31, Sheldon Gill wrote:

Actually, I think it would simplify things a great deal if we dropped the miniwindow entirely.

I believe the fundamental problem here is one of design and the flaw is trying to get -gui to handle miniwindows. For any compatibility desktop we want to consider (GNOME, KDE, MS-WIN...) the answer is conceptually straight-forward: a window sets its state to whatever, including MAXIMIZED, ICONIFIED/MINIMISED
 the desktop environment does the display

It seems like a really good idea. There's some wear beginning to show in Gnome, where people are starting to want to draw on icons, and there's a move to client-side windows for a lot of things. I think this is a good thing.

Window managers need a way to deal with miniwindows, and I think it's time to solve this in a cross-platform way. The time's really ripe to get a spec that works for Gnome and Gnustep both.

I happen to like minwindows (they were great in NeXTstep), though I agree that the world has standardised on a less functional mechanism and the advantage of the miniwindow (allowing user interaction with a minimised window) is, as a consequence, practically never used. On the other hand, maintaining OpenStep backward compatibility is not the issue here.

I like the concept of miniwindows, but I'd love to see some evolution that lets us have a MacOS-style dock that really works.

I'd also really love to be able to use Metacity as a window manager.

There's also a move toward application-handled decoration, and specs are being built for this. I think it's ripe time for Gnustep to get involved there, too.

The actual problem is that X doesn't differentiate between a window being mapped and a window being de-iconified, so you can't know when a window is de-iconified in order to send the notification mandated by the OSX NSWindow API. In fact, this problem does not occur with miniwindows (since when X tells us a miniwindow has been mapped, we know that the normal window has been miniaturised, and when X tells us it is unmapped, we know the normal window has been deminiaturized). The problem ONLY occurs when we are using the standard X mechanism/architecture you describe.

Indeed, though modern window managers do give some better messages.

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