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Re: [News] Over 20 Windows Managers for GNU/Linux and Why They're Important

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Mon, 22 Dec 2008 23:32:28 +0000
> 21 of the Best Free Linux Window Managers
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | An X Window manager is software that manages the windows that applications 
> | bring up. For example, when you start an application, there will be a window 
> | manager running in the background, responsible for the placement and 
> | appearance of windows.   

Pedant Point: this sentence should be clarified in that
there's one window manager for all applications (and
all windows thereof), running as an independent process.

This window manager is field-replaceable (especially
if the window manager supports the --replace switch,
basically telling the old window manager to exit).

The window manager can fork off processes if necessary,
especially if it's charged with subinvoking them;
however, many modern window managers (metacity among them)
will probably defer to another tool such as nautilus or
konqueror for that purpose.  For their part nautilus and
konqueror will open a window with a special property to
hint to the window manager that it should stay in the

xprop suggests that the property on this window
is along the lines of
Code-wise, this means one could do the following:

Atom _net_wm_window_type
    = XInternAtom(display, "_NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE", false);
Atom _net_wm_window_type_desktop
    = XInternAtom(display, "_NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_DESKTOP", false);
XChangeProperty(display, window, _net_wm_window_type, XA_ATOM,
    32, PropModeReplace, (unsigned char *) &_net_wm_window_type_desktop,

This is admittedly cheating a bit (ideally we'd use a 1-slot array),
and is guesswork from xprop output.  I'd love to try it, at some point,
within a non-Gnome context with metacity running; I'd need to set
it all up.

> | 
> | It is important not to confuse a window manager with a desktop environment. A 
> | desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, 
> | wallpapers, and desktop widgets. They provide a collection of libraries and 
> | applications made to operate cohesively together. A desktop environment 
> | contains its own window manager.     
> `----
> http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20081209153125602/WindowManagers.html
> All window managers are not equal in screen redraw speed.

Especially when they don't do the actual redraw. ;-)
For example, I think twm punts to the server.

[rest snipped for brevity]

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Useless C++ Programming Idea #7878218:
class C { private: virtual void stupid() = 0; };
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **

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