[Thread Prev][Thread Next]   >Date Index >Thread Index

[wmx] xnodecor pointlessness

Stephen R. Saucier - Thu Dec 19 08:33:08 2002

Hello all,

I have been using wm2 for some time now, and I have to say that wm2
is the only window manager that I have used thus far that allows me to
get any sort of work done. I have to agree with the philosophy that
simple is better -- I tired of the bloat of gnome and kde long ago.
I found that I was stripping down gnome to the point where I was
pretty much just running sawfish and I wondered why I was running
gnome at all? I guess wm2 appeals to my nature -- I hate it when some
new dotfile appears in my home directory that I cannot account
for. With wm2, I can be sure that there won't be any needless files
being created!

It seems to me though that everyone is pretty much using wmx, which
comes as a bit of a surprise to me. It seems that if you are attracted
to wmx in the first place, then you would be of the opinion that the
additional configurability and features of wmx are not really
necessary! Do most of you use the multiple desktops? I have never
found that sort of feature useful -- I think you can pretty much
accomplish the same goal by minimizing programs...

Although I have been using wm2 for some time now, I still have not yet
tried wmx. wmx seems like a great window manager, but wm2 has provided
me with everything I need, and nothing that I don't. It would however
be great to see font anti-aliasing in wm2, but upon my investigations
into the wm2 sources, it seems that the xvertext routines would be
problematic in implementing this. Now I have pretty much no experience
with X, but it seems that the randr (resize and rotate) extension
might be able to do this? There is a program xrandr in the XFree86 CVS
that allows you to change screen resolutions and refresh rates (in
addition to fliping or rotating the screen) so I am not sure if the
randr extention is used for manipulating the entire screen or if it
can be used for manipulation pieces of text -- anyway this is probably
the type of thing that I should have researched before mailing this,
but you know how things go... Anyway, if the rotation could be
achieved via an X extension then you could get rid of xvertext (which
seems awfully kludgy to me) and then you could make use of Xft to draw
the text nicely. On the other hand, seeing how compact and clean the
wm2 source code is makes me inclined to try writing my own window
manager so I am not sure that I will ever get around to adding the
anti-aliased font support (well, besides the fact that I often times
never finish what I start).

However, on a different note, I have seen while reading through the
archives that xnodecor has GOT to be the most troublesome and
misunderstood program. Of course, the MOST troublesome thing about
xnodecor is its very existence! Assuming that a program is a
well-behaved x citizen (which, granted fewer and fewer are these days)
you can specify that you don't want wm2 (or wmx, whatever) to manage
the window by specifying the overrideRedirect flag as True when you
start the application via X resources and the -xrm command-line
option. For example, I start an xclock that sits in the corner of my
screen like so:
xclock -geometry -5-5 -xrm "*overrideRedirect: True" &
This achieves the same effect as xnodecor but you don't have to
execute the programs BEFORE wm2 (which has to be the single largest
source of confusion regarding xnodecor in the first place). Plus, now
you don't need to download xnodecor.c and fight with the fact that you
need to add the "#include <unistd.h>" line at the beginning to get it
to even compile! I mean, I am a fan of using many small programs to
achieve specialized tasks, but the problem is that often times
programs like this duplicate something that can already be done, and
in a much easier fashion! Of course, there is always the problem that
it seems that every new program that comes along doesn't see the need
to support X resources for configuration, they want to use gtk or qr
or something else instead -- so maybe if you want to run a borderless
mozilla or something you will still need xnodecor.

Moving right along though, it seems that the wmx front has been quiet
for some time now! I hope that wmx continues to be maintained, because
I have never seen a program that is so accepting of modifications as
wmx. It really encourages users to jump right in and start hacking
(well, that and the fact that you HAVE to start hacking if you want
any sort of configuration).

Stephen Saucier