Re: gnome "task" bar

Ok, excellent advice, however i'm quite aware of what a window manager
does, I was not implying that GNOME should be strictly built around one
thing, that was not my question.  My question is, what is GNOME trying to
accomplish, it has a task bar at the bottom with pretty little things like
a window manager, you call programs from it like a window manager, etc
etc, so why would you want to run a window manager if gnome does nearly
the same thing.  My question is, is GNOME trying to resemble a window
manager or something much higher (advanced programming enviroment yadda
yadda).  The reason I am asking this is because hopefully I plan to become
another GNOME developer, mainly for personal use.  I do not want to go all
out and do all these crazy things to GNOME, send it to the GNOME team, and
change concepts.. Input is welcome of course.

On 5 Jun 1998, Tom Tromey wrote:

> Michael> Now, again, excuse this next question if it is ignorant, I
> Michael> haven't been able to find too much extensive documentation on
> Michael> just exactly what gnome intends to be, but, why would you
> Michael> want to run another window manager under gnome?
> In the X world, the words "window manager" have a very specific
> meaning.  Occasionally people are confused about this; I'm not
> entirely sure why.
> A window manager is a special program which controls decoration and
> other aspects of all the other windows.  It typically works by
> intercepting certain X requests (window resizes, raises, lowers,
> whatever) and then doing what it wants instead (the actual details are
> complicated; this is just the general idea).
> Since the window manager controls a good part of how the desktop looks
> (via window decoration) and feels (via the actions used to manipulate
> windows), people have very strong preferences about the wm they use.
> Likewise, the number of window managers available is quite large.  The
> situation is analogous to text editors.
> Some window managers provide lots of extra doodads for use (e.g.,
> virtual desktops, icon bars, program launchers, etc).  Some people
> like these things.  On the other hand, some people I know like a very
> minimal wm -- to the point of not even having a title on the window
> frames.
> It makes sense for Gnome to be window manager independent because:
> * Window manager interaction is controlled by a document outside
>   Gnome's control.
> * In the X world, requiring a specific window manager is a sign that
>   your program is clueless.
> * It's better to let people choose when possible.
> Michael> Couldn't/Shouldn't GNOME be its own entity, i have configured
> Michael> my GNOME setup so that the stupid fvwm95 crap doesn't come
> Michael> up, but its not efficient, when I "minimize" my programs, are
> Michael> they being backgrounded?
> I don't think "backgrounded" has a well-defined meaning here.
> Generally speaking, though, the answer to your question is "yes".
> When a program is iconified, it won't be receiving events (or at
> least, not many), and so it will be waiting in a select() call.  This
> means it will be idle (meaning "not sucking CPU").
> It's possible to write programs that poll, or that do lots of work
> even when not receiving events.  This is generally uncommon.  But an
> example would be a program to draw Mandelbrot sets.  It would
> presumably continue computing the image even once you had iconified
> it.
> You might want iconification to be tied to a program's "nice" level in
> some way.  As far as I know no window manager does this.  It isn't
> possible in the general case, anyway, as X programs can run over the
> network.
> Michael> If not, should they be or am I completely off on this one,
> Michael> second, is it possible for the icons to show up in the gnome
> Michael> "task" bar, like they do on the fvwm95 one?
> It is probably possible to do this with some window managers.  I think
> someone is working on implementing this, but I'm not sure.
> Hope this helps,
> Tom

Michael J. Freeman -
Prism Technologies

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