Re: Some WM observations (Sawmill).

On 20 Mar, George Farris wrote:
> Kudos on the Sawmill work.  I have found a few things that are 
> highly annoying with Sawmill.

FWIW, John Harper is the author behind sawmill, and sawmill is not part
of GNOME, though it does play very nicely with it. If you really want
sawmill questions answered, you should subscribe to the sawmill list
(send "subscribe sawmill" in an email to

> 1) If I have a panel running, specially a menu panel on the top of 
> the screen, I should be able to configure Sawmill to NEVER go over a 
> panel.  Window Maker does this with it's dock and icons at the 
> bottom of the screen and it is heaven.  Window Maker will never 
> cover up either it's dock or the the icons.

As you said, _Winodw Maker's_ dock and icons . . . . Sawmill is "just" a
window manager--the panel belongs to GNOME. However, if sawmill places a
window, it will *not* cover the panel unless a) you remove the panel's
"avoid" attribute, or b) the window specifically requests a placement
that covers the panel, e.g. Netscape.

> 2)  Cascading window placement.  If I open up a new window in 
> Sawmill, I never know where it's going to be placed and find myself 
> moving all over the screen.  In Window Maker (ya I know) it can be 
> set for cascading style of placement and it works very well.  Now I 
> realize there are different placement settings in Sawmill but none 
> of them really give me the cascading style which for some reason 
> just seem to work well.

Request it on the list. Either John will address it--or very possibly,
someone will post a lisp module that gives you that functionality. (It's
certainly kept me from re-inventing the wheel a few times already.)

> 3)  Clicking on a minimized app in the menu of Window Maker, 
> maximizes that app and switches to the desktop that its on, very 
> nice.

This may be a configuration issue. In my setup, minimized apps are
opened on the current workspace. I like this, so I haven't looked at
other options, but I think has already been addressed (or is being

> 4) An easy way to set an app to start only on workspace N.

Hmm. Start your app. Run sawmill-ui or use the GNOME control-center
applet (if you compiled support for it). Add a matched window entry
which specifies the workspace. You can grab the property (name, class,
etc.) to match on from the running copy of your app. The next time you
start it, it starts on the workspace you want.
> 5) A Window Manager should never map a window part way off the 
> screen unless you say it's ok.  It's the biggest piss off in the 
> world having a dialog box come up but having to move it before you 
> can hit the "OK" button.

You might want to rethink that position. We discovered during the early
releases of v0.25 that the panel drawers in GNOME are actually drawn
outside of the visible screen, then moved into place when opened. (The
bug had drawer contents appearing at the bottom of the screen when the
drawer was closed.)

I agree, it's a pain. But there are some apps that will do that to you
no matter *which* wm you're running. (Creeping xv windows are an
example.) I suspect that this is another aspect of the wm obeying the
requesting application, even if it overrides the wm's default

> Maybe I've missed seeing how to do some of these things, I don't 
> know.  Definitely point no.1 needs working on there is nothing wore 
> than having to fight your window manager to see your panels.

The main thing I've done to improve panel visibility is to deselect all
of the wm options in the panel's global configuration. I then use
"Matched Windows" to place the panel(s) in layer 0. This way the panels
can be raised above and lowered below other windows, should the panel
obscure or be obscured.


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Just what part of "NO" didn't you understand?

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