Re: [Nautilus-list] Nautilus vs. xpenguins

On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 03:41:22PM +0800, Ian McKellar wrote:
> Okay, there can only be one window which is the desktop. Can you tell me
> how on earth you justify that that should be cutesy hacks rather than your
> file manager?

The cutesy hacks don't create their own window--they use the standard root
window, and therefore play nicely with all sorts of other X software.

Nautilus doesn't know how to draw into the root window.  Instead, it
creates its own window and positions it over the real root window.  This
breaks a lot of different X applications, and really messes up the user
experience.  Problems include:

  1) Cutesy (but well-behaved) hacks draw into the real root window, and
     provide no feedback to the user that something is wrong.  Screensavers
     modules intending to draw into the root window also fail without
     feedback.  For example:

     $ /usr/X11R6/lib/xscreensaver/xmatrix -root &

  2) Graphics viewers offer to set the desktop image, but can no longer do
     so successfully.  Again, the user gets no feedback why their command

  3) Several popular window managers want to capture certain input to the
     root window.

Conclusion: When Nautilus manages the "root" window, it breaks some
software outright and affects the user experience of other software in
strange, counter-intuitive ways.

gmc works around this problem nicely.  AFAIK, it creates a new shaped
window for each desktop icon, and positions it inside the real root window.
This requires gmc to provide special-case code for the desktop, but it also
provides a way for lots of existing software to play nicely with the file


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