Re: documenting the mwm hints

On Sat, Dec 15, 2001 at 10:05:15AM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> Hi,
> We seem to implicitly assume that all WMs will support the MWM hints -
> though in practice it seems many only honor the "no decorations"
> setting - but I don't think those hints are actually documented
> anywhere. I've only found vague docs in the Lesstif source code (or
> rather the GTK code copied from there).
> Anyone know of other docs? We should probably document them in 
> the spec.

I do not know any doc in a "specification form" and I think that
all the doc that you can find on this is toolkits specifics.

So, I also think it will be good to document the MWM hints. But
it seems more important for me to describe in which case these
hints should/may be used in conjunction with the wm-spec.

I think that the only reference to the MWM hint in the wm-spec
is the following paragraph in the spec of _NET_WINDOW_TYPE:

  Rationale:  This hint is intend to replace the MOTIF hints.  One of the
  objections to the MOTIF hints is that they are a purely visual description of
  the window decoration.  By describing the function of the window, the window
  manager can apply consistent decoration and behavior to windows of the same
  type.  Possible examples of behavior include keeping dock/panels on top or
  allowing pinnable menus / toolbars to only be hidden when another window has
  focus (NextStep style).

after reading that a developer may think that the MWM hints are
to put in the garbage:
     "This hint is intend to replace the MOTIF hints"
But I think that this is not the case (and I think that almost every
body is agree with this after reading the wm-spec mailing list
archive). For example, Some application with the _NET_WINDOW_TYPE_DOCK
type should not be decorated (doc app with an hide button as
the GNOME and KDE panels) as some other *may* be decorated with
a border and even a title (a simple dock). I think that the same
remark apply with the NET_WINDOW_TYPE_TOOLBAR type. So if I well
understand the spec, the MWM decoration hints MUST be used in
some case. Also, the MWM function hints may help too as I do
not know what to do with the MWM inupt focus hint ...

So, I think that the wm-spec should contains a paragraph on the
MWM hints in the "Non-ICCCM features" section (something that say
that they may be used and that in some case the MWM decoration
hint MUST be used(?)). Moreover, I think that the relation between
the _NET_WINDOW_TYPE types and the MWM hints should be clarified.
- Is it clear that app of Desktop type must have no decoration?
 I think the answer is yes but because when I implemented the
 wm-sepc I see that kdesktop gives no MWM hints !!
- Is it clear that every apps of DOCK type should not have a border?
 I think no because the KDE2 panel and the GNOME2 panel gives
some MWM decoration hints

I think that the (not original) solution is to add the following
3 sentences to the "Rational:" paragraph:

  The window manager decides itself how it decorates the windows
  of various types. However, when an application needs (or assumes
  by itself) a special decoration it MUST use the MWM decoration
  hints. The others MWM hints should be used in the same way.

Regards, Olivier.

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