Re: WHY: Re: Still need a hint for undecorated windows

Lubos Lunak wrote:

On Friday 24 of June 2005 13:30, Bill Haneman wrote:
Tuomo Valkonen wrote:
On 2005-06-24, Carsten Haitzler <raster rasterman com> wrote:
On Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:54:54 +0200 Lubos Lunak <l lunak suse cz> babbled:
I yet to have actually see somebody saying a single reason why this is
application developers want it
Because they mistakenly think they know better than the user or the wm
maker how UIs should work, not because they have any real reason for it.
This kind of thinking only eventually leads to the loss of such a
blessing as a separate window manager, and thus to absolute unusability.

Here's a GOOD REASON for this hint:

* applications sometimes want/need to post windows that should not be
decorated, and perhaps shouldn't even be distinguished visually as
"separate top level windows" - examples are certain types of popups,
splash screens, and transient windows.

_NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_SPLASH. No idea what exactly you mean with popups and transient windows in this case.

The usual way to deal with this problem is to either use WM_TYPE_DOCK,
which is semantically inaccurate,

This may be the usual, but, as you point out yourself, incorrect way.

or (more commonly) to use override-redirect. The problem with override-redirect is that it
'hides' the window from the WM, thus conflicting with assistive
technologies such as onscreen magnifiers, onscreen keyboards, and
defeating other WM functions.

I agree that the WM is a "blessing", e.g. a Good Thing.  It does lots of
things for us _besides_ just adding decorations and drag handles.  Why
should we have to defeat all of the positive functionality of a WM in
order to get undecorated windows (or else abuse WM_DOCK) ?

You may think that splash screens are evil, that popups should never be
toplevels, yadda yadda, but this hardly matters.  Although the WM spec
*should* set some degree of policy and encourage "good UI design", it is
really hopeless to think that wm-spec-list is an appropriate universal
arbitrator of what is good and bad.  I don't think we can reach
consensus that all forms of undecorated window (in an
otherwise-decorated DE) are forever evil; therefore an UNDECORATED hint
is required (until such time as all applications which disagree with you
  die out).

The accessibility issue is a strong practical reason (as opposed to just
a philosophical one) why the hint is better than just requiring such
apps to use override-redirect or DOCK.

At least your conclusions are flawed.
I think you misunderstand me.

You basically argue that since current hacks and workarounds don't quite work, we need better hacks and workarounds. The proper way of handling splash screen is the window type, which we've already had since some time. I don't know what you mean with the other windows, but if e.g. onscreen keyboards/magnifiers are too different they can get their own WM type as well

They need this, but my comment is not about OSKs and magnifier's own windows; the problem is that override-redirect windows, when used by other applications, break OSK and magnifier functionality by avoiding the WM. So it is very important to make it possible for applications to use override-redirect less.

We need to encourage apps to allow more things to be managed by the WM. That means allowing the application to have a little more control say about what the WM does with some of those windows. I agree the this should be a semantic hint rather than an "I want to draw my own UI". Personally I am less interested in "applications that want to draw their own borders" in general - I sympathize with the POV that says that this is bad app behavior. But not all toplevel windows are "the same", and currently the WM type/hint vocabulary is not quite sufficient.

that could also imply no border if needed (although I don't quite see why - I use KMag normally with borders - I'm not accessibility user though). I still don't see why we should encourage "random" noborder windows just for the fun of it. And if we officially add a hint to the spec it will encourage it and we'll see more xmms-like apps.
I really don't agree; application writers will hack as necessary to "see what they want" on their favorite platform. I don't think that we would be opening the floodgates to bad style by adding a 'Don't decorate' hint - as has been pointed out, apps already do this via either hackish means or with MWM hints.

BTW, for those of you who don't know, Tuomo is a(the?) developer of the Ion window manager. Given how Ion is different from our "traditional" WMs he's probably seen more abuse from the apps then we all together.

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