Hi, I'm another Gaim hacker. I'm one of the few that actually uses
GNOME and Metacity, so maybe I can provide a bit more personal insight
than Luke who is largely summarizing the opinions of Gaim developers
as a whole.

Let me share how I use GNOME and how the new Metacity behavior is
totally busted for me:
- I prefer the workspace idiom to the taskbar idiom. The two are
essentially redundant, so I don't keep a task list on my panel. I
don't have minimize buttons on my titlebars. Instead, I keep a
workspace switcher with twelve workspaces stretching across my screen.
- I keep a maximize button, becuase I like to surf the web maximized.
Naturally, this goes in its own workspace (more often two or three
workspaces). Everything else stays at its normal size.
- I use Gaim's tabbed conversation windows. I normally get at least
one message as soon as I start Gaim, so I can keep that window in its
own workspace and not worry about losing track of it.

However, when surfing the web, new alerts (most frequently "ThisPerson
has added you to his buddy list...") are received and now appear
beneath my web browser window. Bold window titles, flashing taskbar
buttons, none of those do anything for me because I don't have a
tasklist. I typically won't see them until after closing my browser
window. Because my browser sessions usually outlive my Gaim sessions,
I often never receive these messages.

Part of this is Gaim's fault; it simply shouldn't be popping up as
many windows as it does. We've been making improvements in this area;
perhaps you've noticed them. Where we used to create alerts for
messages specific to a conversation, we now print them to the
conversation in red bold text, for instance. Our next major release
says goodbye to the oft-chided "Disconnected" dialog. It's also
notable that reducing the number of windows we create is the *only*
way we're able to fix things on Windows, which we're unfortunate
enough to have a large userbase on. These focus problems on Windows
lead to things like ICQ's brain-dead "we'll just change the icon in
the buddy list if you receive a message from that person" UI.

But that brain-dead UI is something we'd like to avoid in Gaim; we
want to be able to safely create new windows that will be noticed
without getting in the way. Previously, they got in the way. Right
now, I can not notice new windows at all. I don't care about the spec
or DEMANDS_ATTENTION or URGENT or any window manager hints at all. You
guys are the experts on that. Please just make it that new windows are
guaranteed to be noticed without stealing focus that doesn't depend on
certain configurations (like "user has a taskbar"). The obvious way is
to have the window raised, but not focused, but I'm sure you guys can
figure out the best way. If the window DEMANDS ATTENTION, make sure
the user knows about it.

Luke sent a "wishlist" that represents an amalgamation of how Gaim
developers want window management to happen. We don't have the
knowledge to know what's feasible or possible or practical, but we
hope it shows a little insight from our camp: one of the few
applications that creates windows the user isn't expecting. You seem
mostly to focus on windows the user is expecting (specifically
application launch, which as desktop developers makes perfect sense,
but is something we're naive enough to to have considered at all in
our wishlist).

We'll (Gaim developers) do our best to keep the number of windows we
create to a minimum; even if the window manager handles them the most
ideal way it can, they're still an inconvinient intrusion. I ask that
you handle those windows we do create as best you can.

Thanks for your time.


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