[xmonad] Comparison of "extensible window managers"

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 17:07:04 CEST 2011

On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 19:48, Teika Kazura <teika at lavabit.com> wrote:

> On Tue, 6 Sep 2011 04:02:39 -0400, Brandon Allbery wrote:
> >> I don't understand why large desktop is not so much common[...]
> >
> > Window managers don't do it any more because X11 has had the ability to
> do
> > it itself for some 10 years now (see the "Screen" section in xorg.conf,
> > notably the "Viewport" declaration).
> If I understand correctly, they're different. X server resolutions are
> fixed by the video card, and you can only choose one from them. E.g.
> in my case 1280x800, 800x600, etc. And X "viewport" happens if the
> _server_ resolution is bigger than the _monitor_ resolution.

While it was originally introduced to allow multiple monitor resolutions to
coexist, it was expanded sometime in (IIRC) the XFree86 4.2 days to fully
support this more general usage.  (There is an additional limitation based
on protocol pixel addressability — +/- 32767, IIRC — but I think modern
servers have extensions to correct that, and it affected window
manager-based implementations as well.)

Large desktop is provided by window managers, and there's no

Large desktops were provided by window managers when the server wasn't
capable of providing an arbitrarily sized root window.  Its implementation
within window managers was a hack for a server shortcoming that has since
been fixed.

brandon s allbery                                      allbery.b at gmail.com
wandering unix systems administrator (available)     (412) 475-9364 vm/sms
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