[xmonad] Comparison of "extensible window managers"

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 08:35:14 CEST 2011

2011/9/15 Teika Kazura <teika at lavabit.com>

> On Tue, 13 Sep 2011 11:07:04 -0400, Brandon Allbery 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[...]
> >> > [...]
> > While it was originally introduced to allow multiple monitor resolutions
> to
> > coexist
> Probably you're talking about RandR, and you're right. Another

XRandR came *much* later.

> unfortune is that it's (also) poorly documented. Though I'm not sure
> if meddling RandR to achieve large desktop is the best way...

The problem with doing it in the window manager is that a number of standard
library routines that use the X server's idea of the screen extents now have
to be reimplemented to use the window manager's idea of it.  Back in the
very early days of this, it was *usually* enough to recompile every program
against a copy of <vroot.h> which replaced those routines... but then
programs started getting fancier about how they made use of virtual root
windows, and it started to require communicating with the window manager in
complex ways, and suddenly you couldn't just hide it in an include file or a
small library.

Old style virtual roots are still used by a few window managers, but it
turned out to have enough problems as desktops become more complex that most
window managers and desktop environments eventually dropped them.
freedesktop.org has legacy support for them still but most of its features
require using server-side large roots and window layers instead.

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