[xmonad] Comparison of "extensible window managers"

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at gmail.com
Thu Sep 15 16:25:37 CEST 2011

On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 03:12, Teika Kazura <teika at lavabit.com> wrote:

> Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation.
> If it's that problematic, it's peculiar that EWMH (Extended window
> manager hints) doesn't deprecate large desktop, whose latest being

It's fine as long as you stick to a subset of things (in particular, you'll
find that gnome/kde/lxde/etc. allow widgets to be separate processes and use
a separate widget manager, but enlightenment requires them all to be managed
by "e" — otherwise they'd play poorly with its virtual root.

There is, by the way, one rather obvious (hm, ok, obvious *if* you know a
little history) reason to stick this in the server rather than the window
manager that I should have mentioned before.  Let's say you are using a
virtual root window manager and have a large desktop, *and* you for some
reason switch the X server to a video mode that requires panning (consider
needing to swap the monitor, and the new one doesn't support the
resolution(s) you were using; this happened a lot back then, since there
wasn't much consistency in video modes between monitors, X servers didn't
read DDC information (and only high end monitors provided it back when this
was added) so you needed to specify mode lines, and as a result the only
common video mode was often VESA 640x480).  Now you have both the server and
the window manager panning, and the interactions between them made the
result *very* difficult to work with:  get the mouse pointer near the screen
edge and *both* of them pan, resulting in a much larger than expected shift;
and in extreme cases (that 640x480) what you were trying to reach might well
end up off screen in the other direction, or close enough to the screen edge
to trigger *another* double-pan that leaves you right back where you
started.  I think this is the original reason it got moved completely into
the server; since the server needed to support panning anyway, having both
server and window manager do it made no sense at all.

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