D-Bus is the standard way for applications to communicate with one another. But the EWMH, supplemented for our purposes by libwnck, is the standard way for applications to communicate with the window manager . GNOME bug 531512 raises the suggestion that even window manager communication should be done over D-Bus, or at least that D-Bus should be an alternative to the EWMH.
There are two main questions to answer before we make any decision here:
- Does this buy us anything? Are there people whose lives will be made easier if they can do what they want over D-Bus, without having to include X libraries to use the EWMH? Is this enough to justify the additional complexity in each window manager?
- Can we keep this standard? EWMH works with almost all window managers. Switching to a D-Bus-based system brings the risk of fragmentation.
A third option: We could have a separate application which provided a D-Bus service that knows how to send and receive EWMH messages. Such an application could be run in conjunction with any EWMH-compliant window manager. Here’s a quick proof-of-concept your chronicler threw together in a few hours in Perl; let us know, gentle reader, whether you believe it’s worth developing any further.
Photo © Salim Virji, cc-by-sa.