Category Archives: Policy

How to help with Metacity

Someone was asking how they could help with Metacity. Here are some thoughts. Why it’s important.  Metacity is (for now) the official window manager of the GNOME desktop.  Even though Metacity supports compositing, one of its strengths is that it can also run in a non-composited mode: plenty of people run Metacity who can’t or […]

On enhancements which need changes to the EWMH

Some of the enhancements which have been suggested need some sort of hint to be set on windows.  For example, the recent squib about a special style for warning windows could only work if warning windows were marked in some way, and at present they’re not.  Similarly, drag and drop can only work better if […]

Policy about theme versions

Metacity has a policy about enhancements which require changes to the theme format.  Metacity has to be both backwards and forward compatible.  In other words, it’s not enough that a later version of Metacity can run with themes intended for an earlier version.  Earlier versions must also be able to run with themes intended for […]

Notifisation

Listen to this . Launchpad bug 124326 requests a new titlebar button which minimises an application to the notification area rather than ordinary minimisation. Mostly this is currently done with the close button on the apps which support it, but some people feel it would be cleaner if these two functions were distinct. This action has […]

Extra buttons

Listen to this. Sometimes, as in GNOME bug 562650, people ask for extra buttons on the titlebar to go along with the standard set.  On the face of it, if you may bind a keystroke to some action, there is no reason why you should not be allowed to add it to the titlebar.  The […]

Double-click to close

Window decorations on Windows 3.1 had no close button, so they used to let you double-click the menu button to close a window. When Windows 95 came along, they added a close button, but they kept the double-clicking behaviour. The ability to close a window by double-clicking the menu button has lasted right up until […]

The one where we argue about themes a lot

The Metacity theme format has been roughly the same for six years now.  Many people are quite happy with it as it is, but we fairly regularly get people coming along and asking why it can’t do this or that and how they can make it do so.  The trouble is that changing the theme […]

If the user will not come to the window, the window shall come to the user

Suppose you have two workspaces, and a window on each one. You’re looking at window A, so clearly window B is offscreen. You click something on window A, and window A attempts to present window B to you. What does that mean? Let’s have two concrete examples: 0x01: You’ve clicked a link in Pidgin’s buddy […]

Zenity

This post is a presentation of the ideas behind GNOME bug 521914. At present, we ship a program called metacity-dialog, which is often to be found as the sole occupant of /usr/lib/metacity, and it gets spawned on the rare occasions when Metacity needs to ask the user a question. For example, if you attempt to […]

Client attempts to deal with stacking order considered harmful

I was asked on IRC to explain why it is that programs mostly cannot raise their own windows. The mechanism: gtk_window_show() indirectly calls XRaiseWindow. This causes a ConfigureRequest X event. Metacity will only honour this if: the window belongs to the active application (but if there is no active application, any application can raise its […]