Squib of the day: don’t manage all screens

Gentle TouchIn GNOME bug 351647 the suggestion is raised that there should be a setting to prevent Metacity from managing certain screens. At present, Metacity manages all screens on its display. Thomas provided a patch which allowed “--ignore-screens=1,3” to be passed on the command line. The reporter would prefer a GConf key.

I think which is better depends on the use case. Is it more likely that people will always want Metacity not to manage screen 1, say, because they want to leave it uncomposited? Or is it the sort of thing they’ll start Metacity for ad hoc, and so will want to specify it on the command line?

Photo © Cindy Seigle, cc-by-nc-sa.

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Thomas Thurman

Mostly themes, triaging, and patch review.

4 thoughts on “Squib of the day: don’t manage all screens”

  1. Wasn’t there some discussion of switching configuration formats at runtime? (Rather than at compile-time) Why not allow configuration options (any of them) to be overridden on the command-line?

  2. I assume this is specifically for old-style “:0.1” screens, not Xinerama screens?

    From the bug, it sounds like the primary use-case is “I have a computer driving a specialised display device (projector, billboard, etc.) and an ordinary monitor; I run application software that wants complete control of the specialised display device’s output but the application’s GUI should be on a normal, managed display”.

    I suspect such installations are more likely to want a fixed, static configuration than to switch things around all the time.

    Still, that’s not a good reason to *preclude* command-line configuration if such a thing is easy and unintrusive.

  3. @name:

    I think you have a very good idea there. It’d be difficult with the current design, but it’s something we should work towards.


    Yes, :0.1 sort of thing. Okay, both of these look like we need a new GConf key…

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