Re: [dev] [dwm] adding WM_WINDOW_ROLE rule

From: Ethan Grammatikidis <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 02:07:14 +0100

On 27 Jul 2010, at 1:03, Kris Maglione wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:53:12AM +0100, Ethan Grammatikidis wrote:
>> On 26 Jul 2010, at 11:48, Rob wrote:
>>>> There is something that make me sad with dwm, there is a lack of
>>>> role
>>>> rules for clients. I explain : clients have instance and name using
>>>> WM_CLASS, but there is also WM_WINDOW_ROLE which is really
>>>> important
>>>> and useful.
>> Pardon me for ranting, but WM_WINDOW_ROLE looks like nothing more
>> than brain-damage from monks who had to "reason"
>> away perfectly sound usage of WM_CLASS. I'm upset because this
>> broke a window manager I got on with rather well, but I honestly
>> wonder how close the reasoning behind this issue is to that of the
>> 12th-century monks who wrote down, as a factual example for human
>> life, that a badger when pursued by dogs would bite it's own balls
>> off because it knew that's what the dogs were really after!
> You would do well to indulge in some cursory research before
> opining. WM_WINDOW_ROLE predates the freedesktop project by quite a
> long time and serves an entirely different purpose from WM_CLASS.
> Nor could it be a freedesktop invention, since by policy they are
> all prefixed with _NET_. WM_WINDOW_ROLE is an old part of ICCCM that
> deals with session management, not window identification.

I guess I should have focussed my rant differently, but one thing
which does not predate fd.o is the practice of setting both class and
name (in WM_CLASS) to the same for every window in the application.
I'm fairly sure when this practice first caught my attention I looked
it up only to read a ridiculous mandate decreeing class and name
*must* be set the same (except for capitalisation) on every top-level
window of an application. I'm almost certain the same mandate decreed
WM_WINDOW_ROLE to be the thing to use to distinguish between different
windows of the same application. "Some cursory research" seems not to
be enough to find about anything how to use WM_CLASS etc, or at least
20 minutes of searching turned up nothing for me.

> --
> Kris Maglione
> Deleted code is debugged code.
> --Jeff Sickel
Received on Sat Jul 31 2010 - 03:07:14 CEST

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