Re: [dev] SGI Irix look (4Dwm)

From: Peter Hofmann <>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:50:44 +0200

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 03:38:29PM -0400, wrote:
> Why not just draw the title in a separate window? This is how I always
> assumed a suckless window manager with title bars would act.

Hmmm, possibly. I have not really explored this approach, though. Maybe
someone else has? :-)

I see one major problem:

Without reparenting, the window hierarchy would look something like

    root window
    |-- frame (for firefox)
    |-- firefox
    |-- frame (for galculator)
    |-- galculator
    |-- frame (for xterm)
    |-- xterm
    |-- frame (for xterm)
    |-- xterm
    |-- frame (for xterm)
    `-- xterm

This means, only the window manager itself knows which frame belongs to
which client window. This could confuse stuff like `compton` (I don't
use that but I see a lot of screenshots where people do) and the
applications: They don't know that there's a separate title bar window.
When exiting, some floating applications (`gitk`, `gimp`, ...) store
their last position and size in a file. Next time you start them, they
ask the window manager to be positioned at this exact same location and
size. If that application does not know that there is a title bar window
(that requires extra space), then it will ask for suboptimal/wrong
placement. I guess that would be pretty annoying.

With proper reparenting, though, the application is aware that there is
a parent frame window. GUI toolkits usually take care of this. Even Java
does that (OpenJDK even checks for double reparenting because some WMs
do this ... for whatever reason). Reparenting is just a common thing to

But that's just me thinking out loud. I don't claim to be an expert on
X11 window management. :-) I'd love to read what others think about this

Received on Thu Oct 23 2014 - 17:50:44 CEST

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