Re: Coming proposal (was: Window Manager compliance)

> >         I believe a Window Manager should have cool features, but if it's
> > being used under Gnome it should be required to turn them off.

> Bottom line: if I have to turn off half the features of my WM in
> order to use GNOME, then GNOME will become a restrictive
> annoyance.  I would rather have a choice between two similar
> features, than to be told that I can't use the features I want to
> use because GNOME has its own agenda.  Flexibility is much more
> important than avoiding duplicated features.

	That's a good point.  I didn't think it through when I said the WM
should be "required" to turn its Gnome-duplicating features off.  However,
I still strongly believe the Window Managers that have features that
directly duplicate (like E's background image handling) or else conflict
with (like TkDesk's icons-on-the-desktop) should default to having those
features turned off.

	Here's some more brainstorming for the Gnome WM Compliance spec:

1) The WM should detect if Gnome is installed and running.  If Gnome *is*
running, it should default to having all its Gnome-duplicating features
turned off.  By "Gnome-duplicating features", I'm referring to the list in
my previous email.

2) The WM should provide some program or method to execute when the "Run
Configuration Tool for [Window Manager]" button is pressed within the
Gnome Control Panel, even if it's "xterm -e pico ~/.steprc".  This will
allow the user to enable all of the features which the Window Manager has
defaulted to "OFF" when it first detected Gnome.

	For a very simple WM, this could be a line in a config file that


	...and for a very complex WM, like E or WindowMaker, you could
have the graphical config tool which will let you enable or disable
particular features as you see fit.

	Not that if a Window Manager makes the Gnome-duplicating features
compile-time options, they would have to provide a new binary to enable
the features here.

	The spec would only require that the enabling of such features be
done under Control Center->Desktop->Window Manager.

3) The Gnome WM Spec suggests that a disclaimer (or "notice" or "warning"
or "info box" or whatever you want to call it) appears when a
Gnome-conflicting feature is enabled while Gnome is running.  So if you
turn on the Background-Handling feature, somewhere it tells the user "This
feature conflicts with the Gnome environment.  We suggest you change the
background under Control Center->Desktop->Background."

	This way, any Gnome-compliant window manager will not, by default,
have features which confuse the user because it duplicates (or breaks) the
Gnome handling of that feature.  However, for people who want to have
multiple Panels, or prefer the root menu clicks of their own Window
Manager, they can explicitly turn them on in the Control Center.

	So, in summary, the Gnome WM Compliance Spec would include the

1) All Gnome-duplicating or Gnome-conflicting features must default to

2) The enabling of such features, if it exists, must be done using the
tool under Control Center->Desktop->Window Managers.

3) An informational message is suggested when a user enables a feature
which conflicts with Gnome.

	So how does that sound?  I'm just brainstorming here.  My
biggest worry is that this will be too complicated to implement, thus
scaring away WM developers from Gnome compliance.  I'm hoping Rasterman
will have some ideas to share with us...

Derek Simkowiak

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