Re: window-in-window MDI

On Mon, 3 Apr 2000, Ralph Loader wrote:

> Window-in-window MDI doesn't have to be done the Microsoft way.  Here's a
> suggestion for an alternative:
> Instead of having window-in-window MDI managed by an application, have it
> managed by the window-manager as a generalisation of multiple desk-tops.  I.e.,
> the containing window is created by the window manager, and the window manager
> decorates & managers the child windows, just like any normal top-level window.

If window-in-window MDI is to be done at all, it is to be done with the
co-operation of the window manager.  This was discussed at length on the
wm-spec list.  In summary:

o Nobody could come up with a particularly neat way of designing the
required hints
o Many WM authors implied that even if the hints were in the spec, they
wouldn't implement them because they didn't like WiW MDI.

Check the archives of this list and wm-spec for more details.

> I suspect that it wouldn't be too much trouble in most WMs to make desktops
> into first-class windows with all the usual controls.

but certain parts of the window need to be drawable by the client eg. to
draw menus.

In short, I don't think it is going to happen, and doing it without WM
co-operation is too hacky/ugly.  


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