Applications, ICCCM2 and EWMH

A conversation from May 2006 about the ICCCM and the EWMH and how some applications don’t play nicely. This conversation took place on IRC at the times stated in the log. Some of the conversation has been edited to remove surperfluous information.

IRC Conversation

Person Conversation Time
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299:Once upon a time, there lived a special document called the ICCCM. 22:06
xevz he wouldn’t have his desktop all styled up. :P 22:06
xevz Oh, this sounds good. :D 22:06
thomas_adam xevz: There could have been ~/.fvwm/config, which takes precedence (you’re making me digress.) 22:06
Wsoprulz129 there is no config file 22:06
Wsoprulz129 and when I do changes in .fvwm2rc, they happen when i restart fvwm 22:07
xevz thomas_adam: No such file exists, he untared my configuration into his ~ resulting in a .fvwm. :) 22:07
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: This document was well-written, and our special little program, FVWM loved it so much, it adopted it as its template model on which to base itself. 22:07
Wsoprulz129 anyways.. keep going w/ story 22:07
* xteddy hugs fvwm :) 22:07
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It attempted to set out guidelines – codes of conduct that the window manager should do to handle windows, and conversely what windows (XClients) should do to behave nicely with other applications and the window manager. 22:08
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: The ICCCM and FVWM loved each other so much, they got married. 22:09
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It worked for a time. Other applications started to realise just how nice the ICCCM was to everyone, and so everyone started to use it. It couldn’t have been a nicer match for all concerned… 22:10
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: But one day, things started to go Really Bad for our little guy…. 22:10
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: People grew weary of the ICCCM. It was growing older – and no longer retained that youthfulness it once had. Society doesn’t “respect their elders” and so applications started to deviate from the ICCCM, preferring to add extension of their own. 22:11
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Poor FVWM. You have to feel sorry for it. 22:12
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It grew up with ICCCM. It loved the ICCCM. 22:12
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: But, how was it supposed to fulfil its duty if applications weren’t respecting it properly? 22:12
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Firefox and Mozilla, the beasties from Over Yonder were well-known rebels. 22:13
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: And one day they decided to do a number of things to try and upset the ICCCM. 22:13
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Sure they stuck to some of it, after all, like most hatrid-centric things, they actually like the thing they project the hate for. But they were rebellious in nature. They didn’t do everything quite right. Naughty applications. Tut. 22:14
Comete sorry but could you explain me please what is MwmDecorMax MwmDecorMin for, i don’t understand the man page ? please 22:15
marco13185 thomas_adam, ready to suggest a good alternative to firefox? 22:15
thomas_adam Comete: Inherent properties that some motif apps have for providing XAtom hints. 22:15
thomas_adam marco13185: Sssh. ( 22:15
Wsoprulz129 but thomas_adam: why does firefox work for others? 22:15
Comete thomas_adam lol 22:15
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: I’m getting to that. 22:15
Wsoprulz129 xevz didnt have a trouble w/ firefox 22:15
marco13185 Wsoprulz1299, your pretty much using xevz’s config too, lol 2:16
Comete thomas_adam the man page is clear near your explanation :) 22:16
xevz Wsoprulz1299: But I never tried to make Firefox use a new size on the other hand. 22:16
xevz Oops. :P 22:16
marco13185 I might have the same problem but I don’t care 22:16
xevz :P 22:16
Wsoprulz129 sorry, accidentally exited 22:17
xevz Wsoprulz1299: But I never tried to make Firefox use a new size on the other hand. 22:17
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Firefox being rebellious decided to ignore placement issues. It wanted to do that for itself. Naughty. The ICCCM says that geometries as set by the user take precedent over anything else, and that a default is only logical when none is provided. FVWM needs to know this when deciding how to map the application. But FF knew better. A stubborn beast, it just didn’t want to let go of doing things its own way. What was FVWM to do? 22:21
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: So, two things happen. FVWM can be told to ignore two hints that XClients set: PPosition, and PSize. 22:22
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: PPosition is “Program Position” (i.e. where the hell on the screen I’m to be put, and that’s final!),. and PSize – the program size. 22:22
* hank .oO( someone should start collecting thomas_adam’s excursions in a short story book… ) 22:23
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Guess what FF does with those two hints? 22:23
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It sets them time and again, over and over for FVWM… how nice of it, right Hmm, not quite. 22:23
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: One day, FVWM was very sad. 22:23
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It didn’t like the rebellious nature that FF was exerting. 22:24
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: So it stood up for itself. It decided to fight back, and look back to its old friend, the ICCCM. 22:24
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It’s not brilliant, but it’s better than it was. You can tell various clients through the use of Style lines to (try and) ignore PPosition and PSize (see NoPPosition and VariablePSize). 22:25
Wsoprulz129 so why does it work for some and not others? 22:25
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: FVWM rejoyced, and had a nice party that evening, at its new found functionality. 22:25
* xteddy hugs fvwm :) 22:25
Wsoprulz129 heh 22:26
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: It mapped xteddy and him bounce all around the screen. 22:26
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: FF has no way of actively setting the geometry of its window – it breaks the holy document that is the ICCCM. Yes, it has these -width and -height options, but they’re just a piss in the wind. 22:28
marco13185 thomas_adam, we must destroy it, lol 22:28
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: The only way you can probably get around this is to actively resize the window once it’s mapoed, as per the example shown to you last night. 22:28
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: Since then, FVWM has lived (relatively) happy ever after. 22:30
thomas_adam Wsoprulz1299: ~ The End. ~ 22:30