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Re: GNUstep Window Manager (was RE: Idea)

From: Enrico Sersale
Subject: Re: GNUstep Window Manager (was RE: Idea)
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 18:23:45 +0200 (EET)

On Sat, 6 Jan 2001, Nicola Pero wrote:

> > Hi,
> > 
> > well, I have thought about that a little bit in the past... It would 
> > certainly
> > a big plus to have a WM written in ObjC which could offer tight integration
> > into GS with less effort. 
> Ahm - I'm not sure having a WM written in ObjC would make such a big
> difference.  WindowMaker is an excellent piece of software and I'm quite
> proud it's part of gnustep.  Certainly, it doesn't make sense to take the
> effort of rewriting all of it just because we want it in ObjC.  If someone
> has all that time to devote to coding, why not write a brand new gnustep
> application in ObjC - that would be much more useful.
> Rather, if we want better integration with the window manager - I don't
> actually know much about that part - Enrico might know better - anyway if
> we think we could have better integration between the wm and the workspace
> manager/appkit - we could implement it as a little couple of additional
> files in Window Maker sources, written in ObjC and which talks to gnustep
> stuff using DO or whatever needed etc.  These files would only be compiled
> in and used when window maker is configured with some option like
> `--enable-gnustep-advanced-interaction' or whatever.  This is just a vague
> suggestion - window maker people/enrico etc might know much better how to
> do and what it's needed - anyway IMO if we need better and deeper
> interaction, then a simple solution of this kind is to be sought - it is
> not much use rewriting excellent existing and working software just
> because we want it in ObjC.
> As for me, what I really still miss in WindowMaker is the integration of
> gnustep app icons etc.  For example, it's a pity I can't yet dock gnustep
> apps.  I know this sounds a little childish - but I really use the
> Finger.app to ping/traceroute remote hosts <that's why I wrote it> - and
> it's a pity I can't dock it into the WM dock.

I don't know if it is childish, but I also use Finger.app (docked on the
GWorkspace's Fiend) and, naturally, even if a little frustrating, I've
trown away my old file manager and now I'm using only GWorkspace. 

But, coming to the WM question, the problems are many, from the
impossibility of docking gnustep apps to the focusing confusion that
happens when gnustep windows are open between other normal windows.

In the nexts days I'll try to write a complete list.

For the moment, let me make only an example regarding a problem that I
don't know if is solvable without integrating window manager specific
features in GWorkspace:

We have DO. When we want to open or to print a file, simply, we tell the
application to do this.

But, now, try to think to what happens when, using a *serious* interface
(openstep, the old mac-os, windows or what you want), we double-click on a
icon representing a document that is already open; if its window is hidden
by other windows, it will be taken in front of the others. This is logic,
this is the right natural behaviour of a good interface.

(Naturally the various gnomekde not even take in consideration the problem
and, simply, open a new istance of the file)

The real WM problem is that, exactly as we use DO to open a document, we
must also have directly access to its window to face this and other
particular situations.

But, if we want, there are other problems also; if we take a look at some
methods from NSWorkspace as -extendPowerOffBy:, -mountedRemovableMedia,
-unmountAndEjectDeviceAtPath:, -noteFileSystemChanged:, etc..., we can see
that, probably, we would have to integrate the Workspace Manager with
other things, also...

BTW can somebody tell me what the Apple IOKit exactly does? 

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