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Re: Transparent Windows, WindowMaker and [NSWindow backgroundColor]

From: David Chisnall
Subject: Re: Transparent Windows, WindowMaker and [NSWindow backgroundColor]
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 19:55:23 +0100

On 2 Jun 2011, at 19:44, Austin Clow wrote:

> Are transparent windows supported in WindowMaker?

Wrong question.  WindowMaker is a window manager, it has nothing to do with 
whether transparent windows work, it just controls their positioning and their 

Transparent windows are supported in X11 by a combination of the composite and 
render extensions.  Applications draw RGBA windows, which are directed off 
screen.  A compositing manager then draws them onto the display.  GNUstep will 
draw RGBA windows (with the Cairo back end definitely, I think with libart, and 
I think not with xlib), but for these to be transparent / translucent you must 
be running a compositing manager.  X.org comes with a simple compositing 
manager, xcompmgr, which should work (it can also draw shadows, but little 
else).  Alternatively, you can run a more complex one, like Compiz, which adds 
other effects.


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