[Cairo] Window manager

Robert Wittams robert at wittams.com
Tue Aug 5 02:18:33 PDT 2003

I think a more realistic approach to get the best eye candy experience 
is to go for full backing store on the server (which would also 
ameliorate the flickering whilst waiting for redraw on X) , alpha 
composition of top level windows , and a glX extension to get the 
backing store of a top level window as a texture ( or some other 
extension to get it as an image for Render. I don't know if its 
practical to expect any current Render implementations to be suitable 
for this...)

There seems to be quite a lot of opposition to proper backing store in 
the X world on the grounds that expose events are perfect, and that if 
we all used toolkits and programs from 1988, or some mythical modern 
toolkits that perform without flicker on X, and we hacked our OS 
scheduler to bits, we would get no flicker. Obviously the old model 
must be supported ( for low memory situations), but to compete with 
MacOSX and Longhorn, it doesn't seem to be able to cut it... 


On Tuesday 05 August 2003 09:00, Lars Segerlund wrote:
>   Nope not so, you could intercept the communication of the client
> with the server, and render fx. fonts, all drawing primitives in X
> and so on 'THROUGH' the X server ( filtering through cairo manager
> first ).
>   An easy way of doing this would be to replace the X11 libs on the
> machinr, but I would wouch for hijacking the server connection, (
> socket ).
>   This way you would get all the eye candy you want :-) ...
>   So perhaps you would want to write a window manager which hijacks
> the connection to the X server, ( or starts it on a different
> socket/port ) and then filters everything, and registers itself as a
> window manager after the server starts up.
>   As I sayd easy .... ;-P
>   / Lars Segerlund.
> Bill Spitzak wrote:
> > On Monday 04 August 2003 01:32 pm, Josh Hansen wrote:
> >>I posted something about this on xwin.org (my tag is 'evilyoda')
> >> and wanted to know what everybody thinks about it:
> >>    Couldn't cairo be used to create a new window manager for X in
> >> which ever window, every element, is integrated into a PDF-like
> >> rendering model? This would allow eye candy and hardware
> >> acceleration similar to OS X, wouldn't it? Tell me if I'm wrong...
> >
> > Sounds more like you want to replace the server, not the window
> > manager. I think replacing the server with something that
> > understands Cairo directly is the ultimate goal of this.
> >
> > Then it may be possible to tell the server to direct all operations
> > to a printing surface, and then redraw all the windows. This would
> > produce a non-pixelatted pdf version of the screen.
> >
> > With the current Cairo designs on X, the best a Cairo window
> > manager could do is print a representaion of the screen where the
> > window borders look really nice, but the contents of the windows
> > are just pixelatted screen captures. Perhaps some applications
> > could cooperate in some new interface and send Cairo printing over
> > a pipe when requested by the window manager, so they print nice,
> > but not all applications will.
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