[Cairo] Window manager

Eric Christopherson rakko at charter.net
Tue Aug 5 11:43:50 PDT 2003

On Tue, Aug 05, 2003 at 12:35:25AM -0700, 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.
[rest snipped]

A possible short-term goal might be to implement enough of Cairo that the X
server could be ported to *it*. This would be directly analogous to the port
the DirectFB folks did to run the X server on top of DirectFB. All it would
mean is that X would perform its primitive drawing operations using Cairo,
instead of directly to hardware. (See also the transluXent port, which uses
OpenGL to draw X windows.)

This wouldn't really improve things very much, IMHO. It would allow people
the gee-whiz feature of being able to have translucent toplevel windows; and
it could also plausibly allow windows to be scaled up and down like in
Apple's new Expose (part of the Panther beta). But it wouldn't do anything
to change the fundamental ways apps communicate with the server.

Also, it would require a complete enough Cairo implementation underneath.
Since Cairo only supports X right now (at least as far as interactive use is
concerned), one would have to run a regular X server with Cairo support, and
then run the retargeted Cairo X server on top of that one. So that'd be a
lot of overhead (until Cairo can target something like DirectFB or raw
framebuffers or SDL or whatever).

Furrfu!		r a k k o  at  c h a r t e r  dot  n e t

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