Thoughts about decoration information in the xdg_shell

Neil Roberts neil at
Mon Nov 18 11:10:23 PST 2013

Bill Spitzak <spitzak at> writes:

> Can you explain why "consistency" is so important for the window
> frame, but is not a problem for the buttons and scrollbars and text
> fields and everything else inside the frame?

In the case of a game there probably wouldn't be any buttons or
scrollbars so the only thing that could look inconsistent is the window
decoration. I think it would be particularly annoying if for example the
close button was in a different place in different windows. It'd be more
annoying than if just the buttons looked different inside the window.

> And, yes, "toolkit-agnositic decorations library" is the solution. Hey, 
> it could do the scrollbars and buttons, too! What a concept!

Well a decorations library with scrollbars and buttons is pretty much
its own toolkit :) I think it would ideally have as limited scope and
dependencies as possible in order to encourage adoption.

> You are advocating requiring *both* clients and compositors to be able
> to draw decorations. Why make it so complicated?

No, I didn't say that at all. I am saying that in xdg-shell we need to
specify that either CSD is required or SSD is required. Ie, we have to
pick just one and require that. Everything else is optional and should
be negotiated. I am also saying we shouldn't dismiss choosing SSD so
lightly because it does have advantages for making simple clients.
However I concede that it's probably not the end of the world if a few
games have inconsistent decorations so I'm not going to make a fuss if
CSD is chosen.

- Neil
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