[PATCH wayland-protocols v3 6/7] xdg-shell: Make xdg_popup non-grabbing by default

Benoit Gschwind gschwind at gnu-log.net
Wed Jun 8 21:13:09 UTC 2016

Hello Jonas,

For this patch I'm more cautious, your proposal look very complex, and I
don't understand why. I will try to explain my point of view with my
current knowledge and then draft a proposal from my own analysis. To be
fair, I did not follow the entire discussion about grab from the
beginning, thus I could be inaccurate. If I'm wrong fell free to correct

If I look at the previous protocol, the xdg_popup implied a grab. That
what simple and easy to explain. This simple approach quickly become too
simple because it does not allow to create xdg_popup without grabbing
the mouse pointer, which is needed to make tooltips. Thus you made the
following proposal.

Currently, your proposal is about separating xdg_popup creation from
grabbing the mouse pointer. To do a tooltips, it's easy, the client
create a xdg_popup as he does "a old grabbing popup". The new xdg_popup
does not grab inputs by default, that's the purpose of this patch. Now,
if the client want to create a popup that grab inputs, he have to create
a popup then request the grab, until now it still simple, even if the
client have to do it on every grabbing popup.

This look good till now, but you tried to give an explicit semantics in
the case of nested popups or in case of multiple popups. This semantics
look logic but is complex, and moreover you nullify your complex
semantics by writing:

"Clients will receive events for all their surfaces during this grab
(which is an "owner-events" grab in X11 parlance). This is done so that
users can navigate through submenus and other "nested" popup windows
without having to dismiss the topmost popup."

Which mean, if I understand correctly, the client just have to create
one grabbing popup and all surface managed by the client get the mouse
grabbed, in particular all nested tooltips popup I can imagine.

This instance show that the proposal is uselessly too complex.

Now I will discuss the grabbing more widely in the objective to draft an
alternate proposal.

The grabbing was an issue in X11 because any client was able to grab
mouse and keyboard easily and a very simple client can lock your screen,
or block the lockscreen. For this reason previous xdg_popup tried to
take care that a client cannot lock your desktop without being granted
by the user.

If I analyses the previous protocol the choice was basically:

- (1) the client can grab the mouse only on identified valid mouse event
or keyboard event,
- (2) the compositor can cancel the grab at anytime he want. In
particular, implicitly cancel the grab when the last xdg_popup is destroyed.

The first rule was enforced by forcing the client to create and map a
xdb_popup. I do not understand this enforcement, because he ca be easily
tricked by creating an 1x1 window hidden somewhere.

Thus following my analysis I suggest to not create complex grab
semantics and suggest to stick to rule (1) and (2) which could be
implemented by :

- a global grab request linked to a mouse or keyboard event.
- a global ungrab request that the client call when the grab terminate
- a global cancel_grab event that can be used at anytime by the compositor.

By global I mean not bound to a surface, as I showed, that does not
solve anything. The grab request are linked to a mouse event or a
keyboard event, imply a valid xdg_surface to be active and disallow a
grab that is not driven by user action.

Those kind of grab can be canceled by the compositor, thus they cannot
be used to lock the screen or the user.

Another random implementation thought, this maybe implemented as an
object like get_grab_handler.

I think I will get the objection that in previous behavior the grab was
automatically stopped when the xdg_popup was destroyed but in the
current draft it's not automatic. To this I just reply that xdg_popup
are not destroyed automatically by clients. Thus yes in both case the
client can grab mouse pointer indefinitely if the compositor doesn't
provide a "force cancel grab" mechanism like a bind to ESC key.

The draft is simple to explain and simple to implement.

Best regards.
Benoit Gschwind

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