Protocol for window previews/thumbnails

ade low adloconwy at
Wed May 11 22:35:01 UTC 2016

Thank you for the feedback, that was very helpful.

On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 9:07 AM, Pekka Paalanen <ppaalanen at> wrote:
> You should explain the use case behind the idea. Then it would be
> possible to assess whether such protocol would even be appropriate for
> it.

My use case is third-party window switcher applications, such as
xfdashboard or my program, xfce4-lightdash-plugin:

If some sort of protocol would be needed, then you have to figure out
> how to not make it a gaping security breach

Perhaps the security could be improved by having a permissions system where
only authorised programs are allowed to use this protocol? Maybe the
compositor could expose a settings framework that allows the user to
control the permissions of applications.

A little more tractable plan would be to communicate only surface
> meta-data to the client, which could then ask the compositor to draw
> the thumbnails relative to one of the client's surfaces. The client
> would never have access to window content itself.

That's a good point; this could be a good solution, as long as it is
toolkit-independent and supports all rendering methods: OpenGL, pixman 2D
software rendering, etc.

 However, then there's

the question of whether it can be a standard protocol or not.

It is important that it is a standard, cross-compositor protocol. For
example, if I am using my app on "xfwm-wayland" and then I decide that I
want to switch to KWin, my app should continue to work.


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