Window positions under wayland

samuel ammonius sfammonius at
Fri Aug 5 21:02:32 UTC 2022

I don't understand why we're all asking if it should be up to the
compositor or app to set a
window's position. The only correct answer is that it should be up to the
user, so I don't
see what's wrong with my suggestion of a "set window size request"
function. Waylands
idea of not letting apps set their window position because it thinks it
knows better is very
similar to what's wrong with commercial operating systems nowadays, and
it's probably
why many of us left Windows. For example, you could only disable "live
security" in the
settings for up to 10 minutes to speed up a download, and you aren't given
an option to
never update the operating system (if you wanted to increase the life
expectancy of your
SSD, for example).

The only compromise in this case that truly gives users full control is one
where users
get to configure their compositor to either.
1) Allow apps to freely set their positions
2) Have the window manager make them start in the center or at their last
3) Use the position apps request to make smart decisions about how the app
     be placed (for example, if an app always starts at (100, 100) on a
1000x700 monitor,
     but the user has recently switched to a new 3000x2400 monitor, then
the app can be
     placed at (300, 300))
The user can also configure individual apps to start in different ways if
they chose to
allow apps to pick their positions, or some compositors can even give users
the option to
apply the above to certain apps separately.

This design gives everyone 200% of what they asked for. Compositors can
obtain even
more information about how a window should be placed, and windows can
choose their
own locations knowing that the compositor will optimize that position for
the users screen
to make sure they don't make any mistakes. I don't see a single thing that
this takes away
from Waylands current design.

Also, as Igor said, flags on how the compositor should interpret the size
request would be
a great feature as well. There could be flags for priority,
relative/absolute positioning, or
any number of other things that could be added in the future. (Qt uses a
genius flag system,
where each flag is double the last one so they can just be added to each
other and no two
combinations of them will match. For example: NO_FLAGS = 0x00, FLAG_A =
FLAG_B = 0x02, FLAG_C = 0x04, FLAG_D = 0x08, FLAG_E = 0x10, FLAG_F = 0x20,
and then the flags could be used like "FLAG_B | FLAG_E" ("|" is an
uncommon C/C++
feature for adding constants without optimization). It's probably
irrelevant but it's really cool)
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