Session Management Proposal

Olivier Chapuis olivier.chapuis at
Mon Dec 29 07:43:03 EET 2003

On Sun, Dec 28, 2003 at 03:49:48AM -1000, Ray Strode wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm currently working on improving the session management situation in
> GNOME.[1] I've adopted Havoc's msm module from GNOME CVS and am working
> on making it a viable replacement for the current gnome session manager.
> The XSMP spec is lacking some features that would be useful for desktop
> session managers.
>    1) Session managers have no way of knowing localized names for
>       their clients.  This means that there is currently no nice way
>       for session managers to present clients to the user (in error
>       messages, splash screens etc).  Current session managers work
>       around this by employing internal SmProgram mapping hacks, but
>       that is clearly suboptimal.
>    2) It would also be nice if each client told the session manager a
>       preferred icon name (again for splash screens, etc).

>    3) Some desktop environments have certain programs which provide
>       integral functionality for the environment's proper operation.
>       These programs need to be treated specially.  For instance, for
>       most desktop environments the window manager should probably be
>       the first program started on login.  Also, other fundamental
>       programs like panels, desktop icons, etc., should probably be
>       loaded before normal applications.  Furthermore, if for some
>       reason a restored session is lacking one or more of these
>       fundamental programs then it would be a good thing if the
>       session manager could optionally start them up.
>       The easiest way to solve these problems is to have each client
>       tell the session manager, e.g. "I'm a window manager" or "I'm
>       just a normal application" (or whatever).

What about using the wm-spec? Maybe I miss something but:

1) _NET_WM_NAME and _NET_WM_ICON_NAME provide localized names.

2) _NET_WM_ICON provides icon(s). This is different from your _NET_Icon
property which is a file name vs the icons spec. I think that it will
be good to add such a property to the wm spec:



The Client SHOULD set this to a preferred icon file description, which
can be looked up by using the procedure described in the Icon Theme

3) About Client Role, there is the _NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE.

_NET_RoleDesktopManager  <-> _NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_DESKTOP
_NET_RoleDesktopComponent <->  _NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_ DOCK or TOOLBAR

You can detect the wm by using the _NET_SUPPORTING_WM_CHECK property.
There is no window type for _NET_RoleSetup, but again I think that if
you need more "roles", these "roles" should be added to the wm-spec
via new window types.

> Comments, suggestions, and additions appreciated.  

I jump to an other subsubject. I will be interested to know what are
you paln about gnome-smproxy? About this I've a complaint:

Regards, Olivier

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