Chapter 16. Window Management

X programs may be expected to cooperate with any one of a number of different window managers. This chapter discusses the design of a simple window manager, not so you will be able to write one but so you will know what to expect from one. As it turns out, some of the techniques used in this program (such as menus) could be adapted for other clients as well. Everyone should at least look through this chapter.

A window manager is a program implemented with Xlib to control the layout of windows on the screen, responding to user requests to move, resize, raise, lower, or iconify windows. The window manager may also enforce a policy for window layout (such as mandating a standard window or icon size and placement) and provide a menu for commonly used shell commands.

This chapter is not primarily for window manager writers, as these are a rare breed. There are several good customizable window managers available, and there is very little reason for users or application writers to want to write their own. Only a few people in the X community are going to be actively involved in writing window managers, and chances are good they will already know all of what is described here. This chapter is presented for two reasons: so that application writers will get a better understanding of how to cooperate with the window manager, and so we can describe and demonstrate the Xlib routines that are provided mainly for the purpose of window management. As it turns out, the ...

Get XLIB Programming Manual, Rel. 5, Third Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.