16.7 A Basic Window Manager

This section describes the design of a simple window manager called winman. This example window manager should be helpful in several ways. It demonstrates many of the Xlib routines that are intended to be used only by window managers. It also shows what a window manager might do with the properties that applications set and how window managers implement icons. This window manager also demonstrates the use of the save-set to make sure that, if it dies, the windows it has iconified will be restored. It does not, however, demonstrate substructure redirection or reparenting. See the code for twm for examples of substructure redirection and reparenting.

The winman program also demonstrates some techniques that may be helpful in ordinary applications, such as how to implement a menu using Xlib. (Most applications will ultimately do this with a toolkit.)

If you have the example programs from O’Reilly and Associates, you can compile and run winman to see how it works (how to get this code is described in the Preface). Be sure to stop or kill any other window managers running before running winman. Both winman and the other window manager may get confused because they are not designed to cooperate with each other. The following explanations will be easier to follow if you have used the program.

16.7.1 Operation of the Program

The winman program creates a menu composed of horizontal bars and places it in the upper-right corner of the screen, as shown in Figure 16-4 ...

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