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Re: Google to launch PC operating system

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Google to launch PC operating system
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:10:14 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

Alan Mackenzie wrote:
[1]  KDE and Gnome are _not_ window managers.

:-)  OH YES THEY ARE!!!  They perform the function that ratpoison or fvwm
do, don't they?  Or do you mean that I could run ratpoison as window
manager, then start GNOME or KDE "I'm not a window manager" in it?

I've never been too clear about this.  I've never come across any clear
explanation, and never been interested enough actively to seek it out.

The X Window Protocol has a SubstructureRedirect event that an X
client can request to handle on a window. Only one client may have
this event requested on a window - a second one who tries to request
it fails. Window managers request this event for the root window; as
a result, various attempts to do things to windows get mapped to
requests sent to the window manager, which can do a variety of things
with them.

Thus, an X client program can see if there's a window manager already
running by seeing whether its attempt to request SubstructureRedirect
events succeeds or fails. Sufficiently clever clients can then run in
two modes depending on this. I assume the KDE and GNOME environments
might be such sufficiently clever programs.

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