Client Side Drama | LINUX Unplugged 37

Client Side Drama | LINUX Unplugged 37

The GTK camp is pushing hard for Client Side Decorations, but there are some major drawbacks on non-Gnome desktops. We discuss the pros and cons, and if this is going to lead to a new kind of desktop Linux fragmentation.

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Client Side Diva

That’s why I decided to CC the Ayatana mailinglist and publish this letter as an open letter on my blog. CSD is a topic that is important for every user and nothing we should discuss in a small group.

Consistent window decorations: This in fact is my greatest doubt. The current situation is that all windows have the same window decoration. For CSD to work applications have to be changed to support them. This will render the changed applications using CSD while all other applications are decorated by the window manager. I think it is impossible to have the same behavior for both CSD and wm decos. I think there are lots of legacy applications which cannot be changed, for example Amarok 1.4 which is still used by many users even in GNOME. I doubt you will be able to change Qt 3 to use CSD. My bigger concern is that we will end up with applications shipping their own style and doing their own kind of decorations. So we end up with situations like one window has buttons on left, one on the right, one in order close, maximize, minimize, the other in close, minimize, maximize, etc.

Just look on the Microsoft Windows desktop to see what proprietary applications tend to do when they get the chance to influence the decorations.

The Wayland Reason, he disagrees with:

Get gtk+ working on Wayland: I don’t see how Wayland can be an argument for CSD. Could we consider Wayland as unimportant till it is looking like something is actually going on? I checked the commits in 2010 in the public git repository and well it looks like KWin has more commits per day. It’s nice that you think of the future, but please don’t use it for argumentation. So also not valid.

On the Gnome Wiki they state this about Wayland and Client Side Decorations:

Under Wayland, it is preferred that clients render their own window decorations. Since gnome-shell will need to keep support for decorating X clients, it would be good if GTK+ and gnome-shell could share the css theming.

The comment thread on this post introducing CSD in Gnome 3.10 is quite interesting

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