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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Desktop size - "X" versus "WM" versus "DE"
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Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5364
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 15:58    Post subject:  Desktop size - "X" versus "WM" versus "DE"
Subject description: What determines screen real estate

When you boot puppy you expect that the X server will be configured in such a way that the onscreen real estate is maximised and you can access all of the screen.

Video cards allow certain resolutions depending on their hardware and firmware.

The combination of X and the video hardware determines where windows etc can be placed on screen.

But what about the Window Manager and the Desktop Environment? To be honest I do not even understand what a "DE" is or how to drive it.

What I would like to be able to do is alter the appearance of my screen so that my Window Manager and my DE (whatever that is...) utilise only a specific portion of my screen - not the whole available real estate. I want the puppy to run in one portion of the screen - leaving the rest of the screen black and unused. I want my Window Manager to have no idea that there is any other part of the screen hardware available at all.

Is this only possible if "X" is manually configured to the confined screen or can the WM and DE be made to respect the confines even when X is automatically set to match what the video hardware specifically allows? (ie: maximum screen resolution)

As an example - my main laptop screen is 1280x800 but I would like to use that hardware to develop utilities and programmes (and puppies) that are designed to run on a 1024x600 or 800x600 screen. My laptop may not want to run in those modes so I wondered if there was some way to configure my WM (JWM) and my DE (whatever that is...) to temporarily make my puppy run in a smaller portion of the screen.

The first two images below show my normal desktop (fullscreen 1024x800) and my proposed "confined desktop" of, say, 1024x600 or 800x600

The third image shows another proposed variant where as well as artificiallly "confining" the desktop I am moving the menu bar up to the top left corner (instead of the lower edge of the dekstop).

I have previously tried building what I call my TLC ("Top Left Corner") puppy here that had its menu (and main reference point) at top left corner of screen - in an effort to synchronise the "hardware origin" (0,0) with the "software origin" . In a normal pup the software origin is usually not synchronised to the hardware origin and has to be forced by the WM and DE to be something like (800,600), (1024, 800) or similar, or even something like (-1, -1),

For now, all I want to do is to find a way to make my pups fit into a confined space and ignore the existence of the rest of the screen. Is there a way to achieve this?
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Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 13379
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 16:46    Post subject:  

Hi greengeek.

Interesting pursuit.

I can't answer you about the essence of your question, I'm afraid.

But I do know this:

-- "DE" is short for "Desktop Environment";

-- the latest version of jwm has a problem rendering any window full screen
IF you change your display to a secondary, larger, monitor after install.

Other window managers I have tested in this situation (namely icewm,
echinus, wmii, pekwm, aewm and wmx) DO NOT have this problem.

Good luck.

Je suis né pour aimer et non pas pour haïr. (Sophocle) /
I was born to love and not to hate. (Sophocles)
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Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2729

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 18:24    Post subject:  

If you run X with something like twm then you can run a wm as a window within that, so the window (pcmanfm --desktop or rox or whatever) has a title, can be moved around ...etc. You can even set X to be any (within reason) virtual size.

You could I guess run multiple/different wm's within that.

Desktop environments are different however, the full 'package' of a set of programs to do stuff with ... burn CD's ... whatever. Not just the windows manager, but panels, desktop layout ...etc. Much less open to being contained to a particular screen region/window/window manager.
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