ICCCM defines protocols for communication between clients and window managers. Most of the communication takes place through properties on an application's top-level windows. The window manager can also generate events that are available to the application.
In Motif and Xt, shells handle most communication between an application and a window manager. An application seldom has to deal directly with properties or events. The application can usually specify properties by setting resources of a shell. Shells also select for and handle most events from the window manager.
This section discusses the relations between some shell resources, properties, and events concerned with communication between an application and any window manager. The following section discusses resources, properties, and events that apply to MWM in particular.
When a top-level window is mapped, the window manager may search the resource database for information about the window. The resource name and class come from the WM_CLASS property for the window. This property contains two consecutive strings that identify the instance and class names.
Xt sets the WM_CLASS property when a shell that is a subclass of WMShell is realized. The instance name is the name of the shell. For an ApplicationShell, this is generally the name of the application passed to XtDisplayInitialize. The class name is the application class from the highest-level widget in the hierarchy. For an ApplicationShell, this is generally the application class passed to XtDisplayInitialize. If the root widget is not an ApplicationShell, the class name is the widget's class name.
Most window managers display a name for a top-level window, often in a title bar. The window name comes from the WM_NAME property. This property is a string whose encoding is identified by the type of the property.
A Motif application specifies a window name using the WMShell resources XmNtitle and XmNtitleEncoding. If the shell is a TopLevelShell subclass and the XmNiconName resource is not NULL, the value of that resource is the default for XmNtitle. Otherwise, the default title is the name of the shell. For a dialog, an application can supply a title as the value of the BulletinBoard resource XmNdialogTitle.
XmNtitleEncoding is an atom representing the encoding of the name. The default title encoding depends on whether or not a language procedure has been set. If no language procedure has been set, the default is STRING. If a language procedure has been set, the title is assumed to be in the encoding of the locale and is passed to XmbTextListToTextProperty with an encoding style of XStdICCTextStyle. The returned property is used as the WM_NAME property. If the title is fully convertible to type STRING, the encoding is STRING; otherwise, the encoding is COMPOUND_TEXT.
A window manager can assign any position and size to a window. The user and application can supply preferred positions and sizes, but the window manager is free to use or ignore these as it wishes.
The user generally specifies position and size using the -geometry option when invoking the command that starts the application. In Motif, the value specified for -geometry becomes the value of the Shell XmNgeometry resource. An application should never set this resource itself; it should reserve it for the user. An application specifies size and position by supplying values for the Core resources XmNx, XmNy, XmNheight, XmNwidth, and XmNborderWidth. When an x, y, width, or height value is specified for both XmNgeometry and one of the specific geometry resources, the value from XmNgeometry takes precedence.
The MWM positionIsFrame resource determines whether MWM interprets x and y values as referring to the upper left corner of the client window itself or the upper left corner of the frame that MWM puts around the client window. By default x and y values refer to the frame.
When a top-level window is mapped, MWM uses the following order of precedence in determining size and position:
Before a window is mapped, the application communicates additional position and size information to the window manager through the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property on the window. This property is of type WM_SIZE_HINTS and contains a number of fields derived from WMShell resources:
Specifies the minimum height and width that the application wants the widget's window to have. If an initial value is supplied for one of these resources but not for the other, the value of the unspecified resource is set to 1 when the widget is realized. If no value is specified for either resource, MWM uses the values from XmNbaseHeight and XmNbaseWidth if specified. Otherwise, MWM uses a minimum height and width of at least 1.
Specifies the maximum height and width that the application wants the widget's window to have. If an initial value is supplied for one of these resources but not for the other, the value of the unspecified resource is set to 32767 when the widget is realized. If the MWM resource maximumClientSize is specified, MWM uses that value to determine the maximum window size. Otherwise, MWM uses the maximum height and width from the WM_NORMAL_HINTS property, except that the window size may not exceed the height and width specified by the MWM maximumMaximumSize resource.
Specifies the base for a progression of preferred heights and widths for the window manager to use in sizing the widget. The preferred heights are XmNbaseHeight plus integral multiples of XmNheightInc, with a minimum of XmNminHeight and a maximum of XmNmaxHeight. The preferred widths are XmNbaseWidth plus integral multiples of XmNwidthInc, with a minimum of XmNminWidth and a maximum of XmNmaxWidth. If an initial value is supplied for one of these resources but not for the other, the value of the unspecified resource is set to 0 when the widget is realized. If no value is specified for either resource, MWM uses the values from XmNminHeight and XmNminWidth if specified. Otherwise, MWM uses a base height and width of at least 1.
Specifies the increment for a progression of preferred heights and widths for the window manager to use in sizing the widget. The preferred heights are XmNbaseHeight plus integral multiples of XmNheightInc, with a minimum of XmNminHeight and a maximum of XmNmaxHeight. The preferred widths are XmNbaseWidth plus integral multiples of XmNwidthInc, with a minimum of XmNminWidth and a maximum of XmNmaxWidth. If an initial value is supplied for one of these resources but not for the other, the value of the unspecified resource is set to 1 when the widget is realized. If no value is specified for either resource, MWM uses an increment of 1.
Specifies the numerator and denominator of the minimum aspect ratio (X/Y) that the application wants the widget's window to have. If no value is specified for either resource, MWM imposes no minimum aspect ratio.
Specifies the numerator and denominator of the maximum aspect ratio (X/Y) that the application wants the widget's window to have. If no value is specified for either resource, MWM imposes no maximum aspect ratio.
Specifies the window gravity for use by the window manager in positioning the widget. If no initial value is specified, the value is set when the widget is realized. If XmNgeometry is not NULL, XmNwinGravity is set to the window gravity returned by XWMGeometry. Otherwise, XmNwinGravity is set to NorthWestGravity.
After a window is mapped, an application can request changes to window size or position by calling XtSetValues for one or more of the Core geometry resources. A user can generally employ window manager facilities to move or resize a top-level window.
Calling XtSetValues for a geometry resource generates a geometry request that may propagate up the widget hierarchy to the shell. This may cause the shell to make its own geometry request, and this invokes the shell's root_geometry_manager procedure. This procedure uses XConfigureWindow to ask the window manager to change the window's size or position.
If a window manager responds to a configuration request by denying it or by moving the window without resizing it, the window manager sends a synthetic ConfigureNotify event. If the window is resized, the window receives a real ConfigureNotify event.
These events may be handled by either the root_geometry_manager procedure or a Shell event handler. If the VendorShell resource XmNuseAsyncGeometry is True, the root_geometry_manager procedure does not wait for the window manager to respond to the configuration request, but instead returns XtGeometryYes. If the WMShell resource XmNwaitForWm is True and if the window manager grants the configuration request within the XmNwmTimeout interval, the root_geometry_manager procedure updates the widget's geometry resources and returns XtGeometryYes. Otherwise, the root_geometry_manager procedure returns XtGeometryNo and relies on the event handler to reconfigure the widget when it receives a subsequent ConfigureNotify event.
The shell's ConfigureNotify event handler is invoked when the user reconfigures a top-level window or when the application reconfigures a window and this reconfiguration is not handled by the root_geometry_manager procedure. The event handler updates the shell's core geometry fields with the values allowed by the window manager. If the size of the shell changes, the event handler calls the shell's resize procedure. This procedure calls XtResizeWidget to change the height, width, and border width of the child to be the same as those of the shell.
An application uses several properties to communicate with the window manager about icons associated with top-level windows. A Motif application can use resources of several Shell subclasses to specify values for these properties.
When a window is first mapped, it can appear in either its normal state or iconic state. An application uses a field in the WM_HINTS property to tell the window manager which initial state it prefers. A Motif application specifies the initial state by setting the WMShell resource XmNinitialState or the TopLevelShell resource XmNiconic. XmNiconic takes precedence over XmNinitialState. After a window is realized, an application can use XtSetValues for XmNiconic to either iconify or deiconify the window.
An application can supply a name, a bitmap, or a window for the window manager to use as an icon. When a top-level window is in iconic state, the window manager usually displays the icon window if one is supplied, or else the icon pixmap if one is supplied, or else the icon name. MWM uses the iconDecoration resource in determining what aspects of an icon to display.
The icon name comes from the WM_ICON_NAME property. Like WM_NAME, this property is a string whose encoding is identified by the type of the property.
A Motif application specifies an icon name using the TopLevelShell resources XmNiconName and XmNiconNameEncoding. The default icon name is the name of the shell. XmNiconNameEncoding is an atom representing the encoding of the name. The default encoding depends on whether or not a language procedure has been set. If no language procedure has been set, the default is STRING. If a language procedure has been set, the icon name is assumed to be in the encoding of the locale and is passed to XmbTextListToTextProperty with an encoding style of XStdICCTextStyle. The returned property is used as the WM_ICON_NAME property. If the icon name is fully convertible to type STRING, the encoding is STRING; otherwise, the encoding is COMPOUND_TEXT.
An application uses fields in the WM_HINTS property to supply an icon bitmap and an optional mask for displaying the bitmap in a nonrectangular shape. A Motif application specifies an icon bitmap as the value of the WMShell resource XmNiconPixmap, and it specifies the mask as the value of the WMShell resource XmNiconMask.
An application uses a field in the WM_HINTS property to supply an icon window. A Motif application specifies an icon window as the value of the WMShell resource XmNiconWindow. The icon window must be an InputOutput child of the root window. It must also use the root visual and the default colormap of the screen. The application must not map, unmap, or configure this window. It must, however, select for Expose events on the window and redisplay the contents when it receives these events.
The window manager may specify preferred maximum and minimum sizes and size increments for icon bitmaps and windows. To do this it puts a WM_ICON_SIZE property on the root window. MWM uses the iconImageMaximum and iconImageMinimum resources, with increments of 1, in setting this property. Before an application specifies an icon bitmap or window, it should use the Xlib routine XGetIconSizes to check these constraints and then supply a bitmap or window that is of one of the preferred sizes.
An application can use two fields of the WM_HINTS property to supply preferred x and y root coordinates for the icon location. A Motif application specifies these coordinates as the values of the WMShell resources XmNiconX and XmNiconY. The window manager may ignore these values. MWM uses the useIconBox, iconPlacement, and iconPlacementMargin resources in determining where to place icons.
An application can use a field of the WM_HINTS property to supply the window ID of a window to serve as the "leader" for a group of windows. The window manager may treat all windows in this group as a whole for certain purposes, such as showing a single icon when the entire group is iconified.
A Motif application specifies a window group leader as the value of the WMShell resource XmNwindowGroup. For VendorShell and its subclasses, if the shell has a parent, Motif sets the XmNwindowGroup to the parent's window at the time that the shell and its parent are both realized. Otherwise, the default value is XtUnspecifiedWindowGroup, which means that no window group is set.
A window manager may treat dialogs differently from other top-level windows, and it must not interfere with menus at all.
An application tells a window manager not to decorate or otherwise interfere with a window by setting the override_redirect attribute of the window to True. A Motif application does this by setting the Shell resource XmNoverrideRedirect to True, or by using an OverrideShell, which has a default value of True for this resource. XmMenuShell is a subclass of OverrideShell, and MenuShells are the only widgets that should have a value of True for XmNoverrideRedirect. An application normally does not supply a value other than the default for this resource.
An application tells a window manager to treat a window as transient or secondary by setting the window's WM_TRANSIENT_FOR property. This property contains the window ID of another top-level window, usually the window from which the transient window was popped up. A Motif application generally specifies this property by creating a DialogShell, a subclass of TransientShell, which has an XmNtransientFor resource. The value is a widget, and the default is set to the shell's parent at the time that both the shell and its parent are realized. The window of the XmNtransientFor widget is used for the WM_TRANSIENT_FOR property. For a shell that is not a subclass of TransientShell, an application can set the WMShell XmNtransient resource to True. The XmNwindowGroup is then used for the WM_TRANSIENT_FOR property. An application normally does not supply a value other than the default for XmNtransient or XmNtransientFor.
MWM treats transient windows differently from other top-level windows. By default it keeps transient windows stacked on top of their primary windows and does not allow transient windows to be iconified separately from their primary windows. The MWM transientDecoration and transientFunctions resources determine which decorations and functions apply to transient windows. An application can further specify these decorations and functions by using the VendorShell XmNmwmDecorations and XmNmwmFunctions resources, explained in Section 18.2.
ICCCM recognizes four models for the relationship between clients and window managers in setting input focus:
An application tells the window which model it prefers by using two properties:
These combinations are summarized in the following table:
Table 16. Input Models
|Input Model||Input field||WM_TAKE_FOCUS|
A window manager generally does not set input focus to a window when the WM_HINTS input field is False. A window with a WM_TAKE_FOCUS protocol may receive a ClientMessage when the window manager wants the window to accept keyboard focus. The window may respond by setting the input focus or by ignoring the message.
A Motif application can set the input field of the WM_HINTS property by specifying a value for the WMShell resource XmNinput. The application can install the WM_TAKE_FOCUS atom on the WM_PROTOCOLS property by calling XmAddWMProtocols or XmAddWMProtocolCallback, explained in Section 18.3.
A Motif application normally should avoid setting input focus itself. The application can control the location of focus within its subwindows by using the VendorShell resource XmNkeyboardFocusPolicy, the Gadget, Primitive, and Manager resource XmNtraversalOn, and the XmProcessTraversal routine. If the application wants a widget to receive no input at all, it can use XtSetSensitive to make the widget insensitive. If the application needs to set focus directly, it should usually use XtSetKeyboardFocus and avoid using XSetInputFocus. For more information, see Chapter 13.
A number of MWM resources influence keyboard focus. When keyboardFocusPolicy is "explicit" (the default), the user must press Btn1 on a window or its decoration to give it focus. When keyboardFocusPolicy is "pointer", the window that contains the pointer has the focus. With an explicit policy, other resources determine whether a window has focus when it is first mapped (startupKeyFocus), deiconified (deiconifyKeyFocus), or raised (raiseKeyFocus). When autoKeyFocus is True, and the window with focus is iconified or withdrawn, focus passes to the window that last had focus. When enforceKeyFocus is True, MWM sets focus to globally active windows.
An application can create and set colormaps for its windows, but only the window manager should install colormaps. Each window manager has a colormap focus policy that determines which top-level window has the colormap focus at a given time. When a window has colormap focus, the window manager installs one or more colormaps associated with that window.
If all windows in an application use the same colormap, the application need take no special action to tell the window manager to use that colormap. The window manager keeps track of the colormap attribute for each top-level window and installs that colormap when the window has colormap focus.
If an application uses different colormaps for some windows in its hierarchy, it must tell the window manager about those colormaps by setting a WM_COLORMAP_WINDOWS property on the top-level window. This property is a list of windows whose colormaps the window manager should install when the top-level window has colormap focus. The list should be in order of priority, with the windows whose colormaps the application would most like to have installed listed first. The application can use XSetWMColormapWindows to set this property.
On many servers, only one hardware colormap can be installed at a time. This may cause colors in windows that use different colormaps to be displayed incorrectly when their own colormaps are not installed. To reduce contention for colormaps, applications should use the facilities for standard colormaps described in Xlib--C Language X Interface.
The MWM colormapFocusPolicy resource determines the colormap focus policy. When the value is "keyboard", the window with keyboard focus has the colormap focus. When the value is "pointer", the window under the pointer has the colormap focus, regardless of whether that window also has keyboard focus. When the value is "explicit", the colormap focus changes only when the user invokes the f.focus_color function.
When a window with colormap focus has a WM_COLORMAP_WINDOWS property, the user can install the next and previous colormaps on the list by invoking the f.next_cmap and f.prev_cmap functions.
An application may run under a session manager with facilities for saving and restoring the state of the application. An application communicates with a session manager by placing WM_COMMAND and WM_CLIENT_MACHINE properties on its top-level windows. WM_COMMAND contains a string that would restart the client in its current state.
A Motif application should have only one non-NULL WM_COMMAND property for each logical application (that is, for each ApplicationShell hierarchy). Xt sets the WM_COMMAND property for an ApplicationShell when the shell is realized, using the command that started the application. Note that if an application is using an unrealized ApplicationShell with multiple TopLevelShell popup children, Xt will not place a WM_COMMAND property on any window, and the application must put this property on some (possibly unmapped) window in the application.
WM_CLIENT_MACHINE contains a string that represents the name of the host on which the application is running. Xt sets the WM_CLIENT_MACHINE for a WMShell or subclass when the shell is realized.
A session manager can inform an application when a top-level window is about to be deleted or when the application should try to save its state. An application expresses interest in these notifications by adding a WM_DELETE_WINDOW atom or a WM_SAVE_YOURSELF atom to the WM_PROTOCOLS property.
If a WM_DELETE_WINDOW protocol exists, the session manager sends a ClientMessage when it wants to delete a top-level window. The application may ask for user confirmation and may decide to comply or not comply with the request. If it decides to comply, the application can either unmap or destroy the window.
If a WM_SAVE_YOURSELF protocol exists, the session manager sends a ClientMessage when it wants the application to save its current state in such a way that it could be restored. The application should do whatever is necessary to save its internal state and then update the non-NULL WM_COMMAND property with a command that will restart the application in its current state. Finally, the application updates the WM_COMMAND property on the window that has the WM_SAVE_YOURSELF protocol if it has not already done so. This informs the session manager that the application has finished saving its state.
Motif installs a WM_DELETE_WINDOW protocol for VendorShell and its subclasses. It also installs a procedure to be called after any application-supplied WM_DELETE_WINDOW handlers are invoked. This procedure destroys the widget, unmaps the window, or does nothing, depending on the value of the VendorShell resource XmNdeleteResponse. If the procedure destroys an ApplicationShell, it then exits the application.
An application can add its own WM_DELETE_WINDOW and WM_SAVE_YOURSELF protocols by using XmAddWMProtocols or XmAddWMProtocolCallback.
When the user invokes the f.kill command, MWM sends a ClientMessage if an application has a WM_DELETE_WINDOW protocol and a separate ClientMessage if an application has a WM_SAVE_YOURSELF protocol. If the application has no WM_DELETE_WINDOW protocol, the f.kill command kills the client. In this case, if a WM_SAVE_YOURSELF protocol exists, MWM sends the ClientMessage and then waits for the time specified by the quitTimeout resource before killing the client.