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Enter GNUstep

Some of you may already know GNUstep, it is even listed on the Freedesktop web pages as "The GNU OpenStep? Implementation". And yes, this is what GNUstep tries to be, a free implementation of the OpenStep standard, while keeping up with some of the enhancements that Apple did to it. (Would anybody mind to remove the question mark? This could be seen as offending by some people)

GNUstep currently runs mostly on X windows (a MS Windows port is partly working) so the Freedesktop standards have been of interest for us for some time. We currently support most of the clipboard standards, the desktop entries (although in an old version), thumbnails and part of the EWMH specification. We also tried to implement XDnD, but the philosophy behind this does not map well to the GNUstep dragging concept, so this is currently not working. There may be more, but this is what I remember.

Of course we are planning to implement more. At the moment I am looking into better support for the window manager standard and there a problem shows up. OpenStep has the concept of a window having a style (e.g. with or without border decoration) and a window level (normal, floating, modal panel, sub menu, main menu and so on). I tried to match the later onto the EWMH window type. I found various problems with this, which also did vary between different EWMH window managers and different versions of them.
First the concept of a menu in EWMH seems to be different from the OpenStep free floating menu, which should stay on top of other windows. To work around this I maped the main menu to dock and the sub menus to menu. As this had some side effects (on KDE 3.1) to the window decoration, I had to switch that off with the KDE override atom.
Although this solution somehow works on most window managers, it is less than optimal and a clear definition of the different window types and what they should result in, could help me find a better correlation. Or at least it would allow me to blame the window managers for not following the standard.


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