Something to be added to the wish list.

Richard Rose (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 18:34:14 -0000

Hi there,

I had an idea a while back that would be nice to add to a WM, and since 
I am currently using AfterStep, I thought I'd suggest it here, and see 
what the developers think about it, and how hard it would be to 

The idea is this:
When an application loses focus, after a set time, it fades to glass.

The way I envisage it working is like this.
When an application loses focus, the root window passes a structure to 
the WM containing a reference to itself, it's children, and the colour 
palette it's using. The WM waits for the timeout, and when the timeout 
is reached a set of colours fading roughly down to the colours from the 
section or root window behind it are calculated, and the colours are 
rapidly reassigned, making the fade effect. The intermediate colours 
can then be dumped, leaving you only with the original colours saved 
somewhere, and the root window colours, which is what can be seen 
through the lost-focus objects. To make it "glassy", the edges of each 
widget inside the window, and the window itself would have to have a 
light grey/white border.

This feature could realistically only be implemented in 24bpp or 
higher, I think, due to the number of colours that may be needed, but 
if anyone thinks it can be done with less bpp, please voice your 
opinion, and preferably with a reason. A way to optimise the routines 
would be to save the colours needed when the objects lose focus, as 
they will only be brought back into focus or killed afterwards. If they 
are killed, then the colours can be dumped, if the are to be brought 
back into focus, then they will not have moved, as they would have had 
to get the focus back to have moved. Once the object is in focus, then 
you can safely dump the extra colours. Again, if RAM is excessively 
plentiful, the extra colours can be saved until the object is actually 
moved, saving calculation time if the object isn't moved.

In my opinion, this would be *very* nice, but I can see that there woul  
d be problems with it. For example, what if you run out of colours? 
What if you are copying text from one window/application to another? To 
overcome the second problem is quite easy. This feature could be 
implemented as an alternative to the minimise styles that are already 

Comments/suggestions? I'm sure that's what the list is for.

Richard Rose  -  Network Consultant  -  Zen Internet