Re: Looking forward...

Sasha Vasko (
Wed, 02 Apr 2003 11:07:15 -0600

Fabien Perdu wrote:

> The second one is the reason why we have to use the
> restart function. It is a bug that occurs at certain dates,
> on all the PCs at the same time. It is not very harmful,
> as it does not crash the WM nor the apps running, but still
> enough to have to restart the session.
> Typically it occurs once a month or so. I didn't keep a track
> of the dates, but if you need it I can from now on.
> The symptoms are as follow : windows never become active.
> We use SloppyFocus, some of us use Autoraise, others no.
> When the bug occurs, passing the cursors over a window does not
> highlight its decorations (the window is not "active"). Neither
> does clicking on the title bar (function "Move-or-Top"). But I
> have bound C-Up to the function "Raise" and this works.
> Th window over which is the cursor is not active, but it has got
> the focus. If it is an aterm or an emacs, for example; you can
> type in it. But the text cursors shows as if the pointer was outside.
> On some windows (mozilla for example), it is even more disturbing :
> you cannot type in the "url" text entry, nor select text, and the
> text cursor becomes invisible.

Yes, All of this is due to well known limitation of X Windows. Every 30 
something days internal clock of X Server rolls over ( since its 
counting milliseconds and stores them in 32 bit variable ).But 
AfterStep, as well as any other decent window manager, relies on this to
set focus to windows and for some other things. Basically you will not 
set focus on window if it was requested by event with lesser time then 
last focus action. But after clock roll over all the times will be less
then last focus action's time - so focus never gets set.

I did go to some length in new AS to overcome this problem, and try and 
detect clock roll over. But this only works if X server is same macine 
as AfterStep runs on. There is no fix for remote servers.
Unfortunately I was not able to debug it since I could not get AS to run 
for 30 something days :).

> Sometimes this bug comes with a mess in the pager, and difficulties
> to restart it right, but not always. However, it is nearly never
> necessary to close the session completely (which kills everything
> as the session is launched in .xinitrc)
> It would be a great deal if these two points were solved in version
> 2.0, and be assured that your best advantages over other WMs are your
> robustness and a good pager (still improvable yet...)

Restart function should now restore desktop exactly - with all the 
windows going on proper desktop and proper viewport. It will even 
restore current desktop/viewport.

For those who are interested in what other new features are there - read 
this :

Current status is : AfterStep proper, Pager, Wharf and WinList are 
pretty much debugged, and should be ready for testing by general public.
Currently I'm cleaning up icons/backgrounds/look/feel/etc, and as soo as 
I'm done I'll publish a tarball of 2.0.beta1

I also have two requests as related to that activity:
1) What themes should be supplied with AfterStep? I was going to get the 
best rated from but they all seem alike.
2) If anybody has high quality icons in PNG format with true alpha 
channel - I' would be very happy to include them in the distro. Same 
goes for background - I'm looking for midium sized tiles ( 128x128 upto 
256x256 ) of higher quality in PNG format.  Also of interest are 
titlebar buttons about 15x15 to 24x24 sizes, again in PNG format with 
true alpha channel (antialiased preferably).

Please let me know if anyone could help me with these items.

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