In the Zone

Code — January 4, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

News from the coding front: A fair number of long-standing Entrance bugs have been squashed. One of the more notable ones had to do with locale support (date and time display). Entrance should now correctly display the date & time in your system locale.

E17 virtual desktops are almost here. The E17 desktop paradigm is somewhat different from what you’re used to — in fact, attempting to make the extended window manager hints spec fit around it might prove to be slightly challenging. E17 will have multiple desktops with virtual roots, ala E16. Each desktop, or “container”, will have one or more “zones”, the default being one zone per head in a Xinerama setup. It may be possible to have multiple zones on a single screen as well. Each zone will have its own background edje and its own set of client windows. Each zone has one or more virtual desktops, and each virtual desktop may have a background that is different from its zone’s background. Seems complicated, but it’s really quite simple to understand in the end. :)

I have almost finished getting the basic features for this going in CVS — right now there’s a data corruption bug we’re trying to track down that affects switching between virtual desktops in a zone.

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3 Responses to “In the Zone”

  1. Ian Stuart says:

    Been talking to HandyandE about this (he was showing off the multiple desktop stuff.

    Next is to seperate the “zone” from the physical screen, and introduce a viewport. This allows one (to go somewhat OTT) to have a zone of 16,000×12.000 pixels, and have a 1,600×1,200 viewport located over desktop at any point.
    This is subtly different from the current system, where one has multiple zones, and may place the viewport across the top of one and the bottom of it’s neighbour.

    But it looks damn fine even now!

  2. HandyAndE says:

    hmm, think you meant to seperate desks from the physical screen? basically he wants us to add support for viewing portions of “touching” desktops allowing to be viewing any portion of the huge zone underneath – I guess this comes after having portions of windows overlapping onto other desks if they are too big for their own desktop…

  3. xcomp says:

    The viewport idea won’t work in our model for a couple of reasons: The zone is not a window. The container is the window. Technically it might be possible to envision a giant zone and a viewport on the zone, but the only way you could achieve this in reality would be to recalculate window positions on the fly whenever you move to another desktop and it would end up being messy…and besides, it would break the ability to move windows easily from one screen to the next. What we have now is a 2d virtual desktop system — we simply assign desktops “virtual” xy coordinates on the zone even though they’re really stored in a one-dimensional list.

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