[Rd] [Solved] Possible x11 window manager window aggregation under one icon?

Martin Maechler m@ech|er @end|ng |rom @t@t@m@th@ethz@ch
Fri Mar 26 14:49:56 CET 2021

>>>>> Duncan Murdoch 
>>>>>     on Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:41:46 -0400 writes:

    > On 25/03/2021 9:18 a.m., Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:
    >> On 24 March 2021 at 10:30, Martin Maechler wrote:
    >> | For this reason I've committed to R (the trunk, i.e., R-devel,
    >> | for R 4.1.0 in a month or so)  in svn rev 80110.
    >> I just saw that via the (still extremely helpful) RSS feed of SVN changes and
    >> then pulled.
    >> You may have missed that Ivan concluded, and I followed, that the _patch is
    >> not needed_.  All one needs is to adjust the .desktop file. I posted my full
    >> changelog from the Debian package (of which I currently run a test build on
    >> two Ubuntu machines using the binaries from Launchpad I pointed to).
    >> So in that sense I think r80110 may wants to be reverted.

    > I'm not sure either if Martin saw your conclusion.

I saw it, but as there were two patches of Ivan, I understood
that the 2nd one (which would even group X11 windows of
unrelated R instances) was unneeded.

I concluded I liked the first one because it would achieve
what's considered "uniformly better" in the sense that it makes
R graphics behave like "all other" desktop applications *and* it
would do so for all possible window manager scheme without any
need of some desktop setting (which a typical user would not
know about, nor know that s?he should/could change).

    > I haven't tested R-devel with r80110 yet, but I did make the equivalent 
    > change in rgl, and have been working with that.

    > In Ubuntu, it makes no difference if the .desktop file is changed as you 
    > describe, 
a big "iff" at least conceptually, when in the present case,
Dirk as Debian maintainer of the 'R debian pkg' can make it happen.

What about Redhat/Fedora etc, what about the next cool window manager
on Linux distribution Z?  They may change to do what .desktop
does in a different way, etc, or more typically not package R
that way and hence not have a *.desktop equivalent.

    > but I think it's an improvement if you don't make that change 
    > for the usual case.  You don't get a ton of icons, you get one rgl icon 
    > per process.

    > In macOS, it does affect the behaviour of windows.  During rgl testing, 
    > I sometimes create 100+ windows.  Before the change, the window manager 
    > put them all over the screen, trying to make the newest one visible. 
    > After the change (now it knows they're all in the same group), it just 
    > cascades them down the screen until it hits the bottom, then keeps 
    > creating tiny windows crammed against the bottom of the screen.  I think 
    > this is negative (the usual reason I create them all is to hope to spot 
    > bad changes).

    > So for a reasonable number of windows the change is an improvement:  the 
    > windows appear grouped.  For a very large number of
    > windows it's a negative..

    > Duncan Murdoch

which probably also depends on your screen size and the
configuration of several tuning parameters of your window
manager etc..

This all started with Dirk saying the R behaves differently than
"all" other applications in this respect, and Ivan found compact
way to change that .. window-manager -- independently  which I
still think is a pro.
Given Duncan's use case, may this should become an argument for
x11() and X11.options(),  say  grouping = c("process", "none", "all")
with  match.arg(grouping) used, so the default was "process"
i.e. group things together that belong to the same "process"
(current R-devel),  "none" would correspond to the previous
default and "all" would correspond to what the 2nd patch of Ivan
aimed for.


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