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StepBox v1.2

From: Yen-Ju Chen
Subject: StepBox v1.2
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 11:52:29 -0500


StepBox v1.2 is out: http://www.people.virginia.edu/~yc2w/GNUstep/programs/StepBox-v1.2.tar.gz
 Thanx for eveyone who gives suggestions and comments.
 They are very helpful.

Basically it behaves close to the original hackedbox and supports window level.
 Most of the bugs are associated with memory management
 because it is quite different in C++ and ObjC.
("delete object" will really delete an object, but "RELEASE(object)" may not).

 There are some issues I needs comments and suggestions:

**  StepBox can go two ways: a stand-alone window manager
 or a window manager behind GWorkspace.
 The later is better for me because it is small.
 But it forces people to use GWorkspace otherwise StepBox is useless.

Since WindowMaker works for everyone already and is a stand-alone window manager,
 people who don't want to use GWorkspace+StepBox can use it instead.

Then I have a suggestion that GWorkspace should not display file manager when starting up
 so that it behaves more like workspace than file manager.

** Features for StepBox

If StepBox has to be used with GWorkspace, what features should it (not) has ?
 All the menus is not necessary, so is the workspace.
 Styles can be removed (see below).
 My only question is whether it will affect non-GNustep applications ?
In other word, fiend and workspaces of GWorkspace have to support non-GNUstep applications.
 StepBox doesn't support icon window now.
 If GWorkspace can't handle non-GNUstep icon, StepBox has to support them.

** Window manager protocol

Right now, StepBox pretends to be WindowMaker in order to receive extra informaton
 from GNUstep application such as window level.
My suggestions is that GNUstep applications should send these information (mainly GNUstepWMAttr)
 no matter which window manager people use.
I guess most window manager will discard these information if they don't support.

** Use backend for drawing and text handling

 The future goal of StepBox is to use backend for drawing and text handling
 so that it is more easy to maintain and support i18n immediately.
If it works out, styles in StepBox can be removed because it shares the same
 theme engine as normal GNUstep application.
It is doable after I did some experiments (hacks) and got suggestions from many people,
 but it is not an easy work.
 If someone can help me out on this part (making some working prototype),
 I'll appreciate.

 Have fun.


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