Whenever this spec speaks about “sending a message to the root window”, it is understood that the client is supposed to create a ClientMessage event with the specified contents and send it by using a SendEvent request with the following arguments:
destination root propagate False event-mask (SubstructureNotify|SubstructureRedirect) event the specified ClientMessage
This property MUST be set by the Window Manager to indicate which hints it supports. For example: considering _NET_WM_STATE both this atom and all supported states e.g. _NET_WM_STATE_MODAL, _NET_WM_STATE_STICKY, would be listed. This assumes that backwards incompatible changes will not be made to the hints (without being renamed).
_NET_CLIENT_LIST, WINDOW/32 _NET_CLIENT_LIST_STACKING, WINDOW/32
These arrays contain all X Windows managed by the Window Manager. _NET_CLIENT_LIST has initial mapping order, starting with the oldest window. _NET_CLIENT_LIST_STACKING has bottom-to-top stacking order. These properties SHOULD be set and updated by the Window Manager.
This property SHOULD be set and updated by the Window Manager to indicate the number of virtual desktops.
A Pager can request a change in the number of desktops by sending a _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS message to the root window:
_NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS message_type = _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS format = 32 data.l = new_number_of_desktops other data.l elements = 0
The Window Manager is free to honor or reject this request. If the request is honored _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS MUST be set to the new number of desktops, _NET_VIRTUAL_ROOTS MUST be set to store the new number of desktop virtual root window IDs and _NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT and _NET_WORKAREA must also be changed accordingly. The _NET_DESKTOP_NAMES property MAY remain unchanged.
If the number of desktops is shrinking and _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP is out of the new range of available desktops, then this MUST be set to the last available desktop from the new set. Clients that are still present on desktops that are out of the new range MUST be moved to the very last desktop from the new set. For these _NET_WM_DESKTOP MUST be updated.
_NET_DESKTOP_GEOMETRY width, height, CARDINAL/32
Array of two cardinals that defines the common size of all desktops (this is equal to the screen size if the Window Manager doesn't support large desktops, otherwise it's equal to the virtual size of the desktop). This property SHOULD be set by the Window Manager.
A Pager can request a change in the desktop geometry by sending a _NET_DESKTOP_GEOMETRY client message to the root window:
_NET_DESKTOP_GEOMETRY message_type = _NET_DESKTOP_GEOMETRY format = 32 data.l = new_width data.l = new_height other data.l elements = 0
The Window Manager MAY choose to ignore this message, in which case _NET_DESKTOP_GEOMETRY property will remain unchanged.
_NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT x, y, CARDINAL/32
Array of pairs of cardinals that define the top left corner of each desktop's viewport. For Window Managers that don't support large desktops, this MUST always be set to (0,0).
A Pager can request to change the viewport for the current desktop by sending a _NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT client message to the root window:
_NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT message_type = _NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT format = 32 data.l = new_vx data.l = new_vy other data.l elements = 0
The Window Manager MAY choose to ignore this message, in which case _NET_DESKTOP_VIEWPORT property will remain unchanged.
_NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP desktop, CARDINAL/32
The index of the current desktop. This is always an integer between 0 and _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS - 1. This MUST be set and updated by the Window Manager. If a Pager wants to switch to another virtual desktop, it MUST send a _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP client message to the root window:
_NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP message_type = _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP format = 32 data.l = new_index data.l = timestamp other data.l elements = 0
Note that the timestamp may be 0 for clients using an older version of this spec, in which case the timestamp field should be ignored.
The names of all virtual desktops. This is a list of NULL-terminated strings in UTF-8 encoding [UTF8]. This property MAY be changed by a Pager or the Window Manager at any time.
Note: The number of names could be different from _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS. If it is less than _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS, then the desktops with high numbers are unnamed. If it is larger than _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS, then the excess names outside of the _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS are considered to be reserved in case the number of desktops is increased.
Rationale: The name is not a necessary attribute of a virtual desktop. Thus the availability or unavailability of names has no impact on virtual desktop functionality. Since names are set by users and users are likely to preset names for a fixed number of desktops, it doesn't make sense to shrink or grow this list when the number of available desktops changes.
The window ID of the currently active window or None if no window has the focus. This is a read-only property set by the Window Manager. If a Client wants to activate another window, it MUST send a _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW client message to the root window:
_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW window = window to activate message_type = _NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW format = 32 data.l = source indication data.l = timestamp data.l = requestor's currently active window, 0 if none other data.l elements = 0
Source indication should be 1 when the request comes from an application, and 2 when it comes from a pager. Clients using older version of this spec use 0 as source indication, see the section called “Source indication in requests” for details. The timestamp is Client's last user activity timestamp (see _NET_WM_USER_TIME) at the time of the request, and the currently active window is the Client's active toplevel window, if any (the Window Manager may be e.g. more likely to obey the request if it will mean transferring focus from one active window to another).
Depending on the information provided with the message, the Window Manager may decide to refuse the request (either completely ignore it, or e.g. use _NET_WM_STATE_DEMANDS_ATTENTION).
_NET_WORKAREA, x, y, width, height CARDINAL/32
This property MUST be set by the Window Manager upon calculating the work area for each desktop. Contains a geometry for each desktop. These geometries are specified relative to the viewport on each desktop and specify an area that is completely contained within the viewport. Work area SHOULD be used by desktop applications to place desktop icons appropriately.
The Window Manager SHOULD calculate this space by taking the current page minus space occupied by dock and panel windows, as indicated by the _NET_WM_STRUT or _NET_WM_STRUT_PARTIAL properties set on client windows.
The Window Manager MUST set this property on the root window to be the ID of a child window created by himself, to indicate that a compliant window manager is active. The child window MUST also have the _NET_SUPPORTING_WM_CHECK property set to the ID of the child window. The child window MUST also have the _NET_WM_NAME property set to the name of the Window Manager.
Rationale: The child window is used to distinguish an active Window Manager from a stale _NET_SUPPORTING_WM_CHECK property that happens to point to another window. If the _NET_SUPPORTING_WM_CHECK window on the client window is missing or not properly set, clients SHOULD assume that no conforming Window Manager is present.
To implement virtual desktops, some Window Managers reparent client windows to a child of the root window. Window Managers using this technique MUST set this property to a list of IDs for windows that are acting as virtual root windows. This property allows background setting programs to work with virtual roots and allows clients to figure out the window manager frame windows of their windows.
_NET_DESKTOP_LAYOUT, orientation, columns, rows, starting_corner CARDINAL/32 #define _NET_WM_ORIENTATION_HORZ 0 #define _NET_WM_ORIENTATION_VERT 1 #define _NET_WM_TOPLEFT 0 #define _NET_WM_TOPRIGHT 1 #define _NET_WM_BOTTOMRIGHT 2 #define _NET_WM_BOTTOMLEFT 3
This property is set by a Pager, not by the Window
When setting this property, the Pager must own a manager selection (as
defined in the ICCCM 2.8). The manager selection is called
n is the screen number. The purpose of
this property is to allow the Window Manager to know the desktop
layout displayed by the Pager.
_NET_DESKTOP_LAYOUT describes the layout of virtual desktops relative to each other. More specifically, it describes the layout used by the owner of the manager selection. The Window Manager may use this layout information or may choose to ignore it. The property contains four values: the Pager orientation, the number of desktops in the X direction, the number in the Y direction, and the starting corner of the layout, i.e. the corner containing the first desktop.
Note: In order to inter-operate with Pagers implementing an earlier draft of this document, Window Managers should accept a _NET_DESKTOP_LAYOUT property of length 3 and use _NET_WM_TOPLEFT as the starting corner in this case.
The virtual desktops are arranged in a rectangle with
rows rows and
columns does not match
the total number of desktops as specified by
_NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS, the highest-numbered
workspaces are assumed to be nonexistent. Either
columns (but not both) may be specified as 0 in which
case its actual value will be derived from _NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS.
When the orientation is _NET_WM_ORIENTATION_HORZ the desktops are laid out in rows, with the first desktop in the specified starting corner. So a layout with four columns and three rows starting in the _NET_WM_TOPLEFT corner looks like this:
+--+--+--+--+ | 0| 1| 2| 3| +--+--+--+--+ | 4| 5| 6| 7| +--+--+--+--+ | 8| 9|10|11| +--+--+--+--+
With starting_corner _NET_WM_BOTTOMRIGHT, it looks like this:
+--+--+--+--+ |11|10| 9| 8| +--+--+--+--+ | 7| 6| 5| 4| +--+--+--+--+ | 3| 2| 1| 0| +--+--+--+--+
When the orientation is _NET_WM_ORIENTATION_VERT the layout with four columns and three rows starting in the _NET_WM_TOPLEFT corner looks like:
+--+--+--+--+ | 0| 3| 6| 9| +--+--+--+--+ | 1| 4| 7|10| +--+--+--+--+ | 2| 5| 8|11| +--+--+--+--+
With starting_corner _NET_WM_TOPRIGHT, it looks like:
+--+--+--+--+ | 9| 6| 3| 0| +--+--+--+--+ |10| 7| 4| 1| +--+--+--+--+ |11| 8| 5| 2| +--+--+--+--+
The numbers here are the desktop numbers, as for _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP.
_NET_SHOWING_DESKTOP desktop, CARDINAL/32
Some Window Managers have a "showing the desktop" mode in which windows are hidden, and the desktop background is displayed and focused. If a Window Manager supports the _NET_SHOWING_DESKTOP hint, it MUST set it to a value of 1 when the Window Manager is in "showing the desktop" mode, and a value of zero if the Window Manager is not in this mode.
If a Pager wants to enter or leave the mode, it MUST send a _NET_SHOWING_DESKTOP client message to the root window requesting the change:
_NET_SHOWING_DESKTOP message_type = _NET_SHOWING_DESKTOP format = 32 data.l = boolean 0 or 1 other data.l elements = 0
The Window Manager may choose to ignore this client message.