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A Proposal To Fix The Full-Screen Linux Window Mess

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  • A Proposal To Fix The Full-Screen Linux Window Mess

    Phoronix: A Proposal To Fix The Full-Screen Linux Window Mess

    Ryan Gordon, the well-known Linux game porter and developer of SDL and other open-source projects, along with Sam Lantinga, another key SDL developer and recent hire for Valve's Linux team, have proposed a window manager change to work out the full-screen X11 window mess...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTIxNDg

  • #2
    Typical scenario for me with Gnome3 on Fedora 17 with two monitors:
    1. playing videos is ferfect, full screen on one monitor and e.g. a browser open in the other
    2. wine games (ddo) if full screen:
      • started on the main monitor, it will mirror in full screen on both
      • started on the external monitor, it will full screen only there but the wm on the other monitor is not accessable (Meta-Key still works and if you click something on the other monitor it will leave the game and you cannot go back)
      • the desktop will stay in it's resolution, no worries if the game crashes
    3. linux native games if full screen:
      • started on the main monitor, it will strech in full screen on both
      • if the game crashes, you are stuck with whatever resolution you ran
    4. gnome-rdp to connect to e.g. virt-manager running a vm, full screen on one monitor and works perfect
    Last edited by disi; 10-25-2012, 08:07 AM.

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    • #3
      I actually started a very similar thread on the Wayland mailing list a couple of years ago: http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...er/000080.html

      The general concensus there was that games shouldn't be changing resolution, but instead, if the game requests a fullscreen resolution - the WM should provide the game a surface of the size it requested but then upscale that to fullscreen, perhaps even with sensible black-barring if the aspect ratio doesn't match the native resolution.

      I have no idea if this got implemented in Wayland. If someone is on the wm-spec-list it might be useful to post the above link on that thread.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by disi View Post
        Typical scenario for me with Gnome3 on Fedora 17 with two monitors:
        1. playing videos is ferfect, full screen on one monitor and e.g. a browser open in the other
        2. wine games (ddo) if full screen:
          • started on the main monitor, it will mirror in full screen on both
          • started on the external monitor, it will full screen only there but the wm on the other monitor is not accessable (Meta-Key still works and if you click something on the other monitor it will leave the game and you cannot go back)
          • the desktop will stay in it's resolution, no worries if the game crashes
        3. linux native games if full screen:
          • started on the main monitor, it will strech in full screen on both
          • if the game crashes, you are stuck with whatever resolution you ran
        4. gnome-rdp to connect to e.g. virt-manager running a vm, full screen on one monitor and works perfect
        This sounds like a merged framebuffer setup.
        Ever tried a zaphod setup. i.e. separate screens?
        I do prefer this configuration.

        Downsides are:

        • You can't drag windows from one screen to other anymore.
        • Merged big-screen output (typically flight simulator games, etc...) is typically not available anymore.
        • Glamor (generic 2D acceleration via OpenGL) does not yet support this configuration (not sure if this will change).
        • I've got the feeling that X developers don't really like zaphod configurations for some reasons.

        Apart from that, everything else is far better imho.

        Comment


        • #5
          I wonder why Gräßlin forgot that quite a few users like to use laptops with external screens and are thus constantly changing resolution anyway.

          Originally posted by entropy View Post
          This sounds like a merged framebuffer setup.
          Ever tried a zaphod setup. i.e. separate screens?
          I do prefer this configuration.

          Downsides are:

          • You can't drag windows from one screen to other anymore.
          • Merged big-screen output (typically flight simulator games, etc...) is typically not available anymore.
          • Glamor (generic 2D acceleration via OpenGL) does not yet support this configuration (not sure if this will change).
          • I've got the feeling that X developers don't really like zaphod configurations for some reasons.

          Apart from that, everything else is far better imho.
          Care to comment on the "everything else"? Because I can only really think of games which usually don't handle multiple screens well doing better here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by entropy View Post
            This sounds like a merged framebuffer setup.
            Ever tried a zaphod setup. i.e. separate screens?
            I do prefer this configuration.

            Downsides are:

            • You can't drag windows from one screen to other anymore.
            • Merged big-screen output (typically flight simulator games, etc...) is typically not available anymore.
            • Glamor (generic 2D acceleration via OpenGL) does not yet support this configuration (not sure if this will change).
            • I've got the feeling that X developers don't really like zaphod configurations for some reasons.

            Apart from that, everything else is far better imho.
            That is with radeon driver LVDS and DVI-0.
            I have a displaylink USB connector but couldn't get it to work under Fedora (they hardcoded more recent hardware IDs into some quirks for automatic setup but my device is older). With x2x this worked great with two instances of xorg, but you won't have any hardware acceleration and even watching a video is OK but not great. Also I had trouble with GTK, because it would screw up menus etc. on the displaylink device (Qt was fine).

            I can play like that, if I have the game fullscreen there is nothing else anyway and if I want to look up a quest or something I use the netbook Everything else than games works just better using a proper RandR setup.

            Comment


            • #7
              Martin Gräßlin's reply is infuriating.

              Sorry, this will be a rant:

              -- Start Rant --

              Now if a game changes the resolution [widgets arrangement] gets completely destroyed. The
              manual layout is completely broken and cannot be restored (!) once the screen
              resolution changes back.[...]
              This whole “but changing resolution breaks our desktop icons” think is ridiculous, this is a bug on the KDE desktop and should be fixed there. His reasoning is similar to saying “some cars have bad brakes so lets forbid everyone from driving downhill”.

              Last but not least I have never understood the need to change the resolution.
              If the screen is larger than the resolution supported by the game, why not run
              in windowed mode? At least I (though I'm not a gamer) hate the pixel graphics
              I get when running a game which supports only 1024x768 on my full HD computer
              screen.
              In other words, he don't play games therefore something essential to games is not important. Come on, “run in windowed mode”? Since he doesn't play, I would encourage him to only watch videos on the video's native resolution (no maximize, no full-screen, even on a TV, if the source is not fullhd then it should be a tiny box in the middle of the screen) after all he hates those stretched pixels, lets see how mush he likes his windowed mode after that.

              I hate when some developer dismiss the requirements of a huge group of users (some times majority) just because he/she don't need it. I know the FOSS motto is “if you don't like it change it yourself” but in this case (and may others) there is someone working on changing/fixing and he is pressing against.

              -- End Rant --

              Sorry, I needed to take this out of my chest.
              Last edited by BadgerRush; 10-25-2012, 08:48 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                The solution mentioned above for Wayland, by Kazade, sounds best IMO and less problematic and would probably satisfy Martin as well.
                I'm very glad they're looking into it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BadgerRush View Post
                  Sorry, this will be a rant:

                  -- Start Rant --



                  This whole “but changing resolution breaks our desktop icons” think is ridiculous, this is a bug on the KDE desktop and should be fixed there. His reasoning is similar to saying “some cars have bad brakes so lets forbid everyone from driving downhill”.



                  In other words, he don't play games therefore something essential to games is not important. Come on, “run in windowed mode”? Since he doesn't play, I would encourage him to only watch videos on the video's native resolution (no maximize, no full-screen, even on a TV, if the source is not fullhd then it should be a tiny box in the middle of the screen) after all he hates those stretched pixels, lets see how mush he likes his windowed mode after that.

                  I hate when some developer dismiss the requirements of a huge group of users (some times majority) just because he/she don't need it. I know the FOSS motto is “if you don't like it change it yourself” but in this case (and may others) there is someone working on changing/fixing and he is pressing against.

                  -- End Rant --

                  Sorry, I needed to take this out of my chest.
                  +1 So true. Normally Martin gets things right, but he has this analysis system where someone says something, he thinks "how will this fit with what I use", and if it doesn't, it gets dismissed (see: proposals to kill screensaver).

                  Just run it in windowed mode is especially a joke, I agree. At most we could require that games upscale their output to the monitor resolution, even with a crappy algorithm, but loosing screen estate is not admissible.

                  Also, a very common example of needing to change the resolution is crappy video cards on modern monitors. For instance, consider intel graphics on the new macs with a 2500xwhatever resolution. Obviously you're not gonna game at that resolution with those GPUs. So there needs to be a solution!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rigaldo View Post
                    The solution mentioned above for Wayland, by Kazade, sounds best IMO and less problematic and would probably satisfy Martin as well.
                    I'm very glad they're looking into it.
                    Performance wise this could get a little heavy however it could fix a ton of problems so I say stability first, performance second.

                    Comment

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