KWin Developer's Response To The GNOME CSD Initiative

Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 27 January 2018 at 08:57 AM EST. 73 Comments
KDE KWin window manager / compositor maintainer Martin Flöser has penned a brief response to the recent GNOME developer's CSD Initiative in trying to get all applications to pursue client-side decorations and abandon title bars in favor of header bars.

GNOME's Wayland strategy has been all about using client-side decorations (CSD) rather than server-side decorations (SSD) although Wayland does not force applications to use CSDs. GNOME and the Weston reference compositor notably use client-side decorations while KDE has been all about server-side decorations.

With KDE developers preferring server-side decorations, it's to no surprise that Martin Flöser isn't turned on by this GNOME CSD Initiative. Martin had developed a protocol for negotiating with a Wayland compositor what type of window decorations to use, but isn't upstreaming it in wanting to stay out of this polarized discussion.

"If toolkit developers think that this is needed, don’t get fooled by GNOME asking you to implement CSD. In the same way you can ask GNOME to support server side decorations. They could do it, because they need it for XWayland anyway. And I can totally understand you toolkit developers to not want to implement CSD. It’s a lot of work and it’s difficult to not look like an alien in the various desktop environments," Martin wrote. See his brief post in full here.

Which side will win? Well, only time will tell.
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