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Afterstep 2.0 Beta Includes XML Graphics System 214

vaevictus writes "Afterstep just released its 2.0 Beta 1, after a long merge from its development branch. One of the most interesting new features is an XML-based graphics system, where any picture for any part of the WM can be a simple chunk of XML, which can do transformations, scaling, gradients and some other nice graphics mods. I've personally used this to cut my 1600x1200 image size from a 2.4mb PNG to a total of about 37kb. This leads to some very compact themes. If you're not familiar, AfterStep is one of the older WMs out there still in active development; all of you WindowMaker fans should check out the WM your WM branched off of, so long ago."
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Afterstep 2.0 Beta Includes XML Graphics System

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  • by Shivaji Maharaj ( 692442 ) <> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:21PM (#6690505) Homepage
    Looks pretty slick. But the window movement is bit shaky and the screen jitters sometimes.
    • by killthiskid ( 197397 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:50PM (#6690701) Homepage Journal

      So I have a question... when I hear XML and graphics, and I instantly think SVG... does this format have anything to do with XML? Is it compatiable? Is there an XSL transformation you can do to turn it into SVG?

      • I'm a dork: should read 'does this format have anything to do with SVG?' instead of 'does this format have anything to do with XML?'
      • by sashav ( 132614 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @08:30PM (#6690947) Homepage
        No, its not compatible with SVG, and actually has different goal. Afterstep's XML images merely provides interface to powerfull functionality of libAfterImage, including image overlaying, scaling, tiling, cropping, and so on. It has many uses, such as compiling complex icons from simplier clipart, creating scaled down thumbnails, changing colors of images to match that of colorscheme, and so on.
        It is very usefull in different fields, such as web design, where you can create a script that generates all of the website's images from some clipart ( including text rendering ).
        Note that AfterStep does not need to keep multiple copies of the same image for different pourposes, which is what KDE does with its icon themes, etc.
        • SVG can do overlaying, scaling, tiling, cropping and so on!
  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) * <> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:23PM (#6690515) Journal
    i got some nice downloads off it, but here's a mirror.

    echo ""|s ed s/X/s/g

    why'm i being a tool? cause only the people who want to visit will paste. mirrors take 10x the bandwidth with a link. so, if anyone translates my url into a link that gets modded over 1, i'll just remove the mirror :D buwahahaaaa
    • it would be a good plan if it defeated /.'s word splitting in long urls

      like this :

      echo ' 28&mode=nested&tid=104&tid=106&tid=185&tid=189 ' | tr -d ' '

  • Windowmaker + AS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flikx ( 191915 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:25PM (#6690525) Homepage Journal

    Seriously folks, it's about time WindowMaker merges back with AfterStep. Dividing the great AS WM is the sole reason why KDE and GNOME dominate at this point.

    If the WindowMaker project rejoined AfterStep, AfterStep could actually become a viable window manager on it's own terms. As opposed to relying on the publicity of the GNUStep project, and WindowMaker for support in the first place.

    • Re:Windowmaker + AS (Score:3, Informative)

      by Arker ( 91948 )

      Assuming you're trolling, let me point out that WindowMaker isn't a fork of AfterStep, it's a from-scratch window manager in the same style. AfterStep on the other hand is a fork of another wm, twm was it?

      I've always wondered why AfterStep still exists, actually, having tried both AfterStep always struck me as being a bit clumsy and crufty in comparison. Maybe some AfterStep fans want to explain what they like about it compared to WindowMaker?

      • They tend to list some idiotic vanity features like transparent menus and such. Personally, last time I have used AS, which was years ago, it was clumsier and harder to use than WindowMaker which was amazing considering that Window Maker was 0.20.x and AS was supposed to be a lot more mature. In any case, both are irrelevant to me as I tend to stick with the default Gnome Window manager (whatever it is this year).
      • Re:Windowmaker + AS (Score:3, Informative)

        by homer_ca ( 144738 )
        Afterstep was a fork of fvwm2 (a very old school window manager; think Redhat 4.2 and earlier). Both Windowmaker and Afterstep are recreations of the Nextstep GUI. When I tried AS (admittedly years ago), it still showed its clunky fvwm2 roots. All configs were in text files including the Wharf (called Icon Dock in Next). The dock on the Next had draggable icons which was pretty cool for its time (first came out in 1989), and WM had that too, so it was a closer imitation of the Nextstep GUI. Correct me if I'
        • Actually, more like a fork of bowman, which in turn was a fork of fvwm.

          See this page []:

          AfterStep is based on Fvwm, but it is designed to emulate some of the look and feel of the NEXTSTEP(R) user interface, while adding useful, requested, and neat features. It started life under the name of Bowman, by Bo Yang, but has since moved past simple emulation and into a niche as its own valuable window manager.
        • All configs were in text files including the Wharf (called Icon Dock in Next).

          And that's a bad thing, how?

          • All configs were in text files including the Wharf (called Icon Dock in Next).

            And that's a bad thing, how?

            If it still used the same configuration format as fvwm, then you not only had to hand edit some terrible looking pseudo scripts, you then had to run them through a processor (m4 if memory serves). Remember that not all text configuration files are good (think Sendmail). Given the emphasis on XML in this new version of AfterStep, I'd be surprised if the config files haven't been improved if they h

        • I corrected myself in a parallel post, but actually, I was in a sense correct to begin with, since fvwm was a fork of twm.

      • Re:Windowmaker + AS (Score:5, Informative)

        by sashav ( 132614 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @08:37PM (#6690987) Homepage
        AfterStep 2.0 is a complete from scratch reimplementation, Its much more flexible then WM, its graphics subsistem is much more advanced and powerfull, resource management is better ( consider the fact that AS now compresses images in memory - something no other desktop environment could do).
        It was redesigned to be compliant with new window management specs, and as different from WM it is actually being developed right now.
    • by msimm ( 580077 )
      Gnome and KDE lead because they are Windows-like. Great for transitioning people who don't want to jump in feet first. WindowsMaker was my first DE of choice, until I discovered BlackBox (simpler, cleaner and fast and arguably better looking!). IMHO of course.
    • Oops I meant assuming you're not just trolling.

      Also I just checked, AfterStep is a fork of fvwm.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:25PM (#6690526)
    You mean something like this?

    <picture width="100" height="100">
    <element x="0" y="0">
    <component name="red" value="10" />
    <component name="green" value="255" />
    <component name="blue" value="10" />
    </element> ......
    • by gfody ( 514448 ) *
      lol, mod this up

      seriously, wtf does XML have to do with a windowing system or any other type of rendering gizmo?
    • No, I assume it's something more vector like...

      <picture width="100" height="100">
      <instruction x="0" y="0">
      <line x="24" y="40"/>
      <etc..... />
    • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:36PM (#6690602) Homepage Journal
      No.... like this!

      </picture type=jpeg>
      <data encoding=32_bit_little _endian_binary_written_in_an_acsii_string_in=32_li ttle_endian>
      1010101100101001010000111010101010100010001010101 0101010001010101......
    • Re:XML Image format? (Score:5, Informative)

      by vaevictus ( 126738 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:41PM (#6690627)
      Actually you're not too far off...
      take a 17KB greyscale tile (defenseless elsie, in this case), and load it with this chunk of xml:

      <composite op=tint>
      <gradient width=$xroot.width height=$xroot.height colors="BaseDark BaseLight" angle=45/>
      <img tile=1 tint="#7Fffffff" src="tiles/DefenselessElsie"/>

      an d you've got a beautiful 1600x1200 image with a gradient that passes through the entire background , not just a single tile. It will also pull the colors for this gradient out of your current colorscheme, unless you would like to change some simple xml around.
      • Some of those attributes aren't in quotes. One has to wonder: What's the point in used a standard if you not going to follow it correctly.

        Is this just a quick example you whipped up? Or is this a real sample?

    • Nah...this one is at least compatible with my very own all-purpose, bloatless, but XML-compliant DTD :

      begin 644 xmlgif.gz
      M'XL(".[).C\``V)L82YG:68``;`&3_E'248X- V $P`;@`\```````____+```
      M```P`;@```+^C(^IR^T/HYRTV HNSWKS[#X;B2);FB:;JRK;N"\?R3-?VC>?Z
      MSO?^#PP*A\2B \8A,*I?,IO,)C4JGU*KUBLUJM]RN]PL.B\?DLID%:*1):\3Z
      M'4FW`W,Z8'YORQ5U1O_0]V>P!YB0YW97*'@VLM@X"`E!>%@8J 0<9N)'I1S>8
    • Re:XML Image format? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by csbruce ( 39509 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:33PM (#6691385)
      <element x="0" y="0">
      <component name="red" value="10" /> ...

      Yep, the standard XML-bloat joke. Here is the serious solution: binary encoding []. I have done some testing by defining a simple demonstration XML image format as:

      <XmlDemoImage version="1.1.0">
      <Scanline row="i"> <!-- optional attr: filter="diff" -->
      <RgbSamples>r g b r g b ...</RgbSamples>
      </Scanline> ...

      If we can avoid the bizarre and hugely self-defeating but all-too-common urge to way-overstructure the pixel representation and use raw binary encoding especially for the dense arrays of numbers, the representation and performance is essentially equivalent to that of PNG format itself (though for some images, BZIP2 compression is significantly better). Here is a study [] of the issue. On an Athlon-XP1800+ Linux box, I get a raw (Binary)XML reading speed of 188 MB/sec for an uncompressed image. W3C is holding a workshop on binary XML encoding [] in September, so it may finally be prepared to humour such radical efficiency with XML.
      • by MattRog ( 527508 )
        Do you not see the huge absurdity of BINARY XML? It's an oxymoron!

        XML is 'supposed' to be a nice little data interchange format. It's not a data storage mechanism (because relational DBMSs are far, far superior) yet misguided people like this are trying to use it as one.

        Converting XML to binary? Why go to all the trouble to run it through an XML parser etc. first if you're just going to send a binary file? Use a more efficient file format!
        • by csbruce ( 39509 )
          Do you not see the huge absurdity of BINARY XML? It's an oxymoron!

          Lots of people use GZIP encoding with XML data to make it suitable for sending over a network. Surprise, GZIP is a _BINARY_ format! And yet, it interoperates between systems very nicely. The page you are viewing was probably GZIP encoded too on the way to your browser. Most XML parsers will accept an GZIPped XML stream and recover the original content transparently. Binary data can be just as interoperable as text data, and hugely more
          • The absurdity with the plethora of binary file formats is that people have kept reinventing the same things over and over again.

            I should have said that they keep reinventing the same things over and over again, POORLY.
        • Converting XML to binary? Why go to all the trouble to run it through an XML parser etc. first if you're just going to send a binary file?

          Actually, you're misunderstanding this. That would be pretty strange to emit textual XML, parse it back into an internal representaiton and then re-generate binary-encoded XML. You just emit the binary-encoded XML in the first place. Duh! And use a library that does it transparently and can also emit textual XML and/or GZIPped or BZIP2ed output if you so desire. Th
  • by I'm a racist. ( 631537 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:25PM (#6690534) Homepage Journal
    I've got a few questions.
    • Does the typical "XML bloat" become an issue?
    • And, is there much gained by using XML over some/any other scheme?
    • Is it very sensitive to errors, like most XML applications? If one XML file/tag gets corrupted, is the whole windowing system fucked until someone goes in on the command-line to fix it?
    • Overall, is it a good thing or a bad thing?
    • Not if the "theme" or image is being expressed by transformation rather than single pixels. I can't think of a way XML would beat something like png for representing pixels, but I imagine that their images contain drawing instructions which would consume *far* less space.

      Note that the feature in the feature list says
      5. XML image scripting
      • How is a direct reply to one of the parent questions off-topic?

        Although having looked at "I am a racist's" webpage [], frankly I think we should all ignore him. I don't think it's a joke (and if it is it's in very poor taste).

      • Does the typical "XML bloat" become an issue?

      It shouldn't. Since the XML is used here only as a configuration file, it's going to be interpreted only once while loading the theme. It might be that this slows down theme switching a bit but I'm skeptical. Metacity themese switch quite fast and they're all XML based.

      • And, is there much gained by using XML over some/any other scheme?

      The end user doesn't gain much since the XML is anyway hidden from him but it's much easier for someone to tweak a pre-e

  • by ( 562495 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:27PM (#6690542) Homepage
    Any XSLT available to covert the AfterStep XML to SVG???
  • by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:28PM (#6690543) Homepage
    I've personally used this to cut my 1600x1200 image size from a 2.4mb png to a total of about 37kb.

    That's the good news. The bad news is the WM now eats up 300MB of memory, instead of 30.

  • SVG? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SynKKnyS ( 534257 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:28PM (#6690544)
    Why don't they use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)? It would be neat to use a SVG editor to produce a theme.
  • Does the scaling maintain a copy of the larger image and just publish the smaller, scaled version to a web page? If so, it would seem you'd be using a lot more storage space than is necessary to keep that large image around. Probably not a problem in today's world of huge hard drives, unless your hosting limits you. It would be cool for scalable designs though.

    It's got some good looking screenshots, and the link to 9 22 leads some to some pretty nice theme
  • by Admiral Llama ( 2826 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:33PM (#6690582)
    Dang, Afterstep might be becoming too advanced for my tastes. Time to switch to TWM!

    On a more serious note, 8 years ago I used Afterstep. It was the easiest thing to hack through the config files and make it do what ever I wanted to with a minimum of fuss, real estate, processor time, or color space allocation (a big thing on a Sun Classic sporting only a CG3).

    Between then an now I've lived with Enlightenment, Window Maker, Gnome, KDE and OSX, yet for my work box I still use Afterstep. Maybe it's because it has a minimal number of doodads to distract me from doing actual work?
    • it has a minimal number of doodads to distract me from doing actual work
      Yet it obviously still has a web browser for that.
    • Afterstep was my first windowmanager. At the time it was the most popular, but very shortly after Enlightenment became the "in" thing.

      Since afterstep I've switched through many things, but there's something about it as my first windowmanager that makes me want to go back to it.

    • Agreed! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ArthurDent ( 11309 )
      I, too, used AfterStep back when I only had an 8-bit display on my HP workstation (circa 1998). The trouble is that some of the screenshots that are still on that site are the same ones from when I switched, and the new ones don't look that different either!

      I've become a blackbox user because it looks nice, is easy to use and theme and it's small. I even use blackbox for windows!

      So, congrats to the AfterStep folks on the new version. Too bad it's about 4 years too late!

  • After trying all the major and some not-so-major Window Managers/Desktop Environments for Linux, I have to say that Fluxbox is the one that has captured my intrest for the longest, with Gnome being a close second.

    Not to be flamebait, but I just prefer Gnome over KDE because it seems cleaner, faster, and more usable (God bless the HIG). KDE is good for beginner users, however.
  • by CoughDropAddict ( 40792 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:37PM (#6690604) Homepage
    One of the most interesting new features is an XML-based graphics system, where any picture for any part of the WM can be a simple chunk of XML, which can do transformations, scaling, gradients and some other nice graphics mods.

    Oh, you mean like SVG?

    I guess this could be justified if it were significantly lighter-weight than SVG. Otherwise, why not reuse?
  • Y DIY? (Score:4, Funny)

    by JB72 ( 463516 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:39PM (#6690619)
    I'd like to write more on the topic but I'm currently busy trying to compile my own light-bulb. I'll have a beta ready in less than two years, or sooner if I can get some more help from the open source community.

    Linux rox!

    ps - don't tell anyone I actually spend 90% my free time in Windows playing embarrassing adolescent video games.
  • Hmmm. (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This looks awfuly familar to me []
    <img src=" ig.jpg">
    • Re:Hmmm. (Score:2, Funny)

      by mindsuck ( 607395 )
      Windows 95 Plus! flashback! Oh god! Make the hurting stop, make the hurting stop! Now, seriously, I liked that theme but on such a high resolution that wallpaper just looks bad. Something nifty like that but rendered in glorious 3D would be neat.
  • Key simple question: SVG or not SVG?
    This is the front page we're talkin' about!
    • The answer is: duh, whatever.

      <xml_graph type="svg">
      <svg_data>blah blah blah</svg_data>

      <xml_gra ph type="png">
      <png_data>blah blah blah</png_data>


      PS {SORRY: should have previewed}
  • by ikekrull ( 59661 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @07:51PM (#6690713) Homepage
    So what does AfterStep do that WindowMaker doesn't? Its not very clear from the website.

    WindowMaker CVS has antialiased fonts, and with a little bit of work on icons and tile backgrounds, my desktop looks great.

    The menu editor/prefs utility is easy to use, the clip's desktop switching is perfect for what I want, theres nothing obvious about AfterStep that would make me want to switch back.

    WindowMaker + GNOME apps/libs + ROX-Filer make up my ideal GUI environment.

    As far as I know, theyre both written in C, as opposed to Objective-C for GNUStep, they both attempt to mimic some or all aspects of NeXTSTEP, and WindowMaker was created because the Afterstep crew was too anal about incorporating features that did not appear in the original NeXT system.

    So now theyre adding features to Afterstep - dumping the whole idea behind what AfterStep was - 'Its strictly a clone of NeXTSTEP', and somehow this is a step (STEP?) forward?

    So why switch from WindowMaker, when AfterStep is clearly just playing catch-up now?

    That being said, there are a few rough edges in Window Maker, so perhaps competition from AfterStep will smooth them out.

    • by sashav ( 132614 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @08:57PM (#6691094) Homepage
      Its not just the text antialiasing, although AfterStep 2 can antialias both TTF fonts and good old X bitmap fonts. AfterSTep has a very powerfull graphics engine with things like in-memory image compression, high quality image rendering with dithering, high quality and fast scaling, 15 ways to overlay image on top of each other (similar to GIMP) Hue Saturation Value manipulation, etc. Note that all of it is very fast and memory efficient.

      Now AfterStep's desktop model is much more flexible then Window Maker's

      Menu editor/prefs thingy is probably the only absent thing in AS 2, but I'm working on it.

      Originally AS was anal about being too NeXT strict, which prompted creation of WM, and if you'd look into possibilities of WM's titlebar and frame decoration configuration, and compare it to AfterStep - you'll see enough advantage in AS.

      both written in C, but let me tell ya, that you don't want to be messing around with WM's codebase - it sucks.

      AfterSTep does not plays catch up - in 2.0 version we have several things that no other desktop environment has - XML images, Menus adjusting to use pattern, Colorschemes, to name just few.

      • So essentially they integrated half a GIMP engine
        in AS to save a few kb of .png on your 120 Gb HD,
        and added a lot of dependancies like xml parsers etc. (or reinvented the wheel again) ... but FORGOT to make a prefs menu?

        • Dude, Image manipulation code in AS 2.0 being as advanced as it is is much smaller then in older versions, and is actually much smaller then venerable ImLib.

          Saving few KB of png files is not an issue. Issue is when you need to convert all your icons from one colorscheme to another. I can do it with one click - can you ?

          there are no new dependancies. built in xml parser takes like 50 lines of code ( as it does not do much of traditional XML bloat parsing )

          Making prefs menu is not as easy as you think, an
          • This incurs the inevitable question: how does this help me use my computer? I understand that it provides remarkable flexibility for allowing me to customize how my desktop looks, and coloring the window titlebars, but to be honest, are there any compelling usability-related features in AfterStep 2.0 when compared with more venerable window managers, like Blackbox, which is much lighter weight for me?
    • I have a request to make of all window maker users. Would you please stop crapflooding all the theme sites with your pathetic themes that all look exactly the same except with different backgrounds.

      Actually, this also applies to all users of .*box as well.


      Seriously, WM is not nearly as configurable as AS. I don't use AS, but I'm going to check it out just for the heck of it.

  • simple animations (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    this sounds like it could be great if you were able to script events. you could animate vector translations of shapes and colours for some really crazy UI effects!
  • Is there an easy way to convert SVG graphics to XML?
  • Hrm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lvdrproject ( 626577 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @08:06PM (#6690831) Homepage
    Hm, well, i'm a big Window Maker fan, myself. The whole *Step thing intrigues me, though, be it AfterStep, GNUStep, WinStep, or whatever. I just like the way the system works. However....

    I realise that Window Maker and the like are pretty much designed to be "minimalist", but they seem to be lagging very far behind KDE and GNOME in terms of interface design. For example, just looking at the AfterStep screen-shots on the site (before it gets Slashdotted, heh), i'm liking the way the system is designed, in general, but it looks hideous. The graphics used in the interface are jagged, the window frames and buttons are almost industrial in their simplicity and lack of creativity, and the icons still look like really bad GIFs. And, like i said, i'm a fan of Window Maker, and prefer it over any other window-manager, but it's guilty of this too. They all look like something you might see running on a Commodore or an Amiga.

    I know that they're constantly being improved and updated, and i realise the importance of laying down a proper foundation before you go around making things look nice and anti-aliased and all that jazz, but i think a lot of the reason GNOME and KDE each have such a huge following is because they're very pleasant to look at. I think WM and AfterStep and the like could benefit very much from trying to add in a little "eye candy" here and there. You don't need any gimmicks, but i really don't think it would negate the intended minimalism of the system if there were just "themes" and icons and what-not of the same calibre as those you might find looking at Nautilus or Konqueror.

    Regardless of all that, Window Maker will remain my favourite window-manager, and i'll continue to recommend it to those looking for a good UNIX interface. And the whole XML graphics thing sounds really neat, also. Just wish they were "up there", in terms of what i mentioned, with GNOME and KDE. :/

    • Re:Hrm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by venom600 ( 527627 )

      but i think a lot of the reason GNOME and KDE each have such a huge following is because they're very pleasant to look at

      Not a flame.....but, I completely disagree. I think the reason that KDE and GNOME are so popular has everything to do with the fact that they are the default window managers in the most popular Linux distros (*cough*RedHat*cough*Suse*cough*). Another plus is that they bring that 'Windows'-ish feel, which new Linux converts gives them something somewhat familiar while in

  • Other then looks, what keeps people using Windowmaker or Afterstep? Are there software that locks people in to a *Step gui? I have software that needs CDE on solaris, but thats it. Myself, I use Windowmaker or IceWM when I want a good little lightweight window manager, but no software locks me into it.

    Not trolling, just curious. Other than the ease of use and good looks, what is special about Afterstep or Windowmaker?
    • One thing WM does that I can't find in any other manager yet is the ability to have everything on one desktop disappear when I move to the next.

      I do all my editing in one desktop/workspace, then flip over to the next one to view changes in a browser. Very convenient.

      I like to have icons for editing stuff (text editors, etc) on workspace 1, and icons for browser stuff (galeon, moz, etc) on workspace 2. No damn panel that has the same launchers no matter where you are...
  • all of you WindowMaker fans should check out the WM your WM branched off of, so long ago.

    As it has been mentioned, Window Maker is not a branch of AfterStep. Afterstep was created from fvwm to emulate NeXTSTEP. Window Maker was started from scratch because AfterStep was too bloated and more of a hack.

    Someone also mentioned something about merging Window Maker and AfterStep. "Why?", I ask. There is no need. If the features are that great then either people will stop using Window Maker and start usi

  • Yes!!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by spazoid12 ( 525450 )
    Now, the only thing in my life not involving the esteemed XML is my electric toilet!

    I'll keep you posted...
  • Does anyone else find it ironic that the images on AfterStep's webpage are from Wingdings, a Windows font?
  • Afterstep is a very interesting window manager, but it is suffering from a few problems...

    It is VERY complicated to configure, and the menu system is quite clunky and not easy to navigate. Icons on the desktop move around in unusual ways, sometimes one icon will be on-top of another icon... Sometimes an icon will slide left to fill in for another icon that has been uniconified or moved, and sometimes they will stay where they are.

    Afterstep is a huge leap from fvwm, it is BSD-licensed, and it has some su
  • by Ur@eus ( 148802 ) on Thursday August 14, 2003 @04:42AM (#6693313) Homepage
    Having the graphics of the windowmanager being definable in XML is not new. Metacity has been doing this for a long time now (it always worked this way). A Metacity theme is just a XML file which either can define gradients etc in XML or you can use pixmaps. The main advantage of using XML defined gradients and graphics is that you are allowed to use gtk colours instead of hardcoding color values. This means that metacity themes done right will follow the colour scheme of your GTK+ themes.

    I think the XFCE4 windowmanager works the exact same way.

    So no slight to the AfterStep developers, but they where beaten to the punchline with almost a year on this one :)

  • Another proprietary API used for a single purpose that is wrongly designed (after all, if the xml contains only binary data, why not use a binary format in the first place; on the other hand, if the xml specifies one tag per pixel, the xml files would become huge...), used by a single piece of code for a single purpose...

    Before you mark this as a troll, does the word BLOAT mean anything to you ?

    There is another thread about our expectations from computers in 10 years or so. What I expect is a lean and mea
  • An XML format for images? Why not SVG?

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern