Ideal screen rotation

Neil Jerram neiljerram at
Sat Nov 7 15:33:25 CET 2009

2009/11/7 Nicola Mfb <nicola.mfb at>:
> I agree that window properties is the right way to implement that, but
> we need a way to get rotation preferences now, while that may be
> proposed and discussed as a standard for the future.

Yes, exactly.

> So a couple of questions:
> * is it possible/safe/correct to set a window properties of a
> window/xclient by an external app (e.g. a launcher)?

I don't know (yet).

> * supposing the above is possible, we may add a custom configuration
> entry in .desktop files and delegate the launcher to set window
> properties

Yes, that seems like a good option.

> * if that is not possible the wm or an ewmh app helper (the launcher
> itself?) may get the active current window and perform the screen
> rotation as needed

I don't think the launcher itself can do it, because it doesn't know
when the app gets mapped to the foreground.  Some apps take so long to
appear that you can switch to several other screens and write a short
program while waiting for them :-)  I wouldn't want the launcher to
spuriously change the orientation of those existing screens.

What is an ewmh helper?

> In every case and going a bit ot, is anyway possibile having a generic
> Window ID to retrieve the .desktop file originating the owning app?
> I'm just guessing to retrieve the pid from window properties, retrieve
> the executable (like /proc/pid/exe) and back search in the .desktop
> file definitions.

Well the .desktop file can have StartupWMClass, and I think the idea
is that that is sufficient to identify the resulting window.


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