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Cannot set a window title to override the application


Description Paul Michael Reilly 2009-09-22 01:53:08 CEST
I would like to set the title displayed in the title bar.  I tried using "xprop -set WM_NAME" to no avail.  The behavior sought from xfwm4 is that if the User (via xprop or a derivative) sets the title then the application should not be able to override the User's choice.
Comment 1 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2009-09-22 08:57:20 CEST
This is not a bug in xfwm4, this works with none of the WM I tried (metacity, kwin) 

This is because xfwm4 like the others implement the extended WM hits (http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/wm-spec) and uses NET_WM_NAME in preference to WM_NAME as clearly stated in the standard definition here:


"The Client SHOULD set this to the title of the window in UTF-8 encoding. If set, the Window Manager should use this in preference to WM_NAME."

This is not a bug in xfwm4, marking as invalid.

PS: this works for apps which are not EMWH compatible, e.g. xclock.
Comment 2 Paul Michael Reilly 2009-09-22 12:11:05 CEST
Thank you for the references in Comment #1.

1)  If I read your comment accurately, the 'xprop' command does not work with extended WM hints.  Am I reading you correctly?  When I tried 'xprop -set NET_WM_NAME fred' the response was "xprop: error: unsupported conversion for NET_WM_NAME" and I'm not sure how to interpret that message.

2) Even if this did work, I would be surprised if the new name "stuck".  My guess is that the application would tell the Window Manager soon after that it wanted to change the title again ... and I would think the Window Manager would do just that.

3) What I'm actually looking for is something that I do not think exists:  the ability to tell the Window Manager to set the title AND ignore any subsequent "normal" requests to change the title.

Again, thanks for taking the time to suggest references for me to read.  I'll gladly accept more references towards achieving this result of giving the User control over the text displayed in the title bar via the window manager.


Bug #5780

Reported by:
Paul Michael Reilly
Reported on: 2009-09-22
Last modified on: 2020-05-21


Olivier Fourdan
CC List:
1 user




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