I wanted to demonstrate the usefulness of ChatGPT. Obviously, we have to factor in that not everything AI tells us will be correct, but that’s not really the point. The point is to gather and discover what information is correct, so that we are able to build a more complete picture of whatever it is we are trying to learn. As far as I know, no schools or universities are currently teaching Wayland, and the experts in the field have yet to write any complete and up-to-date books on it. Therefore, non-experts have to rely on any and all information we can discover and learn on our own. Although we could read the Wayland source, that’s not always helpful when we don’t understand the underlying concepts of Wayland. Duplication of efforts happens when one wants or needs to accomplish a task, yet available solutions are too complex or lack proper learning material.
Are you familiar with layer-shell
Yes, I’m familiar with the term “layer-shell.” Layer-shell is a concept related to graphical user interfaces and window management in the context of Linux desktop environments, such as Wayland.
In traditional X Window System (X11) environments, window managers control how application windows are displayed on the screen. However, with the advent of Wayland, which is a modern display server protocol designed to replace X11, a new approach to window management was introduced.
Layer-shell is an extension of the Wayland protocol that provides a mechanism for applications to specify the stacking order and positioning of their windows in a compositor. A compositor is a component that manages the rendering and positioning of windows on the screen. By using the layer-shell protocol, applications can communicate their window’s stacking behavior directly to the compositor, enabling better control over how the windows are displayed.
The layer-shell protocol introduces the concept of different layers, each with its own properties, and windows can be assigned to specific layers. These layers include:
Background layer: For wallpapers and background content.
Bottom layer: For windows that should be placed below regular windows, such as desktop widgets or panels.
Top layer: For windows that should always be on top of other windows, such as notification pop-ups or the system tray.
Overlay layer: For special full-screen windows that can capture input events.
Using layer-shell, applications can request the compositor to place their windows in the desired layer, which can be useful for implementing various GUI elements and ensuring proper rendering order.
It’s important to note that the layer-shell protocol is specific to Wayland-based desktop environments and is not directly related to the X11 window management system. However, it represents a step forward in terms of modernizing window management in Linux environments and providing more flexible and efficient handling of graphical elements on the screen.