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#1 2014-09-22 07:05:21

PeterR
Member
Registered: 2014-09-22
Posts: 3

Opacity/Transparency - how to make a specific app always opaque

Linux xUbuntu14 3.13.0-24-generic #47-Ubuntu SMP
This is xfwm4 version 4.11.1 (revision 2b800f4) for Xfce 4.10
Compiled against GTK+-2.24.23, using GTK+-2.24.23.

While I am a fan of using window transparency (really love the feature), but there are some applications that don't play nicely with it. Gimp for example, pops up windows to adjust the image attributes. Unfortunately, since the pop up has focus the parent program window becomes transparent, thus making far more difficult to adjust the image, if not impossible.

So...

1) Is there a way to make a specific  application(s) ignore the window composting feature without disabling it system wide?
Note: the xine media player for example, ignores composting feature altogether.

2) If not, is there a way to launch an app under a different userid that has an alternate set of the session/window settings?

3) Seems to me that this problem is really a development oversight and should be addressed in future versions.  The opacity feature should respect the parent/child window relationship without making the parent translucent just because it lost focus by spawning a child.

btw - yes I am aware that you can adjust window opacity by using the ALT-mouse-wheel. However, this only allows zero opacity while the window has focus.

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#2 2014-09-22 10:41:08

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 701

Re: Opacity/Transparency - how to make a specific app always opaque

I'm interested in a workaround for this, too; my case concerns mainly watching full-screen videos in a second monitor, while using some apps on the laptop. Now I just turn off composition temporarily.

Thanks for raising the subject, let's see if someone comes up with something smile

Last edited by alcornoqui (2014-09-22 10:41:28)

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#3 2014-09-22 12:35:33

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 6,963

Re: Opacity/Transparency - how to make a specific app always opaque

There was a recent discussion about transparency and gimp a while back with no real automated resolution.

The Arch Per Application Transparency wiki article has some information about using transset to force transparency which seems to work well for single window applications (perhaps for the video example).

And finally, there is this page on how to accomplish this using compton.

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#4 2014-09-22 21:15:38

PeterR
Member
Registered: 2014-09-22
Posts: 3

Re: Opacity/Transparency - how to make a specific app always opaque

Thanks ToZ, clearly your search engine skills exceed my own... been searching for this issue on and off for a month now and never ran across any of pages you link here ;-)

While I have some reading to do fully exploit this, the example from the first link works for me.

xprop -f _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACITY_LOCKED 32c -set _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACITY_LOCKED 1

What this does is, makes the mouse cursor a cross, the next window you click to give focus to then becomes opaque until closed. As the original poster mentioned, a launcher for this is easy to implement making it user configurable on the fly with two clicks. While not really a "solution", it is still a much better workaround than most...

@alcornoqui - For you, this is probably a better solution than what I asked for since you may not "always" want to have the video window opaque as I need Gimp to be. I also share your objective as I sometimes want my video window(s) not to be transparent, but not always... yes I have dual screens also... ;-)

I should point out that I only used Gimp as an example, there are several other programs where this becomes an issue, and the list grows daily.

My next step is to figure out how to permanently set the _NET_WM_WINDOW_OPACITY_LOCKED variable for Gimp without having to do it each time I run the app. As I said, I have some reading to do... but at least now I have an idea of the "what" now on to the "how" to do it. I'll update here when I have a solution for that... before I mark this as solved.

To be clear, again using Gimp as an example, I don't really "want" Gimp to be always opaque, I need it to be to resolve undesirable behavior by xfce's compositor. I really just don't want it to surrender xfwm4's perceived loss of focus to it's own child window. The same is true of any application that spawns a popup for adjusting configuration, which is a big list to be sure. As near as I can tell, this issue is common to most, if not all window compositors. Overall, this is a pretty undesirable behavior and something that should be addressed at the development level.

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#5 2014-09-23 10:38:20

alcornoqui
Member
Registered: 2014-07-28
Posts: 701

Re: Opacity/Transparency - how to make a specific app always opaque

Thank you very much, ToZ and PeterR; that is exactly what I wanted, I just tried it and works like a charm...

BTW, I'm fairly new to the forums but as I was writing my first comment I was thinking "maybe ToZ knows how".

smile

I've been ToZZed!!!

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