The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

cygwin startxwin problem with multiple displays

I use cygwin on my Windows PCs. Especially my tablet PC. AFAIK there is no equally good UNIX or Linux or Apple equivalent for a Microsoft Windows tablet PC. Tell me if there is. (Yes, I write and draw with the pen.))

Unfortunately, my cygwin setup has decayed - things stopped working on various upgrades, and I do not always fix the problem immediately. Here's one:

For a while, I would use startxwin to start up X Windows in Cygwin's multiwindow mode. At some point, it worked, but the xterm started by default was off obably havescreen, could not be seen. If I maximized I could find it, but when non-maximized, not seen.

Turns out that startxwin's default was to start "xterm -geometry +1+1 ...".

And I have been using multiple displays - e.g. currently have 4. Irregularly arranged. So that there is no display at +1+1 in the bounding box of all displays.

FIX: provide my own ~/.startxwinrc, with no location specified for the xterm.


Meta-issue: almost want a sanity check, to make sure that no windows are raised offscreen, invisibly.

Overall, there are probably a lot of such issues relating to assumptions about screen geometry being regular and rectangular, that no longer hold in the world of multiple displays.


Another meta-issue: took a while to find out where the xterm was coming from.

It would have been nice to have an audit trail that allowed me to find where the xterm came from.

Similarly, to find out where its geometry parameter came from.

As it was, I just guessed "startxwin". But I am embarassed to say how long it took...