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RE: Session management


The X Session Manager (XSM):

This program is very useful for people that like to use multiple Window
Managers, and/or like to have a specific environment for specific tasks, i.e.
one environment for playing games, one for office work, and one for surfing the
internet and chatting on IRC.

After logging in with your user name and password in XDM you are presented with
a selection of your saved sessions to choose from.  This allows you to begin
where you want to be instead of starting the session and opening all the
relevent programs every time you start a session.

A programmer might do such memory intensive work that he wants a bare bones WM
like WM2 instead of his normal WM.  He sets up his session WM and programs and
saves it under Programming.  Every time he selects Programming WM2 and all the
programs will start for him.

XSM has some limitations and bugs.  I gather these are from lack of use since
until recently, this OS was used by people that tend to use it for a single
purpose and set it up for that purpose.  


You must start in the default/failsafe session.  This means you have to have an
Xterm running, minimum, in order to start the WM of choice and all programs for
that session.  You can't remove that Xterm from the session until you restart
it because you will loose the WM.

This means you must save state, exit the session, restart the session, remove
Xterm so it isn't started every session, and save state again (checkpoint).

In the client list you are shown all programs active in the session.  You are
given a choice of restart methods.  Only when running, anyway, and never.  In
some situations this wording can be confusing.  It also seems to like to make
some of the decisions for you which it should not.

Sometimes programs are spawned multiple times during initial setup.  In other
words, when you start with an Xterm and start your WM, say Afterstep.  Things
that are swallowed in the Wharf are picked up in the session manager.  When you
checkpoint and restart there will be 2 versions of these programs because the
WM started them and the session manager started them also.

The session manager picks up on these programs because they were stated from
and Xterm basically.  When xsm starts the WM directly it doesn't pick them up. 
So you need to remove them from the session after checkpointing and restarting
to get rid of the duplicates, then checkpoint and restart again.

XSM takes the form of a window in the session.  In my opinion it should be
hidden from the screen unless a specific key-combo is used to call it up.

When exiting the session you have to use exit in the session manager, not the
WM.  I feel XSM should catch termination requests from it's children and pop-up
the exit dialog.

In short.  XSM doesn't do anything we can't do by creating a script that will
creat multiple ~/.xsession files, prompt the user at login for the one to use
and copy the correct file into place from say ~/.xsession-games before
continuing.  It would do about the same job.

- ---
E-Mail: Cyberdyn@seul.org       Date: 19-Feb-98        Time: 15:41:30
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
What ails you that you keep on arguing?
                -- Job 16:3

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