Transparent Overlays in C?

Colin Guthrie gmane at
Wed Jan 3 16:36:01 PST 2007

Think you meant this to go to the list Jonathan:

Jonathan Adamczewski wrote:
> Colin Guthrie wrote:
>> Just a thought.
> Another suggestion is to look at how Amarok does its OSD - it uses a
> nice hack for transparency that looks fine until you move one of the
> windows under the displayed text/picture (which is a rare case).
> j.

I would actually ask you not to copy this as I'd really like Amarok to
take advantage of a compositing manager if it is available as the Amarok
OSD sux compared to my nice transparent windows when using compiz/beryl
etc. But then this is just my own personal pet hate :p

Actually Gnome terminal code would maybe be better to "liberate". It's
different to Amarok in that if there is no compositing manager it takes
a copy of the desktop background (so not as clever as Amarok's OSD), but
if there is a compositing manager is makes good use of ARGB visuals to
do real transparency.

I think as compositing managers become more common place and with
relatively simple work arounds for when one does not exist, that this
would be the right way to go.

Perhaps a combination of Gnome Terminal's CM detection and Amarok's
current method for a fallback, and ARGB visuals generally within a
notification deamon theme would make the ultimate solution and in turn
make me a very happy person.

Apple has a nice GL semi-transparent popup thing that I love. Not sure
if it's system wide or not but there is a Mail plugin that displays
message excerpts etc. in this way and it looks great. If you can get
something working you could probably then modify e.g. Thunderbird 2 to
use it for it's new mail notifications too and get a really nice
standard interface :)


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