Pointer grabs causing accessibility issues! Why not deprecate them?

Daniel Stone daniel at fooishbar.org
Wed Apr 30 06:55:18 PDT 2008

On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 09:35:45AM -0400, Joel Feiner wrote:
> I had wondered this myself.  In Windows, if you have a popup/dropdown 
> menu open, when you mouseover other elements on the screen, they still 
> highlight, even if they don't belong to the current application.  With 
> X, only the current application will still highlight.  Also, if you 
> click on something outside the dropdown menu, it is immediately 
> activated and the menu is closed.  On X, you have to click twice: once 
> to close the menu and again to activate whatever widget your mouse is 
> now over.
> The question is: what does Windows do here different from X?  Somehow 
> the application in question is notified that there is a click outside 
> the menu (thus closing it), but other apps still receive events just 
> fine.  Why can't X do something like this?

There's nothing stopping X from doing this; it's just that it doesn't,
and doing so would be a pretty serious protocol/ABI/API break.  It
wouldn't really solve the immediate problem, though: remember that this
thread started because an application explicitly requested that no other
application be able to get the input focus, and that this broke other
applications which needed the input focus.  We're just honouring
applications' wishes.

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