Creating a window manager type overlay for Mac OS X

Posted by zorg1379 on Stack Overflow See other posts from Stack Overflow or by zorg1379
Published on 2012-11-21T21:39:46Z Indexed on 2012/11/21 22:59 UTC
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I want to make my own window manager for OS X, or at least give it the appearance of a new one. I have many designs written down in a book, and would like to implement them. These include altering, or even completely removing, menu bars, creating entirely new guis for switching applications, etc.

I know that OS X does not have a window manager, and that basically the functions that an X11 window manager would perform are done by Carbon, Cocoa, the Dock application, and the window server. I've read that it would take an incredible amount of reverse engineering to write my own api, etc. at the hardware level. I am still not that good at programming though, and don't have that kind of time. That's why I was thinking of maybe running an application on top of OS X that will function like a separate window manager - and do everything that the normal OS GUI / window manager would do.

Is this possible? For example: making a custom button that would appear upon a certain key combination, that could be clicked to access a document viewer, change the time, minimize a window, etc. Is there some way to access functionality to basic tasks / actions like this without using the default OS X button controls, and implementing them with my own GUI? I am talking about more than a simple theme change, I want to completely change the user experience. This means that this application would be run in a full screen mode that blocks out default OS X menu bars.

I've heard something about using graphics architectures to plug in your own window manager? Would this be an option too? If so, how would I go about doing that?

Thank you,

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