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Technical Blog of Richard Hughes - Cool new applets...

Richard Hughes
Date: 2006-11-26 22:45
Subject: Cool new applets...
Security: Public
Now that gnome-power-manager can do trivial applets, I'm open to suggestions to what would be sane to expose to a power user as additional "manually add" features.
Ideas I'm playing with at the moment include:
  • Hotspot applet : click the icon and the computer won't auto-suspend or blank the screen until it is clicked again. Useful for proprietary programs that don't support the Inhibit() interface like matlab or vmware.
  • CPU frequency scaling applet : i.e. a re-implementation of the existing cpufreq-applet but using g-p-m to do the policy and HAL to do the heavy lifting. Should be tiny in comparison to the old applet (and not be setuid), and would work well with existing g-p-m policy.
  • Logout, suspend, hibernate and shutdown icons (power-applet) : i.e. a set of icons that provide one click access to these functions (and that hide individual icons if you have no support or not enough permissions). i.e. a distro would add this applet, and it would show the right stuff on the right computers.
Feel free to suggest other "cool applets", or just tell me I'm insane. Thanks.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-26 23:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sounds good! How about a wanda that slowly dies with the battery?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-26 23:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For the suspend/etc icons, I really like the current gnome power manager icon with the right click menu. I hate to have thousands of icons on my menu, and the g-p-m icon makes everythin accessible in two clicks.

The cpu scaling sounds cool, I want to see that. Long live g-p-m!
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-26 23:55 (UTC)
Subject: Too many applets = bad...
I am very happy to see that it becomes easy to develop applets to control hardware but we might see too many applets too... What about thinking how to easily integrate numerous applets under a kind of "meta" one?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 00:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugsie, really, I love you, keep rocking, you make awesome software!

A Fan.
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-27 00:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*blush*
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 00:09 (UTC)
Subject: Screen Off
How about an applet which toggles the screen (LCD) on or off - properly, not just dimming the screen. Good for people like me who wish to conserve power for 5-10 mis but cant be bothered suspending their laptop
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Benjamin Canou
User: bookeldor
Date: 2006-11-27 23:22 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Screen Off
Sounds interesting...
And the game is to find the icon in the dark to toggle it on ;-)
Just joking, I really find this interesting.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-28 18:43 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Screen Off
resume from suspend really should be < 1 second or it's a bug.
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Benjamin Canou
User: bookeldor
Date: 2006-11-28 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Screen Off
Sometimes you just don't use the screen but want the computer on (music, mail notification sound, ...), so it's not the same goal.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 03:26 (UTC)
Subject: Try applet
where i can get info of how make applets for gnome??? with C# or MONO????
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 03:41 (UTC)
Subject: Temperature!
Wonderful!!, thanks for all the effort and making the gnome desktop rock.

suggestion:
Please redo the computertemp applet, this is really a must for laptop users with temperature problems (like me).

original applet: http://computertemp.berlios.de/
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Danielle
User: dannipenguin
Date: 2006-11-27 04:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A patch to cpufreq-applet to allow it to interface with g-p-m for policy control would be happily accepted. I've always thought the suid binary solution was suboptimal and just waiting for the day it could be improved upon.

Also integration between battstat and g-p-m!
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 10:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Davyd, is cpu-applet really needed if that function goes into g-p-m? The old applet has some long outstanding issues anyway, like text not fully readable on vertical panel (consider a 1280x800 laptop screen, no need to waste precious vertical space).

Just a thought..
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Danielle
User: dannipenguin
Date: 2006-11-27 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, obviously the applet isn't for everyone. If you're not interested in the clocking of your CPU, or controlling the policy, there is little point in having it.

Vertical panel display issues should be resolved. Of course, I don't really have the right screen for vertical panels.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-28 09:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Might have misunderstood me. I _am_ interested in clocking my CPU, which is why I think g-p-m with it's new applet would be crazy cool, and the old one now in gnome (since it doesn't do clocking, and has issues too) would be superseded be g-p-m instantly.

Vertical panel: you just drag yours on the left side, doesn't matter which resolution you are in. You will see the freq-text is wider than the default panel is.
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Danielle
User: dannipenguin
Date: 2006-11-28 09:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The current one *does* do clocking, but I think some of the vendors are turning it off because it requires a SUID binary helper.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-28 10:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Vertical panel: you just drag yours on the left side, doesn't matter which resolution you are in. You will see the freq-text is wider than the default panel is.

It's already fixed.
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-27 16:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
>is cpu-applet really needed if that function goes into g-p-m

g-p-m already controls cpu frequency scaling in 2.17.x - but using the old applet and the new one causes odd effects due to two things applying policy. A gpm applet would be 10% of the size of the old applet as it doesn't need any backends.
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Danielle
User: dannipenguin
Date: 2006-11-28 09:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I would keep the backends, and make g-p-m another (preferred) backend. There is little point in dropping working code, even if it is superceeded by HAL. Of course, all of the future maintainance work should go into HAL.

When writing applets, there are a lot of little tricks that are hard to get right (like vertical panels and transparency), that duplicating an applet is a pain in the neck.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 11:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agree, adding support for g-p-m and hal in current cpufreq applet should be easy.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 09:51 (UTC)
Subject: It's not an applet but...
Hi Richard

this is not an applet (well, it could be :P) but an improvement of g-p-m main applet: I think it would be really cool to have a "semi-permanent" countdown popup when g-p.-m is going to power off the pc within 45 sec - 1 minute. Very often people simply ignores passive popups that last 4-5 seconds, but if you have something that nags people, maybe they are going to look for an energy plug :)
Obviously you can close it if you want, but by default it should last at least 45 secs.
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Danielle
User: dannipenguin
Date: 2006-11-27 13:50 (UTC)
Subject: Re: It's not an applet but...
The battstat low power dialog does this.

I've always thought that a dialog here was more inline with the HIG than a notification bubble. It's meant to be in your face, you're about to lose all your work.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 12:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
why don't we have a single power-management-profiles applet (probably as a menu popping up on left-cliking g-p-m like nm-applet)?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 15:46 (UTC)
Subject: Pretty good
New applet looks cool.
I have an idea about an applet wich can help the navigation with the nautilus spatial mode. An applet wich look like a list wich contains a tree of files click on a shrtcut will open a new nautilus window.
This is actually in the KDE main menu and a project call Fxplorer under windows is really interesting.
http://www.dready.org/projects/fXplorer/images/fxp2shot.gif

Thanx
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 18:24 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Cool new applets...
I'm interested in the hotspot applet, but I don't quite understand the issue it's supposed to resolve. What is exactly the problem with Gnome and Matlab?

About the logout, suspend etc icons: I read an interesting article on Joel on Software (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/11/21.html). It's perhaps a little radical, but surely can give some inspiration.

Regards,

admar (admar at luon dot net)
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-27 18:29 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Cool new applets...
>What is exactly the problem with Gnome and Matlab?

That matlab doesn't invoke Inhbit() when it's running a simulation (that can take hours in my case) - the same with vmware.

Richard.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-27 22:19 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Cool new applets...
I think this is the kind of details that should be handled automatically.
I'm sure some way to spot long lasting, non interactive, CPU hungry processes can be found.
Can't g-p-m avoid to suspend the machine if its CPU load is high, for example?
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-27 22:35 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Cool new applets...
>Can't g-p-m avoid to suspend the machine if its CPU load is high, for example?

There's an option to do this in gconf for > 2.16.0 - it's not enabled by default else suspend never happens thanks to updatedb, and the near-continual indexing from beagled.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-28 00:19 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Cool new applets...
Then g-p-m could ignore niced processes.
We all like g-p-m because it's magic, after all.

BTW, I love you too!
Thank you,
Another Fan of Yours
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-28 05:44 (UTC)
Subject: Hotspot
Richard,

We are in the process of polishing VMware Workstation 6 and associated VMware Player. They both will be based on GTK+ 2.10. So if something does not work for you, now is a good time to chime in :)

I see you provide sample d-bus code here
http://cvs.gnome.org/viewcvs/*checkout*/gnome-power-manager/src/gpm-inhibit-test.c
Is the interface stable at this point?

Now, what behavior would you like to see?
Would you like to inhibit auto-suspend when at least 1 VM is powered on?
To me it does not seem desirable/valuable for VMware to prevent screen blanking, do you agree?
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-11-28 09:48 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Hotspot
Ohh wow, that would be great if you guys could do this. The interface is stable - even if the interface is added to or changed then the old interface will stay around for at least one cycle (9 months).

I think screen blanking should be allowed, as you suggest, but I think *any* vm running should inhibit suspend or power off. You guys would be legends if you can do this for us.

Thanks.

Richard.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-30 01:43 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Hotspot
Can you clarify the use-case for this? What's happening inside the VM that needs suspend on the host to be inhibited?
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