{June 1, 2008}   soc week 1 – busily going nowhere

wow. last week seems like a long time ago.
soc, for me, started monday evening, when I spent a few minutes tossing together a quick hack and got this:
screensaver + clock
that made me pretty happy – I had a plasma clock, and I had a screensaver, with very little effort, and they were mostly getting along. there was just that pesky green background to get rid of.

after a few days of banging my head against walls, I finally conceded that qt and X11 just weren’t capable of making that background go away. not without awful masking hacks that would probably not be worth the effort. so, I have two possible ways of dealing with this: either make it depend on composite to show both widgets and the screensaver, or change how screesavers work. the former sounds a lot more likely. :)

anyways, I decided to put those troubles aside for next week, and focus on getting some basic groundwork laid. I got kde4 compiled on my desktop, fought with suse and zypper a lot (I’ll post later about my impressions of suse), got things up and running, brought over some of my settings and scripts so that I wouldn’t go insane, got git installed, fought with git a tiny bit (I like it so far), and… didn’t get to much coding.

I was actually set up and ready to write code on friday, but Real Life has been getting in the way (hey, it *is* the weekend), we have a houseguest sleeping in the computer room, I’ve been procrastinating a little too, and it seems like every time I feel ready to start coding something jumps up and demands my attention – or I somehow find something more important to do. ;) at least I managed to channel some of the procrastination into useful things like answering questions and doing laundry and fighting weeds. now I’ve realised that the code I was going to copy&paste as a beginning has some really stupid bugs that I should fix first – after all, I’m going to need to fix them before 4.1 is released anyways.

so… yeah. not much of any code to show for this week. monday’s going to be busy, too. guess I’ll have to get up early in the morning and get the RL stuff dealt with so I can get lots of code written when the computer room isn’t occupied.

right now I have to go get dinner started… where does the time go? :P

yman says:

Wouldn’t changing how screen savers work have greater benefits in the long run?

duns says:

I don’t think requiring composite is a good idea. As I already have stated about two of your key scenarios the solution should work always out of the box. The two scenarios are: leaving notes when the screen is locked and muting audio on suspend. At least the latter can be done inside the leave dialog or some dbus signal which gets caught by amarok and friends so they can block and interfere. I don’t know if this is possible, but if you care about your key scenarios it would be great to have at least these two fixed by default and not depending on composite. For the lock dialog I propose an integration for notes inside the dialog. This is fool-proof and available by default.
Especially muting on s2any makes a lot of sense to me.


Chani says:

yman: perhaps, but changing such an ancient standard is not something to do lightly… I’d probably have to go around rewriting every x screensaver on teh interwebs to match, and some of that screensaver code is fucking scary.

Chani says:

“I don’t think requiring composite is a good idea.”
no, requiring composite is not good at all – but it may be my only feasible option in the end. X11 sucks.

“muting audio on suspend”
that’s completely outside my area of responsibility – talk to whoever writes the suspend code.

“For the lock dialog I propose an integration for notes inside the dialog. This is fool-proof and available by default.”
it’s not foolproof (few things are), and it’s shortsighted. it’s just not good design. that whole dialog will probably need to be killed off someday and replaced with something better, anyways.

something I’ve been thinking about is giving the option to run in a degraded widgets-only or screensaver-when-idle,widgets-on-movement mode when composite isn’t available. haven’t thought about how best to present such options to the user, though.

yman says:

Would it be possible to have it as an addition, so new screensavers specify that they use “Screensaver NT”, while old ones run as usual without modification?

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