[Fwd: Re: panel issues]

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Mon Jan 29 23:49:45 CET 2007

Hash: RIPEMD160

Auke Kok wrote:
> Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
>> Auke Kok wrote:
>>> this begs for having the thunar trash service automatically start in the 
>>> 'autostarted applications' just like the tips display. Any reason why we're 
>>> still mucking with .xinitrc's and the obvious horrors of the startxfce4 scripts? 
>>> It seems like xfce4-session should replace all of these methods.
>>> I'd love to have my screensaver listed, and xfdesktop, and the panel etc....
>>> 4.6 material for thought, if I may say so.
>> No, all this stuff is started from the session manager (except for the
>> screensaver).  The problem is that, if one of these applications quits
>> or dies for some reason, and the user quits Xfce and saves the session,
>> then they don't get restarted.
>> This is what's happening when we get all these repeated emails about the
>> desktop disappearing and not coming back: xfdesktop dies (or is weirdly
>> killed when Nautilus is started), and then the user thinks that
>> restarting will help (which, in theory, it should), but then they make
>> the critical mistake of saving the session without xfdesktop in it.
> Allthough I'm not disputing that stuff can just die, I am touching on the issue 
> that some programs are special and the user has no way of (1) finding out which 
> ones they are (not to mention where to start them) and (2) disabling them in 
> case he decides that he doesn't need them.

This is a very good point, but do we have to provide a GUI for
everything?  I would consider *not* using the default components to be a
very advanced-user thing to do.  Not that I'm against having a GUI for
it, but I feel like there are other things that are more important that
would be better to spend time on first.  (Watch, now that I've said
that, Benny will have written an entire framework for this by tomorrow

> Much better than a one-time shot from a script IMO. Screensaver most definately 
> no doubt belongs right there.

Well, as I said, the screensaver is the only thing that's actually
started from a script (well, ok, so is ssh-agent and the dbus session
bus daemon).  The reason that's still there is historical, to make it
easier for people to disable xfce4-session if they don't want to use it,
but still have a working screensaver.  Though I believe I had a xinitrc
patch to load all the ~/.config/autostart items from bash; I'm not sure
if I ever committed that.

> I would go as far as that it pops up on first logon and displays which 
> applications are autostarted, so the user knows what the freck is running on a 
> bare desktop, and where to configure it. Maybe that's a tad wee too much windoze 
> xp-ish tho :)

The session manager already does this for session-managed apps, but
yeah, it makes sense to do this for everything that's started
automatically, I guess.

> the session manager should obviously save/restore other programs, but really 
> (personally) I hate that, and wish that every program I have just show up in 
> 'autostarted applications' instead. I don't want to depend on the luck my system 
> has in restoring the previous state, and it doesn't even remember everything anyway.

Yeah, I really hate X11 session management (Benny probably hates it
more, though).  The entire usage model just seems fundamentally broken
to me.  An easier way for an app to just register itself in
~/.config/autostart makes the most sense to me.  Of course, an app can
save much more than a restart command using session management, but I
think only a small minority of apps really take advantage of it.

>> Alternatively, we could have a special "desktop component chooser" for
>> things like "Panel", "Window Manager", "Desktop Manager", etc. that
>> could be cross-desktop and list installed components from Xfce, GNOME,
>> KDE, etc.  The session manager could be responsible for starting these,
>> but in this case it would be able to make sure that everything that's
>> supposed to be running is actually running, and it doesn't depend on
>> your logout state.
> ugh, yet another method for starting programs at logon. YAMFSPAL!

Well, this kinda ties in with your desire that the session manager
should be aware that some apps are 'special'.  Sure, xfce4-session can
be hard-coded to know that xfwm4, xfdesktop, xfce4-panel, etc. are
special and need to always be running, but what if someone wants to use
gnome-panel?  How does the session manager know that gnome-panel needs
to be persistent and should be restarted if it dies?  And also -- how do
you switch components?  If the session manager thinks xfce4-panel should
always be running, and you kill it to start gnome-panel, the session
manager will restart xfce4-panel.  How do you make it stop?

Then again, maybe all this can be done as some sort of extension to the
autostart spec.  I dunno.

>> Of course, this would require the support and cooperation from the other
>> DE communities as well (i.e., freedesktop.org) to standardise that sort
>> of thing so the desktop components could register themselves (probably
>> just dumping a .desktop file in a predefined location).  On the other
>> hand, this is probably an advanced feature that most average users
>> wouldn't care to use (and it would probably just confuse them to see it
>> in a settings manager), so maybe it's just overkill.
>> Do we know how GNOME and KDE start their desktop components?
> *g* okay I spilled my foo.

That sounds dirty... ^_~

> certainly it seems like a huge deficit in the desktop 
> standards, so pushing for interaction on this topic to fd.o seems adequate. I'll 
> second that :)

Now we just need someone to do it, cuz I'm clearly too lazy ^_^.


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