reopening the session management discussion...

Erik Harrison erikharrison at
Wed Aug 27 22:19:44 CEST 2008

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 2:23 PM, Brian J. Tarricone <bjt23 at> wrote:
> jannis at wrote:
>> I like both of these arguments. We could address the users needs to
>> edit the autostart list by improving xfce4-autostart-editor which I feel
>> is a bit too simple in its current state anyway. If we choose to do
>> it this way, I'd vote to make it a 4.8 or at least a 4.6 beta 1 issue.
>> IMHO its not worth delaying Pinkie even further.
> Oh no, I certainly wouldn't suggest delaying the alpha any longer.
> Improving the autostart editor would be great, but isn't necessary for
> my nefarious plan.
>>> * Can't control startup order.  Only issue here is xfdesktop starting
>>> before 'Thunar --daemon' on a system where dbus isn't set up properly.
>>> All other apps can be started whenever, save xfsettingsd (which
>>> xfce4-session explicitly starts).
>> Depends on how the autostart system is implemented. We could add a
>> simple dependency mechanism (like an optional setting for each autostart
>> app for defining one other program it depends on) but of course this
>> would slow down the startup process and make patches like the one from
>> Auke less of an improvement.
> Well, the autostart spec doesn't have provisions for dependencies,
> right?  So anything we'd do along those lines would be an extension to
> the spec.  I'm still not really convinced we *need* start order control;
> as I said, the only app that really needs to be started first is
> xfsettingsd, and xfce4-session does that for us.  We'd lose our
> workaround to force-load the thunar daemon (for the trash service), but
> really, I hate that workaround, and people should just stop having
> broken dbus configs and it wouldn't be a problem.

Well, why not a "Xfce" .desktop file, that loads a script that
controls the order, just like in the old, reliable xinitrc days? That
way there is no concern about filling a directory with .desktop files
either that someone might foolishly delete.

>> Even to me the session management has always been a bit opaque. I think
>> it's way more transparent and clear to the user if he's able to modify
>> the started applications on his own. I guess I'm all for it.
> Yeah, I guess my issues with SM in part stem from how confusing it is,
> and how it makes use of archaic, often-broken protocols like ICE (well,
> arguably it's the libICE implementation that's broken, not the protocol,
> but... yeah).  In contrast, the xdg autostart mechanism is simple and
> pretty clear, and your average semi-techie can figure out how to edit
> the raw files if needed.  Figuring out what's wrong with a SM
> installation is a lot harder.
>        -brian
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