notes from today's Akademy BoF on energy efficiency

Lydia Pintscher lydia at
Tue Jun 22 11:03:02 BST 2021

Hi everyone,

Please find attached the notes of today's Akademy BoF.


Lydia Pintscher -
KDE e.V. Board of Directors -
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	* How is it measured? Are we comparing Okular against Adobe or only against itself?
		* You don't have to be better than another app to get the label. It just has to be good in itself.
		* We also shine more in user autonomy etc
		* It would help us also just to get some more data and improve for ourselves to for example save people's battery by using less power etc.
		* KDE might have an advantage by having smaller and more scope constraints apps compared to large fancy commercial apps developed by a big team
	* battery lifetime will become much more important for Plasma Mobile
		* We will need system-wide measures to optimize here as well
		* some of the improvements here will also help laptop use cases
		* surprisingly difficult to get cheap devices which measure in short time intervals, which we'd need
		* 200ms intervalls is possible with this - not the same accuracy as super expensive equitment but good enough for us to see differences and trace them back to user actions
		* should be reproducible by others based on Volker's blog post
	* Other aspects to look into that would not usually turn up in perfromance measurements
		* lower screen timeout when user is logged out vs logged in
	* Thoughts on automating the testing
		* currently setting up scenarios is quite tedious in actiona (this is what the students are doing atm)
			* see for current setup and options
		* Can we wire it up with OpenQA tests?
			* fails the easy-to-do criteria but it seems all available options are hard
		* A lot of our apps use kxmlgui. could we reuse that?
		* Can we use Squish/GammaRay: unlikely, those have too much overhead themselves and thus distort the measurements
		* Is complicated click-testing really needed? or is opening okular with a pdf already enough?
		* Can we do something with keyboard shortcuts? dbus apis?
		* measure existing unit and performance tests? aka re-using existing automation. We'd have to take into account how the tests are evolving but in principle it could be a way to find regressions
		* For certification we will need to have an externally-defined use-case. so maybe it doesn't make sense to write complicated tests right now without them in mind.
	* old hardware vs making use of power-saving features in newer hardware
		* When is the repsonsible time to buy new hardware?
	* Current BlauerEngel criteria are only for desktop but there was a tender for mobile devices and server devices. not clear what the timeline for expanding the criteria for them is.
	* Application focus
		* underlying systems might be more important to optimize? kwin repaint reductions for example could have a huge impact and help many applications
		* a more holistic look at energy consumption is useful
	* Is cpu usage also a good measure for power consumption?
		* would be good to look at it in a more systematic way
		* current measurements show a strong correlation while there is activity on the system but in idle mode other things dominate
		* hardware vs software accelerated rendering?
		* What are the right tradeoffs to make when we have the choice?
	* certification
		* We need to document the user autonomy scenarios
			* we are not as transparent about this as we should be because we take it as a given
			* we should be more explicit about it (user data, privacy policy, ...) which you can find when looking for it but we should look into how to integrate this better in the applications
			* We should probably do that anyway because this is out strength
			* Maybe we need to present it a bit better and make it more polished/targetted
			* Krita for example has a nice privacy statement but it's not linked from the app
	* Whom to talk to for new people who we hired for the grant project?
		* Cornelius
		* Kai-Uwe
		* Volker
		* Albert
		* Nicolas F
		* popular desktop apps
			* LibreOffice
			* Mozilla
			* VLC
		* FSFE
		* for inside KDE try to make use of the existing project mailinglists because it affects everyone. kde-devel list seems good.
	* What happens once we got the certificate?
		* recertification is needed. yearly? with new releases?
		* stable and automated setup would be useful so we have the data for recertification easily accessible
		* there is a defined xml schema for the resulting data

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