[Proposal] Enhancing display of system users

Friedrich W. H. Kossebau Friedrich.W.H at kossebau.de
Sat Jul 2 01:05:18 BST 2005


I would like to enhance/standardize the display of system users. One of the 
strength of unixoide systems is that they are multi user systems. So if KDE 
(and Co.) is to make *nix be ready for the desktop it should offer a user 
friendly access to the concept of different users on the same system.

Users appear in many places: They own files, processes, windows, sessions, 
terminals, devices, etc.

System name: name by which a user is identified within the system, 
             often also called login name. 
             Is unique on a system.
             Example: "joe"
Descriptive name: name by which a user is identified in the real world, 
                  often also called full name.
                  Should be unique in the real world, exceptions are possible
                  and have to be dealt with.
                  Example: "Joe User"
Display name: name which is displayed on the screen to identify a system user
              to a real world user.
              Should be unique on a system.
              Example: "Joe User (joe)"
Face: image which is displayed to help identify a system user by a real 
      world user. 
      Needn't to be unique, can also identify the group a user belongs to.

State of art:
System users are already present across KDE. But with different approaches. 
Ususally just the system name is shown, with owners of processes, files, 
sessions, terminals. But there are exceptions, like the login and lock 
dialogs where also the descriptive name is used, plus an additional face.

This is different from the display of other system concepts, like applications 
or bookmarks. Those are presented globally by a symbolic icon and a 
descriptive name. The same applies to files and directories which at least 
get some symbolic icon.

Display all system users by showing their descriptive name plus their face, 
optionally of course. 

As there might be different whishes to how to display a system user the same 
approach like with the applications in the kmenu might be used: 
Using a global option the name is composed either of
a) Single name: descriptive name
b) Primary name: descriptive name, secondary name: system name
c) Primary name: system name, secondary name: descriptive name
d) Single name: system name
The display of a face can be turned on/off globally, too.

These global defaults can be explicitly overwritten in the api calls.

For the faces it might be a good idea to pick up the faces used by kdm/*dm. 
How to use them is a more complicate discussion I would like to start once 
the principial proposal seems to be accepted.

I have locally implemented this proposal. By now I have had only positive 
comments on this change so I consider it an enhancement.

So, what are your comments/suggestions? 

My roadmap:
1. Convince core developers :)
2. Discuss usage of *dm faces
3. Discuss api.
3. Add changes to kdelibs/kdecore/kuser.*
4. Work with app maintainers to built new user display in
5. Head over to session dialogs/menus

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mail.kde.org/pipermail/kde-core-devel/attachments/20050702/c7cf1049/attachment.sig>

More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list