Proposal: D-Bus service to watch user activity (for IM messaging away and so on)

Josef Spillner spillner at
Tue May 4 09:09:21 BST 2010

Am Montag, 3. Mai 2010 19:17:12 schrieb Markus:
> Is there also any notification currently for suspends? Then Kopete,
> Konversation, KMess,... could disconnect first.

Combining auto-away features with suspends is the most terrible idea I've seen 
in recent times. While working on a Kubuntu 9.10 laptop in battery mode, I was 
copying a USB image to a stick, when suddenly a message appeared that the 
system would suspend in 10 seconds due to inactivity. Despite generating some 
xinput events with mouse and keyboard, it still did this and forcefully 
interrupted the copying process. The secondary negative effects range from bad 
reputation on KDE (when this happens in public, especially when Xorg freezes 
on resume) to potential hardware damages with cheap controllers.

There are lessons to learn from this incident for developers:
The concept of "inactivity" is very fuzzy, not restricted to desktop events at 
all and probably not supported through all layers of the system. At the very 
minimum, this should be defined by some fd.o activity with input from OS 
people. At a broader scope, KDE does have HIG guidelines but it doesn't have 
user control guidelines, i.e. to which extent a user is able to oversee and 
influence automatisms like power management, package update thingies which 
randomly show up in systray and disappear shortly after without RMB menu to 
disable etc.

Due to these wide implications I'm posting here instead of just filing some 
bug reports.


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