KDM plans and lightDM

Martin Gräßlin mgraesslin at kde.org
Tue Jun 14 21:19:40 BST 2011

On Tuesday 14 June 2011 20:26:45 Harald Sitter wrote:
> Agreed. 
> Yet despite having complete control we did not manage to come up with a truly 
> good workspace experience that starts at the DM (power management, good looks, 
> I for one have yet to see a sane UI-wise integration of stuff like fingerprint 
> auth, integration with the workspace like say MS Windows displaying unread 
> mails etc.).
have these issues been raised in the past? How much on the UI layer is possible after the 
Plasma integration? Has anyone tried to work on these points?

Personally I have a completely flicker free boot experience from after GRUB to desktop is 
ready to use on my openSUSE systems, so some of the needs are not present for all and 
maybe just unknown. And considering how often especially Canonical changed the splash 
implementation over the last years, I'm not surprised we don't run behind the latest idea ;-) Oh 
and I consider Plymouth as legacy as I'm quite sure somone will have the idea to replace it 
with a Wayland Compositor (which would make much more sense).
> So, yes, giving away control is certainly a dangerous thing, and needs to be 
> well throught through and evaluated (if it should happen at all that is). Not 
> just in terms of control but also in terms of feature parity. It certainly 
> would hurt the image of the KDE workspace to switch from a capable, proven, 
> well tested and mature DM to one that does not even measure in terms of 
> features. Let alone reliability.
My motto for Wayland is: DON'T BREAK THE DESKTOP! We should have that on all such 
things ;-)
> With that in mind it certainly would be a good idea if everyone who threw up 
> rants and whatnot to actually take a look at the status quo and see if lightdm 
> is a viable alternative for antyhing, and if not how to make KDM provide the 
> experience that we need to keep up with our competition.
> Perhaps we should actually first find out what we need?
I think that is the most important one. Look at what is needed. Personally I guess that most of 
it will be fixed with the Plasma integration work. Others will have to be evaluated for their 
actual need. I also think that it might have been better to do that before suggesting a new DM 
> Regarding the control issue with regards to workspace integration though... 
> Maybe I misunderstood the architecture of LightDM, but to me it seems that 
> all workspace affecting parts would be in the greeter rather than the base of 
> the DM (I figure that is what we have right now in KDM too). What would be 
> "outsourced", if you will, is the actual logic of the DM, which for the better 
> part has little to do with the workspace experience. We would still be in 
> control of all the UI parts, and the DM logic part is certainly not where most 
> of the valuable UI plunder should go (that also includes fancyness enabling 
> technologies such as Plasma). Sure, regarding the actual display management we 
> would be at the mercy of LightDM and its developers, but from a workspace 
> point of view I reckon there is not all that much to be done in the DM logic. 
Well we don't know and I gave an example with Activity integration in my last mail. And I could 
think of more, like logging-in through a Plasma Active device or KWallet unlocking. I think there 
is more than "just UI" which makes up the workspace.
> > > At any
> > > rate it probably does not make sense to take such things into account
> > > for any technical discussion as long as the system in use is easily
> > > accessible. Otherwise all of free software would be using Git, not
> > > because it is superior, but simply because everyone else does.
> > 
> > Actually I think from a workspace point of view it is a technical issue if
> > one of our applications is hosted in a version control system that is not
> > git. Especially if it is a bizarre one that is only used by one
> > distribution. It means that not each workspace developer is able to easily
> > check out the sources and apply patches. So yes, sounds very much like an
> > issue to me.
> I am not the biggest fan of bazaar either, but I think saying it is only used 
> by one distribution is a bit unfair. Also important projects such as MySQL, 
> Inkscape, Zeitgeist and various GNU projects such as Emacs and Grub use it. I 
> would be very surprised if bazaar packages were not available in every serious 
> distribution. Also unlike git it is not a PITA to use on Windows :P
> Anyhow, I do not think this is a topic worth discussing just now. 
> Seeing as we did not even identify LightDM as anything we need or want to use 
> in place of own technology. To me the selection of VCS or development 
> infrastructure at large is at best a political issue.
Just as a reason why it might be more than a political issue for both KDE and GNOME: git 
would allow to co-host it on our infrastructure for things like every KDE-dev is allowed to 
commit and of course scripty. Same holds for GNOME with some other points (no scripty ;-)

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