The future of Power Management - together with Activities

Andras Mantia amantia at
Sat Oct 1 20:21:40 BST 2011

[Please reply on both lists if you cross-posted, otherwise dicussion will be 
more fragmented. I just looked up the plasma list out of curiosity, normally 
I don't follow, so your mail would have been missed.]

Dario Freddi wrote:

>> I can't comment on activities, never used them, nor feel the need to use
>> them. So this sounds more like the power management applet would force
>> me to create and use activites.
> Well, if you like to see it that way, yes. Or better, we are trying to
> drive forward the concept of "one environment, one setting", where
> depending on what you do, the system is going to adapt.

I don't like if software forces me to work in a certain way. And with 
activities I'm not alone. I'm happy without them, even if they are useful 
for others. Just as I'm mostly happy also without virtual desktops (which 
are a must for others). People are different, they have different workflows 
that they don't want to change if there is no *good* reason to do it.

> There is still a rationale behind that. If you are in a situation where
> you are actually *using* your PC, the only setting available (at the
> moment) which is going to affect your battery life is brightness -
> everything else is depending on the idle time, and in an emergency
> situation one would simply close the lid and suspend straight away.

Is it? Certainly disabling desktop effects and 3D acceleration has an 
impact. And there are other things like when to suspend automatically (if do 
it at all), when to dim the display, etc. I remember some time ago there was 
also a possibility to set how fast a CPU would run or throttle down a CPU 
manually, but I can't see anything like that in the current applet.
So I think there are more settings then display brightness (that you usually 
can control anyway with an Fn shortcut on laptops).
If we only talk about the above, and my development example (e.g travelling 
in an airplane): I know my travel takes 1 hour, my battery can last 2 hours, 
so I want to use the laptop just as plugged into the wall. I start it, but 
then it becomes clear there is a delay, so I need to save battery life. 
Right now I just select a new profile, everything else remains the same on 
the desktop. Why would I need to switch to a new activity in such case? My 
work will be the same, just the conditions change.
Or while developing I realize I compile more often then needed and this 
takes more power. So I need to save power in other way, again this would be 
possible with a simple change in the applet.
Please, keep this option. Having a way to control the power magament setting 
per activity is fine, but leave the possibility to change (and configure) 
the settings without having to use activities.


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