The future of Power Management - together with Activities

Thomas Zander zander at
Sun Oct 2 09:41:14 BST 2011

> The part that I think is confusing is to make is so that one changes the
> way power management works in some cases so that it's not in power
> management. It's going to confuse approximately everyone who cares that is
> not a KDE devloper.  It may be that few enough people care that aren't
> involved in KDE development that that's OK, but this is really
> counter-intuitive.

My understanding is actually exactly the opposite.
The current applet is there and it works automatically for various usecases by 
having good defaults.
On the other hand it doesn't work together with the rest of KDE very well by 
essentially being configured on its own, without any tie into the rest of the 
system.  This makes it harder to learn.
Pet peeve; the power management system turns off the display of a laptop 
after 10 min, the screensaver by default after 15 min. So a normal user never 
sees screensavers anymore.

The solution is not to make powersaving a separate complex component, but 
instead the solution is to look at the *intent* of the concept.

The intent of the current powersaver applet is and will stay to use the 
battery state to do things.
Anything else is currently unused by the vast majority of users. We have xine 
still pusing key-events in the event queue to keep the screen visible because 
we can't get our act together and notice when the screen should stay visible.

So, the intend of a user to do a presentation, to watch some TV or all those 
other things that *should* alter the behavior of the power manager is now 
suggested to be solved using the current way that KDE users can tell KDE 
what they are doing.  This is called activities.

Activities *with* power management concept makes them suddenly much 
more sane.  If I'm on a plane and I read email or other documents I want a 
different way to power manage the CPU then if I'm on the same plane doing 
C++ compilation. 

So instead of asking the user to change power profile via the applet at every 
switch we now can do it when the computer detects the user switches to his 
programming activity etc.

I think nobody here is going to tell you that its indeed change, there will be 
a change in what some people need to do. Hell, you might even have to start 
using activities! But its good change, change that makes the mental load less 
after the initial hump.

At the same time it should be stressed that if you don't have any advanced-
power management requirements, the only change you will notice is that you 
need to care even less about the power management as more is done 
automatically for you.

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