The future of Power Management - together with Activities

Dario Freddi drf54321 at
Sun Oct 2 20:28:42 BST 2011

On Sunday 02 October 2011 21:03:45 todd rme wrote: 
> Thinking over the conversation a bit, I think the disagreement stems
> not from the activities vs. profiles issue, but rather different
> expectations about what power management is and what it should do.
> People seem to be talking past each other, and I don't think the
> conversation is going to go anywhere unless people realize they are
> discussing two entirely different things.
> People seem to fall into roughly 2 camps.  The first seems to
> represent the solid developers (amongst others), who seem to be taking
> a fairly strict definition of "power management", which basically
> encompasses controlling screen brightness (and some other things
> handled by the kernel so there is no UI for them).  Other people,
> including me, seem to be using a looser definition of "power
> management", which includes disabling things that are not necessary to
> save power such as wifi, strigi, screen savers (this is also the
> definition used in Windows 7 at least, not that this automatically
> makes it right -- or wrong).

No, sorry to say that again. There are two categories of people: those who 
know what they are talking about and those who don't. Your understanding of 
this categorization is coming from the fact that you didn't understand what I 
am trying to advocate, and my argument about brightness was towards the need 
of having a separate power profile.

> For people using the stricter definition, things like wifi and
> screensavers are separate tasks and should be handled in their own UI.

Absolutely not. In fact, those things (not wifi atm) are handled inside the 
power manager. Wifi has hardware switches.

>  For people using the looser definition, they are all related to the
> same sort of practical issues independent of the underlying technology
> so it should be possible to manipulate them together.

Absolutely not. The point of this conversation is: "why do I need to change 
the pm settings, whatever their definition might be, through a profile 

> The current power management UI reflects the stricter definition, and
> activities being sufficeint makes sense in light of that definition.
> The problem arrises with people who are using the looser definition.
> In this case the current UI is deficient, it lacks options nessary for
> what we consider to be necessary power management settings, and
> activities are not sufficient.

I am referring you to last Martin's mail for a proper answer.

> So the queston, then, is where this leaves us.  One of the good things
> about plasma is that people can make their own UI for things.
> Therefore, anyone who wants to can make an alternative power
> management widget implementation that gives them all the settings they
> want.

Ok, this is where I get really angry, so I'm already feeling sorry for what I 
am going to write in advance.

Since you're advocating W7, let's play this kind of game. List me at least 1 
system which allows you to create a power profile for each corner case on 
earth which could be solved by pressing a button just to enrich the user's 
geek ego: none. Find me, at the same time, a system which lets you fine-grain 
the choices as KDE's Power manager is doing and will do: there are none. 
Question: does this ring a bell to your head?

Seriously, what would you add to a separate applet? Do you even KNOW what you 
are talking about, what are the implementation details, the responsability you 
are giving to the user? I am waiting to see an implementation of a battery 
applet which maps every hardware switch to a software switch which will be 
buggy in 50% of the cases, handling governors the wrong way, just to allow 
choices over choices: don't forget to add a "Burn my laptop!!1!!1!one!" and a 
"TURN OFF CPU!!!" button, because who are we to prevent the users from doing 
that? Freedom before anything else!

The idea of forking powerdevil because your geek ego needs to be filled by 
configuring random settings is mindless to say the least. I am nobody to stop 
anyone from forking software, but at least please spare yourself from shooting 
this kind of ideas in a KDE list talking about a workspace component. Oh, btw: 
I am the only one working on power management in KDE, just so you know. 
Wasting man power seems to be a great idea, isn't it?

> So would it be possible to develop a backend implementation
> that could be used for per-activity profiles in the UI, but would
> still support more complete power profiles if someone else were to
> write the UI for it?  Basically try to make as few assumptions as
> possible in the underlying profile settings storage.

I think I'd better not answer this part to avoid being banned from this list.

> -Todd
> _______________________________________________
> Plasma-devel mailing list
> Plasma-devel at


Dario Freddi
KDE Developer
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