Prompted Restore Session

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Mon Jul 15 12:52:18 BST 2013

Jerome Yuzyk posted on Sun, 14 Jul 2013 22:08:35 -0600 as excerpted:

> Is there any plan to make the Restore Sessions function have a dialog to
> allow what session items to restart after login?

Not being a dev I can't answer that question in detail, but...

> Currently it's all or nothing, so I've turned it off and fashioned my
> own ways to repopulate my Desktops after a restart. In the case of a
> crash I don't always remember what I had open. With something like the
> Restore function used by Konqueror and other browsers, I could use
> Restore the same way for my KWin (?) sessions.

Two answers to think about, one dealing with the current situation, one 
discussing the future based on the kde blogs, etc, I've read.

Current:  KDE's session management is customizable in a couple different 

1) If you always want the same set of apps restored, you can set that up 
and then tell the session manager to remember that, and always restore 
it, instead of restoring what was running in the last session each time.

That option is found in kde settings (they aren't for the most part 
global system settings despite what kde calls them, they're mostly user-
specific kde-specific settings and the kde3 name kcontrol was far more 
accurate, so I refuse to call them system settings), system 
administration (again, it's NOT system, only kde, but that's what kde 
calls it...), startup and shutdown, session management.

There's a section called "On Login", with an option to "Restore manually 
saved session" (in addition to the restore previous session and start 
with an empty session options).

If you set it to restore a saved session, then of course you need to save 
a session for it to restore.  But once you hit that and hit OK or apply, 
then if you click on the kickoff menu and select the leave tab, you'll 
see a save session option that isn't there otherwise.  Thus, you can 
setup kde with the apps you want running select that to save it for 
future restarts.

2) If you prefer to restore the previous session, you can still tell the 
session manager what apps NOT to restart.

The only problem with this is that I'm not sure what it actually expects, 
application names (the executable name), names of the *.desktop files, 
perhaps the names of the main window of the app?  I'm not sure.   What I 
*DO* know is that some of the application names I enter here still get 
started, or at least they have in the past, on some kde4 versions.  I 
haven't tracked it too closely to know if that has changed or not, but I 
remember being frustrated by it at one point.

Meanwhile, future:  Based on the blogs I've read, kde's session 
management is in for some big changes, but they aren't going to be 
happening in kde4, as the part that would be handling that is in stable 
no-new-features, bugfix-only mode, as of kde 4.11 (there are 4.11 betas/
rcs out and I'm running 4.11 live branch now, updating on average a 
couple times a week, probably, with 4.11.0 release due in mid August).

So we're looking at kde5, which will change a number of things, including 
the way kde ships, so it's worth mentioning that first.  With kde5, kde's 
going far more modular, with a much smaller core and most of the apps and 
features now released and updated together as a kde4 release, to be 
released separately and on their own schedule in kde5.  Additionally, 
many features now assumed on a kde desktop will be optional modules, 
still based on kde, but shipping and updating separately, making it far 
easier for folks to mix and match kde components and apps with other non-
kde apps if they wish.

Meanwhile, the qt toolkit on which kde is based is also going more 
modular, with bits of it being optional in qt5.  Additionally, bits of 
what were formerly kde have been moved into qt5 itself.  The overall 
effect, therefore is a bit of blurring between an expanded qt5 toolkit, 
some parts of which are now optional, and a much smaller kdelibs, as 
parts of it will now be optional, and other (former) parts of it now 
being (sometimes optional) parts of qt5 itself.

Back to kde5, as I understand it (meaning I might have some bits of this 
wrong), the smaller core is to be called kde frameworks, and there's an 
early preview out and available to try, already.

Now that we've got that covered, we're ready to discuss the bit of 
interest to us in this thread.  Plasma-workspaces-2 is to ship (again as 
a modular component now, on a more independent update schedule) after the 
initial base release of kde5-frameworks.  It's the activities framework 
within plasma that's getting a power boost and will be taking over the 
session management from kde4's session manager.  The plasma folks have 
always had a bigger vision for activities, but it has taken some time for 
the concepts to mature and only bits and pieces of the overall much 
bigger concept can be seen in kde4-plasma's activities.

In the larger vision, now being implemented in plasma-workspaces-2, each 
activity is its own little session manager, so people can for instance 
have separate work, presentation, commute, home news, entertainment and 
private activities, each of which manages its own set of apps and might 
stop and resume automatically depending on where one is with their (in 
this scenario mobile) machine.

So say when the computer senses the wifi network at home and is plugged 
into the big TV in the living room, it automatically resumes the 
entertainment activity, starting up appropriate apps for playing videos 
bigscreen, etc.

Then when that's unplugged and the TV in the bedroom is plugged in as the 
monitor, a private activity, needing a password, might start, that could 
enable access to more "adult" entertainment.

In the morning, sitting at the dining room table with nothing else 
plugged in, the morning/breakfast activity could kickin (triggered by 
time and nothing else plugged in), automatically displaying newsfeeds, 
weather and traffic.

Then during the commute, for drivers traffic/navigation and podcasts 
could run, tracking with the gps where you are and whether you're ahead 
or behind schedule, etc.

Or for train commuters, video podcasts and/or it could resume the movie 
you were watching on the way home.

Then at work you plugin your workstation monitor and network, and it 
switches to your workstation activity and app layout.  This one too could 
be secured with a password if desired, or might activate upon mounting of 
a particular encrypted partition or storage volume, thus not running the 
associated apps without authentication, for security reasons (if someone 
steals that laptop they can't get at company secrets).

Then (if you're a salesman or at a conference), there could be 
presentation and technical-note-taking activities, each with their own 
associated apps.  Presumably these would be manually triggered.

Of course a critical assumption in each case is that the plasma activity 
manages the apps associated with it, much like a kde session starts its 
own set of apps today, except that there could be many different 
activities, each with its own set of apps, with each app set to open on a 
particular virtual desktop, authentication for activities where needed, 
with supporting apps even opening to the appropriate web page or place in 
the file being edited, or automatically resuming play where you left off 
in the case of media files, etc.

So obviously big changes are in store, if that vision comes even close to 
fruition.  But it's all with plasma-workspaces2 on top of kde5-
frameworks, not for kde4, which with 4.11 has several major kde4 
components (including plasma, FWIW kdelibs has actually been in no-new-
feature maintenance-only mode for a couple versions now, tho I'm not 
exactly sure when it started, only that I've seen it mentioned for 4.10 
and I think 4.9 as well, but it might have been earlier) entering no-new-
feature maintenance-only mode.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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