battery plasmoid and remaining time..

Chani chanika at
Fri May 15 05:22:46 CEST 2009

> > It's not made up, as far as I can see it's remaining capacity / current
> > discharge rate. So it does tell you when your battery runs out if you
> > keep doing what you're doing right now.
> >
> > Maybe a good point is to think about how we can make this more clear to
> > the user.
> I'd suggest prefixing that number with an icon of a dude going "3 hours...
> no, 2 hours! no! 1:30! no 6 hours! oh, for gods sake, i give up" and then
> an animation of him throwin his hands up in the air. that'd pretty much
> express exactly what it's doin.

"four hours and ten minutes! four hours and eight minutes! four hours and 
fifteen minutes! four hours and five minutes!"
who cares, at least I know I've got around four hours left.
I don't know what sort of hardware you've got, but my battery doesn't vary 
that wildly. I managed to make it go down from 4:20ish to 3:50 by starting a 
compile, but that's as much as it's jumping.

> > 10% can mean anything from 5 minutes (a relatively worn out battery) to
> > half an hour for most newer batteries out there. (Those are not even
> > extreme cases.)
> of course that's also what "2 hours left" can mean.

if that's true then your hardware *sucks*
...either that or it was in a very very low power state and then started 
drawing a huge amount of power. which comes back to "can we trust people to 
understand that doing more stuff eats more power?" and "can we also provide a 
worst-case estimate?"

> > My point is that it's accurate given the current context. For the
> > question "Will I be able to finish watching this movie?"
> i'm not sure how you're watchin movies but i never seen anyone keep playin
> the movie while they check status of different parts of their laptops. in
> fact it's a little hard to do when you're playin a full screen movie. not
> that i'm sayin that you couldn't borrow a laptop from a friend, ssh-in,
> export X, start another plasma session on your friends laptop and check
> that applet there. all i'm sayin is that it's pretty unlikely people will
> be doin that.
> in general they'll either stop the movie or put it in some small ass window
> in a corner and check stuff. so the question isn't "Will I be able to
> finish watching this movie?"  it's "for how long will i be able to check
> the 'time remaining applet'" and you're right, for that it's pretty
> accurate. unfortunately until we add the animation i proposed above to that
> dialog people are unlikely gonna be doin it for the entire time they're
> usin their laptops. they tend to do other things like unpause the movie,
> make it go full screen, browse the web, watch youtube, play games... in
> other words the same activities that they had to stop to check the 'time
> remaining' label.
> you could average out the battery drain over the entire time the laptop has
> been unplugged without usin too much resources which could give you a
> pretty ok approximation of "time left at the current usage", but is that
> really worth it? if we only had like one of them "usability" folks to sort
> this shit out! =)

I find my battery monitor isn't updating its time estimate every second, 
anyways. but it could make a lot of sense to average it over the last minute 
or something. enough time to smooth out erratic jumps, mitigate the effect of 
having stopped the movie five seconds ago, but not too long of a time.
averaging over too long of a period would be bad, I think, because then if you 
let it idle for the first hour and then start compiling something it's going to 
be reporting a time far more than what you have if you keep compiling for the 
next hour.

This message brought to you by eevil bananas and the number 3.
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