The return of the clocks of death (this time in the new gnome logout dialogs)

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Fri Feb 3 01:58:30 GMT 2006

Hash: SHA1

On 31 Jan, 2006, at 12:43 AM, Henrik Nilsen Omma wrote:
> Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
>> These can be treated the same way as Windows does, with a "This 
>> program is not responding" alert <>, 
>> or the same way OS X does, with an "<appname> cancelled shutdown" 
>> alert.
> Yes, but this is a feature of Windows that makes people cringe. It 
> gives people a feeling that the app or system is broken.

That's partly because the Windows alert is a awkwardly designed, but 
mostly because the app *is* broken. :-) Until this detail of the Ubuntu 
desktop is dragged into the 1990s, logging out will perform mass 
dataloss instead, which is rather impolite.

> I would suggest a solution with a dialogue without a counter but where 
> you do have to click confirm to activate to avoid data loss. The data 
> protection can be catered for by calling the screen locking/screen 
> saver app with a time parameter that is shorter than the user's 
> default. 60 or 90 seconds is probably fine.

That seems like a reasonable solution to the security aspect.

> It may be necessary to modify the screen locking program to accept a 
> parameter to override the default time, but if so, that would mean 
> modifying just one app instead of the hundreds that would need to save 
> data properly.
> ...

No, the apps need to be fixed anyway. If you've migrated from a 
better-behaved OS (such as Windows 3.0 or later), you'll expect apps to 
not throw away your data even when you've confirmed that you want to 
log out. This won't be a quick problem to fix, but it still needs to be 

- -- 
Matthew Paul Thomas
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