Gnome Screensaver issues?

Peter Whittaker pwwnow at
Wed Feb 22 12:30:09 GMT 2006

Ubuntu - Linux for human beings. Not that we're not human on this list,
but compared to the stated audience/market for Ubuntu we are far more
technically inclined and far more inclined to drop to CLI and vi when we
encounter something "odd".

That vast majority we're developing for aren't and won't: They want
things to work, to "just work", to make sense. Things not just working
and not making sense will count against our distro.

That said...

Timo Aaltonen wrote:
> Ben Aldrich wrote:
> > To not be able to configure the screensavers makes 1/2 of 
> > them utterly useless.  I think it would be a huge mistake
> > to leave it in this broken state.
> But they _are_ configurable, just not the click-n-forget 
> style.. you need to edit your .xscreensaver-file (if you
> know the syntax) or /etc/X11/app-defaults/Xscreensaver*

CLI and vi make everything configurable, but is that what we really want
for "Linux for human beings"? These humans of whom we speak will want to
use their computers to do things other than manage the computer. They
are not going to want to learn an editor and a configuration file format
and a few other things just to be able to do what can be done with a few
clicks on most other computers (and in fact on other screen savers in
the same distro).

It isn't a question of laziness or ignorance, it's having better things
to do with their time (like their day jobs) and of having the computer
serve the user and not the other way around.

Patrick McFarland wrote:
> On Wednesday 22 February 2006 01:27, Lee Revell wrote:
> > 
> > > On Tue, 21 Feb 2006, Ben Aldrich wrote:
> > > 
> > > or you can install xscreensaver and use the configurator
> >
> > Speaking of, I noticed it's possible to have gnome-screensaver and
> > xscreensaver installed at the same time, which causes two 
> > "Screensaver" items with different icons to appear in
> >  System->Preferences.  Is this a bug?
> imo yes, its confusing as hell. gnome-screensaver should 
> conflict with xscreensaver.

Absolutely: They do the same thing and having two in the menu makes the
distro look unpolished, confused, and unprofessional. Make one the
default and make others conflict with it. That should be the base

As an option (likely not for this release, likely too close to the
freeze and likely too much work to get done and/or approved), perhaps
permit their installation with a warning ("please be sure you know what
you are doing"), and then have the menu indicate "screensaver (default)"
and "screensaver (user installed)" or something comparable. In other
words, make it easy for the non-computer-geek to find out what's what
and to fix it (which will often mean uninstalling).

As a general point, if the user gets to the point where they have
potentially conflicting packages installed, a "sort it all out" wizard
would be nice: "You have two screensavers installed, you only really
need one, do you want to keep both and use P, keep both and use Q,
uninstall P (the system default), or uninstall Q (an optional package)?"

But that's another discussion....


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