[Bug 344228] Re: Deleting an image that's used as a desktop wallpaper removed it as a wallpaper without notice

Scott Ritchie scottritchie at ubuntu.com
Sat Sep 12 02:51:36 UTC 2009

I think the idea that users expect a file to be their wallpaper is a bit
unrealistic.  Many users would like to set their wallpaper in ways that
are completely different from interacting with actual files -- right
clicking an image in Firefox, for instance (where it's called "desktop
background").  Interacting with files is a completely different task
than changing the wallpaper, and even very technically savvy users like
myself wouldn't expect it change then.  The same can be said of
modifying pictures or moving files around.

In the case of Firefox, it will silently download and copy the file (to
~/Firefox_wallpaper.png), so other places where you set the desktop
background should do the same thing (this includes the image viewer, so
I'm opening an Eye of Gnome task).

All places where you set the wallpaper should act consistently -- The
control center add button, Firefox, Eye of Gnome, and others.  The only
way I can see to preserve the wallpaper is to copy the file outright to
a special wallpapers folder; a hard link will change the wallpaper when
the file changes (not a safe assumption), and a soft link will cause the
same problem that opened this report.

Doing this will use up a small amount of disk space, however it will
organize everything for the user and not mysteriously delete files - I
think the few megabytes is worth it in most use cases.  If you are
concerned about disk space like Jakub is, you can then use the remove
button and have it deleted without losing the original file; only if we
keep a special wallpapers folder is it safe to have the remove button
actually delete files rather than just scrub them from the list.

This also enables a new feature: the wallpaper chooser can act
consistently as a tool for looking at previous wallpapers.  This is
especially important when you're about to switch wallpaper: if we only
copy (or link) the current wallpaper, then we'd lose it as soon as the
user changes the wallpaper, losing the ability for them to undo.

** Package changed: ubuntu => eog (Ubuntu)

** Also affects: firefox (Ubuntu)
   Importance: Undecided
       Status: New

Deleting an image that's used as a desktop wallpaper removed it as a wallpaper without notice
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