Proposal and RFC: Introducing DAL, the "Desktop Abstraction Layer"

Ikke eikke at
Thu Jan 13 12:38:24 EET 2005

Hi xdg list members,

Last days I've been thinking of desktop integration on the Linux/...
desktop. Not limited to Gnome OR KDE OR whatever more, but
desktop-neutral application integration.

I started thinking about this issue after I wanted to write some code
that enables me to get the "Away" state in Gaim when my screensaver is
started. I got this working using some DBUS magic, some sort of polling
application for xscreensaver, which is working now, but then I started
to feel this is very limited. I wrote this now, its working, but it is
relatively difficult to get any other application making use of these
DBUS signals (screensaver started, stopped,...). Like, if I start using
a new screensaver application, I'd need to write some other application
to send out signals and monitor the screensaver app. Or if I'd start
using aMsn instead of Gaim, I'd have to hack on that one, and so on. But
in the end there would be no global overview: it would be hack on hack
on hack, where most of the previous work gets lost.
This explanation may sound very obscure, I know it's not really well
written, but I don't really know how to explain this better.

So I started thinking about a more "global" desktop notification and
information providing system. I wrote down a document where I try to
describe what I got in my head here [1]. Someone commented on it already
here [2].

The current "working title" I chose is "Desktop Abstraction Layer",
similar to HAL, because this proposal has a lot of similarities to HAL.
It's just not hardware-centered.

I'd like to know whether you guys think this is a useful application, if
there already exists something like this, if it is useful, where do I
make mistakes in my proposed implementation,... Most of you are far more
familiar to desktop programming than I am, so...

If this proposal looks useful in some way, I'd like to make a project of it, because IMHO that's where it belongs.
That's a discussion for later on though :-)

I'm looking forward to read your ideas, comments and so on on this!

Kind regards,


[2], 2nd comment

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