Doubts about xdg-su and xdg-screensaver (Was Re: First xdg-utils beta release)

David Zeuthen david at
Fri Jul 7 01:09:10 EEST 2006

Hi Waldo and list,

On Sat, 2006-06-24 at 00:41 -0700, Bastian, Waldo wrote:
> The curious that don't want to bother with unpacking tarballs can read
> the documentation here:

xdg-su really needs to go. Here are just two reasons

 1. I don't think we should be encouraging ISV's to use insecure
    methods to do privileged operations. It's a get-out-of-jail-card
    that encourages lazy programming.

 2. I'm not sure how this would be implemented on Fedora or RHEL and,
    unless I'm mistaken, the point is to not lock out any OS'es that
    wants to participate, yes?

For the record, I've ranted about this on the Portland list earlier

and I thought I made my point. Apparently not.

Another point. Quoting from:

> Commands
> suspend WindowID
>         Suspends the screensaver and monitor power management.
>         WindowID must be the X Window ID of an existing window of the
>         calling application. The window must remain in existance for
>         the duration of the suspension. 
>         The screensaver can be suspended in relation to multiple
>         windows at the same time. In that case screensaver operation
>         is only restored once the suspensions have been restored in
>         relation to each of the windows 
> resume WindowID
>         Resume the screensaver and monitor power management after
>         being suspended. WindowID must be the same X Window ID that
>         was passed to a previous call of xdg-screensaver suspend 

Two issues with this

 1. AFAIK, this can never be implemented in gnome-screensaver because
    it's fundamentally broken: What happens if the process goes away and
    the window sticks? What if a process don't have a window?

 2. We're trying to solve this already by standardizing on D-BUS
    interfaces. See

    for details.

I think that Jon McCann, gnome-screensaver maintainer, might explain a
lot better than me what the issues here are.


Don't get me wrong, Waldo. I personally think Portland includes some
nifty things and I want ISV's to succeed as much as the next guy. 

But we all have different views on what interfaces are baked and what
interfaces are not.

So, frankly, I think what you're doing with pushing for xdg-su and
xdg-screensaver is just, and sorry for using strong words, undermining
the work already happening in the community. Stuff like PolicyKit and
the org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver interface.

Please don't include xdg-su or xdg-screensaver. Important work is going
on this area and let's not pretend what we have now is good enough.
Thank you.

Best Regards,

More information about the xdg mailing list