expanding the inhibit spec

Ted Gould ted at gould.cx
Tue Jan 7 13:00:36 PST 2014

On Tue, 2014-01-07 at 13:16 -0500, Ryan Lortie wrote:

+AD4 (with the toolkit maintainer hat on) I want to expand the Inhibit spec:
+AD4   http://standards.freedesktop.org/idle-inhibit-spec/0.1/
+AD4 Specifically, I am interested in supporting this API:
+AD4   https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/GtkApplication.html+ACM-GtkApplicationInhibitFlags
+AD4 with exactly one common D-Bus interface that is implemented by any
+AD4 freedesktop desktop environment that I may find Gtk applications running
+AD4 on (ie: anywhere other than macos and win32, which already have their
+AD4 own backends).

It seems to me that what is odd about that API is that it conflates two
different types of inhibition, one is application lifecycle and the
other system lifecycle.  I don't think it makes sense at a system level
to merge those two together because they're handled very differently in
different parts of the stack.

For example on Unity/Mir we're managing the application lifecycle using
the Mir connection.  This way we can suspend apps based on their
position in the window management stack and usage as well as session
based things like logging out.  For applications being put into a deep
sleep and the session being closed are virtually identical.  For
information on the app lifecycle:


On the side of system policy like controlling the screen blanking and
other power saving mechanisms (for instance you're watching a movie) we
have a system service powerd.  It runs on the system bus as switching
sessions can also have an effect on how it determines how to operate.


I think that the two types of APIs are sufficiently different that
co-mingling them isn't really a gain.


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