Has Gnome 3 decided that people shouldn't want screen savers?

What is this I don't even.

As you may know, years ago some fresh young face on the Gnome team decided, for no sensible reason, to re-implement the xscreensaver daemon from scratch and call it "gnome-screensaver". This re-write was still able to run the 95% of xscreensaver that comprised the actual, you know, screen savers. It ran them badly, but it ran them.

Well now I'm told that they've removed the ability to run screen savers at all from gnome-screensaver.

Apparently the Gnome 3 party line is that if you want something more visually pleasing than "lock your screen and power off the monitor", you are wanting something that is Wrong.

Is this really true? Because it sounds too crazy to be true, even for Gnome.

Obviously I think that gnome-screensaver shouldn't have been written in the first place, but the idea that they are shipping what purports to be a complete desktop system, and it can't run screen savers at all is just... bafflingly nutty.

It simplifies my life, though, since I will no longer get people sending me misdirected bug reports about gnome-screensaver. We're back to, "if you want a screen saver on Gnome, uninstall gnome-screensaver and install xscreensaver".

If upstream Gnome doesn't come with a screen saver, maybe the various distros will start shipping xscreensaver installed by default again. Ha ha, I kid, I'm a kidder. They'll just rewrite it again, of course.

hellpe wrote:

Just stumbled upon this post by googling "xscreensaver gnome 3". So here are my findings.

Officialy it's over : Gnome 3 hasn't got any screensaver anymore (it just puts the monitor in sleep mode), and won't ever support this feature in the future. According to their mailing list, that'll be the job of someone else - if someone really wants to write a Gnome Shell extension for that purpose. Ubuntu plans to add it back themselves. Also, it seems that xscreensaver won't ever work, but I just tried to install it on my Arch Linux setup and it runs fine, at first glance.

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111 Responses:

  1. pavel_lishin says:

    It truly is the year of the Linux desktop.

    Next year in Jerusalem..!

  2. Jeff says:

    While running Gnome 3 I could never figure out how to get it to do something other than put the monitor to sleep, nor could I find a way of telling it to never, ever do such a thing (desirable since whenever that happened, it put my machine into a coma). You can tell it not to power down the monitor for sixty minutes, but you can't say never turn it off. I blame Al Gore.

    • mhitza says:

      Open a terminal and write

      xset -dpms

      And you have to do this EVERY TIME you log in. There is no other way to disable the automatic monitor sleep mode (which is especially annoying when watching flash videos, or when running on battery and watching movies)

      • What the fuck is this, 1993? What is WRONG with these people?

      • bronson says:

        Yes, it's an example of CADT and dbus interfaces but this one, at least, should be fixed.

        https://bugs.launchpad.net/caffeine/+bug/789401

        Install Caffeine and give xset a rest.

      • Jeff says:

        I solved this and every other Gnome 3 issue by buying a Mac.

        • Jeff says:

          This is probably more pissy than I probably should be. I think Gnome 2 and the related gtk+ goodness was a mostly wonderful thing. But then the powers that be decided to throw everything away just when it started to Just Work, all in the pursuit of the new and the different. I'm done with my desktop being someone else's research project.

          • gryazi says:

            I still Want To Believe that most of the blatant horrible (I only ran it for about half an hour - does the top panel actually *permit* anything other than The Centered Clock, or is it a complete waste of space?) is really just a "Yeah, we broke that and haven't reimplemented it yet," but it seems like the bureaucracy is uninviting to those who might want to fix things and not really interested in fucking with it themselves - possibly as a side effect of accidentally having built something that is No Fun To Work With.

            Meanwhile, Unity seems to be demonstrating that maybe you want to use-test across both naive and previously-familiar users, so you don't piss off the entire set of the latter.

            It's painful to the extent that some of the ideas are potentially interesting (the dynamic workspaces and so on, and what looked like an attempt at a more-useful-than-just-a-list-of-the-last-ten-frequentiy-used-items alternative chronological UI to complement the regular hierarchial file-browser in the Gnome 3 sidebar before they threw that out), but it looks like Microsoft has actually been more "agile" about throwing them into Win8 and possibly even testing them for actual usability - unless that's going to be a modal nightmare too.

            • There's no point to user test with naive users. It's 2011, they don't exist. You can't even find amish that haven't used a computer.

              • gryazi says:

                I will counter that you can still manage to find them in the form of people who only drive one app (AOL, Office, etc) and not the OS. So asking them to attempt "OS" tasks they've never had a reason to try otherwise, averaged across a group, still gives a little input on relatively 'untainted' human behavior.

                I think that's what Canonical claimed to be doing - grabbing some people off the street, probably down where they are?, and giving the new ideas a sanity check/refinement based on them. And I'd say that sort of research is most certainly useful; what they appear not to have done is then sat down with some existing users, tallied the worst papercuts for them, and then gone back and checked the compromise for major regressions against the first group.

                ...because all that takes time and barely fits into a 6 month release cycle, let alone a monthly one or whatever insanity they're promising now. Guys, please: Just try leaving your platform alone long enough that anyone other than a hummingbird on crank can seriously imagine developing for it.

        • mhitza says:

          Meh. I've switched to XFCE

          • LionsPhil says:

            I fear the day XFCE becomes the rubbish one we have to abandon ship from.

            For one thing, there is going to be pain on the horizon with GTK+ versions, since XFCE is GTK2, and GTK3 is the Sexy New Thing. That backends entirely through Sexy New Thing Cairo and suffers the expected CADT lossages for it.

          • foo says:

            Not far enough; XFCE has had its own share of CADTitis. There was a good year or so where its menus could only be edited by hacking undocumented XML files.

            I switched to FVWM -- seriously. It's quite refreshingly unaffected by any such thing. At least until the CADT-sponsored Wayland apocolypse breaks UNIXy GUIs forever on Linux.

        • Hex says:

          As the author comments, it works both ways.

  3. There is just so much genius in this decision it hurts.

  4. nandhp says:

    > Because it sounds too crazy to be true, even for Gnome.

    Never underestimate the craziness of GNOME. For example, in GNOME 3 they tried to force your laptop to sleep when you closed the lid. I believe this is the original announcement.

    In GNOME 3.0, we’re defaulting to suspending the computer when the user shuts the lid, and not providing any preferences combobox to change this. This is what the UI designers for GNOME 3.0 want, and is probably a step in the right direction. We really can’t keep working around bugs in the kernel with extra UI controls.

    I have no idea if the outcry of all of the other GNOME developers was enough to change their mind, or if this is really how GNOME 3 works.

    • Alan says:

      Forcing the laptop to sleep when the lid is closed? Obvious insanity! No successful desktop operating system can get away with that craziness. I mean, except for Mac OS X, obviously, where it's been true for years.

      I disagree with the decision (both in Gnome and on Macs), but it can't be that crazy if millions of people are happily using their MacBooks without complaint.

      • peterix says:

        The problem is that many computers won't wake up from that properly... Forcing sleep is *bad* when crap like that happens.

      • Mike Hoye says:

        Forcing the laptop to sleep when the lid is closed? Obvious insanity!

        If power management on Linux could be trusted even a little bit, you might be right. Apple's power management is as close to perfect as it's ever been made. Linux power management is "we're going to give you an epidural with a lawn dart, so whatever's about to happen you might want to bite down on something... now."

        • SteveC says:

          Apple has control of the hardware. In other words, they cheat.

          • Mike Hoye says:

            Yeah, that's what I always say when somebody sells me something that actually works right. "They must have _cheated_ somehow."

            • SteveC says:

              Oh, relax. All I mean is it's not a level playing field. Apple sold you the hardware, which they have very much control over, and the software made to work on that hardware. The gnome guys _gave_ you the software and you try to run it on whatever random hardware you happen to have lying around. Apple's not doing some amazingly awesome programming, they're just working in controlled environment. Sheesh.

        • Nathan says:

          Power management on my Linux laptop works 100% okay. What does that have to do with the fact that Gnome doesn't think I should have the option of closing my computer's lid without suspending it, for instance while it's downloading, compiling or performing some other long-running task?

          Oh, right. Computers doing useful work is an alien concept to Gnome developers.

      • Paul says:

        I wouldn't say the $10 I paid for SleepLess is "without complaint". It's the single largest thing about my MacBook that drives me up the wall.

      • Michael says:

        In my current Linux setup suspend works reliably. I still don't want my notebook to go to sleep when I close the lid. I want to be able to close the lid and write something on paper while my notebook computes something. If I go around the building with my notebook, it also doesn't mean it should sleep - losing IRC connection and stopping to check email in the background.

    • alanc says:

      They've recently gone back to add a program you can run just before closing the lid to disable that for that one lid close event.

    • LafinJack says:

      Under Windows XP, I could close the lid of my laptop and the connected external monitor would still stay on, with its proper content, until whatever timers I had set up (if any) would put the computer/monitors to sleep or trigger the screensaver.

      Under Windows 7, on the same hardware, closing the lid would cause the internal monitor's content to move to the external monitor. Doing this without an external monitor, or disconnecting the monitor of a desktop, changes the resolution of the screen to 1024x768 while it's off then changes it back to the previous resolution once you reopen the lid, resizing all your windows in the process.

      The last time I looked into this idiotic problem, the official Microsoft response was to connect a KVM switch with certain circuits (I forget the right name) that would trick the computer hardware into thinking that a monitor was still disconnected. Brilliant all around.

      • badc0ffee says:

        Kinda offtopic, but I tried hooking up some new Mac Minis to a KVM, and it was a pain. The display was analog VGA, hooked up to the new Thunderbolt port. The machines worked fine with the KVM (Raritan Paragon II) until they were rebooted, at which point the display would be blank and stay that way.

        I found two solutions: one, sleep and unsleep the Mac with the power button. I have no idea why that works, and it is a pain when you need to walk to a server room every time you reboot. Two, hook up a real display to the HDMI port, and mirror it to the VGA port. This works even when you hook up two Macs to two different DVI ports on the same powered-off monitor. It adds clutter to the server room, but it works. I don't know why it works, of course, but my theory is that MacOS wanted display information on boot that the KVM just wasn't providing.

  5. Patrick says:

    Well somebody has to compete with Apple on the crazy top-down decision making front!

    ...says the guy with more Apple computers. than desks..

  6. David says:

    In the Ubuntu 11.10 beta, I can confirm: no gnome screensaver. They're still shipping xscreensaver, and you can install it, but the desktop lock function (icon and CTRL-ALT-L) refuses to see it. At least it complains that it's not there, and doesn't just fail silently? This was one of the larger reasons I gave up trying all that Unity/Gnome Shell crap, and just reinstalled 10.10. I guess I'm resigned to use this until it runs out of support. I don't know what I'll do after that. I've never cared for KDE (though I used it before Gnome came along). Maybe XFCE will expand a little and become what Gnome 2 was?

    • jwz says:

      Do the Gnome 2 instructions for how to make that lock button use xscreensaver still work?

      • David says:

        Well, I was used to just replacing gnome-screensaver with xscreensaver, and everything working. Now it doesn't. I didn't fool with the gconf settings to try to get it going again. That was the proverbial straw that ended my experiment with Gnome 3/Unity. I loaded KDE, Enlightenment, and XFCE, played with them all, and then decided to downgrade. So, sorry. All I can tell you is that removing gnome-screensaver didn't do the trick any more. (Though I'm guessing that point 4 is not going to work now, since the control panel is all new and OSX-like in Unity.)

    • Kevin Sonney says:

      I just gave up and installed KDE on my Ubuntu 11.X desktop. None of the poor design decisions of Unity or Gnome3, and it integrates xscreensaver right into the settings if xscreensaver happens to be installed.

  7. Erorus says:

    This is your house, so obviously what you say is Right and what I say will be Wrong. I get that. I don't do anything for the Gnome team, and I do think they made a lot of nutty decisions on Gnome 3, fwiw.

    So Gnome 3 doesn't have pretty screen savers by default anymore. Who cares. These aren't CRT days anymore, so shutting off the screen when it's not in use makes lots of sense. When a screen saver is running, nobody's looking at it.. meanwhile, your lit monitors are sucking power, and perhaps your 3D video card is chugging away, for no reason. More folks run on laptops nowadays, and they don't need the battery drain.

    And if you do want a screen saver, install one (yours)! You can still do that. So what's the harm done?

    If you want something more visually pleasing than "lock your screen and power off the monitor", you are wanting something that is Wrong rare.

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      Many, *many* LCDs still use fluorescent backlights. Turning that backlight on and off prematurely ages the lamp. Just like a CRT, you want to turn it off (put it into sleep) when the cost of the electricity outweighs the cost to lamp life -- e.g. overnight.

      • Erorus says:

        Okay, so you can disable DPMS suspend if you're worried about such things.

        Still wondering why it's so bad and wrong that Gnome 3 doesn't have pretty screen savers by default, and instead may turn the screen black when unattended or locked.

        It's like being upset that Windows comes with IE by default, and doesn't include other browsers. The OS supplies the basic functionality, and you have to go install the fancy stuff on your own if you want it. (Sore topic?)

        • Paul says:

          Except you can go in and set firefox as the system default, and have shit generally work with it.

          There's no way around the Gnome 3 idiocy. They set the knobs to "fucked" and thoughtfully snapped them off so they couldn't be changed.

      • hattifattener says:

        I don't think CCFLs care that much about being cycled (unlike thermionic-emission fluorescents). The main thing that determines their lifespan is phosphor aging, which depends on total run time rather than number of cycles. So, go ahead and turn off your CCFL-backlit displays immediately.

        (I suppose in a perfect world the EDID would contain enough information about the monitor for the host to make intelligent decisions about this kind of thing automatically.)

    • gryazi says:

      I'm of the same mind as hattifattener below, and while digging some graphics hacks always thought the fascination with screensavers was kind of insane (particular in the late '90s when people were actually paying for them)...

      ...but my present use case is, in fact, to give me a big, bright, dancing warning in the corner of my eye that the monitor's about to sleep in 5 minutes if I happen to be distracted but still working, thus sparing needless power cycles - and as importantly, that extra second of delay for the monitor to wake up and figure out which input the signal is on - but still letting me run a pretty short timeout (15 minutes to screensaver, 20 to power-off).

      I don't know what Gnome 3 is actually doing now, but at least a giant countdown or the ever-popular screen-dimming effect is useful for that reason.

  8. Aaron Allison says:

    Why do you need a screensaver? Why not just sleep your monitor and save energy? Why burn up CPU cycles on something so useless?

    • matthew says:

      My wife uses the screensaver to display an alternating series of family pictures when she is not using the computer. She uses the monitor like a scrapbook when the computer is not in use otherwise.

      Well, there's one reason.

    • Pretending established use cases are wrong does not negate those use cases. Nice try, though.

    • joe says:

      Three reasons:
      It's awesome
      It's awesome
      It's awesome

      Ok, more reasons:

      Screens are supposed to be locked after a while in the office; and sometimes we turn round to our customers to discuss things. Having something visually pleasing show up is much better than blanking the screen in the background. Even better if it fits your style.

      Also, when you pass by rooms, you know if people are there or not - their saver is running, so they are just not be by their desk. And something else -which I really like- a computer running xscreensaver is actually working. When screens are turned of, I'd have to go and check if the screenlock is active.

      Running savers like phosphor is the only way to show about 99.999 percent of the population your system is doing something "hacking" related. For media ops, we'd run xscreensaver on several machines, and three projectors. You can make cool pictures when you stand in front the wall phosphor is projected on - and you can actually display your own programs running.

      We even use it on another screen to show you which meeting room your supposed to go, were the restrooms are - setup in 10 minutes, just a basic TFT with a notebook (hidden behind a sofa)

      jwz is really the Steve Jobs of screensavers - how can anyone voice their doubt on the usefulness of them here anyway?

      • LionsPhil says:

        And in a communal lab, the difference between a locked screen which is showing a bouncing cow and a locked screen which is blank is the difference between someone walking past and someone pressing the power button because they think the machine is free but shut off.

    • Mike Hoye says:

      Why burn up CPU cycles on something so useless?

      The entire video game industry thanks you for your valuable insight.

    • Anthony says:

      Because some computers are screwy in ways that allowing a monitor to "sleep" may be unrecoverable without a reboot.

      • Ryan says:

        Or some drivers. AMD Catalyst is bad about not wanting to wake the monitor up. The open source radeon driver does it just fine.

        Of course, GNOME 3 is such a bad experience under Catalyst that monitor suspend problems don't come into play.

  9. cgb says:

    Wow, you're from the 90ies.

  10. Piku says:

    Christ on a bike is Linux a fucked mess now. I've got Ubuntu 10.whatever on my media centre for the sole purpose of running XBMC and half a dozen server services that run in text mode.

    So every time my server boots it plays that irritating "happy $ethnic_people" tune then shows a poor copy of an Apple desktop - complete with menubar stuck to the top of the screen (that barely works). God forbid the screensaver activates because then I have to type a password in to unlock it again, despite me turning that off. Oh, and the password to unlock my "login keyring".

    Not being able to change the GUI or screensaver doesn't feel very "Linux-like" to me. I might bugger off and install Debian to see if it's any better.

    The system works... but it's not very usable. I was also kind of hoping that whenever I encountered a problem it didn't feel like I was the only human ever to find that issue. Such a shame it feels like it's made for people who don't want to pay for software, rather than people who want to make software Free.

    • gryazi says:

      You can get around the keyring thing by making network-manager's idea of the connection "available to all users," assuming this is the usual wifi SNAFU. The security model demands you enter your password to open the keyring because autologin doesn't actually store your password and said "login" keyring can't be decrypted without it. (It doesn't bother you if you don't autologin, because gdm+pam is elsewise able to do the right thing.)

      It's an annoying default, but remember who we used to berate for choosing convenience over security?

    • Jon says:

      You'll be pleased to know that gnome 3 also requires a password to deactivate the saver^Wblank screen, not honouring gnome2's preference to toggle the behaviour.

    • Jon says:

      Hang on , you just said "server". I think I spot a few problems here.

      • Piku says:

        It's a typical home server that Linux nerds like to own - it sits under the telly running XBMC, and also runs Apache, samba, ssh and a few other fun things like a Minecraft server.

        So I have to tolerate Gnome on the thing so that I can use it to watch videos, YouTube or BBC iplayer.

        Unless there's an easy way to make a simple window manager load without losing vital things such as Ethernet or sound volume control which the gnome gui crap seems to have taken control of now.

        • Jon says:

          In network manager, mark your chosen connection as system wide / available to all users. After that, you just need the nm system daemon running, not the user applet, so network is available before logging in.

  11. What the fuck does this:

    media-keys: xscreensaver, really?
    Yeah, we don't support that anymore, because it's 2011.

    from git.gnome.org even *mean*?

    In 2011, we don't use mature software? We don't use third-party software? Are they reading decimal dates as little-endian or something?

  12. Thomas Lord says:

    In an effort to "think differently" the Gnome folks went for "greatly insane".

  13. Pat Gunn says:

    This doesn't surprise me one bit; GNOME3 seems to be a social experiment in shitting on users and the Linux community to see if they're still willing/capable of doing the kinds of forks that they did with XFree86 when the existing GNOME community is open-but-stupid. I was amused to see on G+ that when Linus Torvalds said he hated GNOME3, some blowhards tried to get him to shut up because expressing that was "divisive".

  14. SteveC says:

    Heh, I was writing a video game once, trying to figure out how to disable the screensaver. Found jwz's page describing that particular mess, and just decided it wasn't worth messing with. Then they go and lock the "focus follows mouse" option in the attic (Steve Yegge has a good article about that) and now this nonsense. What the hell is wrong with the gnome devs, the crazy arrogant, but worst of all, apparently stupid bastards?

  15. John Bloom says:

    The saddest part is that if you can look beyond the craziness there are a lot of slick (IMHO) UI design pieces. At its core GNOME 3 feels like something that I'll really enjoy using by the time it reaches, say 3.6 or so. OTOH, there are so many braindead decisions banging around in 3.0 and 3.2 that I think it will turn a lot of people off before they really give it a chance. I think one of the biggest problems is that Canonical/Ubuntu dropped their traditional role of ... moderating the wackiness of GNOME and decided to start their own wackiness^W desktop environment.

    • gottlob says:

      There won't be a version 3.6. Because next time, the new kids on the block will completely rewrite it as version 4. And this time, they'll do it right ((c) JWZ Enterprises)

      • John Bloom says:

        Nah. We're talking about GNOME, not Firefox, remember? And to be honest they have a decent track record for changing a whole bunch then stabilizing over a long period of time (GNOME 2.x lasted a good 8 years or so). I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. It pretty much seems like every major release they just remove everything that isn't nailed down and only add back the things that the most people scream the loudest about.

        • Colby Russell says:

          We're talking about GNOME, not Firefox, remember?

          This would probably have more of the sting you desired if it actually reflected... anything. Firefox 3.6 -> 4.0 wasn't a rewrite, sillyhead.

  16. Jed says:

    Whenever I read things like this, I'm glad I use twm.

  17. Devon Dossett says:

    It amazes me how many times the engineers go out of their way to prove that Linux is a server OS, and people still try to use it as a desktop OS.

  18. Richard says:

    Closing a laptop still doesn't suspend reliably even in late 2011? That's why I gave up on Linux in 2002.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      As on every other system (except Apple's and even then it depends who you ask) suspend depends on the hardware, particularly the firmware, to get it right. If the vendor didn't care, too bad. The firmware is awake both before and after the OS, so there's no chance to fix its worst mistakes. And they're amazingly inventive when it comes to mistakes.

      On my laptop it has worked perfectly for ages.

      • gryazi says:

        Most of it Works Right With Windows by now [and has for roughly a decade], unfortunately.

        The insanity of ACPI means that the "abstraction" demands cooperation between what ACPI offers in the firmware and the OS that actually has to parse and execute the code stored there. Most of the firmware ends up generated by a Microsoft compiler that Windows is finally comfortably bug-compatible with and vice-versa. (Do vendors using Intel's compiler exist in the wild? Do _Intel_-branded boards even have Intel-generated firmware?)

        This means you get into bullshit like:
        https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/475704/comments/29
        ...when the OS relies on mostly Intel-originated(?) code that actually assumes any adherence to the spec to parse things the firmware offers it: "Hey, OS, go aim this method I'm giving you at some absurd address because it works in Windows where MS ignores the type SNAFUs its own compiler generates."

        In fact, Apple is probably the one vendor that doesn't use the MS compiler.

        That said, as the eventual patch demonstrates, it's mostly a matter of simply identifying what the bugs are that the OSS implementation has to be compatible with, so cutting off all avenues of escape does have the benefit of forcing everyone who's supposed to be responsible for making it work to get their shit together.

  19. Jon says:

    At the moment you can't even define your desktop fonts in gnome3's control panel, which is fixed size and has fixed size list elements in it which overflow and text just disappears.

  20. [...] alucinante, tal y como destaca este usuario en su blog, en el que explica que hasta hace poco era posible hacer uso de xscreensaver, pero por lo visto la [...]

  21. Brad R. says:

    My distro of choice, Slackware, removed Gnome long ago. I've never had a desire to add it back.

  22. dave says:

    Gnome 3 and unity are both worthless to me. It suspends when I dont want it to. It checks my battery every time i shut down. Its got all the greatest features for a laptop you could ask for and no way to turn them off. Really neat since I dont have a laptop. I using a desktop pc. I love using my screen saver , I set it up on my pictures folders. I do watch the slide show as it displays. We still need a screen saver.

  23. peterix says:

    This might be of interest: http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blog/2011/10/results-from-poll-about-future-of-xscreensavers-in-kde-plasma/

    Looks like xscreensaver will be a fallback in KDE 4.8.

    • jwz says:

      I shudder to think what this means:

      The new solution will solve some security constraints of the existing screen locker and will make the lock screen way more appealing. On the downside it means that we can no longer include the almost 20 year old X screen savers. [...] We want to offer a better way to provide screen savers by making use of Qt Quick.

      It sounds like: "We've finally noticed that when your screen saver runs in-process with your screen locker, that means that if a screen saver crashes, it unlocks the screen. But we've decided to solve that problem not by running the screen saver in a memory-separated second process, like xscreensaver does, but by inventing some new API for screen savers to be re-written in -- in fact, an entirely new language -- which we have decided makes them 'secure'."

      This is gonna be good. I'll make popcorn.

      • gryazi says:

        Sometime back in the Amiga brand-necrophilia saga they proposed that the workaround for lack of memory protections in the otherwise-pretty-nifty Tao VM was to make the language of choice a "SafeC" that wouldn't have all those messy issues.

        Nobody really caught on that, with a VM that lightweight, running multiple ones as processes under a host OS was not exactly going to be a dealbreaker. But they appear to have had "a few" other issues besides.

      • aard says:

        If you want screensavers ported, make it happen. If you can’t code, find someone to do it for you (e.g. social media).

        this brought a tear to my eye. oh, linux community, don't ever change!

    • jwz says:

      Oh, man. Why cooperation with KDE is impossible:

      "He still fails to see why Xscreensavers does not suit the needs of a Desktop Environment."

      Another gem:

      "Even if KWin would completely fail it is more secure than before as without a window manager you can hardly do anything with the system."

      KDE: In theory, almost mostly kind of secure!

      • Hex says:

        The sheer density of "I don't use screensavers; therefore they are useless!" comments there is amazing. Not so much cascade of attention deficit teenagers as cascade of Asperger syndrome developers.

        Not that this is anything new in the world of the Linux desktop.

    • gths says:

      What on earth is a "Penny"?

      • Ryan says:

        From the description of 20 year old waitress who primarily uses the internet for lolcats, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Penny uses Windows 7.

      • Lloyd says:

        Does anyone else find it disturbing that KDE's use cases are derived from The Big Bang Theory? What next? Adopting the garish primary colour palette of a sitcom?

      • foo says:

        A "Penny" is casual misogyny. "This user doesn't understand computers: must be a woman amirite!"

        Then they wonder why women are under-represented in the open source community.

        • Bijan Parsia says:

          If you follow the link under "Penny", you'll find that there are two personas, both female, one an expert (Amy) and one casual (Penny). Both are derived from The Big Bang Theory.

          It does hook into casual misogyny when separated from that context. I'm not sure it's hugely more helpful to say "Pennys" rather than "casual computer users" even from a persona theoretic perspective.

          Having concrete personas with use cases that are derived externally rather than the programmer or designer inventing stuff on the fly is probably a win, though.

  24. Ryan says:

    "If you want to lock your screen in Plasma 4.8 but don’t want to use KWin you should get in contact with your Window Manager vendor. Sam from Compiz wanted to add support for it in Compiz."

    There's a gem.

    Compiz. lol.

    Compiz is by far the best way to......fill /var/crash

    • andy says:

      What are you all bitching about?

      If you don't like how Gnome and KDE adapt to the 21st century in terms of screen locking and savers, just use xscreensaver directly and enjoy 20 year old screen savers with a 20 year old ugly lock screen and 20 year old configuration UI, all inclusive with that special feeling of being more "elite" and "old-school" than everybody else.

      And leave the rest of us (who prefer things like a good-locking modern lock screen that works well with compositing, over cheesy, outdated "HEY LOOK AT ME!!! I can show something in ***3D***!!!! isn't that exciting???!!!!!!!!" screen savers) alone.

  25. Andrew says:

    Too hard to add an option for "Don't turn off the $%^%^$% screen?"
    When I want the screen off, I have it (along with all other peripherals) HARDWARE linked to the computer's power use.
    Monitors still use power in standby mode, and having some idiotic-know-it-all developer thinking he's saving the planet by removing the stinking option is annoying.

    • Rick C says:

      Andrew, in the Glorious People's Future, you won't be allowed to waste electricity by not turning off the screen when you're not using it.

  26. hellpe says:

    Since I talked about Gnome Shell extensions in my previous comment, here's some info about how to create such an extension. There's tutorials as well. I wish I knew how to write any code, or even estimate the feasibility of a xscreensaver-like extension ; but since I couldn't figure out how to make xscreensaver fully operational on my machine, I guess I'll wait until Ubuntu comes up with their own hacked gnome-screensaver tool, or ask on forums for some easy workaround.

    Apart from this issue, Gnome 3 works well for me (I'm surprised to find myself not missing Xfce so much), but I'd love to be able to make screensavers come back on my screen sometime.

  27. [...] Has Gnome 3 decided that people shouldn’t want screen savers? As you may know, years ago some fresh young face on the Gnome team decided, for no sensible reason, to re-implement the xscreensaver daemon from scratch and call it “gnome-screensaver”. This re-write was still able to run the 95% of xscreensaver that comprised the actual, you know, screen savers. It ran them badly, but it ran them. [...]

  28. Alasdair Lumsden says:

    The Gnome developers are nuts. Especially the likes of Lennart Poettering:

    "> Le mercredi 18 mai 2011 à 14:09 +0200, Lennart Poettering a écrit :
    > > systemd itself has very minimal external dependencies. You need Linux,
    > > udev, D-Bus, and that's it. (there are a couple of additional optional
    > > deps however).
    >
    > I don’t have anything against requiring systemd, since it is definitely
    > the best init system out there currently, but the Linux dependency is an
    > absolute no-no for us. Having optional Linux-only functionalities is OK;
    > requiring Linux is not.

    Quite frankly, I'd like to question this. In the light of GNOME OS I
    think we need to ask ourselves the question if we do ourselves any good
    if we continue to support all kinds of kernels that simply cannot keep
    up with Linux anymore."

    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2011-May/msg00434.html

    He's a jerk, and is steamrolling ahead with his own agenda, other distributions be damned. Not very friendly.

    So Systemd is now a dependency and if other distros want to use Gnome 3, they'll have to write their own systemd emulation layer. This is, of course, left entirely as an exercise. Systemd is 100% linux, using lots of very linux-specific linux interfaces.

    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/05/systemd-in-gnome-packagekit-and-what-gnome-as-an-os-really-means/

    I'm not sure what the future holds for Gnome 3, but I'm not too impressed with their general attitude towards their users, distribution maintainers, and non-Linux platforms.

    "We're doing it this way, fuck you, suck it up"

  29. Jeremy Bicha says:

    I'm a little surprised you hadn't heard about GNOME's total purge of gnome-screensaver's screensavers but except for Fedora users, GNOME 3 is only showing up in distros now and of course you have quite a few other things you do with your time.

    Yes, Ubuntu is considering implementing screensavers in Compiz for 12.04.

  30. [...] Because I can’t install a screen saver, that’s why. Seriously!? The new “desktop” environment can’t have a screensaver? No. I’m done. When my actual netbook can do more than my pseudo-netbook, it’s time to fix this. [...]

  31. [...] Has Gnome 3 decided that people shouldn’t want screen savers? Filed in: Linux, Open Source Tags: Customization, Ease of Use, Gnome, Gnome 2, Gnome 3 [...]

  32. LanmanT says:

    Why would someone decide to remove the screensaver, thats just mind boggling and nonsense. screensavers should be standard.

  33. dvo says:

    I simply use gnome-screensaver_3.2.0-0ubuntu1_amd64.deb from Ubuntu 11.04; it works flawlessly on Ubuntu 11.10 with Gnome3.