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SubjectRe: A desktop environment[1] kernel wishlist
On 10/21/2014 11:09 AM, Bastien Nocera wrote:
> On Tue, 2014-10-21 at 11:00 -0700, John Stultz wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Bastien Nocera <> wrote:
>>> Hey,
>>> On Tue, 2014-10-21 at 10:04 -0700, John Stultz wrote:
>>>> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 1:49 AM, Bastien Nocera <> wrote:
>>>>> Hey,
>>>>> GNOME has had discussions with kernel developers in the past, and,
>>>>> fortunately, in some cases we were able to make headway.
>>>>> There are however a number of items that we still don't have solutions
>>>>> for, items that kernel developers might not realise we'd like to rely
>>>>> on, or don't know that we'd make use of if merged.
>>>>> I've posted this list at:
>>>>> Let me know on-list or off-list if you have any comments about those, so
>>>>> I can update the list.
>>>> As for: 'Export of "wake reason" when the system wakes up (rtc alarm,
>>>> lid open, etc.) and wakealarm (/sys/class/rtc/foo/wakealarm)
>>>> documentation'
>>>> Can you expand more on the rational for the need here? Is this for UI
>>>> for power debugging, or something else?
>>> No, it would be used for automating backups, or implementing
>>> suspend->hibernation transitions. For example, right before the machine
>>> suspends, I would schedule it to wake up in a hour. If I get woken up by
>>> the rtc alarm (and not by the user through a lid open), I might:
>>> - check that I'm plugged into the AC, it's night, and in the vicinity of
>>> the server that handles my backups and so backup the system.
>>> - check whether the battery is low, and hibernate the machine (if it
>>> supports it, obviously).
>>> We cannot do that if we can't make out whether the wake-up came from a
>>> user action, or the alarm we set.
>> I suspect wakeup type reporting is maybe not the best way to go about
>> this, since there may be a number of causes for wakeups and they can
>> arrive closely together in different orders, which can result in
>> races.
>> For instance, if the machine suspends, and sets an alarm to be woken
>> up at midnight to do a backup, if the user resumes their laptop at
>> 11:59:59, should the backup still proceed at midnight?
> No. And I would expect that we would get a wake up type of "power
> button" or "lid open" in this case.
>> What happens
>> if the user starts to use their machine at 12:00:01?
> I would expect the backup to stop and be tried again later.
>> What about if
>> the user walked away from their machine at 11:55:01, and the system
>> would suspend at 12:00:01, should the backup commence at 12:00:00?
> That wouldn't happen because we'd set the wake up time when suspending.
>> Thus you probably want to have a "user present" status,
> We can do any sort of thing once the laptop is awake. But right now
> there's no way to know whether the resume is due to a user action or
> not.

Let me try saying what I think John is saying a little differently:

I think it shouldn't really matter what caused the wakeup. I think it
should matter what the state of the laptop is post-wakeup.

For example, suppose that the user opens the lid at effectively the same
time as an alarm fires. By the time userspace code can run, the alarm
has fired *and* the lid is open.

Shouldn't the user code just check whether the alarm has fired and
whether the lid is open?

Admittedly, this gets a bit hairy for things like wake buttons (which my
laptop has two of), but I still think it's more important whether the
button was pressed recently, not whether the button press actually
caused the wakeup.

(With S0ix and similar technologies, I imagine that determining what
caused a "wakeup" could be extremely confusing.)


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