idle detection

Richard Laager rlaager at
Wed Aug 1 23:29:16 EDT 2007

On Wed, 2007-07-25 at 16:39 -0700, Sean Egan wrote:
> 1. The preference for "how long before going idle," is effectively
> useless

I didn't realize we had a pref for this when I was looking at that code.

> It seems like perhaps the best thing to do is to make the IDLEMARK
> constant, currently set to 10 minutes, use the value set in that
> preference instead

Yes, that should do it.

>  and poll that frequently when not idle.

The current code should deliver this effect if you make the
aforementioned change, right? We'd also need a pref change callback to
fire check_idleness_timer() if that pref is updated.

> When we
> are idle, we should poll very frequently (once a second, even?) to
> make sure we come back as soon as possible.

Once a second is insane. The current polling should be working with
idle_recheck_interval, which is set to 60 seconds if you're using system
idle. If it's not working like that, that's a bug.

I picked the 60 seconds as a reasonable value, and I'm not alone in
On Thu, 2007-07-26 at 01:33 -0400, John Bailey wrote:
> a one minute poll interval seems a reasonable
> compromise, because at most you're inaccruately shown as idle for 59
> seconds or so

Also, the average is approximately 30 seconds, which seems reasonable.

Back to your e-mail...
On Wed, 2007-07-25 at 16:39 -0700, Sean Egan wrote:
> This negates some of the power-saving goals of #1113, but if polling
> is the only way to determine idle time, that seems unavoidable.

I think everyone everywhere agrees we shouldn't be polling. We're
waiting on X server changes, which, according to the source Mark found,
have apparently happened but haven't made it to the users yet.

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