Monday, January 30, 2006

KPowersave v0.5.5 released

Today I release the new KPowersave version 0.5.5. After some discussion and fair comments from Timo Hönig about the with 0.5.4 introduced detailed dialog, we reworked the dialog to look better and more like the KPowersave configure dialog.
This release contains also a new help menu with a about dialog, open KPowersave Handbook and a item to open the sourcefoge project side to report bugs. I added a new icon for the 'Advanced Powersave' scheme and a full translated german language file. And as with every release: bugfixes and cleanups.

Friday, January 27, 2006

KPowersave vs. klaptop on Kubuntu

While searching with Google for news or articles about KPowersave i found a interesting mailthread on kubuntu-devel. Jonathan Riddell started a discussion to drop klaptopdaemon and replace with KPowersave. That sounds great and it would be really nice if we get KPowersave in the next Kubuntu release.

This show us that it was a good idea to spend more time to make Powersave and KPowersave more portable to other distributions. In this case we need to say thanks to Michael Biebl for packaging the Debian/Ubuntu packages.

Btw. We should also support suspend2 in the powersave daemon. There where several people asking for this on Fedora and Ubuntu to get this in. We should take a look at this feature request to get more happy users.

Monday, January 23, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.4 released

Today night I released the next development version of KPowersave (v0.5.4). This new release contains as major enhancement a information dialog (to activate click with left mouse button on the applet icon).

This new dialog provides this information:
  • current CPU frequency (with support for multi CPUs machines)
  • current Battery state (with multi batteries support)
  • AC state
  • current scheme, current CPU Frequency policy
  • powersave state (if the powersave daemon is currently running)
Thanks to Daniel Gollub for the basic patch to add this to KPowersave. I plan to add for the next release more information to the dialog as e.g. if Autosuspend is enabled. As the next major enhancement step (and one of the last befor next stable version) we plan to add unload modules for defined device classes to the configuration dialog. This is currently only planed for the 'Advanced Powersave' scheme.

Feel free to download and test the current release for SUSE 10.0 and in the upcomming SUSE 10.1 Beta 2. If you want get actual information about new releases, subscribe here. Packages for other distributions planed for the next days.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

HAL, on the wrong way?!

In the last time, the HAL development is on a unclear way. Is HAL a Hardware Abstraction Layer or a 'All-in-one-big-black-hole'? It's not only the discussion on the HAL list about implement power management related active code (e.g. set/control cpufreq) which give me the impression that the project is on a wrong way.

Currently there are several people which try to implement all things in HAL only because they will not (or not be able to) implement their needed things in a clean, small and effective programm or daemon - simply in the UNIX way.

The discussion between the g-p-m maintainer and other pm-related people (including the powersave developers) is only one example for this. Instead of develop a powermanagement daemon with a DBUS interface or to define a DBUS interface for all pm-daemons or much more easier: use a existing daemon, they implement parts of this in HAL (as e.g. calls for suspend/standby/set brightness ...) - this is not a solution for anything. An other example is adding methodes for reboot and shutdown in HAL. Now we have one more place (HAL dbus configuration) where we need to change settings if we want to disallow the user to shutdown the machine (as e.g. on SLES/NLD). Thanks!

But the screwiest idea is to add Format() and PartitionDisk() to HAL to allow unprivileged users to format volumes and to partition disks. There are good reasons why this is only allowed
privileged users. You can't allow a unprivileged user to format a device which he not own. You can't as user delete/access files on a device you not own, but you can format the disk? This is not only screwy, this is really stupid and break all exstining securtity and permission concepts.

I can understand that there are use-cases where the user would be able to format a floppy (also if I think floppys are obsolete ... we should drop support floppydisks ;-) ) or his FAT usbstick without root-password, but how often is this needed? Once per month or week? Sorry, but in this cases it's o.k. to use sudo/su or a solution like YaST.

If we get such bypasses in HAL, and allow everything to everyone, only because some people think "input root password is extremely unintuitive and user don't grok it", then we could also set all permissons to 777, drop HAL and all security concepts. In this case, I wait for the first linux-viruses which use HAL methodes to format your disk without need root permissions (maybe only because the HAL dbus config is not aligned on the environment). Windows lets greet and if it's in HAL it is also used by someone.

I would suggest: Think more about sense and nonsense before implement such (unneeded) security breaking features and work on really important things as e.g. needed hardware abstraction, ..., stability and speed of HAL.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Builds for old dist with new deps is a pain

Yesterday we realised, from a helprequest, that our last K(P)owersave release for SUSE 10.0 was complete broken. They was build against 10.1 STABLE tree, but not against 10.0. But this was only the start of a long and painfully build session to get new packages. Powersave needs new cpufrequtils which needs new sysfsutils. I thought I need only do this against --distset=10.0:
  • build sysfsutils
  • build cpufrequtils with --prefer-rpms=(...) path to sysfsutils
  • build powersave with --prefer-rpms=(...) path to sysfsutils and cpufrequtils
But this did not work. The mbuild fetched up the prefered rpms and it looked also that them where installed, but it didn't work. After myriad of trials to build them and checking all build logs I found out that the mbuild didn't used the prefered rpms. I don't know why mbuild is so stupid. At least I added the sysfsutils package to --extra-packs and also to needforbuild - and it worked then. I don't know why this dependency between cpufrequtils and sysfsutils together with --prefer-rpms was not resolved by mbuild. Sometimes I really hate the SUSE build system or is rpm the problem?

Btw. We wondered, that (K)Powersave was together nearly 140 times downloaded for SUSE 10.0 and only one of them saw the problems with the rpms.

Feel free to download the new packages for SUSE 10.0 ... or Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu ... bugreports would be really appreciated.


After the cruel of add releases on Sourceforge at the last time I searched for a tool to manage releases on Hey and I found releaseforge. I taked a look at the tool and it's really nice and helpful.

You can add new new packages, new releases (add notes, changelog, files and fileattributes), edit/manage the existing releases and add project news. The pain ends now! But I wondered: Why is there no SUSE package for releaseforge in our distribution? No problem I created a new package and added it to the build system. I hope we get this at least in the factory tree.

But there is some room for improve releaseforge: There should be a way to change the release date and the automatic detection of ix86 > i386 rpms did not work (they are detected as AMD64). At least: If you release a news - the format is destroyed and all linefeeds are removed. But if you released only one time more than one file with the SourceForge File Release System (FRS) - here is your alternative.

I also added some other new packages to the build system (feel free to test them if they go to the factory tree):
  • Jarnal - a Java based notetaking/sketching application for Tablet PCs (v7.80)
  • Yakuake - a really nice retractable KDE terminal emulator (v2.7.3)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

(K)Powersave @ Fedora Core 4

Now KPowersave and Powersave are also availabel for Fedora Core 4 on ix68. Because Fedora currently use swsuspend2 instead of the SUSE way Suspend and Standby shouldn't work on FC4. Thanks Holger Macht for packaging the rpms.

Currently (K)Powersave is available on:
The next step: Dominate the world of Linux powermanagement!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.3

Yesterday I released a the new KPowersave version 0.5.3 to the world. It was a cruel to release the files on sourceforge because was permanently switch between available services and down for maintenance.

The package on sourceforge and forge.novell differ from the package in SUSE 10.1 Beta1 because I used the old name of the new experimental 'Advanced Powersave' scheme in Beta1. The new releases on fix this problem - the user get now the new warning message if switch the scheme. Also added: a default configuration for the new scheme to save more power by shutdown the display earlier.

KPowersave needs now powersave >= 0.11.15. With this new powersave version (also released yesterday) a new dependency was added. In succession SUSE 10.0 user need a new cpufrequtils version (>=v0.4). I added a update to the powersave downloads. We release currently only new SUSE rpms for 10.0 - rpms for 10.1 are available from the factory repository.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

HAL, KPowersave and Beta1

Tonight I finished my work for the new HAL release. It's out: HAL 0.5.6 and we have this version in the first Beta of SUSE Linux 10.1 (as we always had the actual CVS-HEAD version in our Alphas). I couldn't finished my work on the Tablet PC addon within the deadline because I had also to work on KPowersave release.

I implemented scheme specific brightness settings in KPowersave. Now we need to change powersave to stop changing brightness if KPowersave is connected to prevent double setting brightness with maybe different values.

I also added a big warning message if the user try to switch to "Aggressive Powersave" scheme. By testing this message I had to notice that the DELL D600 I currently use (with preview 3) freezed and powersave died - not really funny if you try to hold the deadline. We really need more users, which test the runtime powermanagement and this new scheme.

Friday, January 13, 2006

HAL work

Today I worked on HAL and commited some leftover patches and closed some bugs on fd.o for the next HAL version (v0.5.6) which we plan to release until 16.01.2006 to base on a actual release for SUSE 10.1 and SLES/NLD.

Now I need to finish my work on the Tablet PC addon (to automatically set ttyS* device for Wacom Tablets) for HAL to get this in this release.

With the first Beta of SUSE 10.1 the SUSE arch-team plan some performance tests with HAL on Itanium and S390 with some hundreds devices. This will become a interesting test and should point out the bottle necks of HAL.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

KPowersave in press and icons

Yesterday I found in Linux Magazine 02/2006 a two site article about KPowersave (v0.5.0). As a colleague told me the same article was also in the german Linux User 12/2005. It's a littlebit annoying that the author did not try to connect me or one of the other (K)Powersave developers before writing the article. You can read the article here: "Ktools - KPowersave is an easy interface for configuring power management settings" [PDF, 710 kB].

After release the new KPowersave on I found on new KPowersave icons. They looks like icons for Nuvola theme. Nice work! Download from: .

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.2 released

Today I released new KPowersave version 0.5.2. This is the first release since more than 3 months (last release was with SUSE 10.0). KPowersave is now updated to current powersave version (0.11.2). The new release contains many bugfixes and updated translations and help files (for all news see Changelog ).

As it look I released the new package to late for the next SUSE OSS Alpha 4 release so to test new package d
ownload KPowersave from freshmeat or sourceforge
As next I plan to add the new powersave features and some enhancements to KPowersave for the next SUSE release:
  • scheme specific brightness settings
  • add support for new 'Aggressive Powersave' scheme to enable/disable shutdown/suspend specific devices
  • add display in applet tooltip information about multiple battery