[sugar] #1560 NORM Trial-2: Activity launch not detected

Bert Freudenberg bert
Mon Jun 4 12:36:58 EDT 2007

On Jun 4, 2007, at 16:41 , Marco Pesenti Gritti wrote:

> Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>> On Jun 3, 2007, at 18:01 , Zarro Boogs per Child wrote:
>>> #1560: Activity launch not detected
>>> --------------------- 
>>> +------------------------------------------------------
>>>   Reporter:  bert    |       Owner:  dcbw
>>>       Type:  defect  |      Status:  reopened
>>>   Priority:  normal  |   Milestone:  Trial-2
>>>  Component:  sugar   |     Version:
>>> Resolution:          |    Keywords:
>>>   Verified:  0       |
>>> --------------------- 
>>> +------------------------------------------------------
>>> Comment (by marco):
>>>  This should be fixed again in the latest git. Activity id and  
>>> bundle id
>>>  should now be provided by two properties of the toplevel X window.
>>>  _SUGAR_ACTIVITY_ID (utf8 string)
>>>  _SUGAR_BUNDLE_ID (utf8 string)
>>>  sugar/lib/sugar-x11-util.c has the code which we use to set those
>>>  properties for python activities.
>> This only complicates matters. Not only for Etoys (which does not  
>> have a way to set X properties currently), but I see you had to  
>> resort to C code even for Python activities. I'd much prefer if  
>> the only thing Sugar cares about an activity X-wise is its window  
>> ID (and we're working on a way to make that accessible in Squeak).  
>> Everything else should be handled by DBus, and this is how it  
>> actually was before your refactoring. If anything I'd shift  
>> communication *towards" DBus, not away from it towards X by  
>> introducing arbitrary and unnecessary properties.
> [ CCing Dan, since he wrote the original startup notification and   
> I'm interested in his opinion ]
> We decided a while ago to use X  for window management and I don't  
> see a reason to revisit that decision. Etoys should respect the  
> multiple windows semantic (which I know you are working on, thanks).
> To reassure you, we are not going to use X as an IPC (as people  
> have done in the past), since that gets unbelievably ugly: that's  
> where dbus has his role in the shell -> activity instance  
> communication.

That's good to hear. However, the X properties required now are more  
complex than before. In the case of Squeak, at window creation time I  
have no way of knowing the dbus activity id yet.

>> Besides, it does not address the original problem - that if an  
>> activity X window is opened and detected by the Sugar shell, but  
>> it has not created its DBus service yet, the shell will mistake it  
>> for a raw X app (creating a
>> "raw" icon in the donut next to the still flashing activity icon).
> If there is a _SUGAR_ACTIVITY_ID property the window is an  
> activity, otherwise it's a raw X window. So I think it actually  
> solves the problem.
> The shell must know the activity and the bundle id as soon as an  
> activity window is displayed, otherwise it can't represent it  
> properly in the home. Relying on the dbus service for this was very  
> fragile and introduced races which was hard or impossible to solve  
> properly.

To show the icon it's sufficient to know the bundle id. Actually, you  
don't even really need that, because the icon is already showing  
(flashing). You just need to know if this is an activity window or  
not. And if it is, then sooner or later the dbus service will appear  
telling you if that window belongs to this activity.

It's practically the same whether you announce the dbus service via X  
props, or you send the XID via dbus. Supporting both makes activity  
developer's live easier.

> Window management should work using X communication. Mixing dbus  
> and X there just introduce races and confusion. If we was going  
> down the "dbus for window management" route then I'd agree with  
> you, but we aren't.

>> This can easily be fixed up later by detecting the DBus service  
>> creation and removing the raw icon - this is how my fix worked.
> Now, that's really a bad hack. I don't want to show a random icon  
> on the screen and than replace it when the DBUS service appear...  
> it just suck.

That icon would not even be visible because it is hidden by the X  
window that just appeared. It is noble to try preventing to create  
that icon unnecessarily, but if I had a say in designing Sugar, I'd  
opt for robustness, making it simpler for external developers, not  

In fact, if I launch an activity from the Sugar frame, it's  
reasonable to assume that the next X window opened actually belongs  
to that activity. So you don't really need to show that raw icon, at  
least until the activity launch is finished.

> The startup phase is completed when the window appear on the  
> screen, not when the dbus service appear. That's also exactly how  
> startup notification is implemented in GNOME btw.

Which isn't really relevant to Sugar, is it?

- Bert -

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