KDE to Say Buh-Bye to Screensavers

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 03, 2011

KDE just keeps getting better and better. Developers are working on a new screen-locking implementation which will cause screensavers to stop working. So, let's see, in 4.8 we won't be able to turn off compositing effects and now our screensavers will no longer work. What's next, no more mouse and keyboard support? (Shh, better not give them any more ideas.)

Developers are addressing a security "constraint" in KDE's screen-locking routine, which I guess some folks may welcome. But as a result, screensavers will be rendered inoperative. They hope to include a fallback in 4.8, but will remove that in 4.9. Martin Graesslin says they wish to replace the current engine with a "new solution" built using Qt Quick and they hope users will start to contribute new screensavers.

I don't lock my desktop. I hate desktop effects, they mess with my eyes and give me a headache. I don't need my windows wiggling around or genie-ing into the task manager. I don't care if my windows are transparent when I move them or snap to full screen if I put them in the wrong spot. However, I love Asciiquarium. The first things I do when setting up a new KDE desktop is turn off compositing effects and turn on Asciiquarium. In 4.8, it seems I'm just plain out of luck. All this comes after having to revert to an older version of KDE because they broke Kmail/KPIM in 4.6.x.

Actually, to be fair, if you look at the poll on the above referenced site, screensavers do seem to be falling out of favor with many people. In addition, some of the wording implies they may provide a few new screensavers and, if I'm lucky, Asciiquarium will be ported.

However, it seems that after initially adjusting to KDE 4 (in no small part by totally upgrading my whole computer) that it's becoming more and more alien to me. I'm constantly having to get used to something else changed or adjust the way I do something yet again. I realize they aren't programming for me, but I just don't think they are programming for the average Linux desktop user anymore either.

 <Heavy sigh>

Update: Grasslin has posted that users will be able to disable compositing. He states one will still be able to disable using Alt+Shift+F12 and in Systemsettings - although previous comments state user controls would be removed from the Systemsettings. I apologize for my mistake.