Display sleep settings are bogus

Bug #308815 reported by DaveAbrahams on 2008-12-17
8
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Screensaver
Invalid
Undecided
Unassigned
gnome-power-manager (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-power-manager

Note: this bug also affects gnome-screensaver-preferences

Problem: none of the built-in GUI controls allow a user to turn off monitors to save power after a certain amount of idle time.
Ancillary problem: the interface is confusing and effectively undocumented.

This is primarily a gnome-power-manager problem, but the story starts with gnome-screensaver-preferences. There's a screensaver called "blank screen" there. If I select and activate that screensaver, after the time elapses, one of my two monitors begins a gradual dimming progression. The other one stays on full blast. When the dimming finally finishes, the monitor that was getting dimmer immediately comes back to full brightness. So, although arguably, it should be, that is clearly not a way to save power.

gnome-screensaver-preferences has a "Power Management" button that leads to gnome-power-manager. Obviously *that* is the way to turn off monitors and save power, right? Wrong; the "put display to sleep" controls have no effect at all. The display never goes to sleep. In fact, most of the problems described in http://www.shallowsky.com/linux/x-screen-blanking.html (written for Gutsy!) seem to persist to this day, although "xset dpms force off" does work for me.

Coming back around to gnome-screensaver-preferences, at the end of http://www.shallowsky.com/linux/x-screen-blanking.html, they explain why perhaps all such power management *should* really be handled through a screensaver and not through g-p-m.

On to the confusing and undocumented interface: First, I know there are at least several levels of display sleep (available through xset) and the interface doesn't tell me which one(s) I'm going to get. Is this the full power saving I really want, or some intermediate state, or what? Also, the "Set display brightness to:" sliders have an unclear effect. Just when does that brightness setting take place? Is it part of g-p-m's notion of "display sleep?" What does "Dim display when idle" do exactly? How long does the computer have to be idle before dimming begins? Is the display supposed to undim when I start using the computer again? The "Gnome Power Manager Manual" that you reach through the "Help" button is totally useless; all it shows are pictures of the UI with no explanation. In fact, the pictures don't even match the actual UI (e.g. they contain a "Computer Speed Policy" menu that doesn't appear in the actual g-p-m UI). I know I reported some of these doc issues against a previous Ubuntu release; it's very frustrating to see that things have, if anything, gotten worse.

This is in Ubuntu 8.10

DaveAbrahams (boostpro) wrote :
Duane Hinnen (duanedesign) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to submit this bug. Everyones input is very important in the development of Ubuntu. It looks like you have three problems (bugs) here that need addressing.

1. You have a feature request: Power Manager should offer additional options beyond sleep.

2. You have a support problem: Your power manager is not working correctly : "put display to sleep" controls have no effect at all.
see if this helps:
http://live.gnome.org/GnomePowerManager/FAQ#head-5d4d7bb306ca154c956e3ef69dae036942f6cf40
If the problem persists to help in fixing that problem could you please attach the resulting log file of: gnome-power-bugreport.sh &> gpm.log to the report? Also take a look at the Debugging instructions located at:
 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingGNOMEPowerManager
for any other logs related to your problem that you can submit with your report.

3. the man page should be more clear. I would re submit this with a detailed description of what you would like to see and attach this bug to Ubuntu-docs package.

 Thanks in advance.

Changed in gnome-power-manager:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: New → Incomplete
Download full text (3.6 KiB)

on Tue Dec 16 2008, duanedesign <duanedesign-AT-gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for taking the time to submit this bug. Everyones input is
> very important in the development of Ubuntu.

Thank you for your prompt reply,

I must say it's very encouraging to get a response that doesn't start
with "have you tried this in the unreleased version of ubuntu to see if
it's still an issue?"

> It looks like you have three problems (bugs) here that need
> addressing.
>
> 1. You have a feature request: Power Manager should offer additional
> options beyond sleep.

No, not necessarily. I want PM to start by defining what it means by
"sleep!" All of the labels in the UI and text in the documentation is
vague at best about what the thing is actually supposed to be doing.

My feature request is specifically that PM offer the ability to have the
monitor power down after a certain period of inactivity. Ideally it
would be possible to have the screensaver run for some period, for
entertainment purposes, but then shut off and power down the monitor
after a bit. LCD monitors come back almost instantly, so it isn't
nearly the liability that it was in the days of CRTs.

> 2. You have a support problem: Your power manager is not working correctly : "put
> display to sleep" controls have no effect at all.

> see if this helps:
> http://live.gnome.org/GnomePowerManager/FAQ#head-5d4d7bb306ca154c956e3ef69dae036942f6cf40

That reads

  "Why does GNOME Power Manager not let me suspend or hibernate?"

Sorry, I can't see how that's relevant. Besides GPM does let me do both
those things (not reliably, of course, but that's the subject of a whole
suite of other bug reports).

> If the problem persists to help in fixing that problem could you please attach the
> resulting log file of: gnome-power-bugreport.sh &> gpm.log to the
> report?

You must have overlooked it:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-power-manager/+bug/308815/comments/1

> Also take a
> look at the Debugging instructions located at:
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DebuggingGNOMEPowerManager
> for any other logs related to your problem that you can submit with your report.

Already done. Nothing jumped out at me as relevant. If you have a
specific suggestion, please make it.

> 3. the man page

I'm not talking about the man page; I'm talking about what you get when
you click the "Help" button in gome-power-preferences.

> should be more clear.

No, I'm not saying they're unclear; I'm saying they're **useless** and
**incorrect**. I don't mean to be strident, but please re-read my
message again. Seriously, they show pictures of UI elements that don't
exist in reality, and most of the little text that is there has the
semantic value equivalent of adding the comment: "increment i" to a a
line of 'C' that reads "++i", which is to say no value at all.

> I would re submit this with a detailed description of what you would
> like to see and attach this bug to Ubuntu-docs package.

This is really disappointing. I understand that in the open source
world we all have to contribute (and I do), but here you are asking a
user for more than a complete suggestion or even a bugfix. You are
essentially as...

Read more...

Duane Hinnen (duanedesign) wrote :

*I think this would be perfect for a bug.

**My feature request is specifically that PM offer the ability to have the
monitor power down after a certain period of inactivity. Ideally it
would be possible to have the screensaver run for some period, for
entertainment purposes, but then shut off and power down the monitor
after a bit. LCD monitors come back almost instantly, so it isn't
nearly the liability that it was in the days of CRTs*
.
You might also consider submitting the above idea
toBrainstorm<http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/>.
Brainstorm <http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/> provides a simple way for anyone
to contribute ideas for improving Ubuntu. All ideas are voted on by the user
community and the most popular ideas are brought to the attention of the
development teams.

*The unclear help menu.*

Screen shots, deciphering code and clairvoyant interpretation of intent is
well beyond the skill and time allowance of most users. "Detailed
description" needs to be exactly what you are comfortable doing. I was
thinking more along the lines of what you have already provided, just in its
own bug report.

Submit those as two bugs and* I think* that will help get them moved along.
Good Luck.

DaveAbrahams (boostpro) wrote :

> I think this would be perfect for a bug

Done: https://bugs.launchpad.net/gnome-screensaver/+bug/310822

> You might also consider submitting the above idea toBrainstorm

Done: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/16754/

Also: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/310829, https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/310831, and https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/310833

This is a lot of work; something should be done to make this easier on the reporter: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/16758/

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

did somebody sent this upstream? may you tell us the bug number there?

Changed in gnome-screensaver:
status: Incomplete → Invalid

I'm having this issue in 9.04, had the issues in 8.10 as well on two different setups. in power management i have the "put display asleep when inactive for" set to "never". I have rebooted more than once since i made these settings and i still get the problem.

Martin Pool (mbp) wrote :

The problem that the display never actually goes to sleep may be a regression of bug 203513

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue that you reported is one that should be reproducible with the live environment of the Desktop CD of the development release - Lucid Lynx. It would help us greatly if you could test with it so we can work on getting it fixed in the next release of Ubuntu. You can find out more about the development release at http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/. Thanks again and we appreciate your help.

Martin Pool (mbp) wrote :

@Teej, There are a bunch of usability issues described here which I'm not going to pick through at the moment.

The core functionality of putting the display to sleep after the requested time does seem to be working properly for me on an X61s running current Lucid.

Good to hear, but it seems, as you say, that there are several problems documented in this bug report. Can we ascertain if these are already reported (I believe they are), and perhaps close this bug report, as it is really a meta-bug containing more than 1 issue, and work on each of these issues separately. They are all related to the problems with g-p-m not respecting user settings amongst other things, but I do believe that these should be addressed 1 at a time to save confusion.

We are closing this bug report as described in the previous comments. Please reopen it if you can give us the missing information, and don't hesitate to submit bug reports in the future. To reopen the bug report you can click on the current status, under the Status column, and change the Status back to "New". Thanks again!

Changed in gnome-power-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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