no preferences settings in indicator-applet-session logging out menu (top right menu)

Bug #425552 reported by Loïc Martin on 2009-09-07
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
indicator-applet (Ubuntu)
Declined for Karmic by Sebastien Bacher
indicator-session (Ubuntu)
Declined for Karmic by Sebastien Bacher

Bug Description

Binary package hint: indicator-applet-session

indicator-applet-session doesn't offer a preferences menu by right clicking on it. As thus, there's no way to easily configure the warnings when logging out (by choosing not to display them), and the possibility to allow switching in without having to input a password when the user is already connected.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Mon Sep 7 09:54:46 2009
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: indicator-applet-session 0.2.0-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-9.29-generic
SourcePackage: indicator-applet
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-9-generic i686

Related branches

Loïc Martin (loic-martin3) wrote :
Eddie Hung (eddieh) wrote :

Hi there! The indicator-applet serves this purpose: which doesn't have anything to do with logging out or user-switching?

Loïc Martin (loic-martin3) wrote :

Sorry, my bad. It's indicator-applet-session

description: updated
summary: - [Karmic Alpha 5] no preferences settings in indicator-applet logging out
- menu (top right menu)
+ [Karmic Alpha 5] no preferences settings in indicator-applet-session
+ logging out menu (top right menu)

Apport collected data should be still good, and at least one other bugs against indicator-applet-session is also marked "Affects... indicator-applet", see bug #420186

Roger (r-wiberg) on 2009-09-08
Changed in indicator-applet (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Ted Gould (ted) wrote :

Sorry, yes, right clicking is in the domain of the indicator-applet.

affects: indicator-applet (Ubuntu) → indicator-session (Ubuntu)
Changed in indicator-session (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
affects: indicator-session (Ubuntu) → indicator-applet (Ubuntu)

There are no preferences by design

Changed in indicator-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Loïc Martin (loic-martin3) wrote :

Where has this been decided? doesn't say so AFAIU, it's just not been set in stone

> What can the user configure in the applet settings?
> ...

All the spec seems to say is that there shouldn't be regressions from the Jaunty FUSA applet, which supported configuration of the password option. I understand it might not be desirable on corporate desktops, but Ubuntu also targets the end user, and not having to input your password when switching back (or having to, if one decides it) is a basic feature, that Gnome allows to set, for example for the screensaver lock.

The revamped indicator-applet-session (or indicator-session) lost its preferences screen. There is no longer an option to disable/modify the 60 second countdown for changing session status (log off, shut down, etc). There is a gconf key available: but this is obviously not an ideal solution to manually change a gconf key. There should be an option somewhere to disable this countdown. This is a regression since Ubuntu 9.04.

Changed in indicator-session (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Matthias Niess (mniess) wrote :

There is also no option to NOT display the username but e.g. an icon instead.

Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2009-10-18
Changed in indicator-session (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Uwe Schilling (uschilling) wrote :

I can confirm this. It used to be configurable in jaunty, but it isn't anymore under karmic. This is quite annoying to me and I think it should be changed back to the old behavior. This might be more of a wishlist-thing though, since everything works fine, it's only a question of comfort, usability, and development policy.

ArgelBargel (karsten-kraus) wrote :

I also confirm this. The problem is also reported in bug #457261. There a commenter wrote, that these kind of settings should reside below the "System"-menu. If the new policy UI-policy is that all panel-applets should not have their preferences in the right-click context menu, then we need a new entry there.

BTW, if this kind of UI-decision is specfic to indicator-applet/indicator-applet-session I don't get the rationale behind it. While new users might have to learn this, experienced users expect to find the preferences in the context-menu (the clock-applet has the entry, the volume-applet has the audio-settings there etc.).
Personally I think these kind of things must be consistent, which means, either all panel-applets keep the menu-entry to the preferences concering their look-and-feel or all should loose it and put them in System/Preferences.

jimmy the saint (lowid95) wrote :


Even if that were the case, there doesn't seem to be a way to modify the countdown at all, save disabling it altogether via gconf. That is unacceptable in my opinion. A 5 second delay would be useful in case of a mistake, but since you can't configure it, it is just plain annoying.

Vlad Novak (vnovak06) wrote :

Same here, annoying as well, agreed that this is a regression since 9.04.

I hope they will return it to the way it was.

Bjørn Madsen (bjmadsen) wrote :

The possibility to remove the username from the applet would be very nice as well.

I think this would fall under a papercut. Subscribing them to see what they think. My thoughts: Restart and Shutdown should not bring up a 60 sec timer by default. Something like 10 sec should be default. And more importantly, this countdown should be able to be disabled via a GUI option, somewhere besides gconf. Whether that's a preferences menu for indicator-applet-session or elsewhere is debatable.

This is not a paper cut because it involves adding new functionality (feature request), not correcting an existing problem.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Invalid
Changed in indicator-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Invalid → Confirmed
ArgelBargel (karsten-kraus) wrote :

@David Siegel:

in 9.04 ist was possible to disable the display of the Username or exchange it with the "real name" and disable the annoying "Are you sure to shutdown"-dialog via a configuration dialog attached to the right-click/context menu of the session-menu or whatever the name of the applet for user switching/shutdown was then. IMHO removing a configuration dialog (and - at least in part - the matching configuration options) from one release to another is clearly a regression as it suprises and frustrates the user. Wether papercut or not it definitly is not a request for a new feature...

tags: added: regression-release
removed: regression-potential
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

could you check if that's still an issue in lucid and describe examples which are not covered already by specific requests in other bugs on launchpad?

Changed in indicator-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
summary: - [Karmic Alpha 5] no preferences settings in indicator-applet-session
- logging out menu (top right menu)
+ no preferences settings in indicator-applet-session logging out menu
+ (top right menu)
Changed in indicator-session (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
importance: Low → Wishlist
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

would anyone explain what this bug report is about? as far as a right click menu for settings is concerned thats no where in the spec so 'wont fix' there are gconf keys to suppress the shutdown, reboot etc confirmation dialogues. and for the timer. there is no timer in Lucid.

Sure. The original complaint was that the Indicator Applet Session (indicator-session), which replaced the Fast User-Switcher Applet (FUSA) and the Shutdown Applet, lacks any sort of "preferences" or "settings" that used to be available for users with the previous applets.

To address your comments:
-"as far as a right click menu for settings is concerned thats no where in the spec so 'wont fix'". Just because something is not done or not in the spec doesn't mean it's not a bug. To some users (not necessarily me) it is not only a bug, but a regression, since previous versions of Ubuntu allowed this customization. Design decisions can still be bugs.

-"there are gconf keys to suppress the shutdown, reboot etc confirmation dialogues". This is, for me, a usability bug that highlights a more prevalent underlying problem. I HATE having to click "Shut Down" again after I've already clicked it once in the Indicator Applet Session. It was really annoying with the timer (which was set for a ridiculously long time) too. When this sort of design decision affects literally every user, experienced and not, we need a better solution than editing a gconf key or some command line fu. In fact, over a year ago I vowed not to apply these technical fixes because "everyday users" can't figure them out on their own and usually just assume that Ubuntu is broken or poorly designed (or both). Saying "it's a gconf key setting" is a cop out that alienates average users. Either make it a real option somewhere that can be found, accessed, and understood using a simple GUI or eliminate the option completely and force everyone to live with your decision. With a design decision like this, which affects every user in some way, and is understandably frustrating for some by interrupting their work-flow, an option somewhere needs to be available. So this is a bug. Call it a usability request if you want.

Omer - that is the most developer-blinkered response I think I have EVER read - and I'm a 30-year-experienced techie developer. Jonathan hit most of the points, but I have to readdress the "there's a key" comment of yours. Yes there IS a key, and there is a perfectly simple API that YOU, as the developer, already use to ACCESS that key - so it wouldn't actually take very much to add a preference that SETS that key. In fact, if there IS a user-focused-option like that, then why NOT provide a preference, otherwise its almost pointless making it an option at all.

Hey, even MS wouldn't come up with response like that - "there's a user-focused option in the registry! edit that"!

Dave Gluss (dgluss) wrote :

I keep on finding my wife's laptop on in the morning with "Are you sure you want to shut down..." on the screen.

Now that I KNOW that there are gconf keys, I can fix that, but I only know because I came here to try to find a fix. If there were a right-click menu I would have saved a fair amount of time; I think that's what everyone here is trying to say. I can't be the only user with this problem!

Even if we're talking just gconf keys, I see that you only support suppression of all of the confirmation menus...I'd just like to suppress the power-off one. It's not a big deal, but what I don't understand is why is this so hard?

Current key names:

Proposed new keys:

I think it's much more obvious what these keys do, just looking at the names.

Plus I vote for a right-click menu on the applet too.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for indicator-session (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in indicator-session (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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