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Supporting connected standby

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 17, 2014 10:21 UTC (Fri) by marcH (subscriber, #57642)
Parent article: Supporting connected standby

> A lot of problems got fixed when powertop became available, but others remain and, more importantly, user-space developers keep adding new code that wakes the system unnecessarily. And, unfortunately, there are way more user-space developers than kernel developers out there. As zombie movies have shown us over and over again, Matthew said, superior numbers will always triumph in the end.

powertop is the proof that zombie movies are wrong and that "Name and Shame" is enough to solve this problem. Just do it again.

Yes, there always be applications behaving badly. But no one cares about all applications in the world. People only care about THEIR applications running on THEIR system! So the only thing required to solve this problem is this: when I open my laptop again after a night of connected standby, it shows me the following pop-up:

"Good morning. Here is the list of applications which were busy draining your battery last night:
- Steam 65%
- Chrome 20%
- etc."

Basically just a good Battery Monitor. Hopefully a better one than the built-in Android one https://plus.google.com/+SvenKnispel/posts/ReLvz6KJwG5

Then the next things that happen are:

1. Every single forum on the internet is full of advice saying "Don't forget to shutdown Steam/Chrome/etc. to save your battery"
2. Valve/Google/etc. is pissed off because they want to be part of the new Connected Standby fanciness so they go and fix the problem by supported it properly.

Problem solved.

It's funny how engineers can be obsessed with finding silver bullet solutions and not interested in providing nice, good, synthetic feedback to users (which is admittedly not that easy). Wait... communicating with people? Are you crazy? I'd much rather stare at my screen for 70 hours a week, why did you think I became a software engineer? ;-)

Another striking example: network engineers and bufferbloat. While MTR on Linux offers 85% of the solution to bufferbloat no one bothered yet implementing something similar on Windows or in a web browser (hello speedtest.net?)

Well done powertop (and every other battery monitor in the world) for being different and proving that "Name and Shame" Just Works.


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Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 20, 2014 2:14 UTC (Mon) by aquasync (guest, #26654) [Link]

Android also has quite nice diagnostics for showing data usage on a per-app basis. Getting per-app data, battery etc stats on desktop linux in an easy-to-consume format would be great.

Presumably with all the focus on "covergence", it'll happen soon.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 24, 2014 11:00 UTC (Fri) by javispedro (subscriber, #83660) [Link]

Devices such as the Nokia N9 have proven that it is possible to create a system without suspend or mandatory "infinite" timer slack and yet have good battery life (better than equivalent wakelock based systems at least).

The "just fix all bad programs" solution is not as insurmountable as the article author thinks it is.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 24, 2014 14:54 UTC (Fri) by daniels (subscriber, #16193) [Link]

The N9, for which every app was written from scratch with specific power/performance targets, yes. If your app used too much power, someone stood over your desk and yelled at you until it didn't; not really an applicable solution for the general case.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 24, 2014 18:34 UTC (Fri) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

Publicly naming and shaming can work at least as well as yelling at someone's desk; there is plenty of evidence of that.

Such yelling does not always work; I'm sure most of us have evidence of this, too :-)

Moreover, on a laptop/desktop it is much more common for users to explicitly quit applications.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 24, 2014 19:05 UTC (Fri) by pizza (subscriber, #46) [Link]

> Such yelling does not always work; I'm sure most of us have evidence of this, too :-)

If someone starts yelling at me about how my Libre/OpenSource software is flawed and how I should re-do everything, unless they're paying me, they will get drop-kicked out the nearest airlock along with a copy of the standard "This program is distributed in the hope it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE" disclaimer.

Now I realize that "yelling" and "shaming" in this case was said more tongue-in-cheek, but the level of sheer entitlement some folks expect from other people's time is often quite galling. Asking politely is far more likely to get results than demanding...

Going back further, the critical element of the highly productive "naming and shaming" that powertop generated was that powertop provided a simple way to quantify the problem, providing concrete evidence that, say, application XYZ was misbehaving.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 24, 2014 19:28 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> Going back further, the critical element of the highly productive "naming and shaming" that powertop generated was that powertop provided a simple way to quantify the problem, providing concrete evidence that, say, application XYZ was misbehaving.

I don't think these stats are in GNOME System Monitor yet but on Mac OS X these kinds of stats just landed in Apple Activity Monitor so they could start the naming and shaming process for Mac applications. It would be nice to put these stats in the common GUI system monitors because then they are visible to a wider audience and there is more pressure from users to fix applications.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 26, 2014 3:56 UTC (Sun) by javispedro (subscriber, #83660) [Link]

I am quite sure gnome-power-manager displayed wakeup stats at some point. However, some "cooking" was required to make sense of them.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 26, 2014 10:35 UTC (Sun) by Darkmere (subscriber, #53695) [Link]

gnome-power-statistics is the tool you're thinking of, part of gnome power manager, yes.

Supporting connected standby

Posted Jan 26, 2014 20:57 UTC (Sun) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

Speaking of monitoring, naming and shaming I feel the need to name two other tools:

- Windows' resmon.exe (perfmon.exe). Not perfect but stunningly good + it's built-in! The very first port of call for your Grand-Ma or "Oh, you work in IT?" support sessions on the WE. It's not perfect mainly because tracking down services is not very straight forward.

- While it's nowhere near as useful and simple as MTR to demonstrate bufferbloat, netalyzr goes some way. And it shows a lot of other good stuff, too. And it runs in a browser, which means unlike MTR, it runs on Windows and Mac.


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