Re: GNOME online desktop - (some of the possible) next steps

Alberto Ruiz wrote:

2007/8/9, Bryan Clark <bclark redhat com <mailto:bclark redhat com>>:

    Hi ~

    (so late... email problems)

    In the video I saw of your prototype I believe it makes perfect
    sense to
    simply store the URI of a person's background / theme from the new
    such that if they logged in from a new machine that setting would be
    preserved and restored.

I don't quite understand which URI are you referring to, you mean the http URI?
Yes, something like that. What I'm really getting at here is that if my background is saved as ""; then no matter what machine I'm using the Desktop could retrieve my background via the online desktop server service.
It seems that there is a lot of interest in adding the subscribing feature to the theme thing, so I would like to dig a bit on it. There two reasonable of use cases that I can think of:

a) John would like to have the themes available at <> in the appareance dialog (backgrounds/themes/fonts?).

b) John likes surprises, john would like its desktop background to change every day/week/moth for the best rated/more popular/random from one of his feeds.

So there are a couple of problems here. First one it's syndication, I would like to centralize the feed syndication as a DBus service, this is easy to achieve, since basically would mean, wrapping Mark Pilgrim's into a DBus service. I think this might be helpful for others applications that want to use other kind of feeds such as podcasts.
I don't know if you need to create a service to do this. You really only need something to wake up every so often and grab feeds. But if a service can do that for you then maybe that's what you should use. I'll try to stick to the interaction storyboards and mockups :)
On case 'a)', I would ask for "media" feeds to the DBus service, (that would just be a namespace check) and then download the thumnails and I would use those thumnails with an RSS emblem on the appearance

On case 'b)' I would show a checkbox and a combo box on the background tab to allow "surprise me" mode and the frequency (per day, week...).

Open questions:
- Who downloads the media? The control center? Something else? When? I'm open to suggestions.

I did an experiment with something like this a while back called background channels [1]. I think you can offer a background / theme subscription in the same UI as the one you offer local backgrounds in. It really just takes some proper positioning of the subscription vs. the single choice. For instance if you call the subscriptions "Theme Subscriptions" and separate them from themes that won't be changing you can begin to tell the story of the differences. Then you just need to be helpful and informative when you're updating someone's theme / background such that they aren't surprised or annoyed.

I'll try to put together a mockup or two for a new background chooser that incorporates this. Right now my current mockup could be called a mashup between the background chooser and the screensaver dialog as it has pieces of both.

~ Bryan


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