Bug 301815 - Plasma widget battery: option to display information on the battery icon has disappeared
Summary: Plasma widget battery: option to display information on the battery icon has ...
Status: RESOLVED FIXED
Alias: None
Product: plasma4
Classification: Unclassified
Component: widget-battery (show other bugs)
Version: 4.8.80 (beta1)
Platform: Ubuntu Packages Linux
: NOR normal (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Plasma Bugs List
URL:
Keywords: regression
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2012-06-13 13:58 UTC by Steve
Modified: 2012-06-14 23:57 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Commit:
Version Fixed In: 4.9


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Description Steve 2012-06-13 13:58:42 UTC
The settings in the Battery Monitor Settings dialog used to select what was displayed on the battery icon in the panel. Now these settings restrict what is displayed in the pop-up window when clicking on the battery icon. The ability to see useful information about the battery by glancing at the panel without moving the mouse has been lost, and the new ability to prevent certain information from showing up when clicking on the icon is of questionable value.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Right-click on battery icon.
2. Select Battery Monitor Settings.
3. Check the box for "Show Time Remaining."
Actual Results:  
The remaining time isn't displayed on the icon, but in the pop-up window when the icon is clicked.

Expected Results:  
The requested information should be displayed on the icon, as it was in previous releases.

The option to display percentage remaining on the icon should be restored, and the option to display time remaining on the icon from the distant past should also be restored. I wanted to request that the time remaining be displayed on the icon (optionally), but I find myself having to request that what little information we did have be given back to us. Hence, this is a regression bug.
Comment 1 Steve 2012-06-13 14:00:28 UTC
I should have also said that I ran this from the project neon PPA for Kubuntu 12.04.
Comment 2 David Edmundson 2012-06-13 23:23:09 UTC
The remaining time was not shown on the icon in 4.8, so that part is not a regression.

For the purposes of this bug, we are only talking about the percentage remaining, anything else should be opened as independent bugs (as it makes things easier)

Marking as a regression.
Comment 3 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 17:38:20 UTC
It was decided by the Plasma team to remove this overlay because the exact same information is shown in the tooltip as well as the pop up dialog.
Comment 4 Steve 2012-06-14 20:19:39 UTC
(In reply to comment #3)
> It was decided by the Plasma team to remove this overlay because the exact
> same information is shown in the tooltip as well as the pop up dialog.

The Plasma team needs to reconsider their decision. Both the tool tip and the pop up require action from the user to display, which is a distraction from the work he is doing. The information should be displayed on the panel, where it can be read at a glance.
Comment 5 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 21:22:09 UTC
(In reply to comment #4)
> The Plasma team needs to reconsider their decision. Both the tool tip and
> the pop up require action from the user to display, which is a distraction
> from the work he is doing. The information should be displayed on the panel,
> where it can be read at a glance.

1. If the user is already busy with his work, he wouldn't want to know the exact charge percent, only that whether it is on a critical level enough to plugin the charger or if the battery is fully charged, both of which are pretty clear with from the battery icon. If he's not busy, a glance at the tooltip is not much to get the information.

2. There are some technical difficulties to implement this in the new QML plasmoid, which makes this particular feature kind of a low priority job among others for now. I'll keep the bug report open, though.
Comment 6 Steve 2012-06-14 21:36:21 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> 1. If the user is already busy with his work, he wouldn't want to know the
> exact charge percent ...
> 
> 2. There are some technical difficulties to implement this in the new QML
> plasmoid, which makes this particular feature kind of a low priority job
> among others for now. I'll keep the bug report open, though.

Thanks for your understanding in keeping the bug report open, but the most important thing for a user to know about his computer is how long the battery will last. Once the battery goes dead, he is looking at a $1000 paper weight. Fast CPUs and big disks don't matter anymore at that point. An outlet is often not available, which is why laptop computers have batteries. They are often used on trains or other locations where power isn't available. And by the time the battery level becomes critical, it is way to late to do anything about it. If the user knows sooner, he can dim the display, close some programs, or perhaps find out what rogue background process is eating up all the power.

I am requesting this, because I often use KDE to connect to my office to do work while I am on my way in on the train. The work is important to me; I don't want anything to slow me down, and I want to know whether the battery will last the whole trip.

It's a shame the new framework makes this important feature hard to keep, but still important to figure out a way to implement it.
Comment 7 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 21:47:00 UTC
(In reply to comment #6)
> Thanks for your understanding in keeping the bug report open, but the most
> important thing for a user to know about his computer is how long the
> battery will last. Once the battery goes dead, he is looking at a $1000

The previous versions of the plasmoids never showed the remaining time over the applet (only in the popup dialog), so that's not going to happen. What I was talking about was showing the remaining charge percent of the battery over the applet icon.

> available. And by the time the battery level becomes critical, it is way to
> late to do anything about it. If the user knows sooner, he can dim the

Default critical levels are set to ~20% so you know when the battery reaches there and you still have time to save your work before the battery completely dies.
Comment 8 David Edmundson 2012-06-14 22:23:42 UTC
>2. There are some technical difficulties to implement this in the new QML plasmoid, 

No there are not. You already override the compactRepresentation. There is no technical difficulty.
Comment 9 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 22:28:23 UTC
(In reply to comment #8)
> No there are not. You already override the compactRepresentation. There is
> no technical difficulty.

The variable that stores user's preference of whether to show the overlay or not is stored in "property bool show_charge" in the main item. The compact representation can access this by plasmoid.rootItem.show_charge (so Overlay { visible: plasmoid.rootItem.show_charge; ... }). The problem is, the compactRepresentation is not getting updates as and when the show_charge property changes in the main item. So when a user turns the option off, it is not reflected in the compactRepresentation's overlay item.

This seems to be a problem with the way compactRepresentation is implemented, unless I'm missing something.
Comment 10 David Edmundson 2012-06-14 22:34:09 UTC
But "plasmoid" is global. So just read it from the configuration again rather than getting the root item.
Comment 11 Steve 2012-06-14 22:43:21 UTC
(In reply to comment #7)
> The previous versions of the plasmoids never showed the remaining time over
> the applet (only in the popup dialog), so that's not going to happen. What I
> was talking about was showing the remaining charge percent of the battery
> over the applet icon.

Well, the user can get a crude idea of how long the battery will last from the percentage, so that is better than nothing. I know if I reach Wheaton on the train and I am already down to 60%, I probably won't make it to Chicago.

> Default critical levels are set to ~20% so you know when the battery reaches
> there and you still have time to save your work before the battery
> completely dies.

If I am doing important work over a VPN, as I explained in my previous comment, I want to do more than save my work before the battery dies. I want to keep working so I don't lose my job. A person on a cruise ship isn't comforted if the captain says he doesn't know whether they will make it, but they have plenty of time to make it to a life boat before the ship sinks. Do you understand the comparison? My expensive investment in a computer is less valuable to me, because KDE is hiding information I need to get my work done. Sure, I can get it, but if I have to stop working and click an icon, I won't look at it very often, and that means I will have less charge to keep going when I notice a problem.

If it just can't be done (I suspect it can), that is one thing, but saying it isn't needed is just wrong. The defining characteristic of a laptop is the battery, and the most important thing for the user to know is how long it will last.

I can see I may have to implement the display of time remaining myself and submit a patch, but I hope there will already be a display of percent remaining that I can base the code on when I get around to it.
Comment 12 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 23:55:54 UTC
Git commit 7d0d51ba49382fab0bffa70f9110dfdc042c7729 by Viranch Mehta.
Committed on 15/06/2012 at 01:53.
Pushed by viranch into branch 'master'.

Implement the battery percent overlay option

This commit fixes the toggling of the config
option and showing/hiding the overay accordingly.
Also, show the overlay on hover when on desktop
even if the option is off.
(This is how the old applet behaved)
FIXED-IN:4.9

M  +36   -19   plasma/generic/applets/batterymonitor/contents/ui/batterymonitor.qml

http://commits.kde.org/kde-workspace/7d0d51ba49382fab0bffa70f9110dfdc042c7729
Comment 13 Viranch Mehta 2012-06-14 23:57:00 UTC
Thank you David for your pointer.