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#1 2017-05-12 19:09:08

Registered: 2014-08-03
Posts: 2

Fading Slideshow Wallpaper Plugin

Hello hello!

Instead of having a static background image for my wallpaper, I am a fan of having a slideshow that cycles between thematically similar images. 

Plasma 5 has a slideshow wallpaper option.  The cross-fade duration is set to the value units.longDuration which is usually 120 milliseconds if you did not explicitly override it.  I have two problems with this.

1.  Various elements of the plasma desktop have timings that are linked to longDuration.  Changing longDuration itself will cause, for example, the application launcher menu to open, close, and switch tabs really slowly.

2.  The default value of longDuration is very short.  Sometimes my computer skips a beat and fails to show the animation at all, resulting in a jarring switch between two images.  (More on this at the end of the post.)

I never had problems in the KDE 4 days with the slideshow wallpaper, but I have had issues with the Plasma 5 version for as long as it has been out.  Earlier this week, the short fade duration bothered me so much that I went ahead and fixed it.

Fortunately, the wallpaper plugins are contained wholly in QML files along with a couple of metadata files, making them very easy to modify.  In Chakra, the plugins are stored in /usr/share/plasma/wallpapers, and the slideshow is in the folder org.kde.slideshow.  I copied that to org.kde.slideshow_fade and made a few changes resulting in the Fading Slideshow wallpaper plugin, which I have tossed onto my github page.  The Fading Slideshow is identical to the regular Slideshow except for the fact that the fade duration is configurable from the gui.

I'm not sure if anyone other than me uses the slideshow wallpaper, but I thought I would make this public just in case.

Hope you find it useful!

Also, here are some images that I like to use as a background set.


A note about some of my woes.  Maybe you experience them, too?

Ideally, the short time would not be a problem (except for aesthetic reasons), but in my experience over about a dozen machines, there is a strange interaction between kwin_x11 and the plasma desktop when both have been running for a day or two.  Kwin's opengl animations always are smooth, and plasma's menus and panels animate smoothly, but the wallpaper animation seems to stop or get stuck.  Sometimes, the entire wallpaper freezes seemingly forever, but moving a window or otherwise updating the screen will allow it to resume temporarily.

Restarting them seems to fix the problem and smoothens out the animation again.  This problem arises so frequently for me that I created a shortcut to restart kwin and plasmashell and bound it to a key on my keyboard.  I don't really know where to look to try to track down the issue.  There does not appear to be a memory or cpu usage increase from I can see, and I have not noticed anything in the system logs.


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