Animations on lock screen – Plasma Wallpaper support

With Plasma 5.7 released I’m allowed to blog about new features in Plasma 5.8. One of the features missed by many users in the Plasma 5 series was the lack of animations in the lock screen architecture. With Plasma 5 we dropped support for the old XScreenSaver and went QtQuick only. Now technically it was always possible to have animations on the lock screen. Our lock screen architecture loads the QtQuick files through the lookandfeel package mechanism, which means that one could provide an animation in a lookandfeel package.

But so far, nobody did that. Which means we don’t have animations on the lock screen. Today I’m happy to announce that this situation is going to change with Plasma 5.8. Our lock screen architecture gained support for Plasma Wallpaper plugins. All the wallpaper plugins available for the desktop are now also available for the lock screen. By default it uses the image wallpaper set to the default wallpaper, but one can also have slide shows, or fancier animations. In fact one could even try to provide a Plasma Wallpaper plugin for the old XScreenSavers.

The support for wallpaper plugins got added as a scratch-your-own-itch solution. For a personal project I must be able to show a slide show on a locked screen and looked at possible solutions for this. Pretty quickly I came to the conclusion that adding Plasma wallpaper support is the best solution and also provides something for all Plasma users. But it also makes me wonder why nobody did that before.

14 Replies to “Animations on lock screen – Plasma Wallpaper support”

  1. If I already have set my background to be a slide show, will the new lock screen be able to use it as well, resuse the same image collection and sync the currently used image and countdown?

    1. No, it won’t. We cannot know whether a user wants the same experience on the desktop and the lock screen. That’s why I think it doesn’t make sense for a general usage. Also from technical side it would be quite difficult to be honest 🙂

      1. OK, I get the part about syncing being difficult. What about a “Use desktop’s wallpaper” radio button, where the Plasma config is just applied? Eg. same slideshow but without syncing.

  2. How does this compare, priority wise, with e.g. syncing clipboards between Wayland and xwayland?

    This seems like something you do once important stuff is done… So maybe the same time UK will actually exit EU.

    1. he is free to do what he wants. That wasnt big work after all “the code was already there”, the lockscreen was already using QtQuick.

      1. I didn’t imply that Martin shouldn’t do what he wants. As he explained below, no priority, more like personal interest.

        I was more interested in the reason since we’ve seen Martin doing some really cool stuff. Cool stuff usually takes priority and this didn’t seem cool to me, therefore the question.

    2. It doesn’t compare at all priority wise. As I wrote this was a scratch your own itch thing and I did that primarily for myself in my spare time. It just turned out to be general useful.

      1. I didn’t figure from the text that it was your itch because I kinda skipped that last paragraph 😉

      1. Every few months I think about asciiquarium and search to see if it still cannot be installed in Plasma 5. I miss it too…

  3. That’s great!
    I have not done any programming before, but I want to try and create one. Where can I find how-to?

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