Ideal screen rotation

Neil Jerram neiljerram at
Sat Nov 7 15:53:18 CET 2009

2009/11/7 Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at>:
> You have no solution for existing apps other than causing a full
> stop on rotation once you get the desired rotation (which is what I
> do for apps that work better on landscape).

I imagine WM configuration for this, and a shelf gadget to make it
easy to add to the configuration for an app that doesn't yet have it.

> DBUS helps a lot because you can define a standard set of signals:
>  1. screen rotation apps could listen for specific screen rotation signals

Agree there.  The frequency of the new DBUS orientation interface
seems high enough for omnewrotate to use it instead of reading
accelerometer data directly.

>  2. apps which have specific needs can broadcast said needs to DBUS

Interesting idea, but different apps can have different specific
needs, and only the WM knows which app is in the foreground.

>> Another thought that occurred to me is that if this was a window
>> manager responsibility, perhaps the window manager could infer
>> preferred orientation simply from the requested window size?  (i.e.
>> requesting width > height implies a preference for landscape).
> The only way this could be the window manager's job, was if the window
> manager had auto-rotation routings. AFAICT, E doesn't yet.

I think my other response has covered this.

> Of course "rotator" apps only come up because people feel the need
> and writing a simple daemon is simpler than patching a quite evolved
> window manager.

Yes, good point.  And I also admit that the work needed for my
so-called ideal solution is non-trivial, and that the result might
only be a little better than the existing solution - i.e. to run
omnewrotate nearly all the time, and only stop it when using an app
with which it interferes in a bad way.

But I think I might have a go anyway at patching the e17 WM.  With
Debian, and 'apt-get source', and gcc on the phone, it shouldn't be as
hard as it might sound.

>> That should often work for apps that were designed for the desktop.  I
>> would guess that apps written for the FR might not request specific
>> sizes, because they'd know that they will always be fullscreen anyway
>> - so for those apps some explicit configuration would be needed
>> somewhere (prefer-portrait, prefer-landscape, or auto-rotate).
> So "rotators" would need to parse all the configurations?

No, the WM (or whatever hook the WM calls out to).


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