The power management changes for GNOME 3.8 were outlined today in this blog post. The notable power-related changes in this major update to GNOME due out in March include:
- GNOME-Shell is becoming the sole screensaver with gnome-screensaver being obsoleted as part of the removing the old GNOME Fallback support.
- There's finally support for a long-requested feature where GNOME can optionally force the automatic log-out of users after being idle for a certain amount of time. The mentioned use-case here is for GNOME on kiosks and within computer labs. This feature though is only being exposed through GSettings.
- GNOME finally is supporting FreeDesktop.org's Idle Inhibition specification, which has already been supported by the KDE desktop. This is for preventing the desktop from going into any idle-related tasks like dimming the screen, activating the screensaver, auto-away within an instant messaging client, or computer suspending/hibernating. Applications like movie players and presentation viewers should implement this FreeDesktop.org specification to prevent now the GNOME and KDE desktops from interrupting the application experience.
There's also been other changes such as interaction modifications for the screensaver and backlight, a power management test suite for verifying the gnome-settings-daemon interaction and other GNOME power components, etc. The three items summarized above though appear to be the main power management changes for the GNOME 3.8 desktop as it concerns end-users.