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Re: Random selections and changing splash screen

From: Pavel Roskin
Subject: Re: Random selections and changing splash screen
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 11:39:50 -0500

On Wed, 2009-01-28 at 07:09 -0800, Colin D Bennett wrote:

> I really try to avoid using indices to refer to entries in the grub.cfg
> since that makes it brittle to change (if you add/move/delete an entry,
> some of your index references may need to be changed, and it's up to
> you to figure out which ones).

I believe "random" would be a useless feature.  An absolute majority of
users want their systems to be predictable.  Maybe desktop themes can
change randomly, but changing the OS randomly could be a big annoyance.

It's not a coincidence that random number generators are mostly used by
security applications to foil external attacks.  Using randomness in the
bootloader would be akin to treating the user as an enemy.

If any computer vendors want that, they have enough resources to
implement it themselves.  And then they will be blamed, no matter how
well they do it.

> > Also another feature I thought of (when may exist) is a per entry
> > splashscreen setting, and moving up and down with the arrow keys would
> > change the background splashscreen.
> > I think this would be a nice feature to show OS specific splashscreens
> > Windows, Red Hat, FreeBSD etc.
> > 
> > Anthony
> By the 'splashscreen', do you mean the background image behind the GRUB
> menu?  So, as you press the arrow keys up and down on the GRUB menu to
> select an entry to boot, the background image is changing depending on
> the highlighted menu entry?
> This is definitely possible, and it could be done on a theme-by-theme
> basis (this would be, IMO, a great place to use Lua scripting in
> the theme[1]). If the background-switching feature really seems useful,
> I can take a look at adding it to my gfxmenu branch sometime, which is
> in the final stages of preparation for merging into mainline GRUB.

For greater flexibility, we could support images that don't occupy the
whole screen, but rather display on top of the main background.  We
could have images for active and inactive entries.  This way, for
example, memtest86 could show its logo instead of the text, and if it's
selected, the logo would become brighter.  The image for the active
entry should be shown on top, in case it overlaps with other entries.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in such things and I'm not going to code

Pavel Roskin

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