Kelvin Tran

Service Indicator on macOS

31 posts in this topic

I'm running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and one of the most annoying things, for me, about Synergy 2.0 beta4 is that there is no program icon in the menu bar for Synergy that indicates it's running. This has 2 underlying issues. The first one is that it makes troubleshooting a pain. I have to go to Activity Monitor to ensure that the synergyd service is even running, and even then, there is no guarantee it is working correctly. The second one is that it makes quitting the service a pain. On Synergy 1.x, if you wanted to quit the service, go to the menu bar, click, and click on Quit. Here, that doesn't take this. If you try to quit or Cmd+Q the Synergy app, it will quit the app but leave the daemon running, which is similar to hiding the window in 1.x. No use for me in certain cases. In a future beta, I'd request that you guys make a return of the menu bar indicator for the macOS version (I don't know about Windows or Linux versions) so that I can more easily troubleshoot as well as administer/terminate the application/service.

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I understand your desire to want a tray icon to restart the service. Actually, once we improve the intelligence and reliability of the service, it won't be needed. I appreciate you'll have to see this first, but I see a tray icon as a sign of failure. If we do indeed fail, I will admit defeat... but I want to try first.

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Hi Nick,

 

Given that most people don't have the knowledge to manually start/stop services on OSX, I have to rather strongly disagree with this statement.

There *needs* to be a way to turn Synergy *off* on a Mac that doesn't require people screwing around with launchctl, in my opinion.

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18 hours ago, EqUaTe said:

Hi Nick,

 

Given that most people don't have the knowledge to manually start/stop services on OSX, I have to rather strongly disagree with this statement.

There *needs* to be a way to turn Synergy *off* on a Mac that doesn't require people screwing around with launchctl, in my opinion.

Wait a sec. You're screwing with launchctl? I guess to disable the service and stop Synergy from running? If so, when do you need to do this?

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10 hours ago, Nick Bolton said:

Wait a sec. You're screwing with launchctl? I guess to disable the service and stop Synergy from running? If so, when do you need to do this?

I guess the two of us are just nitpicking, but it is nice to be able to restart the service or shut it down when we deem it as necessary. There are plenty of times that I don't want to have the service running mainly for reasons concerning security paranoia, especially now that Synergy is more SaaS than anything else (except that it's not provided in a subscription model, thank God) and there is more of it operating in a cloud than our local systems. Additionally, for troubleshooting, there are times where shutting down the service is useful. For example, as I am a college student, I often work on Word documents and need to go somewhere in the middle of it. All of a sudden, my Cmd+S stopped working. My Cmd+S stopped working EVERYWHERE. It was only when I shut down the Synergy service that I realized I had mapped the Cmd+S to a hotkey in Synergy and that because it was running as a service, it took priority of intercepting those key presses. If it had been inconvenient for me to shut down the service in Synergy, it may have taken much longer before I realized that Synergy itself was intercepting Cmd+S and not giving Word a chance. 

I know that this is a beta, but you guys are looking for feedback. This is my feedback to you, Symless. Please bring back the indicator in the menu bar. Thanks.

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17 hours ago, kelvintechie said:

nice to be able to restart the service [...] mainly for reasons concerning security paranoia

This is a bit of a philosophical conundrum. Should we really be adding features to make people feel better? Tackling human emotions with software is super tricky.

It's much easier to solve tangible problems, such as: "It conflicts with other software, and I need to manually stop it sometimes." Are you sure that's not the real reason?

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2 hours ago, EqUaTe said:

simple off switch

Actually, I quite like the sound of that. What about if you right-click the computer in the config and there' a "Disable" option?

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21 minutes ago, Nick Bolton said:

Actually, I quite like the sound of that. What about if you right-click the computer in the config and there' a "Disable" option?

Are you meaning within the Synergy UI?

That would work. With a bit of handling for privilege-escalation it should also work cross-platform.

 It would also be nice to be able to delete computers out of the profile (which if you can do, I failed to find). Do you have any notes on what features are planned for the GUI?

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11 minutes ago, EqUaTe said:

delete computers

Coming soon.

11 minutes ago, EqUaTe said:

notes on what features are planned

Only internally.

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Understood, and glad to hear it's coming.

 

An alternative to right-click, disable, would be to have an on/off toggle in say, the top right of the GUI window.

That way it shouldn't be possible for someone to get confused about why the disable option isn't appearing when they're right clicking on what is actually a remote system. Food for thought anyway.

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1 minute ago, EqUaTe said:

get confused about why the disable option isn't appearing when they're right clicking on what is actually a remote system

Actually, I was planning on making it so you can enable and disable remote systems.

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Hm.. Doesn't that mean that the service has to still be running though? And thus trying to communicate out to the symless cloud instance?

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2 minutes ago, EqUaTe said:

Hm.. Doesn't that mean that the service has to still be running though? And thus trying to communicate out to the symless cloud instance?

Ah, so your problem is not with Synergy itself, but with the cloud connection? What are you worried about exactly?

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Interesting conversation.

Nick, maybe "suspend" and "re-start" would get the point across to the rest of us that might run across this need.

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2 hours ago, EqUaTe said:

in an instance where I'm tethered to a mobile device - this then eats into mobile data allowances, needlessly

Good example. Ok, I'll give this some thought. Maybe a "Disconnect" button(?) in the advanced settings.

How many times a day would you need to manually reconnect and disconnect?

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4 minutes ago, Nick Bolton said:

Good example. Ok, I'll give this some thought. Maybe a "Disconnect" button(?) in the advanced settings.

How many times a day would you need to manually reconnect and disconnect?

It's rather dependant on the day..

With workloads as they are presently, a minimum of twice a day.

Presently we have station isolation turned on on our wifi networks, so I don't need to worry about when I go to meetings, but staff may be getting moved onto a new network that might not retain this setting in the future, so that may effect it.

 

A disconnect button would work, but is there any reason why an option for stopping/starting the service is so anathema?

This would at least give a functionally consistent mechanism across all platforms (I feel it is fair to presume that Linux users are at least moderately aware of their init system).

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Just now, EqUaTe said:

A disconnect button would work, but is there any reason why an option for stopping/starting the service is so anathema?

 

Disconnect seemed like the lowest impact option, and it directly addresses your concern.

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12 hours ago, Nick Bolton said:

Actually, I quite like the sound of that. What about if you right-click the computer in the config and there' a "Disable" option?

That would be SUPER useful. All I want is to be able to keep the service from running at times, and this would make the solution quite easy for us. If you could implement this, that would be amazing!

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Adding a +1 to this thread, as it was my immediate "Oh no" first reaction to the beta.  (Partly because it looked like I would have to leave the app running in the macOS dock, and that would definitely send me back to v1.8.)

My use case is that I only use Synergy occasionally (at home, controlling three laptops right next to each other from one keyboard/mouse).  But I mostly use the main laptop daily at cafes, hotels & outdoors on tethering. I really don't want Synergy running when I'm on a cafe or hotel wifi network.

I guess turning the service on and off via a dialog is an option, and MAMP does that... but that's not my ideal design.  If it's out of sight, I know I'm going to forget to turn off the service one day when I'm closing the laptop, throwing it in my backpack & running to the cafe. With 1.8, if Synergy isn't in my menu bar, I know it isn't running.

Have you seen how Cloak (now Encrypt.Me) run the menu bar icon for their VPN service? That's close to my ideal.  The icon indicates network status, and remains black/monochrome except when the VPN is enabled, at which point it glows blue.

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3 hours ago, SyneRyder said:

I really don't want Synergy running when I'm on a cafe or hotel wifi network.

That's a good reason. Yeah, we definitely need a disable feature.

I think the tray icon (so you don't have to open the main config app) is a nice to have. That is... unless most people need to enable/disable multiple times a day?

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Another +1 for this feature, it will be useful for roaming scenarios as described, and it will also be very useful during beta testing. Yeah, I know one day the software will be perfect and never fail under any circumstance, however until then, a simple on/off switch will make it much easier for less technical users to troubleshoot.

I used to use SynergyKM on my Mac just to have a simple quick on/off button.

Screen-Shot-2014-02-19-at-4.33.24-PM.png

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16 hours ago, esotericist said:

did I break something, did the app break, or did something outside of my control break

Good point. Networks are inherently troublesome.

16 hours ago, esotericist said:

Oftentimes, a good user experience requires admitting things can go wrong (even while you do your damnedest to ensure it doesn't).

Tray icon it is! So, do you want it primarily for status, or for control (over start/stop)?

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