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This program is a dockapp-style CPU, memory, swap and load average monitor.
tag: 0.3

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For copyright/authors/contributors see top of bubblemon.c.  For list of
supported operating systems, see SUPPORTED_SYSTEMS.


This program is a dockapp-style CPU, memory, swap and load average monitor.
Based on the GNOME BubbleMon applet, this program has been considerably
improved.  Many new features have been added.  This is version 1.3.


On the surface, dockapp BubbleMon follows the same style as original GNOME
applet. Main screen area is split into 2 parts - air and water. Water level
depends on how much physical and virtual memory is used by the system. CPU
activity makes water "boil" and creates bubbles. CPU meter near the bottom
shows actual value in percent. As memory usage increases, water level goes
up. When system runs out of physical memory and begins using swap, both
water and air colors change depending on amount of swap used. There is a
cute yellow duck swimming from one corner of the dockapp to another. The
duck really doesn't do anything at the moment, but in a future version it's
speed might correspond to system load average or another variable. This is
the "main" mode of BubbleMon.

There are 2 additional screens available - memory and load average.  Load
average screen is accessed by simply hovering the mouse pointer over BubbleMon
window. Memory screen is accessed same way, except you must hold down either
left or right "Shift" key before moving the mouse pointer over BubbleMon
window. Both Memory and Load average screens fade in slowly for a reason -
during fade, you can click "Right" mouse button to lock currently fading
screen.  This way you can see both CPU load screen and either memory or load
average screen. To exit "locked" mode, simply move the mouse pointer in and
out of the BubbleMon window.

Memory screen displays current amount of free memory and swap, in kilobytes
and percent.  Top number is amount of used memory, in kilobytes and percent,
and bottom number is amount of used swap.  Under Linux implementation, used
swap is set to "0" until 100% of system memory is used.  Below these numbers
is a graph of recent memory use.  Unless you are running something that
dynamically allocates and deallocates huge amounts of memory, this graph is
most likely going to be more or less a straight line. Percentage and kilobyte
counters will change color in case of memory or swap use over 90%.
Load average screen displays system load average, same way as presented by
"uptime" command. Approximately last 3 minutes of system load are graphed
below the load average numbers.  Default "light blue" color of load average
and memory screens can be changed to a "pale" version by using "-p" command
line switch.

You can start BubbleMon with up to 2 command-line argumens (not counting
switches), each being a path to a program or shell script to execute when
you click Left or Middle mouse button inside BubbleMon window. These must
be the last 2 parameters.  There is a .wav file and a simple shell script
to play it, inside misc/ directory, which you can use to make some duck
sounds with bubblemon.


BubbleMon is very configurable. Previous section explains many features, but
all of them can be disabled, either through compile-time settings or with
command-line switches at startup. Either the general Makefile or FreeBSD-
specific Makefile contain compilation defines near the top. You can comment out
a particular line, to disable that feature. Alternatively, you can run
"bubblemon -h" for a list of command line options. This will show command-line
switches which can be used to disable certain BubbleMon modes, and modify color
scheme used in memory and load average screens. You can also change colors of
the air, water, various physics constants which control bubble generation, and
maximum number of bubbles to make. All of these settings are read on start-up
from the user's HOME directory, using .Xdefaults file. If you don't have a
.Xdefaults file in your home directory, you can copy Xdefaults.sample which
is distributed with BubbleMon. If you already have some settings in .Xdefaults
you can simply append BubbleMon settings file to your current configuration:
hostname:~$ cat /path/to/bubblemon-src/Xdefaults.sample >> ~/.Xdefaults
However if you are happy with the current color scheme or bubble physics, you
don't need to do anything at all, because BubbleMon has default settings
compiled in.

Information about original GNOME BubbleMon applet:

You can get the original BubbleMon applet from - but that version requires GNOME, does
not have a cute duck, uses more CPU, and doesn't allow you to start programs
by clicking on it. But, I guess if you like GNOME, you might want to check
it out.

Programming details:

It's been a long tradition that dockapps use Xlib to draw, mainly because
that's what the first dockapp used and because there are some abstraction
layers to hide some of Xlib ugliness (libdockapp, wmgeneral, etc). Xlib is
fine if all you do is change a couple pixels every other second, like most
dockapps do. But if you deal with 3D, or any kind of large amount of pixel
shuffling, Xlib really starts to suck. Common mistake when doing lots of
pixel shuffling in Xlib is using XPutPixel or XCopyArea. Say, you got a 
56x56 dockapp, and 80% of it is changed every 10ms. That's almost 2.5
thousand pixel ops. And a 1x1 XCopyArea takes as much server overhead as a
64x64 XCopyArea. Since X11 sucks, each one of these puts a request in the
server queue and will waste ungodly amounts of bandwidth (if you run a
remote X session) and use CPU time on the server machine. X11 really doesn't
provide any simple way to deal with drawing stuff on screen without messing
with colormaps or other serious ugliness. If you are familiar with game
programming and that kind of stuff, you know that screen is usually drawn on
a back buffer and then switched, so the user sees smooth animation instead
of watching the screen redraw. X11 doesn't really have this feature, because
even drawing to a off-screen pixmap is still slow - and requires contacting
the server, and still requires dealing with colormaps.

Solution is simple. GDK. Gimp Drawing toolKit. And a large buffer to draw
in. Render your screen on the "back buffer", which is completely in memory
and thus doesn't need to contact the server, and then use gdk_draw_rgb_image
to quicky slap that on-screen. That's about the only GDK function you will
ever need to use. Results are impressive - very complex scenes could be
rendered in local memory, fast, and the only network I/O generated is from
copying backbuffer to the screen, which is minimal compared to updating the
same screen pixel by pixel. Since bubblemon does a lot of pixel shuffling,
it uses this technique to draw. Thanks to gdkrgb, BubbleMon achieves fluid
animation at 33 frames per second.  Some window managers, like BlackBox,
don't require dockapps to draw on the main window, only on the icon window.
You can run make with "make WMAN=-DBLACKBOX" to remove code dealing with
drawing on main window, for a marginal performance improvement, though it's
very unlikely you will notice the difference unless you are profiling.

Notes from the FreeBSD port author:
For FreeBSD, the percentage of used memory is calculated as
number_of_active_pages / total_number_of_pages_in_the_system * 100%.
If you have any concerns regarding this or FreeBSD port of BubbleMon
in general, please email oleg dashevskii <>.
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