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Prevent background pictures from getting cropped

asked 2018-10-18 03:09:26 +0300

depscribe gravatar image

updated 2018-10-25 20:22:56 +0300

Federico gravatar image

In Gallery

As background

Having run xplanet depicting moonphases on my Linux desktops for more than 15 years I was pleased to find xplanet and xplanet-background on OpenRepos. I promptly got and installed them. xplanet works and xplanet-background doesn't with SFOS 2.2.18. Which is fine -- moon doesn't change all that much, so if I must I can generate a new image each day and replace the one on the desktop. It's a pain, but there are worse things.

Problem is, xplanet generates a nice, round image that shows up perfectly in the Gallery, but if it is then made into an Ambience the thing has its sides lopped off. I cannot imagine that anyone would have deliberately done this, inasmuch as it makes no sense to just up and crop pictures for no reason. Which means I must have inadvertently set something incorrectly. Try as I might, I cannot find any such setting.

If there is no such setting, is there a utility somewhere that I can install that will let me have background images that look the way I want? Alternately, does anyone have the secret to getting xplanet-background to work on >2.22 versions of SFOS?

And while I'm here, if I want to uninstall the multitude of background images that I do not and never will use, where would they be located so that I might put them out of my misery?


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rfa ( 2018-10-18 09:23:51 +0300 )edit

Duplicate of sorts:

See the answer from @stateoftheart with regard to cropping images to fit correctly/nicely.


The image size for ambience is 2048 x 2048, the image you show is a quarter of that size @ 512 x 512, I'm not surprised it doesn't fit on the screen correctly. But ambience does crop in odd places anyway, always has done, especially as the original image size was 540 x 1600 (or very similar) but then Jolla launched the tablet and the ambience image size changed 2048x2048. There are posts concerning the cropping and placement of ambience images, you'll have to use the search facility to find it.

If by 'background images' you mean ambiences, then they are found in /usr/share/ambience/*, you could safely remove them by going to Settings/Ambience and long press on the ones you don't want and select 'Delete ambience'.

Spam Hunter ( 2018-10-18 10:48:53 +0300 )edit

Thanks very much for the link -- I'd read the earlier questions somewhat related to the issue, though none of those provided much of an answer, either, and it seems that early in the 2.x series the handling of Ambience images got changed in some unspecified way. What I'm trying to figure out is why the images are arbitrarily cropped and what I can do to defeat it. A 2048x2048 image certainly will not fit on a 1920x1080 screen. Someone inexplicably actually wrote code designed to confound those who would supply their own images. Why would anyone do this but leave no over-ride? Apparently what happens here is that the OS subsystem takes a square image, blows it up to 2048x2048, then crops it. (If I supply a 2048x2048 image, it does the same thing in the final outcome, though it doesn't enlarge it first.) Surely there's some way to tell SFOS to leave the image the hell alone. Then if people want a cropped image, they can crop it themselves. The fact that someone actually went out of their way to code this is simply mindboggling. Thanks for the tip on Ambience deletion, which I've now done.

depscribe ( 2018-10-18 18:12:53 +0300 )edit

I gave up with ambience years ago, the entire thing is basically dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. I use the same ambience all the time, which is Ambience AllBlack, simple and makes the majority of text globally readable. Personally, I'd like to see the ambience module completely removed, it is about as useful as tits on a bull and is also closed source, making even harder to anything realistic with it.

Spam Hunter ( 2018-10-18 18:25:04 +0300 )edit

At this point, besides wanting the image I'd like to have and, now, trying to deal with the challenge of it, I'm trying to figure out why in the name of creation they would do this, apparently on purpose. It makes absolutely no sense, cannot make anyone happier and in fact can lead only to frustration and annoyance. And then to make it undefeatable -- it's insane! Is there at least a size or specification such that if one feeds it to the cropping engine one can get what one wants on the screen? Or must one put a few hundred pixels of black all around the image one wants so as to let the cropping hatchet do what it's hell bent on doing and still end up with the intended image?

depscribe ( 2018-10-18 18:43:02 +0300 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2018-10-24 00:15:47 +0300

depscribe gravatar image

updated 2018-10-24 04:26:11 +0300

This doesn't solve the issue of the Ambience engine butchering pictures, but it does let xplanet produce a picture that works on the Xperia X without lopping off the sides:

if running from the commandline: xplanet -body moon -origin earth -num_times 1 -geometry 2048x2048 -radius 25 -output moon.jpg

This should create an image of 2048x2048 in which the moon is small enough that it doesn't get cropped when the Ambience thing does what it does. (Likewise if depicting another body, such as Saturn.)

In the xplanet-background application, the configuration file ~/.config/xplanet/xplanet.sysconfig make sure that the parameters -geometry 2048x2048 -radius 25 are included wherever xplanet commandlines are included, in both the XPLANET_PREV and XPLANET_OPTIONS sections.

The result is in the picture, and it updates as it should, though the nice little legend -- time, point of view, body depicted -- is in the cropped-off part. Anyway, it works.

image description

This screenshot is with -radius 25. For maximum uncropped image, -radius 27 works, I have learned by experimentation.

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answered 2018-10-24 00:17:10 +0300

eatdirt gravatar image

Hi there, yes that's a pain. The other big pain is the hacks required to display pictures the way you want with the closed source ambienced of jolla. For your problem, the fix, at least on jolla 1, is to match the screen resolution. Go to /home/nemo/.config/xplanet Edit the file xplanet.sysconfig and change all options -geometry 540x960 by the resolution of your screen.

That resolution is the one of jolla 1, but does not match other devices.

Yes, I am still on jolla 1 :)

In that file, you can also appreciate the hacks needed to just display an imagefile on the background.

I hate "ambienced", I hope one day jolla will remove that sh.... and let the option to also remove pictures of people I do not know....


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answered 2018-10-24 21:38:33 +0300

depscribe gravatar image

Gemini users who would like to use Xplanet to put -- of course -- Saturn on their screen backgrounds can find instructions here. I sorted it out and put the recipe up this morning.

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answered 2018-10-21 22:39:35 +0300

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This is not an answer but another symptom: Running the Meecast Daemon from OpenRepos, a little bug with current local weather is supposed to appear on the Sailfish home screen. But on the Xperia X running Jolla Sailfish X, the bug doesn't appear. This puzzled me until I looked at the joegs in ~/.config/harbour-meecast. They show the bug appearing, but in the part of the picture that doesn't appear on the home screen because it has been cropped off. So this croppery seems to be a fairly major bug, unless there's a configuration option someplace that can keep the picture from getting cropped.

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Asked: 2018-10-18 03:09:26 +0300

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Last updated: Oct 25 '18