The ideal system monitor toy
This is what I’d consider a good system monitor design:
- Each sensor is displayed in a separate dockapp window, so that the window manager can manage them.
- Having a single, pleasant default look is better than skinning/theming. However, basic theming capabilities might not be harmful.
- The monitor as such should focus on beautiful rendering for charts, graphs, and meters.
- Sensors should not have anything to do with the display. Their sole responsibility is to provide data samples, and possibly range information.
- Which type and variant of graphical representation is actually used to display the information of a sensor (along with the scale, time resolution, and any other parameters used for rendering) should be fully configurable without any restrictions. Sensible defaults should, of course, be suggested by the individual sensors.
Basically, it would do everything exactly oppositely from Gkrellm, which blows.
An interesting idea possibly worth exploring is to use a logarithmic scale for the time axis of 2D graphs, so new samples can be displayed with high temporal resolution, yet even old samples can be fit into the same graph, albeit at low temporal resolution. In theory, this could allow for a simultaneous view of both long-term trends and short-term activity.