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I'd like to write a program which displays dynamically-generated slideshows on the desktop, replacing the wallpaper. The point is to display live photo-streams from the web, updating the wallpaper automatically as new images are posted.

I'm currently looking for the best way to display the images. The simplest thing is to just update the wallpaper by issuing a command to gsettings, for example:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///new_wallpaper.png

But this approach isn't perfect:

1) (minor) There's a perceptible lag between issuing the command and the update.

2) (major) There's no smooth transition from the old wallpaper to the new wallpaper, so the effect is jarring.

Do I have a better option? A simple fade transition would be sufficient for my needs. In the future, though, I'll want an interactive canvas, so the user can click on an interesting photo and have the relevant link opened in a browser.

share|improve this question
There is already a fade effect while changing the wallpaper. – hakermania Aug 20 '12 at 9:18
@hakermania, there isn't a fade effect when using the command I listed. If you know of a command-line way to change the wallpaper that has a fade effect, please share it. – emchristiansen Aug 21 '12 at 17:35
But it has a fade effect. It really does, see this video: By the way, I'm one of the developers of Wallch. – hakermania Aug 21 '12 at 19:59
@hakermania, that's interesting. I just double-checked on my own machine and didn't get a transition. Maybe it's because I'm using XMonad with Unity? Well, at least it will work for most people. – emchristiansen Aug 22 '12 at 20:28
If you've set XMonad to handle your desktop, then this is what causes the fade effect not to be present. – hakermania Aug 22 '12 at 21:53

You may install wallch and also have a look at this very similar question.

share|improve this answer
Wallch uses the gsettings technique upon which I'm trying to improve. Looks like I can't paste code in this comment box, but the relevant bit is on line 147 of glob.cpp in the source:… – emchristiansen Aug 18 '12 at 23:01

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