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The MIT-SCREEN-SAVER extension of the Xserver allows to control screensaver features, but also to query screensaver info on specific windows.

XScreenSaverQueryInfo() allows to know the time since the last input was received from the user on any of the input devices, which is quite useful to detect if there is some activity in a window (used by pidgin to set away status).

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blosxom Optimised for standards.
Olivier Blin (2005)