Archive for March, 2008

OpenMoko GTK+ Applications

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I’ve mostly been working on non-ui related components for OpenMoko recently (working on the package management system, opkg and it’s associated packagekit backend), which gave me a chance to step back from the GUI applications and take a look at some of the areas that could be improved. I posted some of my thoughts on the openmoko-devel mailing list (thread here) and got some quite interesting and encouraging responses.

So, I set to work building some patches. Here are some screenshots of progress:

Phone numbers and contact photos in the address book contact list
Phone numbers and contact photos in the address book contact list

"Add to contact" in call log
Currently work in progress, implementing “Add to contact” in call log

I’m also hoping to get a few theme tweaks in as well. Here’s another game of spot-the-difference (hint, not anything in the number display). And it actually does make it look a lot smarter on the device’s small screen.
dialer-orig.png changes to dialer-black.png

I need to find an artist to help me improve the GTK+ theme. Firstly the gradients really need to go because not only do they look ugly with the banding from the 16bit display, they also cause significant performance problems. If anyone wants to help me out, please do drop me an e-mail, or discuss on the openmoko-devel list.

art-hub

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Well, since no one stepped up to take over maintaining art.gnome.org, I decided I really needed to sort it out. I keep getting requests such as “why hasn’t my background been approved yet” and “please delete this submission”. So I have a new idea, that hopefully isn’t so high maintenance:

art-hub.png

Hopefully, it will better serve GNOME artists and help encourage people to get involved in GNOME. If you feel like contributing, sources are in GNOME svn: http://svn.gnome.org/svn/art-web/branches/art-hub/

GNOME Suggestions from 2006

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

At London LinuxWorld in October 2006, we had a stand promoting and discussing the GNOME project with visitors. As part of that stand, we collected ideas from people about what they liked and disliked about GNOME. While doing a spot of spring cleaning, I came across the dozens of post-it notes that people had written their suggestions on. Shame on me for not getting round to typing up the suggestions until now, but it actually makes for even more interesting reading to see what features and bugs have already been fixed.

  1. Browse mode as default
  2. Desktop search
  3. GNOME Evolution – pressing space bar marks messages as “read”. Button to go to next unread message
  4. Good menus
  5. Good integartion, smooth :-)
  6. GNOME-VFS is too specific :-(
  7. Software I can use without thinking about it! Love it!
  8. Need IDE with good debugging support
  9. Centralised location for editing application associations
  10. Better thumbnail cache use. e.g. delete thumbs not used for 30 days
  11. Needs to be more geeky
  12. GConf on NFS-homed rollhout (universtity) between Solaris/GNOME
  13. Good – slick system; Bad – missing certain functions
  14. File save expansion sucks :-(
  15. Tabs in nautilus
  16. GNOME ROS MY SOX
  17. It’s Free!
  18. Make windows codecs easier to use and install. WMVs, DVDs, & co, should be a single install tickbox
  19. Evolution – autosense IMAP/IMAPv4: who the fsck knows what the server is running, or cares?
  20. Make all desktop configuration scriptable
  21. Evolution: please implement “Reply and file” (to specific mailbox)
  22. Memory consumption
  23. Evolution: (Imap) please replicate locally as the tickbox says!
  24. (Love) Gstreamer integartion
  25. Scaling all desktop icons simulatonsusly
  26. (Love) Inkscape
  27. Does everything I need
  28. F-Spot rules
  29. Keyboard navigation in panel menu
  30. I like GNOME because cute guys work on the stand
  31. Configuration of GNOME :-(
  32. It actually works! Yay!
  33. So simple my 9 year old neice can use it! Keep it simple
  34. It does things my way
  35. Reset option for panel to restart from scratch
  36. Easy to install RPMs via Centros
  37. “Expose” & Just Works
  38. Why can’t I double click top-left corner to close a window (like Win, KDE, CDE, etc)
  39. Tomboy notes are cool!
  40. I (heart) GNOME ‘cos KDE sucxors!
  41. KDE FTW
  42. Extremely user friendly
  43. More examples in developer documentation, e.g. graphics
  44. Windowing is too chunkey, want more elegenat interface
  45. No alarm clock?
  46. Memory footprint. Library precaching
  47. I like how the menus are organised!
  48. I want to sync a Palm Tunsten T5
  49. DVB/T Freeuen card doesn’t work or is not easily configurable in Totem.
  50. File->open new users want a text field to click in before typing a filename

(Personally, I think number 30 is best)

Opkg and PackageKit

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Some good progress on Opkg and it’s PackageKit backend recently. New features such as autoremove and tags have been implemented in Opkg, and PackageKit can now take advantage of them. I’ve also increased the PackageKit method coverage by including description searching and group search, amongst fixing various bugs and improving internal feedback mechanisms.

Opkg now has a mailing list for discussion on future development and current issues.

Here are some screenshots of the GTK+ PackageKit frontend using Opkg as the backend:

Current method coverage shown by pk-backend-status:
opkg-pk-backend-status.png

Listing packages in a group using the gnome-packagekit frontend:
opkg-pk-groups.png

Searching on the description field and filtering to only view GUI applications:
opkg-pk-description-filter.png

Slightly off topic, but of interest to OpenMoko/OpenEmbedded developers, is the new Poky SDK, which Rob wrote about. The Anjuta plugin is particularly interesting, because it significantly shortens the development cycle when cross compiling.