so, it turns out that the plans of releasing Clutter 0.8 right after GUADEC were a little bit on the conservative side, since

thanks to all the contributors for bugs opened, patches written, tests performed — you all rock my world.

now you’ll just have to wait a tiiiiny little bit for the integration libraries1, for the bindings2 and for Tidy3.

  1. they all work with the new API, they just need to be distchecked []
  2. this will take some more time but they’ll be there []
  3. will demo something tomorrow at my lightning talk around 14:30 if you’re at GUADEC []

Finally Woken

the first, alpha quality release of Tweet is available here.

Tweet 0.2.0

I’d like to stress out that this is an alpha quality release; I’ve been using it for a while, now, and nothing serious like the destruction of my hard drive happened but I cannot guarantee that it won’t happen to you. you’ve been warned.

from the new-and-shiny department:

  • use NetworkManager to detect a connection change
  • scroll wheel support
  • nice gradients on the speech bubble
  • more readable datetime stamps on each status
  • update the status view with just the new statuses instead of reloading everything

from the stuff-still-missing department:

  • an icon — can I have an icon? please, pretty please with sugar on top?
  • follow/unfollow users
  • direct messages
  • show a particular user
  • show followers and following
  • add a control to open a browser on the current status
  • show error messages instead of silently failing

and finally, from the would-be-nice department:

  • use Gypsy to update the location
  • exporting the status archive

if you want to give a hand, just clone the repository:

  git clone git://github.com/ebassi/tweet.git

and hack away! :-)

Sincerest Forms of Flattery

tidy: they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:


the actual amount of code is quite small, and it’s already available in Tidy.

challenges: Luca dared me into making a Clutter-based coverflow-like plugin for Rhythmbox, but it was Iain that picked the challenge up and wrote some basic code for it. I, on the other hand, don’t like coverflow for browsing my music collection, so I finally decided to write something for the Eye of GNOME — a Ken Burns effect slide show. it’s not at all finished, and if nobody picks it up, I’ll try and do my best to have it ready for GNOME 2.24, if EOG maintainers want it, of course. it’s not the best display of Clutter features — except the animation framework — but if you have hardware acceleration it will make slideshows look a lot nicer.

json-glib: this weekend I released the first developers snapshot of JSON-GLib 0.6; the API is stable, the test suite is rocking and this release finally fixes the last bit needed for full RFC 4627 compliance (Unicode escaping). I’m probably going to release 0.6.0 in a couple of weeks.

Good Intentions

unique: this morning I released version 0.9.4 of libunique, everyone (least) favourite library for writing single instance applications. it’s mostly a bug fixing release, and since I’ve decided to release 1.0.0 soon, this is also the first release candidate for the 1.0 milestone. I’ve also moved the git repository to github, so you can clone it with:

  git clone git://github.com/ebassi/unique.git

I plan to add back a new x11 backend for the 1.2 release, targeting small embedded environments were D-Bus might not be an option, and support for a --replace command line switch. after that, I’ll try to get the same functionalities into GLib/GTK+, as part of the future “desktop platform” module.

Clutter: I did a 0.6.2 release of both the core and the Python bindings, but things are afoot in trunk. we recently landed the multi-stage branch, which means that you’ll be able to create multiple windows and multiple GtkClutterEmbed widgets per application with Clutter 0.8. we’re also about to land the massive COGL rewrite that Ivan Leben of ShivaVG fame did — which will make the GL and GLES abstraction more powerful, will reduce the code duplication and in general will rock your world. Neil Roberts has been doing loads of work on the native Win32 backend: he not only made it possible to run Clutter on WGL, but also use the GtkClutterEmbed on Windows natively:

GtkClutter on win32

now, only the Quartz backend is missing the party — hint hint, nudge nudge.

OpenedHand: we’re hiring!


I’ve just sent this to the Clutter mailing list, but I guess that more exposure is fine

as some of you might already know, we have started working on a reference “toolkit” based on Clutter called Tidy.

Tidy is a simple library containing some useful actors and interfaces which can be used by applications developers; it aims to be simple and yet provide some high-level classes that Clutter won’t provide.

it is by no mean complete, or aiming to replace other toolkits; you can think of it as a reference implementation for a toolkit based on Clutter.

Tidy works as a standalone toolkit, but it can also be used as a copy-and-paste repository, like libegg for the gtk+ stack; because of this, it doesn’t provide any kind of API or ABI guarantee, and it probably won’t be released in form of tarballs. it can be seen as a constant work in progress.

right now, Tidy is composed of these classes:

  • TidyActor – a base actor class, implementing stylable actors, with padding and alignment
  • TidyButton – a simple button class
  • TidyFrame – a container capable of aligning its only child
  • TidyListView – a list view using ClutterModel to introspect its structure and contents
    • TidyCellRenderer – base cell renderer class
    • TidyCellRendererDefault – default cell renderer
    • TidyListColumn – base column class
    • TidyListColumnDefault – default column
  • TidyTextureFrame – a texture that efficiently clones a background image so that it can stretch the entire size allocation
  • TidyProxyTexture – a texture class that efficiently caches the source file
    • TidyTextureCache – a cache for textures loaded from on-disk data
  • TidyTextureReflection – an actor using GL to compute a reflection of the parent texture (imported from the toys)
  • TidyStylable – base interface for stylable objects
    • TidyStyle – storage class for a style
  • TidyScrollable – base interface for scrollable actors
    • TidyAdjustment – object for clamping a value between two boundaries (with quantum increments support)
    • TidyScrollBar – scroll bar actor controlling an adjustment
    • TidyViewport – scrollable viewport controlled by a pair of adjustments

Update@2008-02-07T10:01Z: after this announcement, Chris added two new actors:

  • TidyScrollView – a viewport with scoll bars
  • TidyFingerScroll – a viewport with kinetic scrolling

Plus a lot of bug fixes.

there are examples for basically every class and functionality under the tests/ directory.

since everybody want screencasts these days:

this is still in the prototyping stage; meaning: if it breaks (and it will break) you get to keep both the pieces. also, there are rough edges and missing functionality. we’ll keep working on it and adding new classes between now and Clutter 0.6 (and after), and also use Tidy as a testing ground for Clutter functionality and staging ground for actors/data structures/interfaces.

you can check out Tidy from SVN using:

  svn co http://svn.o-hand.com/repos/tidy/trunk tidy

or browse the repository from your web browser via:

  http://svn.o-hand.com/repos/tidy/trunk/ (raw)
  http://svn.o-hand.com/view/tidy/trunk/ (viewcvs)

in other, Clutter-related news:

  • Iain has been working on a Clutter and WebKit-based browser actor; you’ll find a very cool screencast of it on Iain’s blog.
  • In Clutter trunk we landed initial support for FBOs and we’re fixing bugs/updating bindings/updating documentation toward the 0.6.0 release.
  • It’s a bit old, but I’ve been updating the Vala bindings for Clutter and Clutter-GTK, so you can now use all the bling with Vala; you’ll need Vala trunk, but it’s worth it.

Kingdom of Spain

Clutter: Today I released the first developers snapshot of Clutter 0.6 – Clutter 0.5.0. The full announcement is on the Clutter blog, and since it’s very long, I won’t copy and paste it here. You can grab 0.5.0 here; as usual, this is a unstable snapshot, and it’s meant to be used to play with the new API, start binding it and find the inevitable bugs that might have creeped in – and help us fixing them as well. :-)

Last week I also went through the huge list of changes, additions and removals in the public API; the result is a collection of seven emails (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) I sent on the clutter-list – complete of mistakes which I can only attribute to the amount of food, wine and beer I had during the Xmas break.

I’m incredibly proud of how much Clutter grew since the 0.4 release we did after GUADEC; the amount of bug fixes alone makes it worth to check it out – and the new features list is impressive. A lot happened, and a lot more will happen in the near future; some things are already here – but will be announced in due time.

As always, kudos to everyone that has helped by filing bugs and patches; started writing bindings; and last, but not least, contributed documentation.

Stinging Velvet

Clutter – If release 0.4 rocked hard, release 0.6 of Clutter will blow your mind away. Just to list some features landed in the past couple of weeks after ClutterScript got in:

  • new event handling, borrowing from the W3C DOM event – that is, two event phases: capture, which traverses the scene from the stage to the actor that received the event, and bubble which traverses the scene from the actor to the stage. You can block the event chain in any point of both phases by simply returning TRUE in the signal handlers (like GTK+); kudos to mallum and Pippin
  • improved text scaling, at least for downscaling at ~50%; kudos to Pippin
  • build and test on win32 using the SDL backend, complete with VS2005 build files; kudos to tf
  • time-based timelines, so you can define a ClutterTimeline by giving its length in milliseconds; and without even breaking the API.

Still, there’s plenty more coming – so keep looking at trunk.

JSON-GLib – The code base has been consolidated a lot while working on ClutterScript, so I feel confident about making a release of the out-of-tree repository. The release is bagged, tagged and signed as json-glib-0.2.1 in the git repository1. You can grab the tarball here. Work on seamless GObject-JSON (de)serialization will continue in the master branch towards a 0.4.0 release. Update@2007-10-16T23:30+0100: obviously, as soon as I got back home and checked the repository I found two bugs in the generator code; hence, brown paper bag release 0.2.1. Tarball, documentation and tag updated.

  1. As usual, at http://folks.o-hand.com/~ebassi/git/json-glib.git []

Flying Teapot

Clutter 0.4.0 was, finally, released two days ago. Not only the core and add-on libraries but also the language bindings are available for this new stable release cycle.

We already started working on trunk for the 0.5/0.6 development cycle, which should hopefully lead up to another stable release in six months; there already is a nice list of features we are working on, but I’d like to see more requests, more patches ( ;-) ) and people working on even more language bindings.

Take it or leave it

After the comments on my latest blog post, I got back at Unique and did some rearrangements in the code base. Now the backends are all compiled in (obviously, depending on whether you have the dependencies to compile them) and the backend to be used can be defined at runtime. The default backend is chosen at compile time and can be overridden by setting the UNIQUE_BACKEND environment variable. Obviously, if you launch an instance with UNIQUE_BACKEND=dbus and another one with UNIQUE_BACKEND=bacon you will have two instances running – but that’s only to be expected.

I’ve also updated the API to something I can probably call “semi-frozen” (small API additions notwithstanding); the constructor changed to always accept a startup notification id (it will try to be clever and find it for you if you pass NULL, though) and allows you to define custom commands with a single call.

As usual, you can clone the Git repository from here:

  git clone http://www.gnome.org/~ebassi/git/unique.git

or grab the tarball for from here.

I’ll keep working on making a 1.0.0 release at GUADEC (probably it’ll happen right at GUADEC), API/ABI stable and with the Xlibs backend. Then I’ll resume working on the GtkApplication class, which will have the Unique features but will (hopefully) be integrated in GTK+.

Update@2007-07-12T12:54+0100: New release, with full API reference documentation, a couple of stupid bugs squashed and workspace support.

Strange news from another star

I’ve been promising a release of GtkUnique for a while now, but work and other stuff got in the way of the namespace change-slash-rewrite. Yesterday I finally got around finishing the porting of the Unix domain sockets backend (or “bacon”) so I cooked up a preliminary release with the D-Bus and Bacon backends working. You can find the tarball here or, if you’re feeling in hacking mood, you can check out the git repository from here:

  git clone http://www.gnome.org/~ebassi/git/unique.git

the unique-0.9.1 is the tag for this release. I’ll work on finishing the port of the Xlibs backend and target a stable 1.0.0 release for GUADEC.

The API of Unique changed a bit since the last GtkUnique release, and I think it’ll change a bit more in order to be usable with the smallest impact possible. Now you can register custom commands and there’s convenience API for sending strings and URI lists; the command registration and construction API might change to something similar to the GtkDialog API – and I might switch to a more signal based approach (construct the message payload inside a signal handler) before 1.0. I also might add a –replace command line switch that gets slurped and does The Right Thing for you.

The biggest change is happening under the hood, though; with this release, the UniqueApp instance will request the specified name as soon as it is created, so you’ll be guaranteed to either be the first running instance or be able to send messages to the currently running instance at the same moment that the UniqueApp constructor returns. Hence, no more race conditions between the constructor and the “is running” request. Finally, the “window watching” functions have been removed – even though I might add a “watch window” function to handle the startup notification sequence for you (now that we have the API to do that in GTK+ 2.11).

This release also means that the code in SVN under the gtkunique module is to be considered deprecated. I’m going to ask the svnmaster to move it into the attic, as the delta is too big for a simple check-in. As soon as 1.0.0 is out I’ll also ask the release-team for “blessing” Unique as a dependency, so if you want your module to depend on it you’ll be able to safely do it. Again, sorry for taking this long to finish up this work.

Update@2007-07-09T15:16+0100: I’ve just rolled a 0.9.1 to fix some build issues and add licensing terms. Thanks to Christian Persch for the heads up.