GNOME 2.18 is out! Go and check it out!


Obviously, the release of GNOME 2.18 means that we can now start working on 2.20 – after a well deserved beer. ;-)

Small Stakes

Tonight I released version 2.17.90 of the GNOME Utilities package.

It’s not just another release: it marks the end of the work on the interactive dialog of the screenshot utility:

GNOME Screenshot Interactive

Now every command line switch is replicated on the interactive dialog that comes up when you launch the screenshot utility either from the menu or from the command line using the --interactive switch; each setting is taken into account, so calling gnome-screenshot --interactive --delay=5 --window --border-effect=border will change the UI accordingly (this very command line produced the dialog above).

This point release also marks the beginning of the work for the next development cycle; instead on working on the main trunk, I’ll open branches for the features I plan to add to the various components of the Utilities package:

  • plugin support for the System Log Viewer; this has already been written by the (great and incredibly patient) Lin Ma from Sun, but it still needs some cleaning up;
  • local sources for the Dictionary; as above, there already is a patch but needs to be cleaned up;
  • a new save dialog for the Screenshot utility;
  • add an area selector for the Screenshot, so you can pick a specific part of the desktop;

I’m also considering dropping the Dictionary applet from the Utilities, as its functionalities are pretty much covered by the plugin of the deskbar applet, and the deskbar applet is considerably more worth your panel space. The only thing that keeps me from removing the applet is that the deskbar applet is written in Python, and this might be an issue for slower machines; I could move the applet out of tree into its own package and let the distributions or the single users pick it up.

What I would really like to do in the next cycle is to revive GFloppy. At the moment, is compiled conditionally and it’s pretty much useless unless you have a floppy drive and the floppy utilities installed (it can use HAL to check for the available drives, but HAL doesn’t have the ability to programmatically format a volume); since not many computers come with a floppy drive anymore, I’d like for someone with HAL knowledge to pick GFloppy up and find a way to make it work with removable devices, like USB or flash solid state memories. Otherwise, I’ll have to consider dropping GFloppy too, as I don’t have a floppy drive anymore and can’t obviously maintain an application I can’t test.

Finally: if you have a small utility you deem useful enough to end up into the Utilities package, send me an email and propose it for inclusion.

John Saw That Number

Thanks to Ross and his mad python-fu skillz, now we have a working Python binding for gtkunique – for the brave souls which may want to use it.

The repositories locations have been changed, after the servers update at OpenedHand, so here’s where the fun is:

  trunk:  bzr branch
  python: bzr branch
  perl:   bzr branch

Testing is greatly appreciated.

gtkunique future: GtkUnique is API frozen, and feature complete as far as I’m concerned (bug fixing and eventual feature requests notwithstanding). I’ve opened a bug for integration into GTK+: #378260. You can watch it and give your opinion there.

Song for Sunshine

I just made two releases for gnome-utils: the first is 2.16.2, another release in the stable branch, which fixes a couple of bugs in Baobab and Screenshot that were also fixed in HEAD and deemed important enough to be backported.

The second release is – finally – 2.17.0, the first release of the new unstable release cycle which will lead to gnome-utils 2.18.0.

The major change in this release is in Baobab, which acquired the new, spiffy, cairo-based ringchart view, thanks to the hard work of Fabio, Paolo, Alejandro and Miguel. Baobab also dropped the search option, which mostly replicated the Search Tool already included in gnome-utils. Baobab user interface was cleaned up, its memory consumption was reduced and many bugs were fixed.

The other modules in gnome-utils got some love, but not much; my development tree still doesn’t build well and it’s not ready for inclusion in HEAD, but I plan to work on it before the next release.

As usual, download, test and file bugs.

Little Earthquakes

After two weeks without working on it, this evening I finally returned to GtkUnique and finished the bacon-like backend. Now, beside using D-Bus and Xlibs, you can use Un*x sockets as an IPC method to send a command to a running instance of an application which is using GtkUnique.

Next items in the TODO are:

  • Add more documentation on the protocol used in the three backends;
  • Fix the Perl bindings;
  • Finish and publish the Python bindings;

In the meantime, you can grab GtkUnique 0.5.0 here or pull it from the bazaar repository.

Special Delivery

I almost forgot – this should tell you how bad a maintainer I am ;-) – but Lennart’s blog reminded me: the ringchart code hit Baobab HEAD:

Baobab Ringchart

The ringchart view is really nice – even though I still very much like the treemap – but the real improvements are in Baobab’s user interface, which got streamlined and made simpler. Kudos to both Fabio Marzocca, Paolo Borelli and to all the people at Igalia who worked really hard in order to make the next stable release of Baobab rock.

I did not package a gnome-utils tarball in time for 2.17.1, as I’m still working on my development tree for both the dictionary and the screenshot tool; but since I got a couple of bug fixes (backported to the stable branch) I plan to do a 2.16.2 release this weekend and a 2.17.1 before the end of the month. In the meantime: grab a snapshot from CVS and test away!


Behold the power of Clutter!

Clutter is a pretty raw user interface toolkit for building heavily visually applications for platforms such as media boxes and kiosks. It’s built on various GNOME libraries such as Pango and GObject, uses Gstreamer for media playback, and all this sits upon OpenGL for fast graphics rendering.

Yes, it’ll soon have bindings for Perl (like it already has bindings for another high-level language with funny syntax that begins with P).

Tap Dancing on a Mine

I’ve just released version 1.031 of the Gnome2::GConf Perl module binding libgconf. In this release, thanks to Laurent Simonneau, I dropped the Gtk2 dependency, making Gnome2::GConf depend only on the Glib Perl module (and the libgconf C library, obviously).

Gnome2::GConf is mostly in maintenance mode these days so, even if this is supposed to be a development release there are no known issues preventing it from working in a stable environment. I don’t plan any more releases in this development cycle (remember that Gnome2::GConf is part of the GNOME Platform Perl bindings and as such it follows the GNOME release schedule) unless upstream API changes.

You can get Gnome2::GConf either from or from CPAN (as soon as both update their state).

On a releated note: as the next release of Gtk2 will support GTK+ 2.10, and it’ll have printing support, I plan to discontinue the Gnome2::Print module binding libgnomeprint and libgnomeprintui; obviously, I’ll still maintain this module, but I don’t plan making any new releases unless for (serious) bug fixing.

The Mariner’s Revenge Song

From the libegg’s ChangeLog:

2006-05-07  Emmanuele Bassi  

	Finally deprecate EggRecent.  So long, and thanks for all the bugs.

	* libegg/recent-files/egg-recent-model.h: Deprecate the EggRecent code,
	now that GTK 2.9.0 is out; if you want to compile it, you
	must define EGG_ENABLE_RECENT_FILES before including

This is the first version of the so-called “Ramone Deprecation System”: it means that if you blindly re-sync with libegg HEAD, or if you decide to use the EggRecent code now, a guy called Ramone will be sent directly to your home by the Gtk+ Cabal; he will politely knock at your door and once you’ve opened, he will beat the crap out of you.

Next, the Gtk+ Cabal will implement the “Puppies Deprecation System”. And believe me: you don’t want to know how that works.

Now listening: The Decemberists, Picaresque

Gtk+ 2.9.0 released

Finally, the first development release of GTK+ (codenamed The Magic Project Ridley aka libgnome sucks release by a developer whose name won’t be disclosed in this blog) has been finally sealed by Matthias Clasen yesterday, after battling with make distcheck.

There is so much goodness in this release that I’ll just wait for Kris to make a blog about it, and link the NEWS file and let you see the enormous work that has been done in the past nine months. So, find the contributor nearest to you and hug him (or buy him a beer); to help this hugging (and beer buying) procedure, here’s a list:

Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, Akkana Peck, Alexander Larsson, Alexander Nedotuskov, Alex Graveley, Anders Carlsson, Andrei Yurkevich, Andrew Conkling, Andrew S. Dixon, Arjan van de Ven, Arnaud Charlet, Bastien Nocera, Behdad Esfahbod, Benedikt Meurer, Benjamin Berg, Benjamin Otte, Benoît Carpentier, Bodo-Merle Sandor, Bogdan Nicula, Brad Taylor, Calum Benson, Carlos Garnacho Parro, Carl Worth, Chris Lahey, Chris Lord, Christian Kirbach, Christian Lohmaier, Christian Neumair, Christian Persch, Christian Stimming, Christophe Belle, Claudio Saavedra, Clytie Siddall, Colin Walters, Cory Dodt, Coverity, Crispin Flowerday, Damien Carbery, Damon Chaplin, Daniel Drake, Daniel Kasak, Dan Winship, Dave Andreoli, David Baron, David Trowbridge, Davyd Madeley, Denis Auroux, Dennis Cranston, Diego González, Dom Lachowicz, Donald Straney, Duncan Coutts, Ed Catmur, Elie De Brauwer, Emmanuel Rodriguez, Eric Cazeaux, Evert Verhellen, Francisco Javier F. Serrador, Frederic Croszat, Guilherme de S. Pastore, Guillaume Cottenceau, Gustavo Carneiro, Hamed Malek, Hans Breuer, Havoc Pennington, Hylke van der Schaaf, Ian McDonald, Itai Bar-Haim, Jaap A. Haitsma, James Su, Jean-Yves Lefort, Jens Granseuer, Jeremy Cook, Jody Goldberg, Joe Marcus Clarke, Joe Wreschnig, Johan Dahlin, John Cupitt, John Ehresman, John Finlay, John Palmieri, John Spray, Jonathan Blandford, Jorn Baayen, JP Rosevaar, Jürg Billeter, Kalle Vahlmann, Kathy Fernandez, Kazuki Iwamoto, Kean Johnston, Kjartan Maraas, Kristian Rietveld, Larry Ewing, Leena Gunda, Lillian Angel, Li Yuan, Lorenzo Gil Sanchez, Maciej Katafiasz, Magnus Bergmann, Markku Vire, Mark McLoughlin, Marko Anastasov, Mark Wielaard, Mart Raudsepp, Martyn Russell, Mathias Hasselmann, Matthijs Douze, Maxim Udushlivy, Michael Emmel, Michael Natterer, Milosz Derezynski, Morten Welinder, Murray Cumming, Nickolay V. Shmyrev, Nicolas Setton, Niklas Knutsson, Olexiy Avramchenko, Owen Taylor, Paolo Borelli, Paolo Maggi, Peter Breitenlohner, Peter Harvey, Peter Lund, Peter Zelezny, Philip Langdale, Raphael Slinckx, Ray Strode, Richard Hult, Robert Ögren, Rodney Dawes, Ross Burton, Ryan Lovett, Sadrul Habib Chowdhury, Sebastien Bacher, Søren Sandmann, Stanislav Brabec, Stefan Kost, Stephane Chauveau, Steve Chaplin, Steve Frécinaux, Sven Herzberg, Sven Neumann, Thomas Broyer, Thomas Fitzsimmons, Thomas Klausner, Thomas Leonard, Tim Evans, Tim Janik, Todd Berman, Tommi Komulainen, Torbjörn Andersson, Tor Lillqvist (and his Evil Twin), Torsten Schoenfeld, Tze’ela Hebron, Vincent Untz, Wolfgang Thaller, Wouter Bolsterlee, Yang Hong, Yevgen Muntyan, Yong Wang. And, obviously, our fearless maintainer Matthias Clasen.

Kudos to all of them.