Gnome2::GConf 1.021

The “An Address Indicates Where It Is” release.

New release of the Perl bindings for GConf, in time for the incoming GNOME 2.13.4 release.

This version sports a bindings for the Gnome2::GConf::Engine::get_for_addresses method of the Gnome2::GConf::Engine class; this method allows the creation of a Gnome2::GConf::Engine for a list of addresses. Many thanks to Laurent Simonneau for letting me know that the method was missing.

The get_for_addresses method was added in the GConf 2.7 cycle, and if you compile Gnome2::GConf against a newer GConf version, you’ll get it. You should be extra careful with it, and check for its usage, since I can’t test it (as well as all the Engine-related methods) using the automated testing platform we use for all the Perl bindings. But, hey: that’s what beta releases are for, aren’t they?

You can find the tarball of this release on the gtk2-perl project page at SourceForge, and hopefully you’ll find it on CPAN too.


Fun with Cairo-perl

cairo-perl clock

Just a little fun with the Cairo Perl bindings. The code is courtesy of the gtkmm tutorial, and can be found here.

Update: since the original website went down, here’s the inlined version of the script:

package Egg::ClockFace;

use warnings;
use strict;

use Glib qw/TRUE FALSE/;
use Gtk2;
use Cairo;
use Math::Trig;

use Glib::Object::Subclass
	signals => {
		expose_event => \&expose,

sub min { return ($_[0] < $_[1] ? $_[0] : $_[1]); }

sub draw
	my $self = shift;
	my $cr = $self->{cr};

	return FALSE unless $cr;

	my $width  = $self->allocation->width;
	my $height = $self->allocation->height;
	$cr->scale($width, $height);
	$cr->translate(0.5, 0.5);
	$cr->set_source_rgba (0.337, 0.612, 0.117, 0.9);
	$cr->arc (0, 0, $self->{radius}, 0, 2 * Math::Trig::pi);
	$cr->set_source_rgba (1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 0.8);

	for (1 .. 12) {
		my $inset = 0.05;


		if ($_ % 3 != 0) {
			$inset *= 0.8;

		$cr->move_to(($self->{radius} - $inset) * cos ($_ * Math::Trig::pi / 6),
		             ($self->{radius} - $inset) * sin ($_ * Math::Trig::pi / 6));
		$cr->line_to($self->{radius} * cos ($_ * Math::Trig::pi / 6),
		             $self->{radius} * sin ($_ * Math::Trig::pi / 6));


	my @time    = localtime;
	my $hours   = $time[2] * Math::Trig::pi / 6;
	my $minutes = $time[1] * Math::Trig::pi / 30;
	my $seconds = $time[0] * Math::Trig::pi / 30;
	# seconds
	$cr->set_line_width($self->{line_width} / 3);
	$cr->set_source_rgba(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.8);
	$cr->move_to(0, 0);
	$cr->line_to(     sin($seconds) * ($self->{radius} * .9),
	             -1 * cos($seconds) * ($self->{radius} * .9));
	# minutes;
	$cr->set_source_rgba(0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.8);
	$cr->move_to(0, 0);
	$cr->line_to(     sin($minutes + $seconds / 60) * ($self->{radius} * 0.8),
	             -1 * cos($minutes + $seconds / 60) * ($self->{radius} * 0.8));
	# hours
	$cr->set_source_rgba(0.117, 0.337, 0.612, 0.9);
	$cr->move_to(0, 0);
	$cr->line_to(     sin($hours + $minutes / 12.0) * ($self->{radius} * 0.5),
	             -1 * cos($hours + $minutes / 12.0) * ($self->{radius} * 0.5));
	# dot
	$cr->arc(0, 0,  $self->{line_width} / 3.0, 0, 2 * Math::Trig::pi);

	return TRUE;

sub expose
	my ($self, $event) = @_;

	my $cr = Gtk2::Gdk::Cairo::Context->create($self->window);
	$cr->rectangle ($event->area->x,
	$self->{cr} = $cr;

	$self->{timeout} = Glib::Timeout->add(1000, sub {
			my $self = shift;
			my $alloc = $self->allocation;
			my $rect = Gtk2::Gdk::Rectangle->new(0, 0, $alloc->width, $alloc->height);
			$self->window->invalidate_rect($rect, FALSE);

			return TRUE;
		}, $self) unless $self->{timeout};

	return FALSE;

	my $self = shift;

	$self->{line_width} = 0.05;
	$self->{radius}     = 0.42;

	my $self = shift;

	Glib::Source->remove($self->{timeout}) if $self->{timeout};


package main;

use Gtk2 '-init';

my $window = Gtk2::Window->new('toplevel');
my $clock = Egg::ClockFace->new;

$window->signal_connect(destroy => sub { Gtk2->main_quit; });





Finally, after a more then a year of testing inside CVS, Gtk2::SourceView made it to the public.

This Perl module is a wrapper around gtksourceview, the C library used primarily by Gedit. I’ve began writing it in January 2004, after working on Gnome2::Print (libgnomeprint(ui) Perl bindings) and Gnome2::GConf (GConf bindings). After the 1.0 release of the C library, I left it bit-rot inside CVS; this August, Torsten kaffee Schoenfeld did a major overhaul in order to update the build system with the latest and gratest from Glib/Gtk2, and also wrapped many of the remaining objects and methods.

Yesterday evening, I was asked for a release on #gtk-perl, and – while at it – I’ve added the accessor methods for the Gtk2::SourceView::TagStyle object, which were left unbound. I’ll do another round in order to wrap the remaining methods and add some more tests inside HEAD.

This also marks my first release on CPAN, so yay for me

DBus Perl Bindings/3

It seems that my work on a D-Bus perl binding was duplicating the (excellent) work of Daniel P. Berrange.

Not that I’m complaining: I badly needed to understand how D-Bus worked, and creating a binding was the fastest way to understand the inner workings of D-Bus.

Well, all in all I learned much, and now I volunteered for giving a hand to Daniel if he needs it. This is the beauty of F/OSS.

DBus Perl Bindings/2

After four hours straight of hacking, double-checking references, learning D-Bus and the intricacies of Perl XS programming, I have a preliminary draft of perl bindings for D-Bus.

At the moment, they do nothing, since there isn’t much more than the DBus::Connection object, but they are loading correctely, and the approach is right.

The API should resemble the C one, with a perlish twist. A simple service lister program should be:

  use DBus;
  # we could use this class method...
  my $bus = DBus->get_session_bus;
  # or just the DBus::Bus class...
  #my $bus = DBus::Bus->get('session');
  # the result is the same: $bus will contain a reference to the session bus.
  # but it is also a perl hash reference, so it could hold something, such a string:
  $bus->{service} = 'org.freedesktop.DBus';
  # then we could use them in order to get a service
  my $service = $bus->get_service($bus->{service});
  # $service is also a perl hashref, so we could use it to store some more strings:
  $service->{path} = '/org/freedesktop/DBus';
  $service->{interface} = 'org.freedesktop.DBus';
  # and the get the object:
  my $object = $service->get_object($service->{path}, $service->{interface});
  # here's the remote method call:
  print "Service: $_\n" foreach ($object->ListServices);
dbus-perl screenshot
Obligatory screenshot of the bindings

I plan to make the low-level bindings work as soon as this weekend.

Future plans: creating a DBus::Object::Subclass pragmatic module, similar to Glib’s Glib::Object::Subclass, that permits the creation of D-Bus aware objects. This could be tricky, but I’m really optimistic.


After being in Florence with Marta for just about two days, I’ve received the “go ahead” from the gtk2-perl team, and committed my patch for the GKeyFile bindings (closing bug #301171). Now you can parse the .desktop files directly in Perl. Hurray for me.

Gtk2::Recent and recent-files

Gtk2::Recent status: Finally, the libegg/recent-files bindings for Perl hit the gtk2-perl CVS server (well, at least the authenticated CVS server; anonymous CVS should be updated in 24 hours).

recent-files status: On a related note, I mailed James Willcox (the recent-files maintainer), asking him if this library is still actively maintained, and stepping up for help (triaging bugs, reviewing patches, applying them, and possibly development).

I’ve some ideas, like the creation of a Gnome library based on the actual recent-files code, depending on libgnomevfs and some other stuff, which monitors the recent files file and their state (if local, with the option for remote file checking, maybe using a GConf preference). It will have a RecentMenu widget, composed of RecentMenuItems, for visualization – thus simplifying the code:

  RecentModel *model = gnome_recent_model_new (RECENT_MODEL_ORDER_MRU);
  GtkWidget *menu = gnome_recent_menu_new (model);
  GtkWidget *menuitem = gtk_image_menu_item_new (GTK_STOCK_CLEAR);

  g_signal_connect (G_OBEJCT (menu), "activate", G_CALLBACK (on_recent_activate), NULL);
  g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (menuitem), "activate", G_CALLBACK (on_clear_activate), model);

  gnome_recent_menu_set_show_trailing_separator (GNOME_RECENT_MENU (menu), TRUE);
  gnome_recent_menu_append_item (GNOME_RECENT_MENU (menu), menuitem);

  gtk_widget_show (menuitem);
  gtk_widget_show (menu);

Then, you could simply attach this menu as a GtkMenuItem submenu.

Future plans: See here for some neat ideas (not from me) about the recent stuff handling.


I began working on a perl binding for the key file parser inside Glib. I have an implementation almost ready, albeit not usable right now.

I’d like to translate a key file structure to the more perlish equivalent of an associative array; that is, I want to translate this:

  # comment

Into this:

  print $keyfile->{Section}->{comment}; # prints "comment"
  print $keyfile->{Section}->{intkey}; # prints "42"

While skimming through the gkeyfile.[ch] files, I’ve also noticed that you can’t create a key file in code, even though the infrastructure is in place (you can create an empty object, and you can remove groups and keys from a filled object). Thus I’ve created a bug inside Gnome’s bugzilla with a proper patch to expose the addition of groups and keys (here). I’ll notify the gtk-devel mailing list, and see if someone wants to review (and apply) my patch.

On the language binding friendlyness side, I’ve also made a patch that transforms the GKeyFile structure in a reference counted object, but I won’t submit it, since it seems that no structs inside Glib core are refcounted. Pity, but I learned something new.