Small Anjuta feature update

24. November 2010

After we have bothered a lot in the past months to build everything against the GNOME 3.0 stuff and fixing lots of bugs it is time to introduce a tiny new feature:

Compiler errors shown as tooltips of the editor marker

Our beloved interface designer used in about any non-trivial GNOME development isn’t really in a good shape for 3.0 currently:

  • Doesn’t build against 3.0 libraries
  • Doesn’t include all the fancy new GTK+ widgets: GtkComboBoxText and friends

Even worse that really few people are working on it, most important Tristan, but he is busy making GTK+ awesome and so has little time to fix things up. And in addition, glade is one of those many applications that aren’t trivial to port to GTK+ 3.0 because they use a lot of API that has been deprecated while not having an obvious replacement.

While taking about all the bad things there is some light on the horizon. I created the offscreen-gtk3 which can be build against the latest GTK+ stack. It even starts up and you can see windows, unfortunately though you cannot see any widgets because the offscreen rendering is broken. Offscreen rendering is needed as glade cannot any longer embed GtkWindows directly as GTK+ expects windows to have no toplevel and GTK_WIDGET_SET_FLAGS to hack around this is gone. The basic idea is to render everything to an offscreen window and then embed it inside the glade window. In the past hours I played a bit with this but couldn’t figure out how to make it work.

So, this is your turn: For experienced GDK/GTK+/Cairo hackers it shouldn’t be too difficult to make this working. If you have an idea that works, just commit it to that branch. When we have a half-way working glade I am pretty sure it will be possible to add the remaining widgets and make a rocking release for 3.0!

Goodbye Berlin!

17. October 2010

I will miss you!

The browser myth

11. October 2010

(In reply to Henri’s post)

Most people will probably answer that the web browser is the application they use most often. That might be true, but is it the application they spent their time with when they are working? I certainly hope not!

So, let’s dive a bit more into the topic and think about what people are doing during their work hours:

  • Acquiring information: web browser, PDF, Image viewer
  • Communication: Mail client, Phone, IM (no, people are not using GMail for their work mail, believe me, they use Outlook or Lotus Notes usually)
  • Creating content/working: Office applications, specialised software (CAD, Software development, publishing, etc.)

I haven’t made any statistics of course but I feel this boils down to about 20% acquiring information, 30% communication and 50% creating content or at least this is probably what your employer wants you to do. Basically that would mean you only spent maximum of 20% of your time with web browsing while of course the web browser might be open in the background all the time.

Windows doesn’t have a 90% market share because it integrates the web but because it has an ecosystem that provides all this other stuff people need to do.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working on better integration on web applications or the web in general but we must know that our target audience is most likely not the professional desktop. There are reasons why many people have a MacBook but work with Windows in their company. There are reasons why people use their iPhone for web stuff only but still have a Windows PC at home. It is because besides all the cloud discussion taking place nearly nobody is creating content with web applications that isn’t made for the purpose of web publication.

If you have statistics, prove me wrong, please! Maybe the company I am working at is totally unrepresentative…

Update: Many peopple comment that they use GMail and Google Office Apps for their work. I doubt that this is general true. Most people reading my blog (or more likely Planet GNOME) are probably geeks or working in a very computer oriented environment.

However, I didn’t look at what apps I am using most but what the people I work with in an engeering department use most. They usually have about 5-20 windows open at a time where the browser is one of them while the work in Microsoft Word or Excel most of the time.

Maybe there are also big differences between Europe and other parts of the world because people and companys here are caring about privacy and data security a lot and therefore don’t move their important data and mail into the cloud and therefore aren’t using Google Apps.

I also really wonder if you all use the web browser for programming. I have never seen someone using a browser based Eclipse, Emacs or Vim even on very geeky conferences. And if programming is your job I certainly hope this is where you spent most of your time.

If you wonder, there already is a discussion on this bug report.

Today, I got the long awaited approval mail from the board for the hackfest (well, for the travel sponsership for people attending). This means the hackfest will take place as planned from

December 2nd to December 5th 2010

This also means this is your last change to think about attending! All the people listed in the wiki should have received additional information about the next steps. If not or if you have any questions, please contact me!

Andreas Proschofsky made an interview with Jono Bacon that is really worth reading.

Some comments on this from my side:

Actually that’s all upstream work, it’s just that Ayatana is the upstream

Well, it is not. If you customize an upstream project (GNOME) you cannot call your result upstream anymore, it is downstream. And Jono doesn’t mention that Canonical requires copyright-assignment for all of the parts of Ayatana.

Update: My original wording was: “Technically upstream means not done by a distribution (downstream)” which seems to have led to some confusion so I try to clarify that.

Historically a lot of the work has been done in upstream GNOME but that’s changing

Prove? I don’t think it’s changing even if Canonical probably wants to change that.

So sure it’s a delicate situation but it’s the same with Red Hat building GNOME Shell which is a completely different user experience to GNOME.

As I think that Jono knows better I wonder why he is oversimplifying things here. While GNOME Shell is pushed by Red Hat everybody was invited to contribute and there is also a community of people not working for Red Hat that is heavily contributing to the Shell. GNOME Shell is not a Red Hat project.

Part of it is the fact that the design team that we’ve got working on Ubuntu has a different set of ideas. So besides the mobile space – where we are building a new User Experience with Unity – the focus for Ubuntu is GNOME with these additions.

I think everybody in GNOME would love to work together with the Canonical design team (and luckily it is happening sometimes). If they would present different ideas how they see the future of GNOME (Shell) there would be really nice discussion IMHO.


I really don’t mean to say that Canonical is evil because that would be unfair. They support GNOME in various ways with sponsership, patches, bug-reports and ideas.

As they are a company aiming on making money I can kind of understand their strategy on trying to be better, more innovative and different from other Linux distributions. This is their legal goal with Project Ayatana and it is one of the reasons they do not care too much about pushing things upstream.

But I think they make a mistake if they think that they can replace thousands of volunteers working on upstream projects with developers they have to pay in-house. In short term this may lead to more innovation but in the long term they will suffer in quality and quantity.  You might remember the story with Novell’s main menu which was also innovative but didn’t ever end up being widely used.

Anyway, it is far more important to look into the future than into the past. This will also mean that people should push upstream work and GNOME Shell on the Ubuntu Developer Summit and I am sure there are many people there who care a lot about GNOME and Ubuntu.

Save the icons

7. August 2010

Stop Vincent from removing these important icons from gnome-desktop module:

Be honest, can a desktop live without these?

So, finally the Python plugin originally developed by Ishan Chattopadhyaya in GSoc 2009 has made it’s way into the master branch after some heavy modifications.?? As usual the auto-completion and calltips are fully asynchronous and won’t be in your way while typing. You need to have the rope libraries installed for it to work (and that’s not checked for now…) and they are used as backend. As I am not a Python programmer I cannot really say if the support is complete but it shows a reasonable amount of information. As python is not a strong-types language this are actually a bit tricky and all the dirty work is done inside rope.

Enough words, some screenshots:

Autocompletion for python objects


Python calltips


Patches welcome…

All Python programmers are encouraged to test this, give feedback (Bugzilla) and ideally write patches to improve this.

(cross-posted on Anjuta News Blog)

GUADEC follow-up

2. August 2010


As others have mentioned, GUADEC was great. Thanks a lot to the organizers. Especially it rather felt like being part of a big family instead of just being a guest there. And I think that was the first GUADEC where people started dancing. So congratulation to Stephane, Lenka and Patricia for winning the dancing awards!

It is also always great that people not yet involved with GNOME come to GUADEC because they want to become a part of the project.


With the discussion about delaying GNOME 3 and after watching the gnome-shell talks I wondered a bit if we go into the right direction. Actually, I think we do though nobody can say today if all this will be successful. My point is that we basically copied the desktop idea from others in the past years with little changes and little innovation. Now we really try to innovate which brings the risk of failure but also the big chance to really increase our market share. Remember that we had this 10×10 goals?

So, as conclusion, we might fail but at least we tried.

Development Documentation and Tools Hackfest

The wiki page has been updated to finally contain a date, which is 2nd to 5th of December 2010. This might still change if it causes problems for too many people, so please contact me if you cannot make it on that weekend. Also we still need sponsorship and I didn’t get an answer from the board, yet. Stay tuned!


While still trying to release a new development version of anjuta I mostly worked on getting the python support from GSoC merged. There is still a lot to polish but the basic stuff is now set up in the python-support branch and will hopefully hit master soon. This will eventually lead to auto-indentation, auto-completion and calltips for Python.