Extending the Nautilus scripts support

We all know now about Nautilus Actions, and I think people agreed, while discussing its inclusion in 2.14, on having this much better integrated into Nautilus itself. And, you know, I am in a quest to provide UNIX power to all kinds of users :) So, I’ve been wondering for a few days about some ideas, which can be summarised in a mix of nautilus-actions, Automator and, of course, Nautilus.

What I’m thinking is about the Scripts menu in Nautilus context menu to provide better tools to write scripts. One, the simplest, is to create scripts directly (by allowing the user to enter a command or a full script in any language), and allowing the user the kind of tweaks nautilus-actions offers, like specifiying for which files/protocols to show the script in the menu. The other is to provide a mechanism for writing scripts like what Automator does.

In Automator, there are ‘actions’, which are just calls to AppleScript/Automator modules (and which could be calls to D-BUS services and normal commands in our case), and then there are ‘workflows’, which are combinations of actions in a specific order and with specific input parameters/sources. In our case, a XML file describing all the actions and their relationships, and an accompanying command-line tool to run those files through, could be enough for users to write scripts without even knowing a thing about programming. Experienced users could also define more actions, by just specifying commands to be run. And applications could provide even more actions, via D-BUS.

As you can see, my ideas are not still very clear, so would appreciate any opinion on how this could be done, or if it should be done at all.

Autostarting services

One new feature in GNOME 2.13/2.14 that seems to have gone unadvertised is the support for autostarting applications. You just need to put .desktop files in $prefix/share/gnome/autostart or ~/.config/autostart and all applications there will be started by gnome-session when you log in.

Just a few things to note about this:

  • If your application has another mean to be started (an applet, a config dialog that will start the app and then save itself to the session, like vino, for instance), don’t use this!
  • It doesn’t work very well with session-managed applications (even though it contains checks to not start several instances of the same app), so make sure you use the –sm-disable argument in the Exec field of the .desktop file.
  • You can disable .desktop files either by setting X-GNOME-autostart-enabled to False in the .desktop file or by using the Session Properties capplet.

We’re getting old

25 years ago, on Feb 23 1981, there was a coup d’état, fortunately failed, that tried to get Spain to return to the dark ages of the Franco’s dictature. Because of this “25th anniversary”, I’ve been seeing lots of documentaries (and more to come, specially tomorrow on sat TV) about that day, and so have remembered where I was that day. Yeah, 25 years ago I was alive!

What I remember from that day, being only 8.5 years old, is my father calling home from his office and telling us (my mother, my sister and I) not to get out to the street under any circumstance. And after that, I remember my mother being worried, watching TV and listening to the radio all the time. And, the following morning, with no sleep at all. But what really upset me and my sister about that day was that, when we went to sleep, we were really happy because “something dangerous had happened”, so we thought we wouldn’t have to go to the school the day after. But, when we woke up and my mother told us everything was solved and that we had to go to the school, a huge deception invaded us. Then, more upset we were when we saw some other parents had allowed their children to not go the school.

So many years after that day, there are still a lot of black holes in the investigation, with no “big boss” detained, and lots of conspiracy theories floating around. I will myself read “23F, la verdad”, from Francisco Medina who, the other day, said on TV, while announcing his new book, that some people from most of the political parties at that time knew about the military insurrection and agreed with it. Of course, he said no more, so we’ll have to read the book to find out what and who he talks about.

GNOME user profiles

Very interesting post from Quim about the discussion on what users GNOME should target. It is indeed true we have very large GNOME deployments in many places, so it makes a lot of sense if we try to get those big deployments’ responsibles provide us with much better feedback, so that we can base our ‘we target this kind of users’ in much more detailed data.

I think we, GNOME Spanish community, should try to get people from those big deployments in Extremadura, Andalucía, Valencia, etc more involved in providing feedback to GNOME upstream. So, this is now added to my TODO list.

Killermundi and GNOME Hispano deal

Some months ago, thanks to Tim Ney, we (GNOME Hispano) came to an agreement with Killermundi, an online shop that sells t-shirts of Free Software projects, under which Killermundi is going to sell GNOME t-shirts and give part of the earnings to GNOME Hispano. Now, this agreement is official, so, if you want to wear nice t-shirts and, at the same time, help your favorite desktop, please go by and buy some t-shirts.

I think the shop doesn’t work for countries other than Spain though, but the plan is to use that money to help bringing more Spanish-speaking people (specially from the other side of the Atlantic) to conferences, organizing more conferences, making live CDs and more t-shirts for those conferences, etc.