I’ve mostly been working on non-ui related components for OpenMoko recently (working on the package management system, opkg and it’s associated packagekit backend), which gave me a chance to step back from the GUI applications and take a look at some of the areas that could be improved. I posted some of my thoughts on the openmoko-devel mailing list (thread here) and got some quite interesting and encouraging responses.
So, I set to work building some patches. Here are some screenshots of progress:
Phone numbers and contact photos in the address book contact list
Currently work in progress, implementing “Add to contact” in call log
I’m also hoping to get a few theme tweaks in as well. Here’s another game of spot-the-difference (hint, not anything in the number display). And it actually does make it look a lot smarter on the device’s small screen.
I need to find an artist to help me improve the GTK+ theme. Firstly the gradients really need to go because not only do they look ugly with the banding from the 16bit display, they also cause significant performance problems. If anyone wants to help me out, please do drop me an e-mail, or discuss on the openmoko-devel list.
Well, since no one stepped up to take over maintaining art.gnome.org, I decided I really needed to sort it out. I keep getting requests such as “why hasn’t my background been approved yet” and “please delete this submission”. So I have a new idea, that hopefully isn’t so high maintenance:
Hopefully, it will better serve GNOME artists and help encourage people to get involved in GNOME. If you feel like contributing, sources are in GNOME svn: http://svn.gnome.org/svn/art-web/branches/art-hub/
At London LinuxWorld in October 2006, we had a stand promoting and discussing the GNOME project with visitors. As part of that stand, we collected ideas from people about what they liked and disliked about GNOME. While doing a spot of spring cleaning, I came across the dozens of post-it notes that people had written their suggestions on. Shame on me for not getting round to typing up the suggestions until now, but it actually makes for even more interesting reading to see what features and bugs have already been fixed.
- Browse mode as default
- Desktop search
- GNOME Evolution – pressing space bar marks messages as “read”. Button to go to next unread message
- Good menus
- Good integartion, smooth
- GNOME-VFS is too specific
- Software I can use without thinking about it! Love it!
- Need IDE with good debugging support
- Centralised location for editing application associations
- Better thumbnail cache use. e.g. delete thumbs not used for 30 days
- Needs to be more geeky
- GConf on NFS-homed rollhout (universtity) between Solaris/GNOME
- Good – slick system; Bad – missing certain functions
- File save expansion sucks
- Tabs in nautilus
- GNOME ROS MY SOX
- It’s Free!
- Make windows codecs easier to use and install. WMVs, DVDs, & co, should be a single install tickbox
- Evolution – autosense IMAP/IMAPv4: who the fsck knows what the server is running, or cares?
- Make all desktop configuration scriptable
- Evolution: please implement “Reply and file” (to specific mailbox)
- Memory consumption
- Evolution: (Imap) please replicate locally as the tickbox says!
- (Love) Gstreamer integartion
- Scaling all desktop icons simulatonsusly
- (Love) Inkscape
- Does everything I need
- F-Spot rules
- Keyboard navigation in panel menu
- I like GNOME because cute guys work on the stand
- Configuration of GNOME
- It actually works! Yay!
- So simple my 9 year old neice can use it! Keep it simple
- It does things my way
- Reset option for panel to restart from scratch
- Easy to install RPMs via Centros
- “Expose” & Just Works
- Why can’t I double click top-left corner to close a window (like Win, KDE, CDE, etc)
- Tomboy notes are cool!
- I (heart) GNOME ‘cos KDE sucxors!
- KDE FTW
- Extremely user friendly
- More examples in developer documentation, e.g. graphics
- Windowing is too chunkey, want more elegenat interface
- No alarm clock?
- Memory footprint. Library precaching
- I like how the menus are organised!
- I want to sync a Palm Tunsten T5
- DVB/T Freeuen card doesn’t work or is not easily configurable in Totem.
- File->open new users want a text field to click in before typing a filename
(Personally, I think number 30 is best)
Some good progress on Opkg and it’s PackageKit backend recently. New features such as autoremove and tags have been implemented in Opkg, and PackageKit can now take advantage of them. I’ve also increased the PackageKit method coverage by including description searching and group search, amongst fixing various bugs and improving internal feedback mechanisms.
Opkg now has a mailing list for discussion on future development and current issues.
Here are some screenshots of the GTK+ PackageKit frontend using Opkg as the backend:
Current method coverage shown by pk-backend-status:
Listing packages in a group using the gnome-packagekit frontend:
Searching on the description field and filtering to only view GUI applications:
Slightly off topic, but of interest to OpenMoko/OpenEmbedded developers, is the new Poky SDK, which Rob wrote about. The Anjuta plugin is particularly interesting, because it significantly shortens the development cycle when cross compiling.