Deskbar-Applet goes stable

I'm proud to announce the first stable release in the GNOME 2.20 release cycle.

It's a very special release for me, because it includes all of my work done during this year's Google Summer of Code. The most notable features are:

  • New GUI that replaces the old Button and Entry UI
  • New modules/handlers API offering the possibility to add more than one action to a match. Matches with more than one action have a '>' on the right. Activating it will display the list of actions.
  • Complete refactoring of the code
  • Polished preferences dialog

Be aware that old handlers won't work with this version of Deskbar-Applet anymore. If you want to write modules for Deskbar-Applet 2.20 check out Writing new-style modules for Deskbar-Applet.

Thanks to everyone that helped during the 2.20 release cycle on constantly improving Deskbar-Applet.

Two new Deskbar modules

I didn't stop working on new modules for Deskbar-Applet. Today, I bring you two new modules.

First, the Wikipedia Suggest module that works just like the Google Suggest module, but with Wikipedia. You type in something and the module will suggest Wikipedia articles for you. You can change the language you want to use when you go to preferences select Wikipedia Suggest and click the "More..." button.

Final GSoC report

Google Summer of Code 2007 ended today and I'm really happy I was accepted. I'm both satisfied with and proud about the work I did during those three months. I had the opportunity to work on Deskbar-Applet during the 2.20 cycle. That means that GNOME 2.20 will already feature all my work what makes me really proud. Hopefully, the people will also recognize that the improvements I brought to Deskbar-Applet are great and hopefully most of the people will adept to the GUI.

Let's start over

First of all, yes, button and entry mode are gone and won't come back in the near future.
Presenting my work to the broader audience last week resulted in the worst scenario I could ever think of. Last week I spared to effort to improve the GUI and navigation. Some ideas came from the feedback posted in my blog or in the bug tracker, too. Also, I was frustrated at first, the feedback really helped.

See Deskbar with/in action(s)

My last two reports contained no news, but since university is over I spend a lot of time on Deskbar-Applet. Most notable I added actions. We now have modules, matches and actions. Modules produce matches and matches have actions. This way a match can have more actions, e.g. open url in browser and copy url to clipboard. If a match has more than one action you will see a list of actions after you selected the match. If it doesn't Deskbar-Applet will behave like it did without actions. You can see how it works in this movie.

Unforeseeable high number of changes

Despite my last week's prediction that I won't have much time to work on Deskbar, I found some time to fix quite some bugs. Most notable, the epiphany and desklicious modules should work now and no duplicate search results will be displayed now. Furthermore, cleaning up the GConf schema file had the side effect that merging the translations doesn't take a disproportional amount of time now. Therefore, you can actually build Deskbar without pain.
I also added default icons for each category, i.e. if you don't assign a match an icon a default icon is displayed according to the category. I got question though: Is there a list of icons I can safely depend on? For now I just searched /usr/share/icons on my Ubuntu machine to get the names for the icons. Last but no least, I updated my guide Writing new-style modules for Deskbar-Applet to reflect the changes since the first version.

First release of new Deskbar-Applet

In the last week I wasn't able to work much on Deskbar-Applet and this will continue till the end of this month, because the final exams are coming closer. Nevertheless, I, with the generous help of Nickolay Shmyrev, was able to solve a threading issue that almost made me go insane. That means no more random Xlib errors. Because this bug has been solved now I decided on releasing the first tarballs of the new Deskbar-Applet. Be aware that your old modules won't work with the new version. See my guide Writing new-style modules for Deskbar-Applet for more details.
Last but not least I encourage you to download, install and most important test the new Deskbar-Applet and let me know what you think.

Download:
http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/deskbar-applet/2.19/

Work on Deskbar is slowing down

Unfortunatly, I made even less changes to Deskbar-Applet than last week. I did some minor changes and started on integrating <?php print l("new-stuff-manager", "node/3"); ??> support for Deskbar.

I ran into a very annoying problem with threads in GTK+. I know that GTK+ is only thread-aware and you have to surround the critical parts with gtk.gdk.threads_enter() and gtk.gdk.threads_leave(). I already did this where the results are added to the ListStore/TreeView storing the matches. However, now and then I get a Xlib asynchronous error. I couldn't find a situation where I can reproduce this error reliably. I would be glad if anybody could give some tips on working with threads and GTK+.