First of all, I want to apologize for the long time without any news, but live's busy.
This year I deciced to apply for awesome Google Summer of Code for the first time. I applied for 'Refactoring Deskbar-Applet' as part of GNOME. Thanks to Raphaël Slinckx who's part of GNOME's 2007 SoC comittee, maintainer of Deskbar-Applet and last but least my maintainer for this year's GSoC, I was accepted.
My task is to refactor Deskbar-Applet to make it easier for 3rd-party applications to embed Deskbar and to make Deskbar maintainable again. I already did some analyses of Deskbar's current architecture. It turned out that especially the GUI part is a big mess and full of hacks to solve focus issues.
In addition, I learned that Big Board is already using Deskbar as a embed widget and they're looking forward to see progress in this field. John Stowers told me that he adopted Deskbar's plugin system for conduit and was able to speed up module loading time by 30%. That's great news and I'm definitely grateful for his efforts.
I'm currently analyzing the code and thinking about a better design. The plan is to seperate the core completly from the GUI part and create a D-Bus interface so that 3rd-party applications can access Deskbar easier. Moreover, Deskbar will most likely come as a single GUI in the future (no button/entry mode anymore). Raphael also suggested to extend the handler API in order to allow actions for each search results. E.g. if you find a file you could open it, copy it or e-mail it to a friend.
I'm looking forward to all this tasks and hopefully the new, better Deskbar-Applet will be included in GNOME 2.20.