R.I.P. Applets?

Nelson Creek grave by Canterbury Heritage. License:

Nelson Creek grave by Canterbury Heritage. License:

One thing that concerns me about the new shiny GNOME Shell is that there are no clear plans to support applets/widgets. Although it has been discussed previously nothing has changed as far as I can tell. In my opinion it’s a big flaw if a modern desktop environment provides no easy way to extend it via applets. All the major desktops currently provide a way to do this, so what’s the reason that GNOME Shell decided to not to. The only people that seem to care about this issue are Sandy Armstrong of Tomboy and myself.

If the current situation doesn’t change that means that Deskbar-Applet is definitely going to die. To be honest, I already spend minimum time on Deskbar-Applet during the last release cycle but this issue makes me feel like no body cares about applets anyway. Would someone actually care if Deskbar-Applet is not part of GNOME 3.0? I was told that GNOME Shell can be extended with JavaScript, but that’s no solution. I’m sure neither me nor the Tomboy developers are willing to re-write their application. The “solution” proposed in this blog post sounds hackish to me, a temporary solution at best. It’s not about Deskbar-Applet or Tomboy itself, the problem is that a framework to extend the shell with applets/widgets is completely absent.

So what will it be? R.I.P. applets?

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Sebastian Pölsterl
Post-Doctoral Researcher

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.