Deskbar-Applet 2.19.91 released

Regardless the end of GSoC 2007 I continued my work on Deskbar-Applet.
Today, version 2.19.91 has been released. It features numerous bug fixes. Including fixes that make navigation behave similar to Deskbar < 2.19. In addition, you can now click on the '>' on the right of matches with more than one action to switch to the list of actions. This replaces that you have to press Ctrl when clicking on a match to switch to the list of actions. To get back to the list of matches you can now click the new “Back to Matches” button. Also notable is that the GUI will be displayed in the center of the screen at all time.
If you want to write your own module you can make use of the new ActionFactory that returns a list of actions depending on a file's MIME-type. Check out Writing new-style modules for Deskbar-Applet.
All in all, I think this release should make using Deskbar-Applet a little bit more comfortable.

You can download it at

According to bugzilla many people have problems like in #470842 or #470850. This is caused when restoring items from history. Some classes changed since the last version and can't be restored. Just delete your history file (~/.gnome2/deskbar-applet/history_new.pickle) and you should be fine again.


It’s really poor form to not publish the comments. Why do you want to avoid facing possible criticism?

I was unable to compile it on gutys. I wouldn't know which *-dev packages I need to install. Configure is giving me errors though. Will still hit Gutsy .. now they are in upstream version freeze?

In reply to by sebp

I've updated to, what i think is the latest version of deskbar.
There is one major usuability issue left: i always need to vertical resize the window!

Reproceable steps:
1. Search something in deskbar that has many results
2. Notice that if you type too fast it doesn't get very large (about 5% of the screen)
3. Vertically resize the window to be bigger
4. Press escape
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you get tired of constantly resizing the window

Maybe i'm just typing too fast, I dunno. But it's annoying. Just be a window please.
So I once again, plea for these tweaks:

1. Make it a normal window that remembers its position and dimensions
2. Allow the window to be maximized (and remember if this is the case)
3. Add a clear entry box next to the search field
3. When the search field is empty display history results as matches
4. Remove the history dropdown box
5. (give the option to) get rid of the groups of results (they just take of screen space)
6. (give the option to) just show the first or a few yahoo-results
7. either make the window modal, or hide it when it looses focus

Most importantly, please remove the hacks that make it impossible to setup some rules about the dimension with compiz-rules plugin. The auto-center and auto-dimensions are annoying and do not work correctly anyway.

That would be no 1. usuability issue left. That we keep needing to resize the thing, and that yahoo returns too many result (we just want a few!). The history tweaks would be nice though.

In reply to by Ralf (not verified)

I fixed the resizing problem you mentioned in svn and it'll be available in the final 2.20 release.
Refering to your other points:
1-2) We're currently discussing this
3-5) This are all UI changes and we're in UI freeze. Therefore, please suggest those improvements for 2.22 at
6) Good idea, but time is running out. Therefore, I don't think it'll make 2.20. Please file a bug report at to make sure that we don't forget it.
7) I tried to achieve that the window hides when it looses focus, but wasn't able to get it working
Thanks a lot for the help to improve Deskbar. I highly appreciate it.

Like the recent changes! Thanks.
Some small things I'd like to address (if it isn't too late yet):

  • the icons in the history drop down seem to differ from the ones in the main search list (checked it for web searches and launching applications)
  • using the history icon for history search results isn't useful: the icon doesn't relate to the action, just to the way it was found. Using the original icon of the action would make it more recognizable between other actions
  • When search result list is hidden, the dialog is small. The search box then jumps upwards when you start typing, slowing you down when relocating it. Maybe the small dialog could be positioned a bit higher than the center of the screen, so the search box wouldn't have to jump up when the result list is displayed.
  • A little broom like the one in the evolution search box would be nice to have to easily clear the search box

In reply to by Peter Van den Bosch (not verified)

  1. The icons in history refer to actions. The icons of the search results refer to the match, i.e. the "thing" that has been found.
  2. History results have the icon of their action now
  3. I know about the behavior, but it will stay that way for this release cycle
  4. I think someone already suggested that in bugzilla, but I'm not sure whether it's still pending or if it has been denied

In reply to by sebp

I appreciate your responsiveness!

The history icons aren't those of the actions though. I am using gutsy's 2.19.91 deskbar.


Eek :) What happened - why did it change? What was the problem with the old way?
Any real usability test done on either the bar or the window?

Problems (After 2 minutes of use...)
The secondary actions are not discoverable. I didn't know about them until reading this page. Since when does ">" imply that using right button shows more actions?

The window is about 4 entries high with a scrollable window.
It blocks my current workspace with a popup in the center? Chances are that what i was doing already used that space. (Like this blog post).

Sorry to say but currently old UI was better :(..
this is with version: 2.19.92.

In reply to by Frej Soya (not verified)

I'm totally agree with Frej Soya.
Old UI was better.

Please, it will be great if users can choose between new and old UI. Thanks