News From Busyland

  • November 25, 2009
  • Jannis Pohlmann

This is just a short heads up concerning Tumbler. I just merged Philip’s last critical commit to complete support for specialized thumbnailer services into master. We’ll have to give this some testing but I’m quite optimistic that we’ll be able to release 0.1.0 this weekend or next week. A new release of Thunar will follow shortly after that in preparation for 1.2 (to be released along with Xfce 4.8), supporting virtual and remote file systems based on GIO.

I’ve been pretty occupied lately. Aside from learning for my final university exams I finished my short thesis on porting Thunar to GIO. I already got the very positive results back and I’m going to publish the official version of the thesis soon. Unfortunately, being busy has started to cause not-so-positive developments as well. I haven’t had much time to hack on anything lately and my attendence of FOSDEM 2010 is uncertain. I might still go but I failed to organize anything related to Xfce this year, leaving us without a devroom and talks. So it’d be more like a private meetup rather than an organized team trip with the goal to represent Xfce.

Another consequence of me being busy is that Xfce 4.8 might include less features than planned, at least with regards to the ones I had in mind. For now let’s just hope that I’ll find a little more time for hacking the next months. It doesn’t look too well right now but who knows…

November Xfce desktop

  • November 12, 2009
  • Josh Saddler

Decided I'd shake things up a bit this month, after keeping the same look for nearly three straight months. Thus, I present:


icons: Area o.43
gtk+: Rele (Rezlooks engine)
xfwm4: Rezlooks-gtk (yes, it is confusingly named)
background: rassilon

It's grungy, but rather sleek. Surprisingly easy on the eyes, too. The lighter elements of the Rele gtk+ theme aren't overpoweringly white, but are just light enough to provide a decent contrast to the generally darker Area icons.

There's also an uncluttered version here.

I've been looking to assemble themes that are grungy, and themes that are warmer-yet-wintry. I like winter. I still have some hope that these 80 degree weeks will come to an end soon. We're almost to the middle of November. Surely we'll see gray sky, cool breezes, and maybe even rain here in SoCal at some point, right? Right? Well, if not, I can at least put it on my desktop.

Help needed for Xfce4 Screenshooter documentation

  • November 11, 2009
  • Jérôme Guelfucci

The current git version of Xfce4 Screenshooter is starting to be in a pretty good shape and I think it is almost ready for a new release. Unfortunately, a lot of things changed during this release cycle so the documentation needs a major refactoring. I need your help for this !

I think this is a good opportunity for someone willing to start contributing to Xfce, I'm ready to provide all the help needed to build the git version of Xfce4 Screenshooter, to explain how the documentation system works and to cooperate to get the documentation ready as soon as possible. I see this as an opportunity to attract new contributors (this task does not require any particular skills, just time, will and a good English level).

Feel free to contact me by mail.

New Personal Bugzilla Policy

  • November 1, 2009
  • Jannis Pohlmann

I’m herewith announcing a new policy I’m going to follow when dealing with reports on bugzilla.xfce.org. This one goes out to all ignorant wise-asses among you claiming to be superior to us, thinking they are the center of the universe:

If you behave disrespectful, insulting, arrogant or demanding when reporting bugs or feature requests, I will close your bugs with WONTFIX. I don’t care about your name, I don’t care about your title, and I don’t care about your reputation. I do care about social skills and willingness to do your homework. Contributions of all sorts are welcome but as soon as you’re impolitely trying to tell me what I have done wrong or what I have to do in your opinion, you’re out. I call it the social intelligence requirement and it is a must. The more experience you claim to have the higher I’ll set the barrier for you to fulfill the requirement.

Thanks for your attention.

New features of xfce4-notifyd

  • November 1, 2009
  • Jérôme Guelfucci

Back in June, I started to hack on xfce4-notifyd to implement a smart notification placement. In the current stable version, if more two notifications are triggered at the same time, the new ones overlap with the old ones which makes them unreadable. My goal was to shift the notifications so that they would be all visible at the same time.

This turned out to be far more complicated than I had first thought, particularly because of multiple monitors support, but this has finally been committed to the master branch of xfce4-notifyd. I would like to thank Brian who took a lot of time to review my patch and gave me a lot of kicks advises on how to make things work or improve them.

Today, Brian also implemented a cool feature: it is now possible to display gauges (progress bars) or only an icon in a notification, as with notify-osd. Steve Dodier already took advantage of that in xfce4-volumed, which allows you to change the volume using the volume keys of your keyboard and displays beautiful notifications.

Xfce4 Volumed

The following screen cast shows how things look currently:

New features of xfce4-notifyd (Jérôme Guelfucci) from Xfce on Vimeo.

As you can see notifications are displayed using columns. If a side of the screen is reached, another column is started. That way, you never get two overlapping notifications (well, in fact this can happen if the screen is full of notifications, but that shouldn't happen very often!). If you have several monitors, notifications are displayed on the active one. If a monitor is unplugged, notifications are moved to the other one.