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Second xfce4-panel devel release, clipman and Greybird releases

  • October 28, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

Most of this post is fairly old news, but still worth to be mentioned.

Also as a small gimmick (and because it was requested in my previous post), here is a gif of the new slide-out animation of xfce4-notifyd 0.4.0

I have read your comments and bugreports and have already been working towards some further improvements of notifyd, so I guess 0.4.1 is around the corner.

Finally, here goes the “historic news”.

xfce4-panel 4.13.1

After a longer waiting time I pushed out another development release of the panel. This one includes among as major change the port to GDBus, which was done by Ali. This means the panel now depends on xfconf 4.13 – recommended is at least 4.13.3 – and is not compatible anymore with xfconf 4.12.

A lot of bugfixes and translation updates accumulated over the last months since 4.13.0, the most prominent one is the fix of drag and drop (one of the bigger known regressions of the Gtk+3 port) thanks to Peter. A nice new improvement is the re-ordering of systray items, which was implemented by Viktor.

xfce4-clipman-plugin 1.4.2

We’ve had a lot of problems with keyboard shortcuts not working reliably with the panel plugin and systray version of clipman so Mike rolled up his sleeves and ported both to GtkApplication. I haven’t had a problem with my keyboard shortcuts since!

Greybird 3.22.5

This release features some small improvements including slimmer CSD/headerbars to save some vertical pixels, initial support for Xfdesktop 4.13 to help all testers of Xfce’s development releases and finally a fix for message dialog buttons.

I have since then been working towards supporting Thunar’s Gtk+3 port better in Greybird, which will be included in the next release.

Xubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” Released

  • October 19, 2017
  • Sean

It’s another great Ubuntu release day, with fresh versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and my personal favorite: Xubuntu

This has been a comparatively quiet development cycle for Xubuntu. With increased development on Xfce as we prepare for Xfce 4.14, less Xubuntu-specific changes took place this cycle. Thankfully, there are still plenty of goodies to get excited about.

  • Appearance Updates: Greybird‘s client side decorations (CSD) have been refreshed and now consume much less space. elementary-xfce, our preferred icon theme, has been updated and includes new device, mimetype, and panel icons. And we have a fancy new wallpaper.
  • Application Updates: This is the first release of Xubuntu to feature GNOME Font Viewer, a handy tool for font management. LibreOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird have been updated to their latest versions (5.4, 56, and 52.4 respectively). On the Xfce side, Dictionary, Genmon Plugin, Mount Plugin, Exo, and Tumbler have been updated to take advantage of the latest GTK+ version and continue the march toward Xfce 4.14.
  • Technical Updates: GTK+ 3.26, Python 3.6, and Linux 4.13 are all included. Thanks to the Ubuntu Desktop team, hardware accelerated video, improved bluetooth audio, and driverless printing round out a solid development cycle.

Screenshots

Download

Download Xubuntu 17.10 from Xubuntu.org.  It’s available in both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties.

What’s Next?

After the release festivities calm down, work will begin on Xubuntu 18.04, our next LTS release. These are always our most active cycles as we polish the work that we’ve been doing the past 18 months and prepare for a 3-year support window. A few things we already have planned…

  • Replacing the Sound Indicator with the Xfce PulseAudio Plugin, a very capable replacement with more features landing soon.
  • Replacing the Xfce Indicator Plugin with the Xfce StatusNotifier Plugin, a fully compatible and better maintained plugin with a few new tricks.
  • Another wallpaper contest to showcase the community’s artful taste.
  • And plenty more as we begin the blueprint process!

In Case You Missed It

New hotness: xfce4-notifyd 0.4.0

  • October 17, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

After quite some development time I have decided to push out xfce4-notifyd 0.4.0 today. This is not just a bugfix, but a feature-packed release.

Panel plugin

Among the biggest changes there is a panel plugin which displays the most recent notifications as well as allowing for quick access to the do-not-disturb mode. It also serves as a status indicator for the do-not-disturb mode, so you can easily see whether notifications are shown or hidden overall.

The new panel plugin

Improved logging

I’ve also spent some time on improving the notification image handling in the log. While handling icon-names is easy (just save them as string) handling the pixbufs was a little more challenging. I decided to do it the Git way and deduplicate these pixbufs based on their (unique) hashes, so that each picture would only be saved once. All of those pictures end up in a sub-directory of the log (which by default is ~/.cache/xfce4/notifyd/icons). Currently there is no monitoring of how much space these images consume and no button to clear them away, maybe I’ll add that later if people feel it would be useful/necessary. After using this feature for several months I have accumulated less than 7MB.
The log also received some more love in terms of markup support and character escaping. Multi-line notifications should now be correctly logged.

New animation: slide-out

Just for the fun of it I also worked out a new animation optional addon to the standard fade-out. I called it slide-out and it’s a fairly wide-spread animation mix of fade-out and sliding the bubble (depending on its location on the screen of course) off-screen.

New logo

As this turned out to be a bigger release I went for a bigger version jump and also included the new logo I had been working on for a while. I evaluated several “notification” metaphors and went for the ‘ol bell (notification bubbles felt a little odd and not easy to depict, as they look usually very diverse).

Bugfixes

Some people may be happy to know that I dropped the feature that let xfce4-notifyd exit after 10 minutes of inactivity. I can only guess but I presume this was implemented to save resources. Nowadays it feels more annoying if a daemon has to be restarted and the first notification that’s that split-second longer to appear.

A few more tweaks have been done to the geometry of the notification bubble windows to not take more space than needed and distribute things evenly (no more strange margins) and the configuration dialog now shows a warning if xfce4-notifyd is not detected as running.

Download

As always, you can download and build/install the tarball or wait for your favorite distribution to package and ship it to you.

https://git.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-notifyd/snapshot/xfce4-notifyd-0.4.0.tar.bz2

Development Release: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.1

  • October 2, 2017
  • Sean

A new release, some handy new features! But, I’ve never posted about this plugin before, so we’ll start with a proper introduction. 

Xfce PulseAudio Panel Plugin

This is a plugin for the Xfce panel that allows the user to easily adjust the audio volume of the PulseAudio sound system. As of the 0.3.0 release, this plugin was extended with support for controlling multimedia players via the MPRIS DBUS interface. And with this latest release, users can now easily toggle the default audio input and output devices.

Features

  • Control device volume, from 0% to 100% and beyond
  • Instantly mute volumes by middle-clicking the plugin or clicking the mute toggle
  • Launch the configured audio mixer
  • Open, raise, or control playback from known media players (since 0.3.0)
  • Select default input and output devices (since 0.3.1)

Screenshots

Downloads

The latest version of Xfce PulseAudio Plugin can always be downloaded from the Xfce archives. Grab version 0.3.1 from the below link.

http://archive.xfce.org/src/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin/0.3/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin-0.3.1.tar.bz2

  • SHA-256: 61a39f892e5e06723a08f919682362ebaf54792ed1076f5be828d0209a52f482
  • SHA-1: 6db0e12f5f171bd57b1330c7996d503aca7a4883
  • MD5: ab2a12283555db063db3abea26b3237e