Category Archives: Xfce

Releases, releases, releases!

So it’s not that I’ve been quiet and lazy – I was actually busy preparing some releases and hacking on stuff. So here’s an update on what’s been going on and what’s to come.

xfce4-taskmanager 1.2.0

This is a new release which brings a handy feature, i.e. identifying windows by clicking on them. Just use the crosshair-button in the toolbar and click on a window. This will result in the appropriate/associated process being selected in the tree or listview. Thanks a lot to Florian for helping getting this feature release-ready!
Some small improvements to keyboard navigation have also been pushed with this release, namely hitting the Delete or Shift+Delete keys will let you terminate or kill processes respectively.
Finally Olivier improved the memory usage for the FreeBSD.

Looking a little into the future, I’ve also been busy porting taskmanager to Gtk3 entirely, i.e. dropping support for Gtk2. This will happen with the next major release (2.x), which means no more feature-releases are planned for the 1.x series and Gtk2. It’s not out of the question though, that there will be a bugfix or maintenance release for 1.x later on.

So far the Gtk3 branch already works and has feature-parity with master. I also cleaned up the interface a little. If you want, you can check it out here (also seen the screenshot on the right)
https://github.com/ochosi/xfce4-taskmanager/tree/gtk3_only

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.5

This long-awaited feature release finally brings the persistence support I have been working on for a while. So you can now enable a notification log and get your “away log” easily this way. There are even some options to only get the log for certain apps or only with “do not disturb” mode enabled.
Handy, right?

I have also – and this is maybe even more important – reworked the settings dialog towards something that I would hope could be the future direction of Xfce settings dialogs in general (or to the least open the discussion about it). Initially we settled on doing a 1:1 port from Gtk2 to Gtk3 to keep the disturbance and changes for users as small as possible. However, Gnome’s HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) that Xfce originally relied on – and still relies on – have changed dramatically and with that most Gtk+3 applications. So personally I think we should re-think the Xfce HIG and the new xfce4-notifyd settings dialog tries to be a best practice for some things. I’ll probably do a separate writeup of that though as this article is already long enough and there are still some releases to be announced.

Thunar 1.6.11

This maintenance release brings some important fixes that have made users complain a lot in the recent past – and understandably so. Thunar was fairly unstable with copy, rename, move and drag-and-drop operations and would simply crash. While a lot of people in the community did testing (and whining :)), several folks got to work, identified the underlying issue and submitted patches (that I pushed recently).
So hopefully this new release will provide a new baseline for testers and we can close many of the existing up- and downstream reports, many of which may be duplicates (at least in the sense that they were caused by the same pieces of code).

Greybird 3.22.1

This is mostly a maintenance release, which fixes a bug in Geary’s conversation view and improves the readability of OSDs.
However, it also features a new (round) style for GtkSwitches, which makes them take up less space. Sweet!

What’s next?

Currently I’ve been hacking a little on Xfce’s display dialog to add a feature I once rejected (mea culpa, live and learn…). At the time I was more optimistic about me – or anyone else for that matter – finding the time to implement proper colord support in Xfce, which means support for color profiles. Unfortunately we didn’t make it, so what I can offer now is the rebasing and improvement of a patch that was once written against Gtk2 and merge-ready for Gtk3 (including a small rework of the settings dialog as a whole) and an honest apology to Andreas Lampersberger, the author of the original patch.
There are still more things I’d like to fix in display dialog land, like scaled mirror mode by default if two displays don’t share any resolutions (which is generally supported by XRandR, but not implemented yet).

The other thing I’ll probably get back to now is the panel. The gtk3_css branch that I was last working at needs some revisiting and I hope that some of the recent activity on the IRC channel and mailing list will also lead to more people testing the code and helping out with the porting or just smaller patches even.

Anyway, there’s a lot to do and your help is much appreciated along the way! So get in touch with us if you feel like contributing.

Clipman 1.4.1 released

xfce4-clipman-pluginWhile I haven’t been very active in terms of clipman lately I decided to push out a maintenance release in the 1.4 series nevertheless, as some useful patches had piled up in the master branch.

The probably single most important patch was contributed by Rinat and fixes the menu of clipman when used in a bottom-aligned panel. As I myself am using a panel at the top of my screen I didn’t notice this at all when releasing 1.4.0.

Other than that I improved the icon sizing for the panel plugin, which was another common – and understandable complaint – with 1.4.0. So the icon doesn’t remain at 16px, but scales in (meaningful) steps – very much like the power manager’s plugin.

Finally I decided to draw up a new application icon for clipman, as the old one was quite dusty already, low resolution and inconsistently looking at different sizes. Gaze at it in all its glory 🙂

clipman_1-4-1

Download

As always, wait patiently until your favorite distribution packages up clipman 1.4.1 or grab the tarball from here:

https://git.xfce.org/panel-plugins/xfce4-clipman-plugin/snapshot/xfce4-clipman-plugin-1.4.1.tar.bz2

 

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.4 released – Do not disturb and per application settings

notifydI’ve finally gotten round to doing a 0.3.4 release to get some of the features I’ve had ready for a while “out there”. On the way a lot of translation updates have trickled in and Christian Hesse supplied a patch to fix internal themes with Gtk+3.22.

Features:

As announced already a while ago, this release features a “Do not disturb” mode so you can suppress notification bubbles when in/convenient. So this should satisfy users who want to silence all notifications for a limited time-frame.do_not_disturb

For users who want to suppress certain applications, they can now do so with a list of “known applications” – which gets populated over the life-time of xfce4-notifyd by all apps that send notifications.
If an application does not show up in this list it simply hasn’t sent a notification since you have upgraded to 0.3.4 🙂

Another – slightly hidden – feature is defining a screen for notification bubbles to appear. While by default notifications are shown on the screen where the mouse-pointer resides, you can now select the “primary monitor” – the “primary monitor” can be set globally e.g. through xfce4-display-settings – as default place for notification bubbles to end up on.
To enable this feature in xfce4-notifyd, add the (Boolean) property “/primary-monitor” to the xfce4-notifyd channel and set it to True.
In a future release this option may be moved to the settings dialog.

Bugfixes

The only real bugfix in this release makes sure that internal themes work with Gtk+3.22, which dropped support for the “font” css shorthand in favor of “font-weight”, “font-family” etc.

Outlook

Finally I’ll soon merge my “logging” branch – which brings the persistence feature to xfce4-notifyd – to master to give people a chance to test and translators some time to do their magic.

Another bugfix release for xfce4-notifyd: 0.3.3 is out!

notifydWhile I had planned to make the next release about features, I ended up fixing a few issues and doing a bugfix release instead. So 0.3.3 is about getting things right.

Test-driven development

Generally speaking Xfce has very few unit tests – or tests at all – but since Jerome had laid a foundation for notification tests in xfce4-notifyd I decided to extend that to testing the icons in notifications. What inspired me to do so was that I noticed that notifyd was not in line with the fd.o notifications specification in two aspects:

  • it didn’t support the “image-path” hint and
  • the priorities of how to handle the icons were mixed up.

So my new “test-icons” test – which I wrote before(!) I implemented the fix for the priorities, even if I checked it into git only until later 😉 – checks whether the server handles all icon-related properties, hints and features and also checks whether the priority is in accordance with the specification. I also started some documentation on what parts of the freedesktop.org specification are implemented in xfce4-notifyd and which ones are not (prominent example which is not implemented: sound).

Other than that a thank-you goes to Olivier for contributing another build-fix. Finally I managed to get a few more bugs fixed, most notably a general theming issue (action buttons were sometimes mis-styled) and hiding notification buttons without label. Together with the translation updates I think this makes 0.3.3 a worthwhile release.

Final note: currently there are only 12 bugs open on the tracker, of which several are feature requests so things seem to be going quite well!

Improved media-key handling with xfce4-volumed-pulse 0.2.2

Background

So xfce4-volumed has been around a while and automagically handling your media keys – originally written by Steve around 2009 – but lingering unmaintained in Xfce’s Git repository. This version of the media-key daemon uses gstreamer 0.10’s mixer interface, which has been deprecated in gstreamer 1.0.

It’s been almost as long that Lionel forked the project into xfce4-volumed-pulse in 2012 – hosted on Launchpad ever since – notably adding support for PulseAudio.

Migration to xfce.org

Not much has happened since then, until Sean and me decided to move the project over to the official Xfce infrastructure for more distributions to enjoy. This means the code is now on git.xfce.org and bugs are tracked on bugs.xfce.org.

I also went ahead and added some small features to it (all documented in the Readme). Amongst others I merged a feature branch adding support for the Microphone Mute key (thanks goes to Christian Pointner for the feature). I also added support for symbolic icons, which means your audio volume change notifications can now be shown – presuming you have at least xfce4-notifyd 0.3.2 installed – with always correctly colored monochrome icons. This latter feature has been made optional through an “icon-style” xfconf property in the newly created xfce4-volumed-pulse channel. This same channel now also handles the “volume-step-size” property, which used to live in the xfce4-mixer channel (this really didn’t make sense to me anymore with xfce4-mixer not supporting PulseAudio). Finally we cleaned up the repository a bit and Sean was kind enough to knock out the 0.2.2 release while I was afk.

Anyway, without further ado here’s the code:

https://git.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-volumed-pulse

PS: It might be worth noting that if you’re using the xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin you already have your volume keys handled by it.

xfce4-clipman 1.4.0 (Gtk3 port) and libxfce4ui 4.13.1 released!

clipmanxfce4-clipman-plugin 1.4.0 released

So finally I’ve decided to release xfce4-clipman-plugin 1.4.0, which is the Gtk+3 port of the plugin. For a while I was unsure whether to do a development or a stable release – to be clear: this was not a decision based on the stability of the product itself but the fact that it relied on the development release of a Xfce core component (libxfce4ui-4.13.0). However I decided to revert the commit that introduced the dependency (I will apply it again latest when 4.14 is out).

As the port is a 1:1 port there are practically no new features. The only notable difference is that the panel plugin’s icon is now a symbolic icon.

Thanks to Eric, Steve and Florian for helping me get this off the ground!


libxfce4uilibxfce4ui 4.13.1

This is only a smaller bugfix release that replaces a deprecated call and – more importantly – fixes the default theming of XfceHeading in all Gtk+3 settings dialogs of Xfce.

Featurette: xfce4-notifyd 0.3.2 released

This release came a bit sooner than expected, but it’s primary goal is to fix a showstopper regression which slipped into 0.3.1 and practically rendered xfce4-notifyd useless on systems with Gtk+3 <=3.18 (i.e. not showing any notifications). Thanks to Olivier for noticing immediately and posting a patch!

notifyd_retro_and_bright
the “Retro” and “Bright” themes

But while this had to be a fast release I still managed to put in some feature-goodness. For instance I came through on my promise to add more default themes and in this release I added “Retro” and “Bright“.

notifyd_symbolic_zomgponies
(symbolic) audio volume icon recolored ZOMG-PONIES! style

The biggest feature in this release however is the support for symbolic icons. For those of you who haven’t heard of the feature before: it’s basically Gtk+ coloring your icon with the color of the font of that particular context, so the icon will color-wise match the font. This is especially useful for monochrome icons and (usually) prevents white-on-white scenarios. It also gives users and theme-makers more freedom (instead of having a “dark panel” or a separate “dark notifications” variant of an icon-theme). Note that your notification-sending application also has to request a symbolic icon, xfce4-notifyd is not enforcing symbolic icons.

Another notable fix (that I forgot to mention in the release notes) is the fix of styles of the progressbars in notifications. Those were not styled according to the notifyd-theme selected but always used the style of the base (as in: screen-wide) Gtk+ theme.

Finally, a minor improvement is that all themes are now sorted alphabetically in the Settings Dialog.

With this bugfix release out of the way it won’t be long until I merge my feature branch and get more testing for the “Do not disturb” mode.

Enjoy!

Bugfixes incoming: xfce4-notifyd 0.3.1 released!

notifyd

More good news in notification-land: I just released a new version of xfce4-notifyd – aka 0.3.1 – which fixes some nasty issues, amongst others

  • memory leaks (thanks Tony!)
  • an issue which caused build problems on Gtk<=3.18 systems (thanks Michał!)

I also added a Help button which links to the docs I wrote for notifyd a while ago: http://docs.xfce.org/apps/notifyd/start

I hope this will make 0.3 smoother in everyone’s daily usage and the Gtk+3 port more regression-free.

Read more here: https://mail.xfce.org/pipermail/xfce-announce/2016-September/000457.html

Upcoming changes

On the plate for the next release are more default themes (hint: “Retro” has already been pushed to git master) and potentially the per-application settings and “Do not disturb” mode which I previously teased. The latter might also warrant a major version number bump so we’ll see whether it’ll really end up in 0.3.2.

Stay tuned!