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Development Release: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.5

  • March 3, 2018
  • Sean Davis

Activity is slowing down as the Xfce PulseAudio Plugin matures and heads toward the 0.4.0 stable release. With some usability refinements and bug fixes, users will find the latest release both easy and convenient to use.

What’s New?

New Feature: Move Streams on Default Output Change (Xfce #14157)

  • Prior to this update, when a new output device was selected from the plugin menu, only newly opened applications would utilize the selected option.
  • With this change, any active output streams will immediately be routed to the newly selected device.

New Feature: Management of Known MPRIS2 Players (Xfce #13903)

  • Known media players can now be cleared or selectively hidden from the menu.

Bug Fixes

  • Correctly reflect the current volume state at session startup (Xfce #14071, #13677)
  • Clear stale data retained after a new Metadata signal (Xfce #14068)

Translation Updates

Catalan, Chinese (China), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Irish, Japanese, Kazakh, Lithuanian, Malay, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.5 is already included with Xubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver”. Check it out when you test the Beta next week!

The latest version of Xfce PulseAudio Plugin can always be downloaded from the Xfce archives. Grab version 0.3.5 from the below link.

https://archive.xfce.org/src/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin/0.3/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin-0.3.5.tar.bz2

  • SHA-256: 25e7bc414edf6e16140c31ca4e7dcedd4e17d40ea23a2921beb799fed11a99bb
  • SHA-1: 955268828ac53fdfbfa346fbec376aa4f6199385
  • MD5: 30cd40be36895c4ced48c2433ff440c4

On Xfce’s translation status in early 2018

  • February 15, 2018
  • Vinzenz Vietzke

As you might know I’m quite active translating Xfce to German. Furthermore I’m stepped up to take care for Xfce’s translations in general a while ago. Today I had a deeper look at the statistics of our Transifex dashboard and wanted to share the current state with you. This is both to appreciate the work done but so many volunteers but also to motivate you for helping out a bit.

Overview

In the end of 2017 we restructured the whole i18n process a bit, got rid of unused infrastructure and tried to lower the barrier for new translators to get into it. You can have a look at the corresponding wiki page if you’re interested.

As the whole translation work is pointed towards the ongoing development I will only cover the master branch. Parts of 4.12 and 4.10 are still available in Transifex but don’t get updated as they are already officially released.

NameNumbers dropping

Xfce’s translation team offers and takes care for 106 languages and variants all in all. There are 17 languages which are nearly fully translated, only missing 50 strings or (way) less. Five languages are at 100% at the time of writing: French, German, Malay, Polish and Russian. Looking at how active development is (yes, really!) and how much translatable strings the overall Xfce project has this is really impressive! People are doing an awesome job there and really deserve some praising words. Thank you!

Helping hands needed

Quite a handful of languages are on their best way towards offering full localization. At the time of writing they have a few hundred strings yet to do, so if you’re a native speaker or confidently speaking one these

Italian (it) 152 strings to translate
Danish (da) 273 strings to translate
Dutch (nl) 319 strings to translate
English (Australia) (en_AU) 373 strings to translate
Norwegian Bokmål (nb) 352 strings to translate
Serbian (sr) 387 strings to translate
Slovak (sk) 384 strings to translate
Bulgarian (bg) 460 strings to translate
Catalan (ca) 405 strings to translate
Croatian (hr) 523 strings to translate
Indonesian (id) 607 strings to translate
Japanese (ja) 605 strings to translate
Thai (th) 596 strings to translate

Furthermore there are languages a bit desperately missing help. Many of them are local variants which is why the translator teams are smaller. Nevertheless, they’re as important as any other language. Getting Free Software in general and Xfce in particular to less-spoken languages is one of it’s many strengths!

But how to get started?

The good thing with translation work is that it doesn’t need much time per default. Of course you can extend your efforts to many hours per day. But donating just half an hour every week helps a lot! Just imagine how many strings consisting of 2-3 words you could get done in that time.
Furthermore as mentioned earlier, translating has no technical entry barrier. When I started using Linux soon I wanted to contribute something. But being no developer I had to take a look around where to help. Doing translations was my first stop solution as it’s totally easy and intuitive. Now, nearly 15 years later, I’m still here and love doing this work.

To get into the language business is easy as one-two-three: make yourself familiar with the i18n docs, sign up at Transifex, request to join the Xfce team – done! It helps if you sign up at our mailing list and introduce yourself briefly, but it’s not necessary.

If you have questions feel free to ask on the mailing list or dive into IRC (#xfce-dev, Freenode). If you prefer you can also email or xmpp me directly, I’ll do my best to help you out.

 

Exo 0.12.0 Stable Release

  • February 14, 2018
  • Sean Davis

With full GTK+ 2 and 3 support and numerous enhancements, Exo 0.12.0 provides a solid development base for new and refreshed Xfce applications.

What’s New?

Since this is the first stable release in nearly 2.5 years, I am going to provide a quick summary of the changes since version 0.10.7, released September 13, 2015.

New Features

GTK Extensions
Helpers
  • WebBrower: Added Brave, Google Chrome, and Vivaldi
  • MailReader: Added Geary, dropped Opera Mail (no longer available for Linux)
Utilities
  • exo-csource: Added a new --output flag to write the generated output to a file
  • exo-helper: Added a new --query flag to determine the preferred application

ICONS

  • Replaced non-standard gnome-* icons
  • Replaced non-existent “missing-image” icon

BUILD CHANGES

  • Build requirements were updated. Exo now requires GTK+ 2.24, GTK+ 3.22, GLib 2.42, libxfce4ui 4.12, and libxfce4util 4.12. Building GTK+ 3 libraries is not optional.
  • Default debug setting is now “yes” instead of “full”.

DOCUMENTATION UPDATES

  • Added missing per-release API indices
  • Resolved undocumented symbols (100% symbol coverage)
  • Updated project documentation (HACKING, README, THANKS)

Release Notes

  • The full release notes can be found here.
  • The full change log can be found here.

Downloads

The latest version of Exo can always be downloaded from the Xfce archives. Grab version 0.12.0 from the below link.

https://archive.xfce.org/src/xfce/exo/0.12/exo-0.12.0.tar.bz2

  • SHA-256: 64b88271a37d0ec7dca062c7bc61ca323116f7855092ac39698c421a2f30a18f
  • SHA-1: 364a9aaa1724b99fe33f46b93969d98e990e9a1f
  • MD5: 724afcca224f5fb22b510926d2740e52

MenuLibre 2.1.5 Released

  • February 6, 2018
  • Sean Davis

With improved support for Budgie, KDE, and MATE desktop environments, MenuLibre 2.1.5 continues to provide one of the best menu editing experiences for the Linux desktop.

What’s New?

New Features

  • Added support for the Budgie and KDE Plasma desktop environments
  • Improved support for the MATE desktop environment (LP: #1529406)
  • Window identification for the StartupWMClass key

General

  • Added manpage for the recently added menulibre-menu-validate command

Bug Fixes

  • Fix icon used when creating new directory (LP: #1744594)
  • Use ‘applications-other’ instead of ‘application-default-icon’ for better icon standards support (LP: #1745840)
  • Ensure categories are saved in the model when updated (LP: #1746802)
  • Fix incorrect display of newly created directories

Desktop Environment Support

MenuLibre is a FreeDesktop.org compliant menu editor for desktop environments implementing the Desktop Entry Specification. Some desktops are improperly configured and do not export the expected variables, and patches are included to infer the running environment in other ways. Some older desktops, such as IceWM, do not implement this specification and handle their menus in other ways.

MenuLibre has been tested with and known to work with the following desktop environments: Budgie, GNOME, KDE (Plasma), LXDE, LXQt (limited support, LXQt does not allow for non-alphabetical menu ordering), MATE, Pantheon, Unity, and Xfce. It is known not to work with IceWM and others that do not implement the Desktop Entry Specification.

If you come across an environment that should be supported but does not work as expected, let me know! It may require some additional patches to properly detect the environment and menu prefix.

Development Status

With this release, MenuLibre 2.1 is now in feature and string freeze for the 2.2.x series. I’m hoping for a stable 2.2.0 release sometime this month. This means two things.

  1. Translators, now it’s your time to shine! There’s been quite a few changes in the past few releases and it looks like some localizations could use a bit of a refresh. Make your way over to the MenuLibre Translations page to get started or pick up where you left off. 🙂
  2. Everyone else, take MenuLibre for a spin, and report bugs! If you are able to conclude that one of the existing bug reports has actually been resolved, leave a comment on the bug report so we can clean it off the list. Check out the MenuLibre Bugs page for more.

Window Identification Demo

Downloads

The latest version of MenuLibre can always be downloaded from the Launchpad archives. Grab version 2.1.5 from the below link. Debian Unstable and Ubuntu Bionic users should expect to see this latest version land in the archives sometime this week.

https://launchpad.net/menulibre/2.1/2.1.5/+download/menulibre-2.1.5.tar.gz

  • SHA-256: ef05b2722bab2acb7070d6c8ed0e7bd58bd4a4540bf498af9e889944f9da08b5
  • SHA-1: e380478a369a3a45eafc6bb9408366bc41972d16
  • MD5: efc7edb49bb0e5fea49e158b40573334

Catfish 1.4.4 Released

  • January 28, 2018
  • Sean Davis

I’ve got some great news for fans of Catfish, the fast and powerful graphical search utility for Linux. The latest version, 1.4.4, has arrived with performance improvements and tons of localization updates!

What’s New

This update covers both versions 1.4.3 and 1.4.4.

General

  • Improved theming support
  • Improved error handling with thumbnails
  • Improved search performance by excluding .cache and .gvfs when not explicitly requested
  • Improved locate method performance with the addition of the –basename flag
  • Added keywords to the launcher for improved discoverability and Debian packaging improvements
  • Updated included AppData to latest standards

Bug Fixes

  • All search methods are stopped when the search activity is canceled. This results in a much faster response time when switching search terms.
  • Debian #798074: New upstream release available
  • Debian #794544: po/en_AU.po has Sinhalese (not English) translations for catfish.desktop

Translation Updates

Afrikaans, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Greek, Italian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian

Downloads

Debian Unstable and Ubuntu Bionic users can install Catfish 1.4.4 from the repositories.

sudo apt update && sudo apt install catfish

The latest version of Catfish can always be downloaded from the Launchpad archives. Grab version 1.4.4 from the below link.

https://launchpad.net/catfish-search/1.4/1.4.4/+download/catfish-1.4.4.tar.gz

  • SHA-256: a2d452780bf51f80afe7621e040fe77725021c24a0fe4a9744c89ba88dbf87d7
  • SHA-1: b149b454fba75de6e6f9029cee8eec4adfb4be0e
  • MD5: 8fd7e8bb241f2396ebc3d9630b47a635

New releases for xfce4-panel and xfce4-power-manager

  • December 21, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

xfce4-power-manager 1.6.1

After almost two years I finally managed to get around to release a new version of the power manager, including many bugfixes that have accumulated over this time over the original Gtk+3/GDBus port that is 1.6.0.

Users will mostly notice the improved support for Desktop systems (they used to have the “battery-missing” icon displayed in the panel plugin – a regression over 1.4.x, which handled desktops more gracefully). Those who also use xfce4-notifyd’s recent logging mechanism will notice that now not every power manager event (e.g. changing the brightness) ends up in the log, as many notifications are marked as transient.

xfce4-panel 4.12.2 and 4.13.2

Both the stable 4.12 series and the 4.13 development series saw releases of late.

4.12.2

4.12 saw a small feature release adding support for the much and often requested “primary monitor” feature of RandR. So when you now define a panel’s location as “Output: Primary” it will dynamically move to the monitor marked as “primary” through the xfce4-display-settings dialog.

The default value “Automatic” for the Output option remains, so users will not notice any invasive changes here. Also the behavior of this default option remains unchanged (usually pushing the panel to the left-most monitor – aka x=0/y=0 – by default).

4.13.2

4.13 also saw a release, introducing GObject Introspection support, which should enable people to write Panel plugins in different languages (e.g. Python). We still need a template for that (volunteers forward!) so people can get their hands dirty more easily, but I think this is a very nice addition.

Apart from this I fixed a lot of smaller and bigger issues in the panel’s core plugins (actions, clock, launcher, tasklist and systray) and the settings dialog can now again be plugged into the xfce4-settings-manager dialog.

xfce4-notifyd sees a new point release

  • December 12, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

After only 2 months of work I was today ready to release xfce4-notifyd 0.4.1 (thanks in part to Viktor’s fix for make distcheck) with a bunch of fixes and some small features too (and of course lots of translation updates).

New panel plugin menu layout

Features

The panel plugin that was introduced in 0.4.0 received some attention, gaining a new hidden option (log-icon-size) for users to set the icon-size for the notifications that are displayed in the menu. Furthermore I added a “Clear log” button and finally decided to revamp the layout of the menu a little, inspired by some work of the elementary folks. Now the “Do not disturb” item is on top (or bottom, depending on your panel layout) of the list for easy and quick/er access and sports a GtkSwitch because the GtkCheckMenuItem was not visible enough.
To top off the changes to the plugin I added a placeholder text in case the log has been cleared or there are no notifications to display (e.g. if the “only notifications from today” filter is set but the log only contains entries from yesterday and before).

Furthermore spent some more time on the notification window layout and it should be very consistent now, so equal spacing between the icon, subject, body, buttons and the edge of the bubble.

Finally I added a configure option to use autostart instead of dbus (Bug #13989), which is a feature some distros (like Mageia) have done already via downstream patches so far and which helps if people have multiple DEs and therefore notification services installed in parallel.

Bugfixes

Regarding bugfixes there are also a few notable mentions. With the help of several contributors the following issues were tackled:

  • Ensure body and summary of notifications are correctly ellipsized (Bug #12674)
  • Fix warning about gdk_window_get_origin (Bug #13935)
  • Ensure the panel plugin icon resizes with Xfce 4.12
  • Treat icon_data only as pen-ultimate fallback option (Bug #13950)
  • Remove deprecated functions (Gtk+ 3.22)
  • Fix warnings reported by Clang (Bug #13931)

Download

So get it while it’s hot here: http://archive.xfce.org/src/apps/xfce4-notifyd/0.4/xfce4-notifyd-0.4.1.tar.bz2

Development Release: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.4

  • December 12, 2017
  • Sean Davis

With each new release, the Xfce PulseAudio Plugin becomes more refined and better suited for Xfce users. The latest release adds support for the MPRIS Playlists specification and improves support for Spotify and other media players.

What’s New?

New Feature: MPRIS Playlists Support

  • This is a basic implementation of the MediaPlayer2.Playlists specification.
  • The 5 most recently played playlists are displayed (if supported by the player). Admittedly, I have not found a player that seems to implement the ordering portion of this specification.

New Feature: Experimental libwnck Support

  • libwnck is a window management library. This feature adds the “Raise” method for media players that do not support it, allowing the user to display the application window after clicking the menu item in the plugin.
  • Spotify for Linux is the only media player that I have found which does not implement this method. Since this is the media player I use most of the time, this was an important issue for me to resolve.

General

  • Unexpected error messages sent via DBUS are now handled gracefully. The previous release of Pithos (1.1.2) displayed a Python error when doing DBUS queries before, crashing the plugin.
  • Numerous memory leaks were patched.

Translation Updates

Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai

Downloads

The latest version of Xfce PulseAudio Plugin can always be downloaded from the Xfce archives. Grab version 0.3.4 from the below link.

http://archive.xfce.org/src/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin/0.3/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin-0.3.4.tar.bz2

  • SHA-256: 43fa39400eccab1f3980064f42dde76f5cf4546a6ea0a5dc5c4c5b9ed2a01220
  • SHA-1: 171f49ef0ffd1e4a65ba0a08f656c265a3d19108
  • MD5: 05633b8776dd3dcd4cda8580613644c3

Development Release: Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.3

  • November 27, 2017
  • Sean Davis

Development on the Xfce PulseAudio Plugin has been moving along at a steady pace, and the latest release marks the completion of another great feature for the Sound Indicator replacement applet.

What’s New?

New Feature: Multimedia Key Support

Multimedia keyboard support has been hit and miss in the Linux space for as long as there’s been multimedia keyboards. Support for these keys has been entirely dependent on support baked into each individual application. The best current example of this is the Spotify Linux client. Users can control the media player with various panel plugins, but not with their keyboards.

With the new multimedia key support in Xfce PulseAudio Plugin 0.3.3, the recently added MPRIS2 integration has been complemented with key bindings for the Play/Pause, Previous, Next, and Stop keys. When these keys are pressed, any actively running player known to the plugin will be notified, enabling keyboard playback control.

You can check out the new feature in the video below, where I very excitedly inundate my media players with playback commands.

General Improvements

  • Simplified device menus: The bold section headers have been replaced in favor of a single menu per input and output device. If there’s only one option available, the menu is no longer displayed.
  • Improved volume scale increments: The old defaults were steps of 6% and a max of 153%. These seemed a bit unusual, and have been replaced with a more sensible 5% and 150%.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed builds with clang (Xfce #13889) (0.3.2)
  • Fixed panel icon size with high DPI (Xfce #13894) (0.3.2)
  • Show volume change notifications when changed with another application (Xfce #13677)
  • Change default device when changed with another application (Xfce #13908)
  • Fixed flag in g_bus_watch_name_on_connection() method (Xfce #13961)
  • Fix plugin size calculation with multiple rows (Xfce #13998)

Translation Updates

Chinese (China), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Swedish, Ukrainian

Demo

Downloads

The latest version of Xfce PulseAudio Plugin can always be downloaded from the Xfce archives. Grab version 0.3.3 from the below link.

http://archive.xfce.org/src/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin/0.3/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin-0.3.3.tar.bz2

  • SHA-256: d6aae9409714c5ddea975c350b4d517e078a5550190165b17ca062d0eb69f9a6
  • SHA-1: 5921f7c17b96dda09f035e546e06945f40398dc9
  • MD5: d3d3e012369af6d2302d4b70a7720a17

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.