Tag Archives: News

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.

Greybird 3.20.1 released (mostly bugfixes)

Plank theme (by Sean Davis)
theme for Plank (a simple dock) by Sean

So the first bugfix release for Greybird 3.20 is here and while the changelog isn’t an overly exciting read, there are some goodies in this one!

The single new feature in this – otherwise – bugfix release is a Greybirdy theme for Plank (a simple dock), contributed by Sean.

Other than that I have tweaked or fixed the following:

  • less padding on some widgets, e.g. buttons (makes the whole theme feel more like the original and matches Gtk2)
  • less bold input focus line on GtkEntries
  • improved progressbar theming (no more tiny artifacts when the fraction is 0.00), also fixes LP #1617705
  • tweak the look of OSDs
  • mention librsvg build-dependency in the README



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!

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“.

(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.


Bugfixes incoming: xfce4-notifyd 0.3.1 released!


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 pootentially 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!

Preview: Per application settings and Do-not-disturb mode in xfce4-notifyd

Per application settingsAs previously announced I’ve been working on per-application settings and a “Do not disturb” mode for xfce4-notifyd, which is Xfce’s notification daemon.

Finally I’ve come to a point where I’m ok with pointing to the code and encouraging people to try it and spot potential issues with it. As both of these features have been long-time requested I hope it’ll Do not disturb modemake quite a few people happy. I know I’ve been quite happy myself since I can use it 🙂

The way that the “known applications” are handled by xfce4-notifyd is that they are remembered once they have sent an application. This means that you can only mute applications which have – at some point since you’ve been running the code from the branch – actually sent notifications. I’ve been previously thinking about trying to collect all potential candidates somehow but this turned out too pesky and personally I think most users will want to mute those applications that send notifications often and those will quickly appear in that (alphabetically sorted) list.

Caveats: Some of this isn’t final – I might still be updating the wording on some of the labels or even some of the functionality might be amended a little, but generally I’m quite pleased with how things are working. Furthermore there may be memory leaks, I just haven’t had the time to really get to that (bugreports and patches are warmly welcomed ;)).

If you have feedback or suggestions please feel free to add some comments to this post or contact me on other communication channels.

So here’s the code: https://git.xfce.org/users/ochosi/xfce4-notifyd/log/?h=private/per_app_settings

Related bugreports:

Greybird 3.20.0 (to be clear: with support for Gtk+3.20) released

Finally – 5 months after the release of Gtk+3.20 – I’m happy to announce the release of the first version of Greybird supporting it.

Why has it taken so long? – you

The Widget Factory - 3.20
The Widget Factory – 3.20

may ask yourselves – and one reason was certainly me being totally busy with other things, but another one was that Ubuntu didn’t ship it in its 16.04 LTS release (which was a totally sane decision, by the way). Because of the latter it took some time before the issue of having a theme that supports Gtk+3.20 became pressing enough for me to take action.

Anyway, now it is done. (At least mostly.)

While porting the theme (in this case really: porting, not just: adding support for) I also decided to rebase it on Adwaita. Over the last releases so much stuff had piled up, so many quick fixes or patching up visual nuisances to support “the next Gtk+ release” that the theme had become an unmaintainable jungle – I frankly couldn’t have told you which line mattered anymore. While rebasing, I also went from CSS to SASS, which was the only right decision, as I’m sure now after having gone through with it. It made the code so much more maintainable and readable (kind of reminding me of the first Gtk+3 releases, when themes were still a lot leaner in terms of LOC).

So yeah, I’m pretty happy with where this has been going. There are still some rough edges (e.g. progressbars are probably not 100% greybirdy) and things I haven’t added support back for (e.g. elementary’s Granite widgets), but I think what is there now warrants an initial release as things still look consistent between Gtk+2 and Gtk+3 applications.

One final note: Greybird has recently switched to a new versioning scheme, which basically mirrors the Gtk+3 release numbers the theme works best with.



Xfce goings on (Gtk+3 port etc.)

So I’ve been busy lately porting Xfce apps and components to Gtk+3 (you can see on the roadmap page for 4.14 that we’ve come some way already – only the really uncomfortable behemoths are missing 🙂 ) and since I’ve been working on apps which I haven’t touched before (and which haven’t really seen much or any development in a while).

I thought I’d do a quick overview of some of my recent activities so everyone knows Xfce is still alive.

gtk-paste  clipman

I have ported clipman to Gtk+3 mostly as an exercise, to get back to coding and to re-acquaint myself with the “fun” that is porting to Gtk+3 (including the obligatory #ifdefs for different Gtk+3 releases).

I didn’t really have the energy to add any new features there (apart from general Gtk+3 stuff like symbolic icons, which is nice for the panel plugin), but it had the intended effect for me plus Eric and Florian helped out, which made it more fun. In the end we even got Steve to sit down and crank out a very nice fix for an extremely widespread issue in Xfce.

notifyconf  notifyd

Basically Ali did all the hard work of porting notifyd to Gtk+3. I was left with the hard work of polishing the edges and making it release-ready (which ended up being much more work than I anticipated and now that I’m mostly familiar with the codebase I’ve also started to add – for now: small – features). So yeah, 0.3.0 is out! Hooray! 🙂

I also managed to write down some basic docs for notifyd (they’ll be linked to in the 0.3.1 release) which also explains the theming aspect a little bit.

For now I’ve planned some features – we’ll see when and if I get to them, but amongst others:

  • “Do not disturb” mode (still have to figure out where and how to display the “missed” stuff or whether to bother with that at all)
  • More themes by default (currently we only have good ‘ol Smoke and evergreen ZOMG PONIES!)
  • More bugfixing
  • Better docs

preferences-desktop  settings

This is actually Sean’s project and he already ported most of the dialogs (only display missing at the time of writing) and this is really exciting as it is one of the core components. Can’t wait to install this beast on a productive machine to see what will happen 🙂

libxfce4ui  libxfce4ui

I didn’t do much here apart from handling the release and fixing the theming of XfceTitledDialog for Gtk3.20 (and below) in accordance with the Gtk+ Devs (still unreleased, will come with libxfce4ui-4.13.1). Generally speaking now that Glade support is fixed and we have working dialogs I guess there’s not much more to do in that lib (I may be wrong though).

terminal  terminal

This is Igor’s playground now, I merely helped with porting the settings dialog and getting rid of some rough edges there. I’m using the Gtk+3 port of the terminal on a daily basis though and am very happy with it – nice work Igor! 🙂

It has arrived: Xfce 4.8

The Xfce development team has announced the release of Xfce 4.8, the culmination of almost two years of work. The release makes Xfce once again a truly modern desktop environment by making use of recent desktop frameworks that, for example, finally allow you to browse remote shares or to edit the menu using a menu editor like Alacarte. Unfortunately, as the Xfce team makes clear in the release announcement, these frameworks often do not properly support non-Linux open source systems, meaning the Xfce team could not support those systems as well they would like to. For Xubuntu, being Linux-based, this has no effect.

Apart from adding many crucial modern features (which also meant completely rewriting the application that displays the panels), Xfce’s development process has been formalized, and the first steps have been taken in forming a non-profit organization, to ensure a viable future for Xfce. I covered the renewed development process and new features in my look at the first preview release. For a more detailed update by the Xfce team, check out the tour on new features in Xfce 4.8, part of (do these guys ever sleep?) the new website to accompany the new release.

The new version of Xfce is scheduled to be included in Xubuntu 11.04, to be released in April of this year.

Xfce alive and well: new version on its way

On 7 November, Jannis Pohlmann announced the first preview release of Xfce 4.8. The new version of Xfce, which is planned to be released on January 16th, brings much-requested features, and will close a development cycle in which the project made great strides forward.

Let’s first focus on the improvements coming in the next release of Xubuntu’s main component. Perhaps the most requested feature is support for remote filesystems. Much clamoured for, the feature required rewriting big parts of the core – something which has finally been completed.

Apart from that, the application that provides the panel(s) on your desktop has been completely rewritten, bringing a huge number of improvements, most notably in the support for multi-monitor setups, and a pet peeve of mine: the ability to drag application files to the panel to create launchers.

Also high on the wish list of many users was the ability to graphically edit the menus. Although Xfce still doesn’t ship its own menu editor, it is now possible to edit it using menu editors for other standards compliant desktops, such as Alacarte.

So, a lot has been rewritten in this release cycle – we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg above. Most important, however, are the improvements made to the release process in general, which will make the project more future-proof and will increase the speed with which new releases can be made, and lower the entry barrier to new contributors.

To start with the latter point, Xfce was one of the first of now many projects using the Transifex translation environment. Transifex makes it easier than ever for translators to help translating Xfce, as translators can now simply download the current translations and update their new translations via the web interface. I have used it myself, and it really is a huge improvement over the previous, cumbersome process. The new translation process has already attracted quite a few new translators, ensuring more of Xfce has been translated than ever, with even higher quality.

While the size of the development team has fluctuated over time (it has never been large, yet some people moved on – luckily there were new contributions as well), the team has managed to keep the desktop up-to-date with recent technologies, and has rewritten parts of the code, improving the quality to ensure it can be built on properly in the future.

Finally, the release process has been revised, now encouraging many small releases for sub-projects, as opposed to releasing all of them at once with a new version of Xfce. It is now much less work to release a new version, making that task less daunting and thus less likely to be postponed. Automatic release announcements also result in improved publicity for a new release, making it clear the project is alive and well, and more attractive for third-party contributors to help out. It also gets updated translations out faster.

All in all, the new release is shaping up to be a very solid one, closing a few big gaps in the feature set. Xfce is a truly modern desktop environment again, and what’s more important: its future, starting with the release of the new version on January 16th, is looking exceptionally bright.

In other news: as you might notice, this blog has not been updated in a while. Unfortunately, this post does not signify a change in the lack of updates. I’m really too busy with other things in my life that I’m hardly even tinkering with my computer, or actively involved with Xubuntu. So yeah, this blog is still dead. Also, it is not an official Xubuntu blog in any way, so do not draw any conclusions about the status of Xubuntu from this blog post; it is still awesome :)