I've been promising this for a while, below is an account of ideas regarding Awn, the GNOME Desktop, and also some information on future projects.
Awn and the desktop
I have been thinking about Awn for a very long time. Although it is young in terms of releases, its been rattling inside my head for ages, questions like What more can it do with task icons? How else can it fit into the desktop? What else does it need to complete the effect?
Now, below I have included some mock-ups of my ideas. You will notice a little search window in there, well that my friends, is the continuation of Awn, Affinity.
The best way to describe affinity is to say that it will be a front-end to all the information on your desktop, imagine it as 'Planet' to different feeds on your desktop, such as beagle/tracker, recent documents, bookmarks, tags, contacts, etc. It can be called from either a key-stroke or from the gnome-panel. Some features :
* It has search-as-you-type.
* Actions (like typing "www.google.com" will present you with an option to open it).
* Written in C, its extremely fast, even on a old system.
I haven't released any code yet, but expect some in the next few weeks, once I have cleaned it up. It, like Awn, is in early stages of development, and just like Awn, everyone's views count!
Speaking of Awn, you may have noticed the bar on those mock ups...looks familiar doesn't it? Those are the mock ups I used to make Awn. As you can see, the bar has a mock up for startup notification (the spinner), yes it looks a bit simple now...just wait till I'm done ;).
Below is also a mockup of whats coming in 0.3 for the 'I have a wide screen, cater for me!' guys!
As you can see from the previous mock ups, there are some funky themes in there! That leads me to my next point, which is this: I love having a composited desktop, Awn doing its thing, Beryl throwing windows all around the screen, cairo-clok ticking away, however, in my day-to-day tasks, I am left a bit disenchanted, therefore, as a side project for me to show my cairo/gtk prowess(:p), I am also going to start work on a gtk theme that takes advantage of the composited environment. Now, please bear in mind that a theme has to be used all around your desktop, and I am guessing that any theme that uses extensive cairo drawing + transparency is going to have an effect on your cpu, but I still think its worth it as a proof-of-concept.
Regarding the actual theme, I will have a separate post on that later, but until then, click here to see some of my mock ups (going from pretty standard to extreme). If anyone has ideas, please let me know in the usual ways.
That's enough for now! I have SO many other ideas for desktop linux its not even funny, but I will document them as/and when I have time to implement them. Some are desktop-orientated, but don't worry, most revolve around eye-candy like this:
Anyway, I better get back to Awn...still a lot of features/fixes to write ;).