Tuesday, 19 June 2007

And the others thought they had caught up...

hate to depress you again boys, but Awn just keeps getting better and better :-p.

No long time no blog, eh? Don't worry though, that's unlikely to happen again, in fact, I'm sure you'll be sick of me always taking up precious space on PGO with my transparent this and three-dimensional that!

a) how has Awn got better and
b) why am I so happy about it?

Many people already know the answer to (a), latest Awn has full applets support! Yes, that means you can have a trash applet, workspace switcher, and all those other things which you missed from your bottom gnome-panel. I have included a Workspace switcher applet, a Trash applet and a Separator applet in Awn. More to come from me, plus I know of others working on some cool stuff (more on that below).

So, whats the best way to describe this 'applets' malarkey? Well, with a screenshot, of course:


Oh, the main Launcher/Window manager is also an 'applet' (albeit an internal one). So you can position other applets around it.

Okay, moving on, the reason why I am so happy about this feature (over anything else), is that I believe we will now see some really cool stuff for Awn. There have been so many ideas floating around for months, which go from simple applets, to the extravagant (which is pretty easy to do with the excellent Empathy.

I would also love to see some cross-over happening with Gimmie, especially embedding its panel-applet into Awn (blinged up, of course :-).

Anyway, before we get there, I still need to make the applets system a bit more robust, and try and move as much as I can into libawn, so other applets can use colour settings etc, but this is a great start!

P.S. Can I just say thanks to everyone on the forums, bug reporters, and those who leave comments here, they have been really patient, plus they have been invaluable in giving feedback.


Fabien said...

Really fantastic work.
This is totally nice as usual.

Just one question as i didn't find time yet to dive into the code, i guess the applet system use dbus to communicate.
So my question is : couldn't there be a way of making this api compatible with the future dbus api proposed for the panel applets to replace bonobo ?(see http://blogs.gnome.org/desrt/2006/08/21/your-domain-lowercaseca-is-expiring/ )

Thanx for your hard work anyway and keep it comming :)


EONsim said...

Minor question how did you get the Workspace switcher coloured?

Nice work though!

Paulo said...

which icon set are you using? :-)

nice work, keep up

delfick said...

I'm excited :D

defrex said...

You know what'd be sweet? Affinity as awn applet.

Peter StJ said...

Good, you did good work. Now, can you tell me why you are leaving the problems awn has aside and keep inventing new stuff for it?

If you do not know what I am talking about, please see bug 199. I am tired of this inconsistency. I really admire your work, don't get me wrong. Plus you have some really great ideas. But I cannot understand why is this you keep hanging around obvious and easy to fix bugs.

What I really would like to know is what you put on first place, functionality or good looks? Because if I wanned functionality I would stick with the original gnome panel, for now awn is not doing more than it, it is doing less.
If it is the good looks don't you think that there are more elegant ways to resize and move windows around.

From looking at your mock-ups I am sure you can do much better.

You and fans here might think I would like to have just the mac dock, but this is not the truth, I just want a nice animation, smooth, intuitive and working!

And one final thing, it is not related really to your work but as I recognize you as one of the talented desktop apps creators don't you think that it is time to think about ways to create stuff that will be possible to use as part of something bigger, for example the app that shows flickr pix is really cool, but can it be used as part of an image viewer?

What I mean is that I think community provided/written but really good written code can be incorporated in the mainline desktop environments to provide more robust and beautiful user experience. I would really like to see this.

You might or might not seen the leopard demo, I recommend you see it, well... all those animation things shown and even more ARE POSSIBLE with todays technology. You and other folks are prooving it every day. But it is not used, because it is inconsistent.

For example, the reflective dock, the slide show in the file manager, the quick look even, and I even know how it can be done, but I doubt we will something like that on the linux desktop soon. And the stacks, it will be really nice this feature.

Please think about it. I do not say we should blindly copy OSX. But deep inside I am sure we can do at least this good, if not better!

Thank you for your time and for your work.

an ex-fan of awn - Peter

Neil J. Patel said...

@peter: I understand what you mean, but things go in order, I don't blog about bug fixes because in all honestly, no one would listen.

Secondly, if you look at the forums, you can see that I do take bugs seriously, and try and fix them as and when I can. Staying on this theme, I have recently (two days ago), added someone to help me out with bug reports, and I currently have 100+ emails in my inbox which I have to go through today and tomorrow.

Also, when I say today and tomorrow, that means when I get home, and before I get to sleep. So that, together with the fact I couldn't work on Awn for nearly two months may contribute to the fact that there are still bugs.

If Awn is crashing, I'll try and fix it as fast as I can, if there is a problem such as the resize problem you mentioned, then I may choose to do it after I have worked on something that _I know_ will break it, so I don't have to do everything again. Finally, if you have an issue with a design decision, then you can state your case, and I will try and sort it out, or make it an option, which you can plainly see I have done for over and over again, trying to keep everyone happy.

Also, please do not compare Awn to Mac OSX, I do this alone (as do kiba-dock etc), Apple have a bunch of programmers who do this for a living. I cannot attain there level of polish or options in what, 3-4 months of actual development.

Anonymous said...

Great work! What wallpaper is that?

Neil J. Patel said...

@anon: http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/36766418/?q=sparkling+green&qh=boost%3Apopular+age_sigma%3A24h+age_scale%3A5


Anonymous said...

Nice stuff! SVN revision 201 will be hitting Mandriva Linux Cooker /contrib/release and Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring /contrib/backports repositories soon :)

Anonymous said...

@peater lighten up man. Its not like you are paying for this. And what is with all the OS X comparison? If you love OS X why dont you go back to it and quit wasting our time with your rants!

Johan said...

I just wanted to say thanks for your excellent work. Just make sure you don't burn out.

oriol18 said...

Well, I say "I can't make any plugin", but I can translate awn to spanish and to catalan. When I finish and I'm sure they're working, I'll email you for give it.

Massimo said...

Hi, as usual: GREAT WORK!!! ;)
I read the TODO file in the svn trnuk, and, if you let me, I would suggest something, that maybe it's already in your mind, but I haven't red of it anywhere, and it is:
How about making that when you open multiple istances of a launcher (eg: 2 firefox windows, or thunderbird and a writin-email window, or simply GIMP) Avant doesn't popup 2 or more tasks, like it happens now, but opens only one, and when you click on it, it popups a little (cute, as everything you do...) menu that lets me choose what window raise up or take focus...

Another thing I'm not sure if you're thinking about is: why not let the user choose the size of Avant? I mean not only the size of the icons (which however resize automatically when there are too many tasks on Avant) but also the size of the whole bar, the height for example...
there's a big lack of space in GNOME desktop nowadays, and I can see quite well, so I can afford to have 20 px icons for example... ;)

I hope I have been clear, I know I wrote too much, is my big problem, but I just try to be completely understood...
Also I really really hope these words are going to be red, because I think these could be some really useful feautures that people need and since you're making all of our dreams come true, I hope these little ones wouldn't be a problem for you! ;)

Neil J. Patel said...

Hey Massimo!

You just described the two things I am working on, Resizing support, and task grouping support :-).

I need to clean up the TODO :-/!

Peter StJ said...

Accepted, you are right, I didn't realize you do this out of work.
I believe there is a middle way: let's say I make all my patches optional, like the new drawing, the icon spacing ( for example: use tight arrangement be an option in the config panel (I do not know python so someone else will have to add it, i can just plug it in the gconf)), as well as the type of animations, like mouse over jump or mouse over zoom. Will you accept such kind of changes in the code?

This way everyone will be happy - the hardcore linux fans as well as the OSX fans.

Let me know what you think.

By the way why not a new trash object, instead of making the panel applet work in awn, it will not behave as an awn object but instead it will looks like a panel icon. I am not sure how I will make this one zoom correctly.rr

Fred Morcos said...

hey neil,
please check this out: http://code.google.com/p/avant-window-navigator/issues/detail?id=195&can=2&q=

Julz said...

I just discovered AWN, just letting you know that I really enjoy using it, keep up the great work, it is appreciated!!

Topher Fangio said...

Thanks Neil! I have been following your project for a while hoping that the Debian package would just work (I never could get it to compile). You have made some great progress since the last time that I saw it.

I have one tiny feature request:

Can you make the size of the shadow on the text for tasks either a) larger or b) configurable? I was hoping that I could help out with this project because I really like the functionality that it provides, but when I looked at your code, I had no idea where to start.

Have any pointers for someone who hasn't done c in a while?

Thanks again for all the great work! Keep it up man!

Topher Fangio said...

As an aside (since I forgot to mention it before), until you get the ability to switch between programs instead of windows working, my current solution is to use beryl to put all of the windows of the same program onto a different workspace and then I can simply select the program to switch. Works rather well and I am sure it would work with any window manager that will let you see windows from all workspaces!