Thursday, 13 September 2007

How'd you like me now!

So in my tradition of one post per month (which, I know, needs to change), I present you with some updates from the world of Awn:


There have been lots of cool applets popping up, especially since the python bindings were committed a week or so ago.

Stacks player

Main menu


The move to launchpad has also created some very cool branches of Awn by other people which focus on new ideas, or new ways to implement existing ones. Below are two examples, the first being the libawn-effects branch, which migrates a lot of effects code from Awn to libawn, wraps a nice api around them, and adds a few more fancy effects:

The second branch concentrated on providing another approach to the usual linear arrangement of icons on the dock. Awn-curves puts icons on a slight curve which increases the feeling of depth:

Both are quite stable and are in line for a merge :-)

*Update* As usual, the videos have been stripped out, so if you want to see them you'll have to click on the post title above.


felipe said...

just too cool, I wasn't using AWN anymore... guess i'm trapped in again :)

Kudos Neil

Ivan said...

Great, really.

Cheers, Neil, you make my day!

Francois said...

Come on Neil, tell us about the Media Center... Don't tell us you gave it up. :)

Neil J. Patel said...

@felipe: What!?! You stopped using Awn ;-)

@ivan: Thanks!

@francois: Not at all, I just haven't had the time these past few months, but that doesn't mean it won't happen, I just nee dto get some stuff sorted in 'real life' first :-).

Oh, and I haven't forgotten about Affinity either before anyone asks!

Joshua Hesketh said...

Looking great!

I would love to have this for SFD to show off. Is there any sort of apt repository with the latest updates?

Diego said...

I have the last version of can I enable that pretty effect of the video ??????

Markus said...

Those are som really impressing features :) great! But:

Even though you probably aren't going for a Max OS X's dock clone, I just have to say this:

IMHO you are missing the whole selling point of the OS X dock: USABILITY. The beautifulness of OS X dock is that there is:
* one icon for each running application
* one icon for each minimized window

And optionally, the application icons can be kept in dock even when the application is not running.

That is: when I start an application with a launcher click, the launcher becomes a button to access that application instance. This way I never have to care abuot if the application is already running or not: when I click that particular icon, the application apears. Moreover, I save screen space, as I no longer have to have a clickable [button|icon] to both the launcher and the instance.

Of course one can choose to have an aditional list of all open windows, minimized or not. Maybe in the form of your newly implemented stacks :)

However, I really admire your work, I wanted to start a similar project some time ago, but I just couldn't find the time+energy combination.

Neil J. Patel said...

@Markus: Awn has had that exact behaviour since February :-). You can drag desktop files to Awn and they become 'launchers'. When you click them, the launchers become responsible for their application window, and you can have them show an 'arrow' underneath so you know that the application is 'launched'.

Markus said...

@Neil J. Patel: that's fantastic! I probably did something wrong and accidentaly launched an old build ;).

A separation of the Launcher/Taskmanager applet (as suggested in a blueprint on launchpad) could be a good idea though... Not sure I like the large-icon-for-each-window thing ..

Jack Hynes said...

Some great progress is being made! I don't have the time to always install all the bleeding edge stuff but with the looks of some of this stuff I think I'll have a quick go! It's great finding 'a dude abides' posts in Reader!

Anonymous said...

how can I enable this new bounce effect?

Gavin said...

Neil: I like what's happening with AWN. I haven't been using it for a few weeks though, since I prefer kiba-dock.

I think these new additions are very promising though.

My gripes:

Is anything ever going to be done about the annoying thing that happens when you close windows (seen right at the beginning of the second video?) ... the dock "pop"'s and it looks horrible (to me).

Also, I'd like some ability to drag the various items around in the dock to rearrange them, like kiba-dock has.

Emil said...

Oh its smooth. Got both curves and effects to run - not simultaniously though. But read in the forums it doesnt work together for the moment right?

You guys are doing a wonderful job.

question: Cant find the stack-applet to play with, where can i find this?

Landon said...

Don't listen to any of the nay-sayers Neil, awn is awesome. The fact that (mostly) you have been able to build such an incredible dock application amazes me.

And yes... what about ARENA! :) Please don't tell us you've given that up! The album art looked soooo cool :)

Umberto said...

You are incredible...
A huge thanks for your excellent work!


Michael said...

Is there an IRC channel for AWN? My problem is that applets are not listed to be added in the dialog at all :(

Thales said...

@michael: Do this:

$ bzr co awn-extras
$ cd awn-extras/awn-applets
$ ./
$ make && sudo make install

After that, the applets will be listed in the dialog.

ryan said...

Is the dock still stuck on the bottom center of the primary screen?

Mark said...


i like this post a lot!! :D
but please post some more.. mainly installation help..

checking for DEPS... configure: error: Package requirements (gtk+-2.0
librsvg-2.0) were not met:

No package 'awn' found
No package 'libgnome-menu' found

And i'm looking forward to the media center it looks awsome.

Anonymous said...

try "sudo apt-get install gnome-devel"

That fixed my problems with missing deps.

Séb said...

Hi Neil ! This is a really great job you've done ! Thanks to all of you.

Well I have (a dream ?) a question ! But maybe it's just a dream because you never answered me... :(

I'd like to know what is the font on the screenshots of desktop search front end ?? (Remember, the news at the bottom of you blog) On what OS the screenshot was taken and if there are any special configuration (like LCD cleartype) ? the font size ? etc...

BECAUSE I FELT IN LOVE with this screenshot !!! lol please answer me !

I have a copy of your sreenshot here

Adam said...

That is pretty awsome, any chance of something like this coming to Windows, sorry guys I like Macs just to expensive for me, also that fish back ground is funny where'ed ya get it?

Mark said...

i'm running Fedora Rawhide (8) and i think it's libgnome-devel there but that's installed and still the same message.. but thanx alot for the suggestion.

There are alot programs like this for windows but none the same as this one ^_^

zalamort said...

wallpaper ? :P

Anonymous said...

Linux, all about reaction, not about action. "Hey Apple/MS" put this in their products, let's go try to make a clone.

Sorry, it had to be said. The community disgust me sometimes and in-fact most of the time. I wish I could look at piece of Linux and say "Wow that is really Linuxy" on something besides unneeded complexity and odd program names.

Kevin said...

awn seriously needs to be able to run several animation sequences at the same time. for example, the main bar should shrink in sync with an icon floating away (being removed) rather than the icon animation finishing then the bar jumping to its new size with the other icons slowing shifting into their place. Use the kiba-dock physics engine perhaps (i know it's C code but couldn't it be pulled in as a python module)?

Anonymous said...

It really is very cool, but I would miss my 254*254 icons :/

Russ said...

Can anyone point me to a How To: to get AWN running like this on Ubuntu Feisty on a Macbook? I haven't installed Beryl, just use the built-in compiz.

Thank you very much.

Neil J. Patel said...

@kevin: Awn can already do multiple animations and has done from the start. The only reason there is a 'jump' is because no one has coded it yet. It doesn't mean that we are not capable or we need to look at other sources (no offence to kiba, which rocks) just means that it's one more bug to fix.

@anon: Thanks for that, here's a few more people who need that advice

Everyone else, thanks for the comments, and critique, I'll try and covert thes e in to bug reports.


Mikey said...

Great post, thanks and look forward to reading more articles. I publish articles on a daily basis related to 'Websites' see here

BrokenCrystal said...

I was wondering how close you are to a final release? The reason I am asking is because I would like to see a package added to the repositories of say "Ubuntu" and "Your distro of choice goes here" in the near future. ..

c0nv1ct said...


emerge avant-window-navigator avant-window-navigator-extras

works just fine for me :D

Bronzecat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bronzecat said...

Kiba #rocks# and AWN #pops#!
Why don't you two join forces? Like Beryl and Compiz!!
We'll get the greatest dock on linux EVA! :)

Séb said...

No answers for me ??? :((((

Oh God, I just ask for a font name please !!!

Website Design said...

Thats awesome. I'm going to go back to using AWN at least a little :)

emil said...

Neil! Good work. I've been playing around with the latest in the trunk and its so cool. Allthough no effect can even compare with the squishy one. Just waiting for that dogtoy sound to be implemented. :P

Well i have an idea for the stackapplet. Could it be made so that you can have a stack with several terminal windows? I like having more then one terminal up and atleast i'd like to start them up by clicking the icon but that only starts up my old one. so something like middleclicking a icon opens the program again while the normalclick goes to that window. or something. you get my point?

trademark registration said...

Thats great. I'm going to try using AWN and see how it goes :)

dh003i said...

To the annonymous user saying that all Linux does is follow, Linux has had docks for a long time, and certainly before they were in Windows or MacOS. You don't see a bunch of people saying all Apple ever does is copy BSD code, etc.

In any event, if Apple makes a good improvement on something, why shouldn't Linux developers follow? There's no shame in following a good idea.

The idea that everything has to be original and innovative is stupid. That's just pointless re-inventing the wheel crap.

search engine optimization said...

im most likely going to back to trying this out

t-shirts said...

@ anonymous above, who said :
“Linux, all about reaction, not about action. "Hey Apple/MS" put this in their products, let's go try to make a clone.
Sorry, it had to be said. The community disgust me sometimes and in-fact most of the time. I wish I could look at piece of Linux and say "Wow that is really Linuxy" on something besides unneeded complexity and odd program names.”
Linux is free dude. Let's see if Apple OS or Windows can live up to that? Besides it being free, it has greater potential to be awesome. Compiz (or Beryl) is much better than what OS or Windows currently provides. I'm sure OS Leopard will put Linux on the backfoot again, but it's still free-- AND applications are easy to find, install, update and get working. Why spend the extra bucks on a MAC (with an Intel processor) so you can get OS, when you can get a standard PC and install something as cool as Linux?
While Linux may be copying OS (sometimes) it's pretty evident that Windows is copying Linux! XP was more 'linuxey' (at the time) than anything else. I think you need to go back and look at things properly. And, once again, Linux is FREE. Let's see if MS or Apple can beat that!

oil paintings from photos said...

AWN used to give me too much stress that’s why I gave it up. I tried working based on the discussion you have here and realized that AWN and I both deserve a second chance. Thanks, pal.

Search Engine Marketing said...

Ive always used AWN. Im happy with it.

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