Archive for March, 2006

Epiphany is hype, get over it

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Ploum writes about epiphany 2.14, and explain why it’s the best browser for gnome.

To make it short, here is a summary of the killer features in epiphany 2.14

  • Easy RSS subscription, integration with gnome programs (liferea, blam, straw)
  • “Tagged” Bookmarks management (very Web 2.0)
  • Adblock extension working out of the box
  • HIG and gnome integration everywhere
  • Simple and easy to understand preferences
  • Light and responsive
  • Very few popups, unobtrusive error pages are used instead

…but he missed the deskbar integration, which i will fix now:

  • Deskbar will index and allow to search through bookmarks
  • Deskbar will index and allow to search through your browsing history
  • Deskbar will allow you to quickly search using epiphany smart bookmarks
Epiphany smart bookmarks
This is my epiphany toolbar, i have three smart bookmarks, one to search for gnome bug number, another one to search stock quotes by ticker symbol, and the last one is search
Epiphany url bar
This is the epiphany dropdown when i stype somehting in epiphany URL bar, allowing me to use one of my smart bookmark with the query. Here i’m searching for a random bug number
Deskbar uses epiphany smart bookmarks
And finally, i can use deskbar, even if the browser isn’t running, a keyboard shortcut away, to use my smart bookmarks. Here i’m going to search for yahoo quotes for GOOG symbol. Also note how i have history pages, and bookmarks appearing too, allowing me to quickly open them.

There is also a way to associate a keyboard shortcut to search engines, and/or a ‘keyword’ in deskbar preferences:

Deskbar has shortcuts/keywords
In deskbar preferences, when you select ‘Web searches’, you can click the ‘More…’ button to get more smart bookmarks preferences.

As you can see, i have the ‘g’ letter for google, which means i can type in deskbar g test to search in google the term ‘test’.

Even better, i can directly use the shortcut to open the term in google without even selecting it in the list: I type ‘test’, then hit Alt-g, and it fires up a google search (this of course only works when you have a one-letter keyword)

This is also a feature we want to extend for every possible action in future versions of deskbar.

Now, use epiphany, and be happy !

One last thing…

And finally a quick tip: if you want to open a command-line program and see it’s output, type it’s name and instead of selecting it in the list, hit Alt-t, it will start the program and redirect it’s output in a text window using zenity, useful for example to see if the command executes successfully.

Deskbar open in terminal
After launching a sitecopy command with alt-t, i receive the output of the command in a nice window, useful for quick commands like that.

Deskbar/Beagle screencast and call for volunteers

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Deskbar and beagle screencast

Following up to my previous post, Bjørn Haagensen – a long time deskbar tester – has contributed a screencast of deskbar and beagle integration, this time in GIF (made with byzanz).

Warning: the screencast is eating all my RAM, so i can’t view it. I guess i can blame gecko for that.. YMMV

Call for volunteers

Someone recently asked in deskbar-applet-list if someone could help improve the mailman system they use at gnome.

I just recently joined the Gnome Moderator Team[1] which handles
moderation requests for all of the Gnome Projects mailing lists. As
most of you know, we use mailman to manage this, which is written in

We have had a nagging issue for sometime now, where each list that
needs an e-mail approved or denied must be visited and handled
individually. Not a big deal until a spammer hits every gnome mailing
list with a message that must be binned, and we are forced to login to
the same page and click the same 3 buttons a hundred times.

A ‘unified moderation panel’ has long been a wish of ours […]

You can find the full mail here. It’s a great way to get started in the gnome community, if you know python. GO !

Contact moderator gnome org is your contact to get started on this, specify the mail or something in the mail so they get what you are talking about. (And don’t forget to replace spaces with appropriate @ and .)

Deskbar 2.14

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

There it is, we finally released the final 2.14 version of deskbar for the general audience !

Nigel made an excellent comment and a screencast (flash) (mirror) showcasing some current deskbar capabilities.

I’m glad to see that the gnome community is loving it, and using it !


Deskbar and leaftag, last-exit

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Desktop 2.0

Just because the blog writer is open i feel the need to post a screenshot of deskbar working with leaftag (it’s all betaware, but.. it r0cks !)

Choose a file
Choose one or more files, right-click and Tag
Enter the tags
Enter the tags with an Ãœber cool dialog
Enters Deskbar
Summon deskbar enter a tag, and voila ! Desktop 2.0 at your fingertips

Last exit

last-exit is a gtk implementation of the (‘social’ music streaming, gotta hate these web 2.0 buzzwords) client. Needless to say it rocks. Hard.

If you feel the need to save the song you’re currently listening on, you can use a secret patch (ask for it in IRC) that allows to dump the stream and nicely save the playing song when it has finished streaming under a given directory/artist - album - track.mp3

Last-exit player
Last exit player window. with play/pause button, like/dislike, Tag this song, Journal this song, the song metadata, and a save button which does the saving voodoo.

Please note that 0.2 version might not work with recent gstreamers for unclear reasons, the bug has been filed in bugzilla.

DBus Testing Framework

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Hello dbus coders out here, i’m pleased to announce the first release of a dbus testing framework.

What is it ?

You may know that testing dbus services or debugging dbus clients is not always easy since it involves creating services and wiring up things you don’t really want to do in a test script.

This framework (quite a buzzword) allows you to easily setup and run dbus services and clients in a linear python script.

Originally written for the telepathy framework (a inter process communication framework aiming to bring conversation as first-class desktop citizen) (don’t laugh rob), an heavy consumer of dbus stuff, and sponsored by Collabora.

Libnotify Sample

Just to have a teaser, here is a libnotify test sample, it opens a notification bubble and then close it and checks that the closing reason and id is correct:

self["notif"] = ("org.freedesktop.Notifications",

id = self["notif"]["Notify"].call("notifname", 0, "", "title", "content",[],{}, 0)

results = self["notif"]["NotificationClosed"].wait()

assert results[0] == id

Documentation and download

You can access the full explanation and tutorial and documentation on this page. For the moment the framework is a single python file available here and you can download the sample tests file to get an idea of what kind of scripts can be written.

Epiphany URL entry in monospace

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

This is a nice trick i didn’t know about. If you ever wanted to have a monospaced font for your location entry in epiphany (it works with galeon too), because monospace is nice, and easier to correct, and you can spot errors, here is how:

Monospace font in the entry

Put this in a file called ~/.gnome2/epiphanyrc:

style "mono" { font_name = "Bitstream Vera Sans Mono" }
widget_class "*.EphyLocationEntry.*" style "mono"

You can of course tweak the font settings if you want, say, Comic Sans MS 🙂