Some GNOME things that excite me

Some GNOME-y things that are impressing or exciting me today:

  • Fernando Herrera (of bug-buddy and other fame) is coming to Boston Summit. Rock. So should everyone else, of course. (I’ll be there for drinks and dinner :)
  • The Build Brigade has reached a significant milestone, with the integration of jhbuild and buildbot. Combined with the great summer work to get LDTP working in jhbuild, I look forward to sophisticated reporting and testing on builds soon.
  • Yay for better ISV docs! Now, why are these on and not the front page of again? :)  (Seriously, it doesn’t look like it is even linked from there…)
  • I need to write a more in-depth review soon, but I’m very impressed with Xournal. It still needs handwriting recognition to really compete with MS Journal, but otherwise is right up there in terms of polish (which is the really shocking part, given how young it is) and functionality.

9 thoughts on “Some GNOME things that excite me”

  1. Yeah, Xournal will be my killer application when I buy Fujitsu P1510 soon. (In fact, might be in about 3 months :p)

  2. Actually, I can’t see a reason why you’re excited or impressed with GNOME ISV Documentation.

    It started with the wrong foot because:

    1) one page for ISV Documentation??? It’ll either be a very long page or just another GNOME integration howto.
    2) the people who write that documentation can’t assume I know anything about GNOME. For example: what are the public API’s? What GNOME applications have public API’s? If so, can I interact with applications via their API or may I use DBUS? How can I create an Applet? How about putting an application in the notification area? How about those popups (notification daemon, I know)? What about other language support? Oh, and what’s that GConf stuff?

    I mean, there’s lots of information that can be very precious to an ISV and, if you ask me, most of the stuff in that guide is not a priority.

    Cheers and good luck.

  3. The ISV-docs page is indeed great. It should be on, but I guess g.o is in the middle of planning for some big changes — d.g.o is practically useless these days, which is unfortunate.

    Don’t mind CPinto there; he’s just bitter for some reason. I don’t see why interacting with GNOME applications via DBUS would be a higher priority for “Integrating existing software with GNOME” than, say, getting your app to show up in the menu.

  4. Ken, I’m not bitter just sad. Sad because I understand that there are lots of pieces of technology an ISV can use to create great looking GNOME applications and no single place to find them or read meaningful examples of how to take advantage of them.

    You mentioned a perfectly good example of how bad things are by choosing such a poor example: to create a desktop file that puts your application on the menu. Why do you have to create that stuff from scratch? I don’t see Windows ISVs creating desktop files to put in the menus, I see them doing something along the lines of ‘add an icon to this menu and this is it’s executable’.

    More stuff that should be top priority: what steps are performed while GNOME starts up? What is that session-manager? What can I, as an ISV, do with it? Here’s a good example of how to take advantage of the session-manager and DBUS: when the user finishes a session (either logout, computer shutdown, restart, whatever) the session-manager could send a DBUS signal to all listeners and those listeners (applications) could save their state (open documents, etc etc etc) to disk and instruct the session-manager that they’d like to be started the next time the user logs in.

    And why is that of any use, you ask? So that when the user logs in he/she will have the exact same applications with the exact same content opened for them.

    But is this possible? I have no idea. I could look around using Google, ask people around in a mailing list and get other people’s opinions or I could have a nice piece of canonical ISV documentation that told me what session-manager does and how it behaves.

    Another example: how do I print stuff? What APIs should I use? How do I get to use that cool looking print dialog? No idea… Better yet, look at the gnome-print code and then look at the code of some other application that uses that. That’s just great in a world where ISVs, especially the smaller ones, live and die by the time they spend learning a system.

    I’m not saying it would be better if the GNOME people that have started that ISV documentation effort dedicated their time to do something else. I just think that they have started with the wrong focus. They should probably ask the ISVs about what they want to know about GNOME? What would they like to see documented? Put up a big “GIVE US FEEDBACK” sign at or something. No one other than ISVs know what they’d like to have, so people will start guessing.

    If this is being bitter about something, then yes, I’m bitter.

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