22 October 2008

My view on the new proposed Gnome shell

Vuntz and mathias, while I understand the rationale behind the static panel and why mathias doesn’t like it, I’d like to tell you why I like the new concept.

My grandmother can barely tell the difference between a launcher, the Window list and the Notification area.  She was introduced to Linux by my grandfather, who was introduced to Linux by me 2 years ago.  They have never used any other OS in their life.

Part of the issue with the notification area is that aMSN sits there constantly.  But when it is not running, she has to click on the green people on the left (the launcher).  When the window is not open, she has to click on the green people on the right (notification area).  When the window is minimized, she has to click on the green people at the bottom (Window list).

This is something MacOS X does much better.  The launcher icon transforms itself as a notification area (think of Adium).  It is also a way to bring back your windows from that application.  And it is rather easy to see which applications are running from a glimpse.

The activities concept proposed for Gnome is interesting.  I really like the idea of having a “composé” list of the currently active applications (minimized or not) and that presence (or IM) is integrated in the panel (and probably always running).  I really like the fact that there is no launcher area (although I use it constantly).  I do think the launcher area only exists because the Applications menu is just too slow to launch apps. Also in an office environment, the launch area is often used to place the sacred company applications.  Therefore, we should provide a way in the activities menu to have a set of applications that should always be on the list (before we have to click on more).  This is like the activities at the top of the Start menu in Microsoft Windows.

I do find that being unable to raise a minimized window in one click is less interesting.  But should the minimize button really exist? The minimize button is just a way to say “get out of the way, I want to see the window behind” for people always working with full screen apps.  Why not replace it with a more convenient functionality, like “swap with behind”.  More thinking needed ;)

In conclusion, the new design is nice, it should provide a less cluttered desktop for every one.  Regular users (my grand-mother) should catch how to manage their windows and apps with more ease while power users should use something like Gnome-do or Deskbar to launch applications faster.

15 October 2008

WebKitGtk Accessibility at Boston Gnome Summit

Collabora sponsored my trip to the Boston Gnome Summit 2008. It was my first Boston Summit and I have to say that I enjoyed the event: it is more a hackfest than a conference which gives the attendees time to hack. They split the people among rooms on specific subjects. Based on the opening talk, I felt that the a11y room should be quite interesting.

Willie Walker and Joanmarie Diggs were keen enough to give Marco and I a good introduction talk on a11y and how the different a11y technologies work on the Gnome stack. They also took the time to explain us how Mozilla does a11y and how WebKitGtk doesn’t do much right now.

Alp Toker did start the a11y work some weeks ago. I think he got busy as he forgot to publish all his work.  After a quick chat, he posted a patch under Bug 21546 for everyone to contribute.

Accessibility absolutely needs to be fixed before WebKitGtk can be considered for a possible inclusion in Gnome 2.26. This means we need to make this a high priority for us Gtk+ developers as no one should be left behind (para-quoting of a US act was unintentional).

To make a11y work in WebKitGtk:

  • we need to get caret browsing working: Alp worked on that, but it needs work.
  • we need to expose the page’s content through AT-SPI and Atk: Alp did a lot of work, who is volunteering to review the 50k patch? :) and continue the work?

Please take time to have a look at Gnome Accessibility Technologies and their documentation.

Unfortunately, making accessibility work will take time and it will progress only based on our free time.  But since most of the contributors to WebKitGtk are also contractors, someone willing to fund this work could easily make things progress faster.

12 October 2008

EOG Champlain plugin is now merged

The code to display maps in EOG for you geotagged photos is now merged into EOG Plugins.

You can grabe the code there:

svn co http://svn.gnome.org/svn/eog-plugins/trunk eog-plugin

To build it, you will need libchamplain and libchamplain 0.2.2 or later.

You can find 2 sample geotagged images on the bugzilla.

7 October 2008

Libchamplain 0.2.2

In this release of your favorite Gtk+ Map Widget you get:

  • Bug fixes:
    • zoom-level property changes are notified if changed when setting a new map-source;
    • Markers are now ordered from top to bottom instead of first added, first drawn using ChamplainLayer.  This is more natural to the eye.
  • Less exported symbols;
  • A less error prone library (data passed as parameter is now validated); — thanks to Marco for pointing out my Engrish lol

Grab the 0.2.2 release here!

Since I forgot to blog abour libchamplain 0.2.1, here is what was improved:

  • Bug fixes:
    • Markers’ position wasn’t updated when the map was recentered;
    • Build fixes for packagers;
  • A more standard API: (lat, lon) is now used instead of (lon, lat);
  • There is now libchamplain and libchamplain-gtk.  libchamplain can be used alone in a pure Clutter applications, where libchamplain-gtk is obviously a Gtk+ widget that wraps libchamplain.

EOG Map Plugin is now public

With this release, I am also happy to announce that I have published the code for the EOG Map plugin. You can grab it here in the Gnome Buzilla.  Download it, try it and test it, there has to be some bugs left over hehe (although I did my best to polish it!).

6 October 2008

Mini hackfest pour OpenImpro

Samedi passé avait lieu le premier mini hackfest pour OpenImpro. En fait, c’est que Yannick Bélanger s’est joint à moi pour poursuivre le développement du projet. Puisqu’il est un utilisateur professionnel de PHP, ses connaissances sont les bienvenues pour améliorer le projet et sa sécurité.

Ce hackfest a également été rendu possible grâce à la participation financière de la Gailaxie, la principale ligue d’improvisation qui utilise OpenImpro.  La ligue a consentie un montant forfaitaire pour réaliser les quelques fonctionnalités qu’elle désirait obtenir.

C’est ainsi que nous pouvons annoncer la sortie d’OpenImpro 1.2.  Voici les améliorations apportées dans cette version:

  • Section nouvelles: vous pouvez publier des nouvelles sous forme de texte.
  • Statistiques par saison dans les profils: un sélecteur de saison permet au visiteur de choisir la saison dont il désire voir les statistique lorsqu’il visite le profil d’un joueur.
  • Un membre de la ligue peut maintenant cumuler plusieurs rôles.
  • Vous pouvez maintenant définir vos propres rôles.
  • Vous pouvez également modifier l’ordre d’affichage des rôles.
  • Les réponses inchangés lorsqu’un joueur modifie son profil ne sont plus soumises systématiquement aux modérateurs.
  • Vous pouvez désactiver l’accès à la section privée à des anciens joueurs.
  • Vous pouvez filtrer la liste des joueurs et le calendrier dans la section privée.
  • Le nom de la personne s’étant branchée la dernière fois est présélectionné dans la page d’accueil.

Comme vous le constatez, nous n’avons pas chômé ce week-end.  Il reste encore beaucoup à faire, mais d’ici là: installez OpenImpro et amusez-vous avec.

Wilkomen an pierlux.com!

In Zukunft, benutzten Sie bitte pierlux.com für meinen Web Seite.  Alle squidy.info Links werden automatisch durch HTTP 301 Antworten auf pierlux.com umgeleitet werden.  Ihren Browser würden die URL ändern.  Tut mir leid, wenn dies dazu fuehrt, dass meine Posts auf einigen Planets ganz oben auftauchen.

Ich habe meinen domain ändern, weil Ich glaube dass, squidy buchstabieren auf Französich schwierig ist.  pierlux.com muss ich auch buchstabieren, aber es ist weniger komplex.

Meinen neuen email adresse ist: pierre-luc@pierlux.com

squidy.info sollte für der nächten 5 Jahren funktionieren.

Welcome to pierlux.com

As of now, squidy.info will cease to be used for pierlux.com! All links to squidy.info will be redirected toward pierlux.com with HTTP code 301, meaning that your browsers and applications should update the URL on their own.  Sorry if this made my posts bump on some planets.

I decided to change my domain name to better reflect my on-line personality and because quite frankly, squidy.info was hard to spell.  More over, some of the letters in squidy sound the same over the phone.  While I will have to spell pierlux when giving my email, it should be less difficult.

By the way, here is my new email address: pierre-luc@pierlux.com.

squidy.info should remain in back-up for the next 5 years.

Bienvenue sur pierlux.com

À partir d’aujourd’hui, exit squidy.info, bienvenue sur pierlux.com!  Tous les liens pointant vers squidy.info seront redirigés vers pierlux.com avec un code HTTP 301, vos navigateur devraient donc mettre à jour vos signets automatiquement.  Désolé pour les planet où mes billets se sont vu republiés à cause de ce changement.

J’ai décidé de changer de nom de domaine car il doit exister plus d’une dizaine de manière d’écrire squidy en français, je devais donc l’épeler à chaque fois.  Comble de malheur, plusieurs de ces lettres se ressemblent lorsque dites au téléphone.  Bref, je crois que pierlux sera plus agréable et surtout plus près de mon identité virtuelle.

Sachez que mon adresse de courriel a également changée pour pierre-luc@pierlux.com.

squidy.info devrait tout de même fonctionner pour les 5 prochaines années.