6 October 2009

Announcing Emerillon, the map viewer

Didn’t I foretell you there’d be more announcements?  Here’s one: Emerillon.  It is pronounced Ey-may-ree-yon. It is destined to be GNOME’s Map Viewer.  You will quickly recognize its sister apps: Eye of Gnome, Evince and GEdit. After all, they share a lot of design concepts.

Why another map application do you say? Simply because none of them is free AND targeted at the Gnome desktop AND has ease of use in its (visible) goals.  This project should be easy to use for anyone, not only for mapping geeks.

Emerillon is an application designed to be extended.  There is a number of small specialized map applications that were created in the last year, I have hope this one will be the catalyst of the development efforts.  Out of the box, Emerillon comes with 2 plugins: a search and a placemark plugin.  There are numerous plugins ideas : a GPX viewer, GPS integration, Telepathy integration (both to share the app and to display your friends location), a plugin to display the position under the mouse cursor, a plugin to display personal markers and I have two special ideas that I want to keep for myself to implement :) Other ideas are welcomed too!

Emerillon is a project originally started by Marco Barisione in October 2008.  Due to various reasons, it remained dormant for almost a year, until I decided to take over and push it forward.   Turns out, Marco had laid out very good UI base on which I built upon.

Visit http://www.novopia.com/emerillon/ for more screenshots and details.

Kudos to be given

Emerillon is built of code inspired by other projects and very cool libraries.  Early on, Marco borrowed Evince‘s sidebar.  This sidebar is so nice and clean that it should be part of Gtk+! The problem is that this code is GPL but Gtk+ is not.

Another quite common widget in Gnome apps is Epiphany’s spinning throbber.  Again, it is GPL’d and the code has to be copied from apps to apps.

I am not going to kudo libchamplain ;) Lets say I have found API omissions that will need to be addressed for Emerillon to work perfectly. Who needs a “selected” signal after all? :) Still, libchamplain was quite necessary to build this app.

Emerillon’s plugin system was faster to implement than I expected when I got this idea.  But thanks to Ethos, it was a simpler task.  Ethos is a complete (Gedit/EOG alike) plugin architecture in a library.  It even provides UI widgets to manage the plugins.

Emerillon’s search plugin uses librest to fetch its data from geonames.org.  Rob Bradford was right: it is now fun again to parse XML.  I mean really.  This library makes fetching web service data an easy task.

Fetch Emerillon from Gnome’s git today and give it a try!

Comments (18)

  1. 6 October 2009
    Emmanuele Bassi said...

    looks pretty awesome indeed! congrats!

  2. 6 October 2009
    Javier Jardón said...

    Very cool, thank you!

  3. 6 October 2009
    eloy said...

    could you tell me which theme do you use in gtk+ and metacity?

  4. 6 October 2009
    .fosk. said...

    Very nice! It will be a very useful application to manage “locations” in gnome!
    Hope it keeps improving!

    Thank you very much!

  5. 6 October 2009
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Eloy: Have a look at the very, very nice Gnome-colors themes: http://code.google.com/p/gnome-colors/ :)

  6. 6 October 2009
    Sven Arvidsson said...

    Frickin’ awesome! :)

    Any chance it will be proposed for GNOME 2.30?

  7. 6 October 2009
    ethana2 said...

    Thank God, one less reason to use OS X on my G4.

  8. 6 October 2009
    oliver said...

    Neat! Anyone knows if there’s a package (with all the dependencies) available already?

  9. 6 October 2009
    Quikee said...

    Umm.. I see the need to write a library like libchamplain in C but an application like Emerillon – I would not do it. I know that it will be able to use plugins written in a more higher level language but for the core at least in something like Vala (depeonds on the scope of the application). But this is just me. ;)

    I am also a bit skeptical about librest because I think that it doesn’t really have much benefits over pure libsoup (ignoring the xml parser). geoName also supports json which means you could avoid xml all-together and use json-glib (even tough I think json-glib has an horrible API).

    Otherwise I think it is great to have such an application in Gnome (haven’t really tested it yet tough).

  10. 6 October 2009
    riannek said...

    Just a suggestion: put the +/- zoom buttons to the right of the search entry box, they belong to the map (on the right), while the search results show up on the left…

  11. 6 October 2009
    TrueTom said...

    Buuuh… :)

    Program received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
    0x005d0ea3 in geoclue_master_client_set_requirements () from /usr/lib/libgeoclue.so.0
    (gdb) backtrace
    #0 0x005d0ea3 in geoclue_master_client_set_requirements () from /usr/lib/libgeoclue.so.0
    #1 0x0804f1f2 in emerillon_window_init (self=0×8416838) at window.c:167
    #2 0x00ccd8cf in g_type_create_instance () from /usr/lib/libgobject-2.0.so.0
    #3 0x00cb26f8 in ?? () from /usr/lib/libgobject-2.0.so.0
    #4 0x0804e074 in emerillon_window_constructor (type=134937248, n_construct_properties=2,
    construct_params=0x80afa68) at window.c:219
    #5 0x00cb38ec in g_object_newv () from /usr/lib/libgobject-2.0.so.0
    #6 0x00cb4551 in g_object_new_valist () from /usr/lib/libgobject-2.0.so.0
    #7 0x00cb466e in g_object_new () from /usr/lib/libgobject-2.0.so.0
    #8 0x0804daeb in emerillon_window_dup_default () at window.c:250
    #9 0x0804cc6c in main (argc=1, argv=0xbffff404) at main.c:53

  12. 6 October 2009
    Pierre-Luc Beaudoin said...

    Riannek, no a bad idea indeed.
    Truetom: there is an error in Ubuntu Karmic’s packaging of Geoclue: you need the geoclue package, not only libgeoclue(-dev). Still, this crash should be reported to GeoClue.

  13. 6 October 2009
    TrueTom said...

    That actually helps, but now clutter is crashing the Intel gfx driver… Yikes!

  14. 6 October 2009
    Stu said...

    What are the theme(s) your using, looks pretty good with menus the same colour as the window decorations.

  15. 7 October 2009

    [...] es un visor de mapas libre para Gnome que acaba de ser anunciado por Pierre-Luc Beaudoin en su [...]

  16. 8 October 2009
    Jens said...

    TrekBuddy Map creator plugin!

  17. 8 November 2009

    [...] est un viseur libre de cartes pour Gnome qui vient d’être annoncé par Pierre-Luc Beaudoin dans son habitacle. Dans des mots de son créateur, «les motivations pour créer cette [...]