Tag Archives: LXDE Components

Recent Advancement on libfm (core of next generation pcmanfm).

Everybody loves screenshots!

Libfm can access remote filesystems now.
Libfm can access remote filesystems now.

Look! It’s sftp://.

By utilizing glib/gio and gvfs, now libfm can access remote filesystems supported by gvfs. Currently there is no auto-mounting. So when testing libfm, you need to mount the filesystems with gvfs-mount manually. However this should work once libfm is finished.

The current source code in svn repositoy can already work as a good filesystem browser. However other parts are not yet finished so it’s not fully working. Anyways, browsing local and remote filesystems already works.

For those who claimed that gio and gvfs are heavy and slow, please try libfm. Although it uses gio/gvfs in several parts, the speed and memory usage are still quite acceptible. Sometimes programs using gio and gvfs can be slow, but libfm is not slow at all. Nor will the next generation pcmanfm be slow. Please give it a try and you’ll see it.

The project page of libfm: http://sourceforge.net/projects/libfm

LXPanel 0.5.3

LXPanel 0.5.3 was released today.  We are working toward alleviating the discomfort that some users feel with vertical panels as they exist in 0.5.x for use on smaller screens. Please feel free to discuss further.

General

A serious flaw that prevented vertical panels from honoring their configured size was corrected.  With this fixed it is possible to configure a vertical panel as small as 16 pixels. We regret that this was not discovered sooner.

Desktop number plugin

A new feature in the desktop number plugin allows you to use just the number rather than the full desktop name as reported by the window manager.  This allows the text to fit in a width of 16 pixels.

Digital clock plugin

A new feature allows you to have the clock be represented only by an icon, and access the time by hovering over it to see the tooltip. This makes the minimum size of the clock 16×16 pixels. You can also use the \n feature in the clock format string, introduced in 0.5.0, to stack the time vertically as you see fit.

Menu plugin

Another important correction solves an issue where menu icons that derive from the current GTK theme were lost.

Taskbar plugin

If you choose you can configure the taskbar as “icons only, tooltips” and access the window title by hovering over it to see the tooltip. I am skeptical that returning to the “text sideways” mode is helpful for the taskbar since this uses a considerable amount of height, which is also in short supply on small screens.

Window Command plugin

The previous behavior that alternately performed iconify/shade and raise has returned as a configurable option.

LXPanel 0.5.1 is released.

Soon after Marty Jack released LXPanel 0.5.0, I made some minor enhancements and here comes LXPanel 0.5.1.
Changes:

  1. The “Run” dialog no longer hangs. Now it’s showed immediately when you open it. Available commands for auto-completion is loaded in background with multi-threading.
  2. Restore the old behavior of taskbar in earlier versions: Taskbar button for the currently focused window is depressed if “Flat buttons” option is turned off.
  3. Some internal changes to reduce program size.
  4. Hide signal strength display in the icon of the netstatus applet if the monitored iface is not wireless.

Please give it a try!  Have fun!

LXPanel 0.5.0

LXPanel 0.5.0 is being readied for release.  Here is a preview of the new and changed features.

General

Optional automatic hiding of the panel when it is not being actively accessed is now supported.  It is configured on Panel Settings/Advanced.

Vertical panels are now assumed to be wide, and things are drawn normally rather than on their side as they were in previous releases.  The idea is that vertical panels are used on widescreen monitors where there is more width than there is height.  Use of autohide can also recover screen space if desired. This is consistent with the practice that has developed in other desktop environments.

A new feature in this release allows you to adjust the icon size independently of panel height. In addition, the font size adjusts with the icon size. This can be useful to configure panels as short as 16 pixels, or to configure panels that have space for more than one row of elements.  These features are configured on Panel Settings/Geometry.

A new layout manager for the Keyboard LED, Launchbar, Pager, System Tray, and Taskbar plugins adapts to the size of the panel and repacks icons to use space most efficiently.

Now only the Space and Taskbar plugins will honor “stretch” or offer it in the Panel Settings/Panel Applets dialog. For the Taskbar plugin, it is defaulted on.

Font color is now honored in every plugin. Font color changes immediately in all plugins as it should.

A total of 21 languages are 100% translated, representing in excess of 1.6 billion native speakers.

Many minor bugs have been fixed throughout.

Desktop Number plugin

Now shows desktop names if available from the window manager.

Digital Clock plugin

The clock format string may now contain \n to introduce a line break.

Directory Menu plugin

The Directory Menu plugin now has a configuration dialog.  Configurable properties include the starting root directory, the icon, and a textual label.

Keyboard Layout plugin

The Keyboard Layout plugin now builds by default. It has been thoroughly checked out.

Launchbar plugin

The handling of an empty launchbar has been enhanced to avoid displaying the broken image icon.  Now the plugin puts up an “Add” button when the launchbar is empty.  This button takes the user directly to the configuration dialog where applications can be added.

The launchbar configuration dialog now populates a list of available applications from the menu cache. It is no longer possible to add an application to the launchbar unless it is in the menu. However, users no longer have to search the file system for the desktop file if it is not in the particular directory that the plugin displayed in previous releases.

Users should be aware that the standard per-user location for .desktop files is ~/.local/share/applications. If you place your .desktop files there, they will be added to your menu and you can then add them to the launchbar.

The launchbar configuration dialog now displays the application icons.

Menu plugin

The Menu plugin implements the freedesktop.org menu standard, which specifies the directories that are searched for .desktop and .directory files. If you are experiencing difficulty with applications not appearing in the menu, you may examine the first few lines of the menu cache file in ~/.cache/menus to see the list of directories that were searched. Another common cause of missing entries is the NotShowIn and OnlyShowIn specifications within the .desktop file.

Non-square icons now work.

The plugin has been corrected so that the broken image icon is not displayed when a new Menu plugin is created.

Pager plugin

Each desktop now has a tooltip with the desktop name as reported by the window manager.

The hardcoded limitation on the number of desktops has been removed.

It is still a known issue that some Compiz features are unsupported.

System Tray plugin

So-called “balloon messages”, small amounts of text that a tray application can display, are now supported.

With the changes to make icon size configurable, there is an issue with some tray applications not drawing their icons at the configured icon size, although many do honor the configured size. These icons are drawn by the application, not by lxpanel, so cannot be influenced.

Because of the underlying communication mechanism in the X Window System, there is a restriction that only one system tray can exist per system. This version of LXPanel does not offer the system tray in the Panel Settings/Panel Applets configuration dialog if a system tray is already configured. If you delete the existing system tray from the panel where you have it placed, you may then add it in a different location.

There has been significant internal reworking of the implementation.

There is a known issue with tray applications based on the Qt toolkit.  When the panel is reoriented 90 degrees, such as from Bottom to Left, tray icons from Qt applications will be lost.  In this release, this is solved provided that LXPanel has been built against GTK version 2.16 or later.

Taskbar plugin

There is a new option to combine multiple windows from the same application into one button.  This should alleviate most issues with taskbar overcrowding.  The underlying mechanism now correctly shrinks taskbar buttons when the taskbar becomes full rather than allowing it to overrun its allocation in some instances.

The confusing options Accept SkipPager, Show Iconified, Show Mapped have been removed.

By user request, the Close option of the right-click popup menu was moved adjacent to the cursor.  Keyboard accelerators were added to the right-click popup menu.

There has been significant internal reworking of the implementation.

Volume Control (ALSA) plugin

Middle-click on the Volume Control (ALSA) plugin now toggles the mute status.  The tooltip has been enhanced to display the volume level.

Window Command plugin

The “toggle” behavior has been removed. Now the plugin unconditionally iconifies or shades all windows on a left or middle click.

LXNM current status and the plan in the future

Next generation of LXNM (Lightweight Network Manager) is still under development right now, You guys can see the prototype which was implemented in SVN already. In the future, LXNM will provide some programs includes lxnm daemon, utility which is a command line program to make control of all kind of networking devices be unified into only one utility, a LXPanel plugin and a standalone applet for running without LXPanel.

So the project will has three parts to be maintained:
1. lxnm (LXNM Daemon and command line utility – lxnetctl)
2. lxpanel-netstat (LXPanel plugin)
3. lxnm-applet (standalone applet)

For the current version in SVN, lxnm can be working now, we can using lxnetctl utility to connect to lxnm daemon to control our networking devices and get informations include ethernet and wireless interface.

BTW, I am now working on lxnm-applet to implement a graphical LXNM client to display and control network devices.

Besides, in the future, LXNM will provide a library to make easy to write a new LXNM client(eg, lxnm-applet) for developer.

PCManFM: OpenSolaris distribution Milax with LXDE component

The first LXDE component has been included in an OpenSolaris distribution. Milax includes PCMan File Manager in its new release. The LXDE/OpenSolaris project was started last year. Alfred Peng from China is responsible for porting LXDE components to OpenSolaris.

Milax OpenSolaris with LXDE components

Links:

* http://www.milax.org/?p=218

* PCManFM http://wiki.lxde.org/en/PCManFM

* http://opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/communities/lxde/

* http://wiki.lxde.org/en/OpenSolaris

GPicView 0.2 beta is coming with GIF animation support!

Finally, we have yet another new release of GPicView.

http://www.gnomefiles.org/app.php/GPicView

Really glad to announce the upcoming release of gpicview 0.2.
With the help from Marty Jack and Louis Casillas, some new features are added.
* GIF animation support!!
* Save jpeg and png files with different compression ratio.
* Background color can be freely changed.
* Some bug fixes.
* UI polishing.
* New translations

So, we’re going to release gpicview 0.2 soon.
Currently a beta version 0.1.99 will be released first for testing.
If there are typos or inappropriate text on UI, feel free to bug report.

Once everything goes fine, the strings in the UI will be frozen.
Then it’s the time for translators to get all of them translated, and
we can make a 0.2 stable release.

Cheers!

New LXDE Components available

PCMan released new LXDE Components and improved settings structure of LXDE.

1. LXInput. This is a config tool used to configure your keyboard and mouse under LXDE.
2. The lxde-settings-daemon: The original lxde-settings is moved from lxde-common to a new separate package and was renamed to lxde-settings-daemon. In addition to the theme, now the settings daemon will configure keyboard and mouse for you. (works with lxinput config tool)
3. lxde-common 0.4: some fixes were done, and unused files are removed. lxde-common is now a noarch, data-only package, and doesn’t contain any binary program in it. The settings daemon is now in lxde-settings-daemon.
4. menu-cache 0.2.5: binaries are now moved to libexec.
5. The original lxsession is deprecated, and will be totally replaced by lxsession-lite since X11 session management is problematic, complicated, and rarely used by applications. GNOME now replaced XSM with dbus, too. So we don’t need that anymore.

LXPanel 0.4 and menu-cache 0.2.4 released

Hi all, here comes the latest release of LXPanel – version 0.4.

LXPanel 0.4 screenshot
LXPanel 0.4 screenshot

First I’d like to say sorry because this is not a bug-free release.
Some existing problems are not completely solved yet, but most of the bugs causing crashes were fixed. However, we feel it’s right time to have a new release. The menu-cache library is now stable enough for extensive use in LXDE. This will give us a enhanced and faster application menu and lxlauncher. Later, the lib will be used by pcmanfm, too.

The new features and some important bug fixes really deserves a new release of lxpanel.
So here comes version 0.4.

https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=180858

To use LXPanel 0.4, you’ll also need following packages:
* menu-cache (lib used to parse freedesktop.org menu file and generate menu)
* lxmenu-data (data files used to generate application menu)

What’s new:
* A whole new application menu generated according to freedesktop.org menu spec.
(faster and more standard-compliant. has tooltips for menu items)
* Enhanced “Run” dialog.
* Auto-resize of application launcher buttons when panel size gets changed.
* Some important critical bug fixes.
* The problematic netstat plugin is now turned off by default. It will be moved to a separate project later.
* Building dynamic panel plugins outside the source tree of lxpanel is now possible.
* and more…

Some bugs are not yet fixed and we know that. We’ll do our best to fixed them later.

LXNM Will Bring Back to Life

So far LXNM(Network Manager of LXDE) was in prototype, LXDE team was just trying to implement a usable network utility. In the beginning, it was expected be enough to work instead of Network Manager of GNOME. But even today, most of people still uses LXDE desktop environment without LXNM due to it is so buggy and poor. Also LXNM has no more improvements in the past, it seems to die for a long time.

It is the truth that LXNM will bring back to life, LXDE team have tried to restart this project and plan on working to implement new architecture of LXNM. Here is a diagram of new structure for next version of LXNM:

LXNM Structure

In principle LXNM will keep original features and most of architecture, but for more requirements of networking device operations, it will be modified or re-designed some parts of that, For communication of Client/Server, LXNM protocol will be re-defined to support more features that something’s just like response of networking status, it means that in the future user can get more complete informations of networking in a moment, and also fixed a critical bug that netstat plugin of LXPanele cannot found out any wireless Access Point as non-root.

For easy to migrate to other platform which is other linux distribution or other Unix-like operating system, LXNM still keep script-based method to handle network device control. Considering that efficiency issue, LXNM will provide a new way to implement that direct call system call to operate network device for each operating system in C language without any scripts, this feature needs more time to be done due to it’s harder and more complicated than script-based method.

With the Google Summer of Code 2009, LXNM is restarting right now. We expect that LXNM will have a great usable version after three month in the future.