Tag Archives: LXDE Development

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.

xkb: New Applet for LXPanel

PCMan has added a new branch named lxpanel-xkb in the LXDE Repository.

svn co https://lxde.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/lxde/branches/lxpanel-xkb

It’s a new applet for lxpanel which will be a keyboard layout switcher. The original one in lxpanel is broken, and will be removed. The new one will be based on libxlavier, a good library handling xkb. However, we’re from Taiwan, and we don’t know how keyboard layouts work. So help is needed. If you’re a developer living in Europe or some other places requiring switching between different keyboard layouts, please help. (PCMan)

If you are interested in the development of LXDE, please also join our developers mailing list.

Links

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

* https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/lxde-list

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.

LXDE Translation Project

We are starting the LXDE translation project. Please join the LXDE translation team now! Help translating LXDE into different languages. Join us improving the documentation and resources around LXDE.

It is the aim of the LXDE team and community to give access to information to people with less powerful hardware. Many did not have the chance to learn English or another second language. Let us make LXDE available in their language, so everyone can profit from the speed and easy to use features of LXDE!

LXDE is under constant development and recently more new components have been added. More components and updates means more opportunities for people to participate.

More ideas how to join the LXDE Community here: join.lxde.org

LXPanel 0.4.0 beta! Testers are needed!

We haven’t have new releases of LXPanel for quite a long time, but the development is still ongoing.

Major Changes:
* Greatly rewrite application menu with our new menu-cache library. Now it’s complete and more user-friendly
* Improved “Run” dialog
* Improved OSS volume plugin
* Image showed on application menu button can be changed with GUI.
* Add new temperature monitor plugin by Daniel Kesler
* Size of icons now can automatically be automatically adjusted according to the height of the panel.
* Numerous bug fixes and more…

Please get it tested since lxpanel 0.4 will be released very soon.

Note that to make the whole new menu work correctly, now menu-cache and lxmenu-data are needed.
LXPanel source tarball

menu-cache library tarball (lightweight library used to generate standard compliant menus)

lxmenu-data tarball (data files used to build the menu)