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.


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.

LXDE now accessible in local languages for 685 million people

As of yesterday the LXDE and PCManFM repositories are updated and all translations synchronized with there sources. It was a huge task to complete and lasted for almost 5 straight hours but here are the numbers!

LXDE is truly a international project with complete or started translations for most continents (Africa is laking but we are trying to fill that gap too!), as of now we have 35 languages in “official” support (including English). Of these 35 only three are 100% complet at the component level – big ups to Polish, Spanish (Castilian) and Swedish. Together with English these translations make LXDE accessible for about 685 million people (that’s a low count not including those who know and can use English as a second language).
In close range of reaching 100% complete we find Danish, French, Slovenian and Ukrainian at over 90% (adding 120 million speakers to the total).

Since the last update a month ago we have seen two new languages sky rocketing, Slovenian and Lithuanian, a huge effort by the Lithuanian translator and now only LXPanel is left out. For Slovenian we have a sole translator doing a huge work just the last week and I am confident it will be complete soon. At the Pootle server I have added PCManFM as a translateable component for the LXDE project, it is hooked with write access to the SVN server for that project The LXPanel Plugins have been added as a seperate “project” in Pootle too and hooked using the usual mechanisms to the SVN server for LXDE this to maximize the translatable content in the Pootle server.

Allowing translations via Transifex has been started and might be popping up during the spring for those wihing to use that platform instead, subscribe to the translation mailing list for more information about that or hang out at the IRC channel #lxde at irc.oftc.org. In the mean time use Pootle or download PO files from SVN/Pootle and submit to the tracker. One string translated is one string closer to the goal of being 100% translated. We really need some effort in some languages and I am really keen in adding new languages to the project if you are willing to give it a try.

I would like to see progress in the following languages (when they are complete we add another 430 million speakers!)
Norweigan (both Bokmål and Nynorsk)

For a quick start in translating LXDE components in Pootle read the illustrated crash course in the wiki.

With regards to the subject then, we are a highly translated DE and the numbers above shows that, the on going development of the LXDEcomponents have changed strings to the extent that while we had six languages completed a month ago we only have four left. And Indonesian and Slovak don’t even pass the 60% marker (mainly due to the addition of PCManFM but still, that’s one of the core pieces of software we have). We have decreased the overall degree of completeness but on the other hand progress have been made in many areas. Keep the good work up!

Summer of Code slots available for LXDE through Debian

There are still opportunities for people interested in working on LXDE as a summer of code project. We are in touch for example with the Debian project, who offered to give spots to students from the LXDE project for example for a better integration. Also, new student projects are welcome. The summer of code program offers student stipends of 4500,- USD for studying and development work on specific free and open source projects.

Please check it out and apply as soon as possible. Also get in touch with us, so we can support your application.

The Debian program is at:
http://socghop.appspot.com/org/show/google/gsoc2009/debian and http://wiki.debian.org/gsoc and on #debian-soc on irg.debian.org.

The application deadline is approaching soon. It is important to apply before 19:00 UTC April 3rd. Applications can still be adapted and specified with mentors after that date. You might regard your first application as a version 0.1 maybe. So, please, dont be shy. Good luck!



Mario Behling is a German born serial entrepreneur. He founded the lubuntu project, and as the co-founder of FOSSASIA he supports communities to develop open technologies for social change. Mario presently works on SUSI AI from his Singapore base.