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.

PCLXDE

The PCLinuxOS Team has released a PCLinuxOS version with LXDE as the default Desktop, called PCLXDE:

PCLXDE 2009.4 is a minimal self-booting/installable Linux Live CD that features the LXDE desktop environment along with a small suite of lightweight applications designed for use on low end computer systems. It is small, fast and fun. Designed for P III or better. Does not work on K6/2 processors. But wait there’s more!

lxde2

lxde4

Features include

Midori – Web Browser with Flash and Multimedia playback
Abiword -Word Processor (Get Open Office available after hd install)
ePDFView – PDF Viewer
Leafpad -Tex Editor.
Transmission – Bittorrent Client
Emesene – Instant Messenger
XChat – IRC Client
Sylpheed – Email and News Reader
GRDC – Remote Desktop Client
GPicView – Graphic Viewer
MTPaint – Graphic Drawing Client
Alsaplayer – Music Player
Mplayer – Video Player
PCMan – File Manager
Simple Backup – Backup Software
Xfburn – CD/DVD Burning Software
Gnome  PPP – Dial up Client
File Roller – Archiving Software
PCLinuxOS Control Center – Adminstration Tool
LXDECC – LXDE Control Center (provided by Lord UnR34l)
AddLocale – Convert LXDE into your language
XPat2 – Card Playing Suite
Tiwtux – Twitter Client
Grsync – Graphical Rsync Client
Virtualbox Additions added

and much more all fitted into a 300 mb Live CD for fast downloading and installation. Not not only that but an additional 11,000 programs available after hard drive install through the Synaptic Software Manager!

Ibiblio Download

Linuxtracker Torrent

md5sum c719f78186b13236d2698107f32e8f7d  pclinuxos-lxde-2009.4.isoPCLXDE is another MyPCLinuxOS community project. PCLXDE project headed by Neal Brooks.

Source: http://www.pclinuxos.com/

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.

LXDE one of the largest open-source teams in the world

I just found this factoid on Ohloh and I am amazed to read this:

LXDE: Very large, active development team
Over the past twelve months, 26 developers contributed new code to LXDE. This is one of the largest open-source teams in the world, and is in the top 2% of all project teams on Ohloh. For this measurement, Ohloh considered only recent changes to the code. Over the entire history of the project, 46 developers have contributed. (http://www.ohloh.net/p/lxde/factoids/)

I believe everyone in the LXDE team still considers the project as a rather small project with a small team. There have been many changes and advances, but I would have never guessed that LXDE is one of the big projects. If we see it in regards to Gnome and KDE, the relations become different though. Gnome has 432 developers according to Ohloh and KDE even 482 code contributors. XFCE shows up with 12 coders during the last twelve months.

I wonder how many people actually work in different desktop projects at the same time. We have friendly relationships with many contributors working on different projects already. Chris Wickert for example is a core member of LXDE and at the same time taking care of XFCE packages in Fedora. In the end we all share the same ideas and goals about free and open source and we actually share a lot of the code with many projects, especially with our friends from XFCE.

Everyone, keep up the good work! I hope to see more exchange and friendships among our projects. We welcome everyone to work and cooperate with us even if we have some different views sometimes on specific questions. In the end it is cooperation what makes us – as a software project and a community – advance faster and become better.

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.

LXDE core member Chris Wickert for Fedora Engeneering Steering Committee

Please support LXDE and vote for our core member Chris Wickert in the elections of the Fedora Engeneering Steering Committee.

  • Christoph is the maintainer of Xfce and LXDE in Fedora. A vote for Chris is a vote for lightweight desktops in Fedora.
  • His goals are to make Fedora more lightweight and less ressource hungry as well as keeping depencies low.

chriswickert-fedora-lxde

To vote for Chris you need to have a  (1) Fedora Account and (2) be accepted in a group, for example join Fedora Ambassadors. Voting is possible until June 22, 2009.

Chris is the most active distro package maintainer of LXDE in Fedora. His engagements is a great success for both Fedora and LXDE as the large interest at Chemnitzer Linuxtage and other events have shown recently.

A quote from Chris Wickert:

(I want to) … improve packaging quality and enforce higher standards for better cross desktop interoperability. Try to reduce the dependency bloat to make sure Fedora does not become too fat, so it still can be used on older or smaller hardware like netbooks or the OLPC without too much pain.

Nominations followed a predefined structure, where people could ask questions and get answers. The answers of Chris here. There was also an official IRC meet up for candidates with the logs also available.

Please vote for Chris on this page: https://admin.fedoraproject.org/voting/about/fescof12

Links

* Blog of Chris Wickert http://www.christoph-wickert.de/blog/
* Join Fedora https://admin.fedoraproject.org/accounts
* https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Elections/Questionnaire
* http://www.leemhuis.info/files/fedora/answers.txt
* http://www.leemhuis.info/files/fedora/answers-table.ods
* https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Meetings:Town_Hall_FESCo_2009-06-03_1400