Friday, March 21, 2008

Awn News & Commentary (ANC), 2008/03/21

Obviously, I haven't done one of these in a while. There are a few reasons for this. For one, my workload has gotten a bit larger. Additionally, Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out's ridiculous how much time that game eats up, and I'm only halfway through "adventure mode".

But seriously...both the forums and the bug tracker have been relatively quiet. It's difficult to figure out exactly why that is. However, there have been a few things that have happened in the past month or so.

Moonbeam has a summary of what happened in the week following my last post. Additionally, he has been working on the framework for an applet that can use either the Gecko engine (used, most notably, in Firefox) or the WebKit engine (used in Safari) to render HTML. Hopefully, this will alleviate some of the problems that people have had trying to get some of the HTML-based applets to run properly. Unfortunately for us, moonbeam has become rather busy in real life lately, and so there may or may not be very much progress on the features/applets that he's been working on.

Andrewsomething, a longtime bug/answer triager for both Awn and Awn Extras, has finally taken the plunge (so to speak) and joined the Awn Extras developer team. His first contribution is the "Remember the Milk" applet, and for his next undertaking, he is seeing if there's any interest in a simple note applet.

It is interesting to note that two new, experimental branches have appeared for Awn recently. One, created by moonbeam, focuses on refactoring the launcher/task/applet effects framework so that it's easier to add new effects, and uses cairo's surfaces instead of Gtk+'s "pixel buffers" to manipulate the images. This allows for more complex effects to be used, while keeping the overall effect smooth (and potentially hardware-accelerated).

The other branch was created by longtime Awn contributor haytjes. He's working on fixing the "custom icon" feature. Currently, there are several bugs which prevent that feature from being very usable.

And finally, I'd like to give a quick Planet Awn roundup. Moonbeam has a very good post on the architecture of Awn and why it's not possible (currently) to have features such as parabolic zoom. Our fearless leader, Neil, has (finally) written a post about the recent Awn/Awn Extras release, and our upcoming plans for the projects. Hopefully, his presence on Planet Gnome will continue to give Awn more publicity :).