Friday, January 16, 2009

Regarding the Awn rewrite (0.4) status

Yes, there is an Awn rewrite in progress. Here are the important parts (to me, anyway):

  • I hear that autohide works better than before (thanks to mhr3).
  • If I have my way, the desktop-agnostic parts of Awn will work much better, via libdesktop-agnostic (not integrated yet). Yes, code does exist!
  • Taskmanager is now a separate applet. Launchers are still bundled with it.
  • Drag/drop of tasks/launchers is in the works (thanks to h4writer). I still have my doubts about the usability aspect of it, though.
  • For the most part, applets don't work, other than the taskmanager applet. Moonbeam informs me that the following applets work:
    • Cairo Menu (not classic)
    • Shiny Switcher (currently has issues with side orientations)
    • Awn System Monitor
    • Awn Notification Daemon (which, I must point out, is not a notification area or system tray)
  • You can put the dock at different orientations.

I am not going to list the wishlist items, because nothing is certain to make it into the rewrite unless someone actually codes it in.

The priority at the moment is to get the taskmanager in working shape. That's not really my line of expertise, so my priority is to get libdesktop-agnostic ready to replace my second attempt at a non-GNOME-specific dock. Of course, all of this is contingent upon the amount of time the developers have available. It seems at this point in time, we are either consumed with (paid) workloads, schoolwork/exams, or both. (I currently fall in the first category.) So, as I say over and over, there's no timeline for when this will all be done. It will probably be ready for release when Neil says it is.

Given that this is pretty much a complete rewrite, we (the developers) are not yet comfortable building binary packages for it. If you want to test it, you're going to have to build it from source. Please pay attention to the entire build process (the "development" track) if you have not done this before. The branch information is on Launchpad.

Update: mhr3 has kindly supplied a screenshot (licensed under the WTFPL). This showcases the right-oriented dock, plus the action that happens when an applet crashes. No more white lines!

[Screenshot of Awn rewrite, courtesy of mhr3]