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]


gilir said...

Nice summary :)
Note that the "make your own debian packages" should work also :

Better than compile it for Ubuntu/Debian users IMO ;)

Bryan said...

Great summary Mark....thanks!

I noticed that the drag & drop for grouping may be an issue (or not quite as you'd like it).

I'm just curious if the drag & dropping is permanent (i.e. if I grouped all Open Office icons once, would they always auto-group)?

I'm asking because I believe the proof-of-concept task manager did/does some sort of auto-grouping by application or something to that effect.

I'd certainly not want to have to always drag & drop to group common items ;-)

just my 2 cents....thanks for all the hard work!


Mark said...

Bryan said:
I'm just curious if the drag & dropping is permanent (i.e. if I grouped all Open Office icons once, would they always auto-group)?

Grouping is not currently written (although it is planned before 0.4.0 is released), but I talked to moonbeam, the author of the proof-of-concept taskmanager (and Awn core dev), and this is what he had to say (paraphrasing for clarity):

At this time I'm expecting the following: there will be a task grouping config option, off by default. When it is active, then it will group windows from the same application (in the libwnck concept). We'll see what that gives us. Ultimately more may be needed to be added to get it the way people want.

Bryan said...

Great....that's what I'd hoped for.

Thanks for the clarity!! ;-)

Cheers said...

The Mac4Lin AWN theme needs to be rewritten for the branch version of AWN. Before I can help you downgrade AWN I need to ask how you installed it. I'd hate to give you directions that make things more confusing.