Monday, December 14, 2009

Nautilus Split View and Upstream

Check out that screenshot about the current state of splitting a Nautilus window:

The exciting thing is that this is not a screenshot of my split-view branch, but of Gnome git master.

So after successfully using the split view branch for Nautilus for several months, and (mostly thanks to the PPA) getting some feedback from others, I finally requested a review for it. Turned out that I had a good timing, because with the upcomming Gnome Shell, a debate is currently going on anyways about the future role of Nautilus. With a possible switch away from being a desktop shell and towards more typical file management tasks, split-view fits better into the picture as it used to.

I am very happy that Alex Larsson picked up the task to review and clean up the branch. Even more so as he recently commited a reviewed version to Gnome git master, which can be seen in above screenshot.

The UI is not yet final, and there are a few issues still to be worked out, but I really like the route that it's going. So, if all goes well, there won't be any Nautilus packages for Lucid in my PPA..

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Tomboy and the Beast

To a large degree, Open Source is about scratching personal itches. The results are oftentimes small scripts, tools or plugins, rather than ending up as big projects of their own. Even if only little time is invested, the result can sometimes make a difference in terms of working efficiency. And picking low-hanging fruits surely is fun!

I'm using Claws Mail as MUA and Tomboy to organise my ideas and workflow. Both are truly excellent in their areas. However, an email is oftentimes connected to an idea, or a task, so I want to connect emails and notes somehow. Unfortunately, Claws Mail and Tomboy don't play well together.

When dragging emails from Claws Mail and dropping them into a Tomboy note, this is what you get:

Of course, the temporary files are cleaned up again after Claws Mail is closed, so the links are not only clumsy and non-descriptive, but also non-persistent and therefore totally useless in a note.

No more! I wrote a little addin for Tomboy that provides Claws Mail integration, so when loaded, email drag'n'drop results in this:

When clicking the link, the email is opened in Claws Mail again.

Code is on GitHub. I still couldn't find enough motivation to write the autofoo for it, so for now, a small hand-cooked Makefile has to do. Be sure to read the README file. I am not a fan of binary releases, but if anybody is interested in the dll, drop me a line. Also note that it currently only works with Claws Mail from CVS.

First impression of the Tomboy addin interface was very positive. It makes writing small addins easy, even for those unfamiliar with the general codebase. Well, even more in this case, as Tomboy ships with an Evolution addin which does the same thing for Evolution, and was an obvious source of inspiration.. Isn't Open Source great?