Quantum Mechanic

Content from 2010-05

Gnome Shell Message Tray

posted on 2010-05-28 22:50:00

Hello everyone! I'm one of the lucky GSoC students for this year, and while a post of mine already showed up, this is the first one I've intended to be here. My programming history has been on and off - my first language was qbasic back when we still had computers with green screens in my school, and I'd try and write star wars games with just terminal I/O. Since my first language was qbasic, I went for another basic variant for the second and that was the utterly horrible Visual Basic, which effectively took me out of programming for the next five or six years and to this day I have trouble trusting Glade because of the setbacks those visual basic drag and drop windows caused me.

This first week of official coding, I started by playing with ways of implementing more useful/newer versions of what we know as status icons. In later revisions of the shell, only system-specific icons will get to keep their coveted places at the top of the screen, and the rest of the programs that try and use passive notification will be banished to the lower right hand corner, where I get to try and make them better.
Here you can see the fruits of three hours of banging my head against gjs's dbus interface. This may or may not bear any resemblance to how the tray icons will eventually look. This week was spent trying to figure out the best way to deal with status icons. We want to integrate the notifications and more functionality - like in-tray IM for telepathy - into the system and so it's difficult to decide whether to try and add more information to the libnotify popups or to implement lots of app-specific sources.
Hopefully in the next week, the non-system notification icons will get moved down to the tray and I can start figuring out how to get their notifications to them and play with libnotify. At this point the project is very much figuring out how things should work.

Also in the exciting news category is that I get to go to GUADEC, which will be my first conference of any kind, I think. I'm looking forward to it, and it conveniently coincides with the end of my time studying here in Freiburg. Thanks to the GNOME travel folks who'll be helping me be there!

Google Summer of Code 2010

posted on 2010-05-22 18:55:00

So I've started working in ernest on Gnome Shell as of about today. I've been accepted into Google's Summer of Code program, to get paid by the nice Google folks for a few months to work on OSS, which I wanted to do anyway. It's been interesting getting started. As with any new project, there are a million new things to learn - like javascript, dbus, etc. Javascript is confusing me a little because it looks a lot like C, but kinda feels more like lisp. I keep wanting to write tiny functions to do everything. I think I've also started thinking about predicate-style functions a few times too. So far, I haven't gotten anything working properly, but hopefully I'll fix that soon. It's Pfingstferien here in Germany, so I'll have a week to practice and get started on something.