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GNOME/KDE integration

Following on from the work to allow adding ROX applications to the Xfce panel, I've created Zero2Desktop. This adds a launcher for any Zero Install application to the GNOME or KDE Applications menu. To run it:

Background software updates

Having Zero Install check for updates once a month or so is handy, as it keeps you up-to-date, but it's pretty annoying that you have to wait for the check just when you're trying to start a program. Especially if there aren't any updates available anyway! I've just committed some new code to do the checking in the background, using the D-BUS notification daemon to let you know if there are updates. This screenshot shows what happens when I run Inkscape:

Updates ready to download for Inkscape


Interesting Python speedup idea seen on

Unfortunately using it I found 2 things:
1) all existing python scripts that do /usr/bin/python or /usr/bin/env python have to be modified (?)
2) currently it seems broken for any python app that does local imports, meaning it can't find 'findrox'!!

I may try to fix these and report later...but I wonder if this concept could be added to the Panel somehow.

GTK editor for Zero Install feeds

I've made the first release of 0publish-gui today. This is a GTK utility for creating and editing Zero Install feeds. This should make it a lot easier to get started. Here's a tutorial with lots of screenshots. Have fun!

0compile GUI

I've been doing some work on the GUI for 0compile, used to build programs from source. Here are some screen-shots showing how we can download and compile ROX-CLib.

SSHFS Mounts and AppDirs

I've been experimenting with a way to combine FUSE/SSHFS with ROX AppDirs and its support of mountpoints.

I have a hackish version now that works well enough for me. Perhaps others could suggest improvements.


ROX Filer, FUSE, SSHFS, and password-less ssh access to the remote host (see ssh-keygen and .ssh/authorized_keys).

The last part is required to keep the Filer/Desktop from hanging while waiting for a password to be entered.


The standard umount command will not unmount fuse-mounted mountpoints. You need to use fusermount -u for that (or be root?). So, using the new configurable mount/umount commands in ROX-Filer 2.5, I created the following myumount command and put it in my path and set ROX-Filer to use this in place of umount.

SPAM stats

Three weeks ago, after the large amount of comment-spam we were getting, I set it up to record spam attempts in the database. I've created a new known spammers page with the results.

For individual IP addresses, TELEFONICA DE ESPANA is currently winning with 1085 attempts, easily beating Microsoft into 5th place (just 151 attempts). I suspect the picture changes if we group by organisation though, since many of them are using dynamic IP addresses. Any PERL hackers want to write a script to run the results through whois so we can see a proper breakdown?

How I use ROX

Watching how other people use programs often shows you tips and tricks you didn't know. ROX-Filer has lots of features; some are extremely useful while some I almost never use. Here are my favourite features and settings...

Google Hosting

I was looking for an excuse to play with the new Google hosting service. So I put WiFi there - the reasoning being that it wasn't my code to begin with and if someone else wants to contribute it is a bit easier to give others access (than on my personal site).

I wonder if we should put other abandoned ROX stuff there.

In case you haven't checked it out (rox-wifi) they're offering a simple Home Page, Keywords, SVN access (with very simple web view), and an Issue Tracker with a very simple interface. Discussions can be linked to Google Groups.

GNOME finds save usability problems

Prolific GNOME profiler Federico has been profiling GNOME usability. The results? Saving is a big usability problem. The list of problems sounds almost identical to the motivation for the ROX saving system, itself based on RISC OS. RISC OS users never save files without knowing where, because they have to drag them where they want them.

Imagine a new office worker who tries to file an important document by dropping it on the floor. Pretty quickly, someone will yell at them to learn the office filing system. ROX does the same. Here's what happens if you just enter a name for a new file and press Return in ROX:

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