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ROX-Filer 2.11 released

ROX-Filerthe file manager at the core of the ROX desktop
Version: 2.11

Converted from Glade to the newer GtkBuilder. Fixed typo in German translation. Don't lower panel when the pointer moves over an applet. Centre the pinboard image correctly if larger than the screen. Unselect item when menu is closed even with newer GTK versions. Added button to options window to create the 'rox' start up script. Updated Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish and Galician translations. Work-around for DnD problem in Firefox 3.5. Added option to place panels under the control of the _NET_WORKAREA property.

Coping with Python 3

Some distributions (e.g. Arch Linux) have decided to make the "python" command run Python 3 by default. This is a problem for us, because Python 3 is not compatible with Python 2. Most Python ROX applications start like this (e.g. Edit/AppRun):

#!/usr/bin/env python

On Arch Linux, these programs will now fail to start. We can't change the line to run "python2", because that doesn't exist on other systems (e.g. Debian).

To solve this, I've added a 0install feed for Python. If your feed currently looks like this:

Programming in E, one year on

E is a "secure distributed pure-object platform and p2p scripting language". I've been writing programs in E for a little over a year now. Here's a quick summary of the cool features I've found so far in this surprisingly overlooked little language.

XDG-Menu 1.5 released

XDG-Menua menu applet
Version: 1.5

Feature to include additional menus from XDG .menu files was added. A bug in Preload Icons option was fixed.

Edit 2.2 released

Edita simple text editor
Version: 2.2

Edit now uses the newer GtkSourceView 2.x API. The French translation was updated.

AppDirs for config and sandboxing

Normally, a ROX AppDir is a read-only directory containing program code. This makes it easy to manage programs using the filer. However, it's hard to manage configuration, which goes in various hidden files (hopefully under ~/.config).

With 0install, the program's code goes in a shared cache instead, allowing it to be shared automatically, and leaving the application directory almost empty.

This opens up the possibility of reusing the appdir for configuration. Instead of making it easy to manage code with the filer, this makes it easy to manage configurations.

Zero2Bundle 0.2 released

Zero2Bundlecreate self-contained bundles from a Zero Install feed
Version: 0.2

Just a quick update to use the latest 0launch API (0.48). Things had changed a bit since the last Zero2Bundle release in 2006!

Zero Install SAT Solver

In 2007, OSNews ran an article about OPIUM, showing how to cast apt-get installation problems (choosing which of several possible dependencies to install) as a set of pseudo-boolean constraints which could then be solved mathematically to give the optimal solution. I this post, I'll describe how we've recently adapted this technique to Zero Install, addressing some problems experienced by the Sugar environment (One Laptop Per Child) and allowing better integration with distribution packages.

Vitality diagram

There was some discussion on the mailing list about which programs are still actively maintained. Here's a diagram showing all the programs we include in the no-network bundle and their release dates (from their Zero Install feeds). Releases without dates aren't shown (these are generally very old releases).

ROX-Lib 2.0.6 released

ROX-Libcontains shared code used by other ROX applications
Version: 2.0.6

Support for icons in AppInfo menus, improved MIME icon loading, gtk.StatusIcon and for singleton applications was added. Various bugs were fixed.

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