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Programming and software development.

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!

Shared configuration

As well as the private configuration data stored in the Configuration settings there is some shared configuration available for many applications.


Trashcan application for the ROX Filer and Desktop
Current stable version: 
Current testing version: 
Primary author(s): 
Gabriel Rojas ( - Fernando Garcia Bermudez (

Trashcan application for the ROX Filer and Desktop

Current stable version:

Current testing version:

Home page:

Primary author(s):
Gabriel Rojas ( - Fernando Garcia Bermudez (

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.

Desktop Notifications (using libnotify)

Desktop Notifications is a system for consolidating an API, UI and mechanism to allow applications, applets, services, etc. to notify the user when something interesting happens.

The software for this is currently hosted under the Galago project, which is listed on

This software consists of a notification-daemon, a client API implemented by the libnotify library, the DBus system for tying things together, and finally various language bindings (so far only python and of course C)

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.

Compiling with SCons and GTK

SCons is a rather nice build system written in Python. It compiles many languages, including C and Java. But the problem is that not many people have it, and making your code unnecessarily hard to compile by depending on an uncommon build system is not a good idea. In this article I'll show how you can get your build scripts to automatically download (and cache) SCons as part of the build process...

Easy GTK binary compatibility

If you compile ROX-Filer on a system with GTK 2.4, it will still work on a system with GTK 2.8. Compile it on a 2.8 system, and it will fail to run with 2.4. This problem isn't specific to ROX-Filer (or to GTK); recent versions of ROX-CLib and programs using it stopped working because they gained a phantom dependency on libglitz. Here's how to avoid these problems...


Federico has written a little Python script to help with profiling Nautilus. I've been wanting something like this for a while so I tried it on ROX-Filer. Turns out that with Zero Install's 0launch command (completely unoptimised Python) parsing a couple of XML files and searching for the best version, plus the filer's initialisation itself, it takes nearly two seconds to start the filer on my machine. Federico's script produced this plot:

ROX-CLib roadmap

My current plans for ROX-CLib are:

  • 2.1.8. This was done in March 2006. The major new feature: internationalization support. The messages in ROX-CLib are now translatable, there is a .po file, the .mo files are generated and stored inside the AppDir, and are used when found. Apps get their .mo files loaded if found.
  • 2.1.9 was released November 2006. This includes:
    • More support for menus, simplifying the code that needs to be in the app.
    • Extended attribute support.
    • Support for building against GTK 2.4 using Zero Install.
    • 0compile support
  • 2.1.10 sometime in the future, including:
    • Improved system tray interface
    • xxmlrpc for communicating with ROX-Session
    • libglade interface similar to that in ROX-Lib.
  • 2.2.0, hopefully this will be 2.1.10 deemed stable.
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