What's new in gDesklets 0.36.3

1. Introduction

gDesklets is a program which provides an architecture for widgets to be placed on the desktop. gDesklets is a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) project and there are more than 100 desklets available providing a wide variety of eye candies for your desktop from weather forecast and system monitoring to RSS readers, games and beyond.

gDesklets 0.36.3 is the third minor release update of the gDesklets 0.36.x series. This release was frozen for a release and for testing in December 2010 before it was finally released on January 23th, 2011.

Please visit the official website to learn more about gDesklets and how to write your own desklets.

2. General news

When moving from gDesklets 0.36.2 to 0.36.3 the main focus has been set on fixing known non-critical bugs. Some few features which have been planned to be released with gDesklets 0.40 have been introduced to this release, too. As usual there has been some code cleaning and optimization. For a complete list please take a look at the included ChangeLog file.

One of the new features is the "Check for updates" menu entry in the gDesklets' tray icon. With this function you can check for a new version of gDesklets on the internet. Furtheremore you can have gDesklets do this check for you on startup (and every 3 days it remains running). Just use the new checkbox in the gDesklets' configuration window to enable it (if not already enabled by default). If you build gDesklets from source you are able to globally disabled this feature at compile-time.

Figure 1The gDesklets Configuration window.

Another new feature are the icons that have been added to both the tray icon menu as well as the desklets' menu.

Finally there are a few new Metadata information introduced to gDesklets which will provide additional information about the copyright, the license and the website of a desklet. These information will be provided to the user in the desklet's "About Window".

Figure 2New Metadata shown in the About Window.

3. Basic Desklets news

The "basic desklets" have been introduced in gDesklets 0.36 and they build a set of desklets that are shipped with offical releases of gDesklets. These desklets should provide the user with a variety of popular desklets ready to start "out-of-the-box" so that the user can see the system in action without installing additional stuff. The basic desklets are the only desklets that are officially supported by gDesklets and the gDesklets team.

gDesklets 0.36.3 comes with four basic desklets (15 pieces, Calendar, Clock and Quote of the Day).

All four basic desklets have been updated and they now provide all 10 Metadata information supported by gDesklets 0.36.3 and they all use controls without the ID string.

3.1. 15 pieces puzzle

15 pieces (also known as 16 pieces) is a puzzle game where you have to arrange pieces in order from 1-15 counting from top left corner to bottom right corner or piece together some image.

Two new images have been added: the Gimp-Splash images v2.1 and v2.2. There are now 10 puzzle to be solved.

Icons have been added to all the tabs in the configuration window.

gDesklets 0.36.3 is shipped with v0.9 of the 15 pieces desklet.

Figure 315 pieces puzzle (v0.9)

3.2. Calendar

This is a navigable calendar showing the entire month with the possibility to show events (public holidays ...). Highly configurable it leaves nothing to be desired.

Icons have been added to all the tabs in the configuration window.

gDesklets 0.36.3 is shipped with v0.75 of the Calendar desklet.

3.3. Clock

This is a scalable and configurable clock with 16 different clock faces to choose from.

Icons have been added to all the tabs in the configuration window.

gDesklets 0.36.3 is shipped with v0.54 of the Clock desklet.

3.4. Quote of the Day

This desklet displays a quote for each day of a year.

With this new version of the desklet a database with "Chuck Norris 'The Programmer' Jokes" has been added.

Furtheremore basic information about the current quote number and the number of quotes in the chosen database is displayed on the "Quotes" tab in the desklet's configuration window.

Icons have been added to all the tabs in the configuration window.

gDesklets 0.36.3 is shipped with v1.3 of the Quote of the Day desklet.

Figure 4Quote of the Day (v1.3) configuration window.

4. Layout news

No news here, sorry.

5. Config news

No news here, sorry.

6. Control news

A control is a privileged (unsandboxed) property-based module, which can be shared among applets, and implements certain interfaces. gDesklets provides a basic set of controls which can be used out-of-the-box.

Since controls can be considered state machines, sometimes it's useful to support multiple instances of a control in a desklet. Starting with gDesklets 0.36.3 this can be done by instantiating the control with the "length" property explicitly set.

Support for dbus has been introduced to controls.

Detailed information on using controls, including an array of a control, can be found in the gDesklets develbook.

7. Documentation news

No news here, sorry.

There are still plans to translate the "what's new" pages to other languages. If you wish to help translate it into your language, please contact the gDesklets team using the gDesklets Mailing List.

Furtheremore we are planning on improving - and maybe even translate - the gDesklet's develbook. If you have any ideas or even wish to help us, please contact the gDesklets team using the gDesklets Mailing List.

8. The rest...

No news here, sorry.

9. A look at 0.36.3 (and beyond)

Development doesn't stop with the release of gDesklets 0.36.3. There are still some non-critical bugs open to be closed and a lot of ideas for new features and improvements waiting to be implemented.
Anyway, development will now start to focus on gDesklets 0.37, but there will probably be 0.36.4 released down the road to 0.37.

So here is a short (and not complete!) list of upcoming features in 0.36.4 or 0.37:

  • updated versions of the basic desklets (0.36.4);
  • improved logging system (0.37);
  • translation/language support for desklets (0.37);
  • updated documentation (0.36.4);
  • bug fixes and more.

A. Credits

These release notes were compiled by H.Humpel with help from the gDesklets community. On behalf of the community, we give our warmest thanks to the developers and contributors who made this gDesklets release possible.

This work may be freely translated into any language. If you wish to translate it into your language, please contact the gDesklets team using the gDesklets Mailing List.