ConsoleKit2 1.0

The first stable release of ConsoleKit2 is out! Thanks to everyone who has contributed to ConsoleKit2 in any capacity (translations, testing, code, and bug reports).

The next big goal for ConsoleKit2 is adding multi-seat support and server managed file descriptors. This will allow Mir, Wayland, and Xorg to run without root rights. Since that may take several months at the current development pace and distributors would like to depend on ConsoleKit2 now as it’s support slowly being added to other projects, marking ConsoleKit2 stable seems like a good idea.

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Quick Update

First, there’s a new stable release of xfdesktop and xfce4-power-manager out.

xfpm gtk3

Xfce4-power-manager in git master has been ported to Gtk3. Lots of work by Simon and Peter on this! You can also see the new system tray icon next to the panel plugin icon. It should function the same as the 1.4.4 with the exception that the LXDE plugin support has been dropped. A dev release will be out shortly.

Consolekit2 is also progressing slowly. The focus for me currently is on porting to GDBus. Once that’s complete and tests out ok, I’d like to look into continuing the multi-seat work of Brian Cameron & Halton Huo. Depending on how much work that is, I may look into doing a stable release before that and working to add the suspend/hibernate work to other Desktop Environments.

There’s always a lot I’d like to work on, just never enough spare time to do it!

ConsoleKit2

ConsoleKit2 is a fork of ConsoleKit I’ve been working for a little while.

My main motivation is because there isn’t currently a standard for system actions like suspend/hibernate anymore. We use these features in Xfce and it would be nice to keep the session manager and power manager in sync (i.e. you inhibit something and the session manager doesn’t see it).

Obviously there’s systembsd in the works, so this is a stop gap until that matures (however long that may be). But I’ll happily continue to maintain and support ConsoleKit2 as long as someone finds it useful.

Anyway, I’ve tried to fix up bugs reported on the old bug tracker (especially ones with patches) and pull in patches that everyone has been carrying around.

The release notes cover what’s done so far: https://github.com/ConsoleKit2/ConsoleKit2/releases

Feel free to report bugs or feature requests and pull requests are always welcome! You can also sign up to translate the strings.

Xfdesktop – lesser known new features

While Xfdesktop in its 4.11 state has added the per-worspace/per-monitor wallpapers and added some improvements to wallpaper cycle options there’s also quite a few other, subtle, features added.

Right click on the menu to edit launchers:

Right click on the selected menu item to easily edit that item
Right click on the selected menu item to easily edit that item

You can now right click (or shift + left click) on the menu Xfdesktop pops up to edit menu items. This works much the same way the xfce4 appfinder application does. This was requested by a couple users in the Xfce forums so it got picked up.

Coverart for folders:

Xfdesktop's CoverArt
Xfdesktop’s CoverArt

Xfdesktop will now display cover art within the folder. The file name has to be something like folder.jpg, cover.jpg, albumart.jpg or fanart.jpg which seems to be the best we can get to a standard. If you simply add or rename a file in the folder then xfdesktop will notice and update the icon.

Emblems on desktop icons:

Emblems. Xfdesktop also shows shortcuts and read-only emblems automatically.
Emblems. Xfdesktop also shows shortcuts and read-only emblems automatically.

Xfdesktop will now render emblems on desktop icons the same way Thunar does. You can set them either through right clicking on the icon in Xfdesktop, with Thunar, or even the Nautilus/Nemo file managers. There will be a small delay before the icon is updated, but that’s due to the design of GVFS.

Other minor notes:

Xfdesktop will also notice when files are added or removed from the wallpaper folder so there’s no need to reload Xfdesktop if you’ve added more backgrounds to your collection.

Xfdesktop will also try to remember the placement of icons. It’s why you’ll see a bunch of saved icon position files with weird dimensions – that’s how Xfdesktop sees the space left on the screen. Things like have a panel may reserve space and xfdesktop respects that. The overall idea is that if your monitor goes through a couple resolution changes when your PC starts up or if you decide to play a game then your desktop should return to its old layout when it goes back to that resolution. Same thing with multi-monitor changes; you can have different layouts when your laptop is docked. The downside is that Xfdesktop doesn’t know when an icon position change should invalid the other saved resolutions so in that case icons may change positions but Xfdesktop tries to minimize those moves.

Hello World

“Every adventure requires a first step. Trite but true, even here.” Cheshire Cat – American McGee’s Alice

 

I’m Eric Koegel, also known as eric_the_idiot on irc.freenode.net. I’ve been contributing to the Xfce (http://xfce.org/) project for a couple years now. I maintain Xfdesktop, co-maintain xfce4-power-manager, and just started maintaining xfce4-session. I also maintain the build bot/Jenkins server located at http://buildbot.xfce.org/

It’s been pointed out multiple times that I’m terrible at social media. This blog is my first step in correcting that. The goal is to keep people informed in what I’m up to in the FOSS world.

Xfce4-Power-Manager

Xfce4-power-manager's new panel plugin
Xfce4-power-manager’s new panel plugin

So, with that in mind, here’s is a screen shot of xfce4-power-manager’s Power Manager Plugin running in the xfce4-panel. There’s also a version for the LXDE panel. In the future we’ll add back the system tray support and even further down the road when the power manager goes GTK3 we can look into supporting it as an app indicator which looks to be the future standard for system tray plugins.

The new devices tab of the Xfce4-power-manager-settings dialog
The new devices tab of the Xfce4-power-manager-settings dialog

Xfce4-power-manager’s settings dialog has seen some updates as well. The improvements to the settings dialog was mostly the work of Harald Judt and Simon Steinbeiss, however I did pull in the old xfce4-power-manager-info program into a Devices tab of the dialog.

Xfdesktop

 

The new Xfdesktop-settings
The new Xfdesktop-settings

Xfdesktop is mostly considered stable at this point since Xubuntu started shipping the 4.11 dev branch and we don’t want serious regressions for them. The 4.11 releases added per-workspace/per-monitor wallpaper support, you can easily move the xfdesktop-settings application to the workspace/monitor you want to update and pick a wallpaper + its settings. The docs (http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfdesktop/4.11/start) have been updated and there’s screen shots listed there if you’d like a preview. Libxfce4ui has been updated to point users to the 4.11 docs page if they are running dev releases of xfdesktop.