Post-4.4: Appfinder

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at
Mon Jan 15 14:33:55 CET 2007

On Mon, 15 Jan 2007 13:24:43 +0100, Benedikt Meurer wrote:

> Jannis Pohlmann wrote:
> >> Tho, as mentioned in the original post, that's mainly for JPs
> >> config stuff (to avoid crippeling Thunar). A real appbrowser
> >> should look better and offer some nice features.
> >
> > Ok, perhaps we should discuss these features before. The appbrowser
> > as you posted it for JP already provides all features of
> > xfce4-appfinder except: detailed program information, drag-and-drop
> > (e.g. to the panel) and list view.
> >
> > I was really impressed by the concept of the appbrowser Novell
> > introduced lately:
> >
> >
> Yes, that looks pretty good.
> > I wouldn't mind to copy its style and general behaviour (though this
> > might mean to write yet another multicolumn icon view - this time
> > with groups).
> This is not an icon view, but GnomeCanvas. It isn't that difficult to
> implement using cairo. The layouting is pretty simple and it will not
> be used for several thousand icons (that's where ExoIconView sucks,
> because layouting that many icons is very time consuming... actually
> Pango sucks, but that's a different story).

I'll take a look at how they do that in detail later. More than 50-100
items in one category are unlikely to exist, so rendering time should
not be a problem.

> > Here are some features I have in mind for our appbrowser:
> >
> >   * filter, categories and items (similar to the screenshot above)
> >   * context menu with extension support similar to the Thunar
> >     UCA-plugin and several basic features already implemented:
> >       - starting apps
> >       - adding apps to the favorites [1]
> >      (- adding apps as launchers to the panel [2])
> >  (* edit applications by copying the desktop file to
> >     XDG_DATA_HOME/applications/, preserving the desktop-file id and
> >     editing the desktop file using a simple UI)
> You can use exo-desktop-item-edit for this. That should be rather easy
> to integrate.


> > [1] I have some vague plans for a menu panel plugin based on
> > FrapMenu, which will also feature favorites and recently used
> > programs.
> The recently used applications are handled by the bookmark spec as
> well.

Yep. Just a few function calls and the favorite is added.

> > [2] This is just an idea that came to my mind suddenly. Since
> > creating launchers by dropping appfinder items on the panel is too
> > difficult to implement according to Jasper, what if the panel
> > offered a D-BUS API for adding launchers? This could work like this:
> >       1. You click on 'Add to panel...' in the appbrowser context
> > menu
> >       2. The app item details (e.g. name, icon, command) are send
> > to the panel using the D-BUS API.
> >       3. The panel displays a list of panels on the current screen
> > and after you select one of them, a launcher is added to it.
> >     Sounds weird? Yes!
> IMHO, that's not the way to go. We need to address the real problem:
> The panel does not use .desktop files for launchers. If the panel
> would use .desktop files, this - and several other things - would be
> really easy: Just send the URI of the .desktop file to the panel and
> the panel will create a launcher for it. If the .desktop file is
> deleted, the panel will remove the launcher. If the .desktop file is
> altered, the panel will reload the launcher. This would also allow to
> use exo-desktop-item-edit for the panel, and so the panel would get
> all the goodies for free, and we'd have a consistent UI for launchers
> everywhere.

I leave that to Nick and Jasper to discuss, hehe. I agree with you in
that desktop files for panel launchers would indeed be nice and more

I'll keep you (as in "the ML") informed about the appbrowser progress.
The only thing that looks slightly non-trivial is the canvas stuff, but
even that should be do-able.

  - Jannis
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