Friday, June 24, 2005

Special K
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I never intended to write this as it involves some politiks and prakmatism, but yeah, this is a small post about KDE :). At first I'd like to say I don't like the black-white Kold-war-like thinking of "I like this thus I hate the others". So, I don't hate KDE at all, I just use Knome as it feels better for me.
Anyway, what I wanted to say is I just stumbled upon this page. It's some kind of sneak-peek website for KDE-stuff, to show off what's already in the kode for the neKst release. So, what do we learn ? KDE is 'kopying' (not in some bad sence of the word) some knome features. I'll link some skreenshots so I don't have to eksplain a lot:

The 'minipager' (desktop switcher):

Adding applets to Kicker (we call it a 'panel'):

Konqueror (web browser) is able to load google maps:

The future is bright for KDE too. Kongratulations ;) !


Tab manipulation

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In a lot of basic gnome applications, tabs are used to reduce screenclutter. You can have tabbed chatwindows in gaim, tabbed browsing in epiphany, tabbed text editing in gedit ... What is so cool about this in gnome is that you can manipulate them easily with your mouse. Click a tab to activate, click it's close-button to ... close, scroll your mousewheel hovering the tabs to scroll though the tabs, drag the tabs to any place on the tabbar you want ...
What is even cooler is that you can drag tabs out of the window to create a new window with it's content. Also you can drag tabs from an application-window to other windows of that application ... you love it or you love it, right ?

Marek Jurman kindly asked me to blog about this. Thanks for the inspiration!


Monday, June 20, 2005

Another backgrounds tip

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I already blogged about how to do cool things with desktop background not to long ago. I told you that you can easily set backgrounds by dragging 'm to the backgrounds-properties window. Well, you even don't have to do that most of the time. If you just want the default options, drag an image on the desktop with your middle mouse-button down. When you release the button, you'll get a menu where you can choose "set as background". Note: you can also do this to set backgrounds for folder-windows in Nautilus.
You can also set background-colors or -patterns by just dragging 'm to the desktop or any folder-window, gnome-terminal-window, panel ...
Another background-tip: in Epiphany, you can right-click images and set 'm as background from the context-menu, which will open the background-properties window so you can set it up easily.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Command line applet

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This is one for those who are used to the commandline but want to forget about it, for example, to get rid of the geekish linux user stigma ;). Especially if you only use the terminal to run programs/scripts you have no starter for on your desktop/panel or in your menus. To add this applet to your panel, like for all panel applets, right-click a panel and choose "Add to panel...":

(click to get the full size image)

Then you get this well-known "Add to panel" window:

(click to get the full size image)

Search through list till you find the "Command line" (or whatever it is in your language ;)) applet. To quickly find it, you can just click some entry and begin typing the name of it. Btw: you can do this in most 'lists' in gnome! When you found the applet you need (the command line one for this example ;)) you can double click it to add it on the place where you right-clicked, or just drag it to any place on the panel where you like it :). This is how it looks:

(click to get the full size image)

When you type and just hit return, the command gets run as it were run on a terminal. If you click the dot, you can choose a file on your filesystem to execute, the down-arrow shows you a history of your last-used commands.
But, we're not done yet! This applet is a lot more powerfull then just to execute some commands. Let's open the preferences dialog (by right-clicking the applet and choosing "preferences - obvious, right ? ;)):

(click to get the full size image)

As you see, you can enable history-based auto-completition, which is very cool as it makes you not have to retype the whole thing you run ... this seems stupid for commands you run regulary as it would be a lot easier to just provide a starter for them, but ...
On the second tab of the preferences-screen you can set "macros". I cannot explain this very well in English, but it just means you can do a lot more then just running normal commands with this nifty applet. There where some macros set by default, for example, one that opens your browser with a google search if you type "google: ". Another cool one just makes your browser open a url you type (paste ;)) in the applet. It's easy to add new macros. For example, to search in the archives of this blog, add a macro with the pattern "^gt: *(.*)$" and command "gnome-open\1&
NT%3A5588AA%3BGIMP%3A5588AA%3BLH%3A100%3BLW%3A800%3BL%3Ahttp" (all this on one line and both without the quote-marks). Then, you can just type "gt: gnome" to search for the word 'gnome' in my archives :).

Cyah !


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Quick screenshotting

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Time for a new trick ! I'm gonna tell a bit about making screenshots in Gnome. For those who don't know what a 'screenshot' is, it's a kind of 'photograph' you make of your screen. In fact, it's just saving what's currently on your screen in an image.
So, how to make those screenshots within Gnome ? Well, there are several ways to do this. You can use some 3th party program that creates screenshots (for example in The Gimp with File > Import > Screenshot) or a commandline-program ... but that's not what were gonna do, as Gnome has a screenshot-utility built-in! To call this program, you can press a shortcut-keycombination or open the System-menu and click the "Take Screenshot" entry. Both will bring up this dialog:

You can choose a filename and folder where it should be saved. Well, the cool thing is you don't have to really save this screenshot if you just want to send it to somebody. Which is cool as mostly when you want to show something to somebody you remove the saved screenshot afterwards. So, how to do it? Right, just drag the thing. You can drag the screenshot out of the dialog, to a gaim-conversation or on a gaim-contact to send it to him/her, on gaim to set your own buddy-image (aka 'avatar'), to the evolution "new mail" attachement zone, on your panel to use it as background (not that I guess you want that, but it's possible ;)) ... or just to any directory in nautilus to save it over there!
To create screenshots with key-shortcuts, you have 2 combinations to set. One to create a screenshot of the whole screen and one to only capture the active window. You can set both shortcuts in the "Keyboard shortcuts" preferences window (open it with System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts).

Have fun screenshotting !


Friday, June 10, 2005


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I had this idea last night when I tried to sleep but failed; You know about the Nautilus SendTo-extension, right? No ? You should, I already blogged about it ;).
Anyway, Reinout commented on it saying it's another addition to Nautilus' context-menu. I also thought about this disadvantage and came up with following 'solution';
What about a "Gnome SendTo applet" ? It would be a place on the panel where you can drop files and it opens the SendTo dialog-window and off you go. I also think the Gnome HIG says a user should "perform tasks" (like dragging files to manipulate 'm) instead of using context-menu's/commands (cfr for example: Provide Direct Manipulation). For the appet I had the following in mind: an open box with a stamp on it. For the user it would be like "put some stuff in a box to send it". Maybe it would even be better/cooler to have an opened box where you can drag stuff in and then when you click the box, it closes and shows the SendTo window ? Maybe this could make sending 1 file quickly too complex (2 clicks to show the dialog and then some more for the sending) ? A maybe-somewhat-silly-and-not-very-informational mockup:

Another thing I had in mind is doing somewhat the same with the Contact-Lookup-Applet. Right now when you find a contact and click it you get a dialog with emailadresses and IM-IDs if you have gaim well set up etc. So, what I thought about, was making it possible to drag files on the icon in front of the emailadresses/IM-IDs over there. So now there is for emails just a "email" icon, when you drag a file on it it could have a paperclip on it to make it visible there will be something attached automatically to the mail ...
I'm gonna try to reach some developpers of Gnome to see if they find it a good ID and if someone wants to implement it. I hope I'll be able to blog about it again later on !



Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Epiphany load current selection

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When I converted from Debian to Ubuntu, I lost Epiphany's "click middle-mousebutton on window to load the URL or keyword search for what's currently in your clipboard" feature. I searched in the about:config, but couldn't find it. Today I took a quick look in gconf, and there I found it! To have this option (which seems off by default - I guess to not scare users that are not aware of it), click the checkbox of the /apps/epiphany/general/middle_click_open_url key.

Ciao !

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