Releases, releases, releases! Part 2

Testing Xfce

Xfce – like many other open source projects – is not exactly following a test-driven development workflow. I would argue that we need a slight mindset change here plus we need some (standardized) infrastructure to make testing easier for people who want to get involved.

Luckily what we have been waiting for in terms of the latter is already here! xfce-test is a Docker-based setup built by Florian which enables anyone to quickly spin up a container (based on Xubuntu 17.04 for now) with some components integrated from Git master, e.g. the Gtk3 panel. The great thing is it does not create the overhead of a real virtual machine for a tester but instead stays in the lightweight world of containers. This also makes it easy for everyone to adapt and rebuild the container and to create a reproducible environment that can be shared.

Just check out these few steps to try it in action – it really does all the heavy lifting for you!

xfce-test in action

Kudos also go out to the Gnome team for setting up a real nice contribution workflow for their community. We should really strive to reach that level at some point!

xfce4-notifyd 0.3.6

And another bugfix release for xfce4-notifyd is out! The best part about this is that apart from code-review there was nothing for me to do to get there!

So a big shout-out goes to both Mattias and Igor for fixing some of my – slowly but surely traditional – shortcomings (memleaks here we go again!).

Greybird 3.22.2 and 3.22.3

So there are also new releases out for Greybird, and not a bad ones I may add. On the feature side I added a preliminary version of a dark theme, which I hope will please some of the Gnome users of this theme.

Furthermore I did some polishing on making GtkPopover and Headerbar buttons more integrated and tight. Finally some fixes went into Nautilus notifications, the xfce4-notifyd theme and GtkCalendar looks acceptable at last (which makes the Gtk3 version of the panel usable)!

So all in all two micro-releases worth upgrading to!


elementary-xfce 0.8

This release adds support for the new icon names of Gnome 3.24. I also pulled in several icons from upstream elementary, especially updated mimetypes (thanks Dan!) plus I added support for Pantheon Photos.

Finally I added more sizes to some of the icons, ridding the theme of some inconsistencies.


xfce4-panel 4.13.0 in the works

As hinted at in the previous installment of “Releases, releases, releases!” I’ve been pouring quite some time into getting xfce4-panel close to a first 4.13 development release. This should help testers to get a packaged up stable point of reference and it should also help us to track the remaining issues in our issue tracker like normal human beings instead of collecting everything in the wiki roadmap page.

So while there are still some issues remaining (one of the more prominent disfunctions is broken drag-and-drop in certain contexts) I use the panel on a daily basis and it hasn’t crashed upon me once and does pretty much what it should – even with Gtk2 plugins in it (nnnice!).

Feel free to test it out with xfce-test šŸ˜‰

Pidgin elementary style

Status icon theme

A while ago I started working on making Xubuntu’s default messenger app Pidgin look a little more integrated by creating a status-icon theme for it. As Xubuntu relies on the wonderful elementary set for iconography (in a variant maintained by me which is while being distro agnostic slightly misleadingly labeled “elementary-xfce”) the Pidgin theme was obviously done in that vein.

available busy chat offline person away


Smiley themepidgin_elementary

Last week I extended this effort to emoticons and created an initial smiley theme for Pidgin. While it may not support all protocol standards yet it should be pretty usable already. I’m hoping for people to submit some bug-reports on github if they encounter a lack of support for a protocol standard for emoticons.
It makes use of all meaningful emotes provided by upstream elementary.

face-worried face-wink face-uncertain face-tired face-surprise face-star face-smirk face-smile-crying face-smile-big-squint face-smile-big face-sick face-smile face-sad face-raspberry-wink face-raspberry-squint face-raspberry face-laugh face-mail face-plain face-heart-broken face-kiss face-happy face-heart face-devilish face-embarrassed face-crying face-angry face-cool

Download and install

You can get both themes from the same github repository. To my knowledge, neither of them have been packaged in any distribution, so you will have to run the Makefile I included to install both themes.

Caveat: As Pidgin does not support system-wide status-icon themes, you will have to install that theme locally and it will only be available on a per-user basis. Hopefully this will be fixed/implemented in Pidgin upstream in the future.

Install the status-icon theme
make install-status
Install the smiley theme
sudo make install-emotes

Greybird 3.20.1 released (mostly bugfixes)

Plank theme (by Sean Davis)
theme for Plank (a simple dock) by Sean

So the first bugfix release for Greybird 3.20 is here and while the changelog isn’t an overly exciting read, there are some goodies in this one!

The single new feature in this – otherwise – bugfix release is a Greybirdy theme for Plank (a simple dock), contributed by Sean.

Other than that I have tweaked or fixed the following:

  • less padding on some widgets, e.g. buttons (makes the whole theme feel more like the original and matches Gtk2)
  • less bold input focus line on GtkEntries
  • improved progressbar theming (no more tiny artifacts when the fraction is 0.00), also fixes LP #1617705
  • tweak the look of OSDs
  • mention librsvg build-dependency in the README


Greybird 3.20.0 (to be clear: with support for Gtk+3.20) released

Finally – 5 months after the release of Gtk+3.20 – I’m happy to announce the release of the first version of Greybird supporting it.

Why has it taken so long? – you

The Widget Factory - 3.20
The Widget Factory – 3.20

may ask yourselves – and one reason was certainly me being totally busy with other things, but another one was that Ubuntu didn’t ship it in its 16.04 LTS release (which was a totally sane decision, by the way). Because of the latter it took some time before the issue of having a theme that supports Gtk+3.20 became pressing enough for me to take action.

Anyway, now it is done. (At least mostly.)

While porting the theme (in this case really: porting, not just: adding support for) I also decided to rebase it on Adwaita. Over the last releases so much stuff had piled up, so many quick fixes or patching up visual nuisances to support “the next Gtk+ release” that the theme had become an unmaintainable jungle – I frankly couldn’t have told you which line mattered anymore. While rebasing, I also went from CSS to SASS, which was the only right decision, as I’m sure now after having gone through with it. It made the code so much more maintainable and readable (kind of reminding me of the first Gtk+3 releases, when themes were still a lot leaner in terms of LOC).

So yeah, I’m pretty happy with where this has been going. There are still some rough edges (e.g. progressbars are probably not 100% greybirdy) and things I haven’t added support back for (e.g. elementary’s Granite widgets), but I think what is there now warrants an initial release as things still look consistent between Gtk+2 and Gtk+3 applications.

One final note: Greybird has recently switched to a new versioning scheme, which basically mirrors the Gtk+3 release numbers the theme works best with.