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#1 2013-09-11 05:34:00

Donny Bahama
Member
Registered: 2013-09-11
Posts: 4

Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

First, let me express my heartfelt thanks to the XFCE developers. Seriously, I've gotten so frustrated and fed up with all the problems with gnome3, unity, cinnamon, etc. I was almost ready to give up and go crawling back to Windows! Then I tried Mint 15 with XFCE. I feel like my computer has been reborn! I've been evangelizing the hell out of it! Switched my wife's laptop over, converted a friend's old desktop. They LOVE it as much as I do! You guys ROCK, and so does XFCE!

Anyway, there are a couple of things I'd like to develop - applets that integrate with the desktop - but I really have no clue where to begin. Is there some sort of framework for such things? Any kind of "getting started" guide? Most of all, I could really use some example code. I should add that I'm no C++ developer. My only proficiency is in scripting languages (HTML, CSS, Javascript, advanced Windows shell scripting, Autohotkey and a few others that are even more obscure. No experience with python yet but would love to learn if that's the best platform.) I'd appreciate any guidance.

As an example of the kind of thing I want to do (in case it helps you to help me!), I'd like to have something on my desktop that tells me how many unread email messages I have with an abbreviated overview for each. I'd also like it to have "new message" button and a search field for finding a particular message.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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#2 2013-10-07 01:27:02

Donny Bahama
Member
Registered: 2013-09-11
Posts: 4

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

Really? So is this simply not possible? Or are noobs encouraged not to contribute?

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#3 2014-06-30 01:57:07

highwind
Member
Registered: 2014-06-07
Posts: 16

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

may be you need to learn to use conky?


(Using Mint17 + xfce4.10)

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#4 2014-06-30 06:02:50

eric_the_idiot
Member
Registered: 2011-12-23
Posts: 46

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

Donny,
  Hi and welcome. Most of the devs don't frequent the forums very often, the xfce4-dev mailing list is usually a good bet:
https://mail.xfce.org/mailman/listinfo/ or #xfce-dev on freenode for IRC.

There is a sample plugin with just the basic functionality:
http://git.xfce.org/panel-plugins/xfce4-sample-plugin/

There's also a mailwatch plugin that might also help get you going faster:
http://git.xfce.org/panel-plugins/xfce4 … ch-plugin/

You'll probably want to install devhelp from your package manager and either the devel or dev or docs packages for xfce4-panel, gtk, glib, and gio if they have/require them. Devhelp will then display the API docs for those packages.

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#5 2014-08-17 19:55:10

tenguix
Member
Registered: 2014-08-17
Posts: 2

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

You could stare at source code, to get _started_, that is. To get finished, I have no idea. I've never done anything that ambitious.

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#6 2014-08-19 21:32:40

jansucan
Member
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Registered: 2014-07-23
Posts: 7
Website

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

tenguix wrote:

You could stare at source code, to get _started_ ...

Somewhat sad but not far from the truth. Documentation has some deficits. For me, that's the real art to find out how to use some API or technology correctly only from looking at how other people, who had the same starting point as me, have used it. No need to mention that sometimes it's not easy to find the two people who have used it the same way. But the good news is that it's possible (to be an artist).

Last edited by jansucan (2014-08-20 12:28:10)

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#7 2014-08-21 17:02:19

eric_the_idiot
Member
Registered: 2011-12-23
Posts: 46

Re: Help me get started writing an xfce desktop applet/desklet/screenlet?

If you do have questions or run into issues feel free to ping me or ask on #xfce4-dev on freenode IRC or the xfce4-dev mailing list located at https://mail.xfce.org/mailman/listinfo/xfce4-dev
The documentation does need more detail so knowing what questions people have would help get an idea of what to work on first.

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