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Sunday, June 15, 2008

GNOME Do 0.5

Do 0.5: “The Fighting 0.5″

Do 0.5: “The Fighting 0.5″. Without further ado, here are the main improvements and new features, accompanied by plenty of screen shots.

First off, the Open with… action has been re-enabled!

Open with...

The biggest new feature in GNOME Do 0.5 is our new preferences window and plugin manager. You can now browse, download, install, and enable or disable all available plugins from right within Do thanks to Mono.Addins:

Plugin manager

You can also visit a wiki page with information about each plugin, and you can do plugin-specific configuration. This means no more configuration files, and no more editing preferences through Configuration Editor (gconf). As an example, here is the configuration window for the Files and Folders plugin:
plugin config

We’ve added a plugin category called “community plugins” that contains cutting-edge plugins written by many different contributors. If a developer were to write a great new GNOME Do plugin today, we could have it in the community plugins repository and available to Do users everywhere by tomorrow. That being said, community plugins are not rigorously screened or held to the same quality standards as official plugins, so users beware.

community plugins

One of my favorite community plugins is the new Skype plugin, which allows you to make calls, initiate chats, change your status, and more. The Skype plugin is also fully integrated with Do’s contact system, so you can simply type a contact name, and then chose to send an instant message to that person with Pidgin, email them, or initiate a Skype chat or call:


There’s an awesome new plugin by Jason Smith called “WindowManager.” It lets you manipulate and rearrange windows on your desktop. You can focus, shade, minimize, maximize, tile, and cascade your windows. This plugin is so feature-packed, I don’t even know everything it does yet! Check out these screenshots, then try the plugin for yourself.

WindowManager plugin 3
Minimize all Firefox windows.
WindowManager plugin 2
Bring a GIMP window into focus by searching for its name.

Alex Launi has done some amazing plugin work, making great contributions to the Twitter, File and Folders, and Pidgin plugins to name a few. He also wrote new Flickr, Gmail contacts, and Google Calendar plugins. Here’s a preview of his work:

Twitter plugin now supports replying to Twitter friends.
Pidgin set status
Set Pidgin status (also searches saved statuses).
Upload to flickr
Upload images to Flickr
Google Calendar
Search and create events on Google Calendar

These are only a few of the new features and improvements in GNOME Do 0.5. We’ve also fixed tons of bugs, and we’re going to have some intensive wiki-updating sessions over the next couple weeks to bring documentation up to speed. There are a few more changes that just barely missed the cut, so you can expect to see a 0.5.1 release within a few weeks. Special thanks to Alex Launi, Jason Smith, Chris Halse Rogers, Jorge Castro, Jason Imison, Jason Jones, Jacob Andreas, Guillaume Beland, Ken Simon, Mathieu Cadet, Rick Harding, and all the rest. Ubuntu users may get 0.5 packages from our Launchpad PPA, and you can find source packages on our downloads page.

Finally, GNOME Do is free software

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