All posts in "Applications"

Roxen Application Launcher 1.2.1

Published 22 November, 2011 in Applications , Linux , Programming , Roxen - 0 Comments

Roxen Application Launcher 1.2.1

There’s a new release of Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux.

Although the previous release, using GTK3, came quite recently this release has some new things.

GSettings

I dumped the “keyfile” solution for the application settings in favour to GSettings. So the settings is no longer stored in a file in the application directory but rather in the system’s application settings backend. GSettings is part of GIO – the GNOME networking library – and since RAL depends on GIO no new dependency is needed. The upside is that I could put a file of source code in the bin! Plus, it’s fun learning new stuff!

Editors and content types

Previously I have kept an editor – name and command line – for every content type. Anders at Roxen thought it’d be better if editors and content types were separated. I’ve thought about that before but never bothered to do anything about it.

But now, along with GTK3, there’s a new (I think) AppInfo class and the new AppChooserButton and AppChooserDialog widgets so I thought it’d be cool to use those. So selecting an editor for a new content type is way more simple now, and it also looks nicer. Plus we get the icon for the editor in the content type list under the “Applications” tab ;)

Simple logging

I also implemented some simple logging which can be viewed under the new “Logging” tab. This will be worked upon and at the moment not very useful information is written to the log, but at least it’s a start.

Default icons

The icons in the notification popup – which only are three to the number – is now fetched from the user’s default icon theme. They we’re bundled before.

SOUP all the way

Previously I have used a little hack for saving downloaded files to disk. The problem was that the Vapi bindings for libsoup casted the data to a string which totally scrambled binary content like images and such. My solution was to write a simple C-function which took a SoupMessageBody struct as argument and then wrote that to diskt always keeping the uint8[] type of the content.

I bug reported this way back and it’s now fixed in Vala so I dumped my solution and am now using Vala all the way. Gone is one C and one Vapi file.

While at it I changed from using blocking functions in libsoup to the async ones. You never really noticed blocking calls was used before, but right is right. Right?

And that’s that for this time I think!

Roxen Application Launcher 1.2.1

Sources is available at the Roxen Application Launcher Github repository

Roxen Application Launcher 1.1

Published 9 November, 2011 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

Screenshot of Roxen Application Launcher

There’s a new release of Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux.

I have updated the application launcher to use GTK3 so that it builds on Ubuntu 11.10 and any other Linux distribution using GTK3. This also made it possible to drop the dependency for libunique since Gtk.Application can handle single instance applications.

I also fixed a bug which made it impossible to use the appliction launcher on sites not running on port 80 or 443.

So there’s no new features in this release.

Roxen Application Launcher 1.1

Sources is available at the Roxen Application Launcher Github repository

Roxen Application Launcher 1.0.10

Published 22 June, 2011 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

There’s a new release of Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux.

No big news, but the GTK+ tree view of files is now sortable. The “minimize to tray” function is now actually invoked when the window is minimized rather than closed. A right click in the file list now also let you go the the file’s directory in the Sitebuilder.

Also fixed a bug where the locales didn’t get installed correctly and also fixed a bug which scrambled the configuration file a bit.

Roxen Application Launcher 1.0.10

Sources is available at the Roxen Application Launcher Github repository

Roxen Application Launcher 1.0.3

Published 24 September, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

Screenshot of Roxen Application Launcher

In this release of Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux I’ve gotten rid of a few dependencies, namely: gconf, libgee and libgnome. The reason I dumped gconf and libgnome was to make it easier to install in KDE. I’ve verified it installs in KDE, although I noticed the translation doesn’t work and the Roxen SVG logo doesn’t show up in the window top border.

Screenshot of Roxen Application Launcher
Roxen Application Launcher in KDE

Libgee is a collections API written in Vala and since I used a newer version than what is available in most package managers, and I’m not sure all Linux distros provide libgee, I decided to dump it and implement the same functionality with the generic collection classes in Vala. And since the collections used in RAL is quite simple that worked out just fine.

I have also tried to implement bundled download, which is only used in Roxen Editorial Portal. Since I don’t have access to such an installation I haven’t been able to verify it works as expected. I re-implemented the same behavior as in the launcher written in Pike by the Roxen guys.

Oh, and if you already have an installation of my RAL your previously downloaded files and settings will not be available to the new install. Since I dumped gconf I now store the settings in a plain text file and I have put the RAL application directory in ~/.conf/roxenlauncher since ~/.conf is where you should put application specific data according to freedesktop.org. In previous versions of RAL I stored application data in ~/.roxenlauncher so if you want your previously downloaded files copy ~/.roxenlauncher/files to ~/.conf/roxenlauncher/files.

The sources is available at Github.

Roxen Appliction Launcher 1.0.3 00:43, Fri 24 September 2010 :: 384.8 kB

Roxen Application Launcher 1.0

Published 12 September, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

Screenshot of Roxen Application Launcher with context menu

So I had a go at the Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux. I added a context menu – when you right click – to the file list. When you right click a file in the list you get the option to view that file in the Sitebuilder, edit it or remove it.

Other than that there’s nothing new. And since the application seems to be very stable I decided to bump the version number to 1.0.

The sources is available at Github.

Roxen Appliction Launcher 1.0 00:06, Sun 12 September 2010 :: 376.2 kB

Roxen Application Launcher 0.4.5

Published 13 April, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

Screenshot of Roxen Application Launcher

Okey, here comes an update of my Roxen Application Launcher (come again?) for Linux.

There’s no major changes to this release. The connection to the Roxen server is now stored in a shared object so that it can use a “keep-alive” connection. Not that I think it matters a great deal.

There’s now an option to change the behavior of the applications window close button so that it hides the application to the tray – or notification area as it’s called in Gnome – rather than closes the application.

More Vala programming to the people – Sources at Github.

Roxen Appliction Launcher 0.4.5 23:00, Tue 13 April 2010 :: 375.9 kB

GTK hacking in Pike

Published 19 January, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Programming - 0 Comments

Tweepi, the Twitter client written in PikeI’ve found out that it’s great fun programming desktop applications and of course it gets more fun the more you learn. Now I’m doing a Twitter client in Pike – my favorite programming language – mostly because I wanted to try out GTK programming in Pike. I use the good Twitter client Pino – written in Vala – and I have borrowed the concept and layout from it. I call it Tweepi.

The only major difference between Tweepi and Pino – besides they are written in different programming languages – is that Pino uses WebKit to draw the status messages where I am using good old GTK widgets – and I guess there are no bindings to WebKit in Pike for that matter ;)

One thing I noticed is that the Gtk.Label widget sucks at displaying longer texts that line wraps. Since the label widget handles some HTML formatting I thought that it would be suitable for displaying the status messages, but the text looked like shit, line wrapping where ever it felt like. And the Gtk.TextView widget doesn’t handle formatting per default so I Googled some and found that you can format text in Gtk.TextViews by inserting Gtk.TextTags at desired positions. And since Pike has the most awesome HTML parser It was just a matter of sending the text through the parser and create some Gtk.TextTags and inserting them at the same position in the text buffer. (Well, actually it wasn’t that easy but with some help from a Python class I found on the web it was doable).

So now I have a start at something that is a Gtk.HtmlTextView – actually it inherits Gtk.TextView but has an additional method insert_html_text(string text) – and albeit quite simple at the moment it’s worth continuing on. The code for the HtmlTextView is available at my Github repository.

In general I find the GTK implementation in Pike to be pretty OK, but there exist some verbose, and tedious, stuff like getting the text from a Gtk.TextView:

2 lines of Pike
  1. Gtk.TextBuffer b = my_textview>get_buffer();
  2. string text = b>get_text(b>get_start_iter(), b>get_end_iter(), 0);

which in Vala and C# would be done like:

5 lines of Vala
  1. // Vala
  2. string text = my_textview.get_buffer().text;
  3. // C#
  4. string text = myTextView.Buffer.Text;

Anyway! Tweepi isn’t done yet but I think I have solved the most tedious stuff and it’s starting to become useful. It’ll probably be done in a couple of weeks and I will of course release the sources then.

Roxen Application Launcher 0.4.4

Published 14 January, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Roxen - 0 Comments
This is not the latest version of Roxen Application Launcher. You’ll find the latest version at the download page.

So, here’s a new release of the Roxen Application Launcher for Linux (RAL). The previous versions used my home made (sloppy so) HTTP client which didn’t handle redirects or secure connections – thank you tec for the feed back – since I had some major problems getting libsoup working with binary files like images and such. Binary files was heavily scrambled when read from or written to disk so I made my own simple HTTP client that kept the data as a byte array to prevent some underlying libraries (GLib) from fiddling with it.

But I solved the libsoup issue so now the RAL handles redirects and secure connections. This is how I solved it:

The libsoup issue

When uploading a file back to the Roxen server I use IOChannel (g_io_channel in plain C) instead of Gio. So the upload works like this:

13 lines of Vala
  1. var sess = new Soup.SessionSync();
  2. var mess = new Soup.Message(“PUT”, get_uri());
  3. mess.request_headers.append(“Cookie”, get_cookie());
  4. mess.request_headers.append(“Translate”, “f”);
  5. IOChannel ch = new IOChannel.file(local_file, “r”);
  6. ch.set_encoding(null); // Enables reading of binary data
  7. string data;
  8. size_t len;
  9. ch.read_to_end(out data, out len);
  10. mess.request_body.append(Soup.MemoryUse.COPY, data, len);
  11. sess.send_message(mess);

And that seems to work like a charm!

When downloading data it’s a bit more tricky! Of course I tried using IOChannel in this case also but that made no difference. Downloaded images ended up 4 bytes long! But then I thought: You can make your own C bindings in Vala (remember the Vala compiler generates C code) through what is called Vapi files. So what I did was writing a C function that takes a SoupMessageBody object/struct passed from Vala and writes the data part to a file given as argument.

19 lines of C/C++
  1. gboolean save_soup_data(SoupMessageBody *data, const char *file)
  2. {
  3. FILE *fh;
  4. if ((fh = fopen(file, “w”)) == NULL) {
  5. fprintf(stderr, “Unable to open file \”%s\” for writing!\n”, file);
  6. return FALSE;
  7. }
  8. int wrote = fwrite(data>data, 1, data>length, fh);
  9. if (wrote != (int)data>length) {
  10. fprintf(stderr, “wrote (%d) != data->length (%d). Data may have been “
  11. “truncated”, wrote, (int)data>length);
  12. }
  13. fclose(fh);
  14. return TRUE;
  15. }

And this was then made available to Vala by the following Vapi file:

6 lines of Vala
  1. [CCode (cprefix = “”, lower_case_cprefix = “”, cheader_filename = “”)]
  2. namespace Soppa // Soppa is Swedish for Soup 😉
  3. {
  4. [CCode (cname = “save_soup_data”)]
  5. public bool save_soup_data(Soup.MessageBody data, string file);
  6. }

And this is how the actual Vala code downloading the files looks like:

15 lines of Vala
  1. var sess = new Soup.SessionSync();
  2. var mess = new Soup.Message(“GET”, get_uri());
  3. mess.request_headers.append(“Cookie”, get_cookie());
  4. mess.request_headers.append(“Translate”, “f”);
  5. sess.send_message(mess);
  6. if (mess.status_code == Soup.KnownStatusCode.OK) {
  7. // Here I call the C function made available through the Vapi file
  8. if (Soppa.save_soup_data(mess.response_body, local_file)) {
  9. message(“The file was downloaded and written to disk OK”);
  10. }
  11. else {
  12. message(“Failed writing data to disk!”);
  13. }
  14. }

So that’s that on that! ;)

The notification

I also – just for fun – implemented a notification mechanism through libnotify. Since I believe that can be rather annoying it’s not activated by default but can easily be activated by a checkbox in the user interface.

The packages

The Roxen Application Launcher for Linux can be downloaded at the download page at Github where also the work in progress sources is available or downloaded below!

Roxen Application Launcher 0.4.4 23:06, Wed 13 January 2010 :: 373.5 kB

Stay black!

Extracting text from PDFs

Published 11 January, 2010 in Applications , Programming - 0 Comments

Unwanted line breaks in text copied from PDF
Unwanted line breaks in text copied from PDF

Anybody working with information sooner or later have to copy and paste text from PDF-files. And anybody who has done that knows what a pain in the a** that is! You get actual line breaks from the visual line breaks in the PDF. The other day I began a job where I have to copy and paste text from a whole bunch of PDF files and it didn’t take long before I almost exploded with anger ;)

So I thought: Why not make a simple application that extracts the text from the PDF and – to the most possible degree – normalizes the unwanted line breaks.

And then there was Textifyer

So I fired up Visual C# Express and started hacking. I soon found the PDFbox component – using IKVM.NET – and it didn’t take long before I had some code that actually extracted the text from a PDF file. (a PDF extraction in C# howto)

I figured out how to detect unwanted line breaks: Each line with an unwanted line break ends with a space character. Lines with a wanted line break doesn’t (in 99% of the cases). So it is just a matter of of looping over the lines and if it ends with a space skip adding a line break and just append it to the previous text buffer.

Unwanted line breaks removed
Unwanted line breaks removed

So now I just have to clean up the interface and bug test the program – which will happen automatically since I’m copy and paste from a whole bunch of PDFs at the moment. When I feel it’s working alright I will release the program. It’s really nothing hardcore about it anyway ;)

Textifyer: Drag-n-drop enabled
Of course there’s drag-n-drop support!

Bitlyfier – A Bit.ly client for GNOME

Published 7 January, 2010 in Applications , Linux , Programming - 0 Comments

Bitlyfier For those of us tweeting – or sharing web addresses in general – these long addresses with extensive query strings you wan’t to share isn’t too user friendly. So we have Bit.ly, among others, that lets you shorten a URL – or give it an alias if you like – and also gives you statistics on how many clicks it has and if it’s shared on Twitter and what not.

Since I’m on the quest of learning the programming language Vala I though why not making a Bit.ly desktop client for GNOME. So I did!

The desktop client

There’s really nothing extraordinary about it, in fact it’s quite simple. Put a long URL in the input field and hit “OK”. You’ll get the shortened URL back in the same input field.

NOTE! The screenshots is showing the Swedish translation but the interface is orginally in English.

Shortening a long URL
Shortening an URL with Bitlyfier

The shortened URL
The Bit.ly shortened URL

To use the application you will of course need a Bit.ly account. The first time Bitlyfier is launched it will ask for your Bit.ly account settings. Just fill in your username and API key (it’s found on your account page at http://bit.ly/account).

Bitlyfier account settings
The bitlyfier settings dialog

The command line interface

For the hacker you, Bitlyfier can also be used as a command line tool. These are the options:

11 lines of Plain text
  1. Usage:
  2. bitlyfier [OPTION…] – Bitlyfier, URL shortener/expander
  3. Help Options:
  4. -h, –help Show help options
  5. Application Options:
  6. -e, –expand Expands the given URL
  7. -s, –shorten Shortens the given URL
  8. -n, –no-gui Sets the application in command line mode
  9. -g, –gconf Invokes setting username and apikey

NOTE! You should quote the value of the ‘-s’ flag. If the URL to be shortened
contains a querystring with ampersands the URL will be truncated if it’s not
quoted.

So to shorten a long URL do like:

  user@machine:~$ bitlyfier -n -s "http://domain.com/long/url/to/shorten"

The Vala Bitly API classes

The Bitly API class I’ve written can of course be used standalone (it’s located in src/bitly.vala in the sources package downloadable below). Here’s an example of usage:

14 lines of Vala
  1. // main.vala
  2. // Compile: valac –pkg gee-1.0 –pkg json-glib-1.0 –pkg libsoup-2.4 -o main
  3. int main(string[] argv)
  4. {
  5. Bitly.Api api = new Bitly.Api(“username”, “R_the_api_key”);
  6. Bitly.Response response = api.shorten(“http://domain.com/the/long/url”);
  7. stdout.printf(“Short URL: %s\n”, response.get_string(“shortUrl”));
  8. response = api.stats(“A2ma2z”);
  9. stdout.printf(“Clicks: %d\n”, response.get_integer(“clicks”));
  10. return 0;
  11. }

More about the Bit.ly API and what the API methods do can be read about at http://bit.ly/6HIqjS.

The sources

The development sources of this application is available at Bitlyfier at Github. The current stable release can be found at the Download page.