Proposing Gimmie applet for 2.22 (was GNOME Panel++)


The Gimmie applet has been around for some time.  Gimmie is a tab-like
replacement for the main Panel menubar, providing logical access to
the concepts of the desktop[1].

For more information, see the Gimmie homepage at  Gimmie is stored in GNOME SVN, and
uses GNOME Bugzilla for issue tracking.

Many use it as a replacement for the default Panel menu, myself
included.  I think many novel concepts exist in it's UI, and I find it
to be very usable and featured.

Looking towards the future, Gimmie is designed to move towards the
Online-Desktop model, while preserving access to the features of the
existing desktop.  This is a niche which none of the new Panel or
navigation menu alternatives (let alone other desktops) are pursuing,
and one which I consider pivotal if GNOME is to remain pertinent.

So I'd like to gauge the interest in having the Gimmie applet included
as part of GNOME.  Either as part of the main suite or in an add-on

What's needed to make this happen?  What concerns do people have?

Issues that I see:

   * There has not been a new release since 0.2.7, in June.  A new
release is brewing, and the Gimmie community is stepping up the
release engineering around a solid 0.3 release.

   * Lack of dedicated maintainer resources.  Admittedly, I've been
somewhat lax in my duties due to time pressures.  Luckily, several
volunteers have stepped up recently offering to take the reins here
for more reliable releasing.

   * There is an experimental standalone panel version of Gimmie.
This can be branched into a sub-project, or simply not installed by
default.  I am *not* proposing to expose this panel alternative as
part of GNOME.  There are many other interesting panel alternatives
which are seeing a lot of love.

   * Non-functional placeholders for future features should be removed
(Flickr, Google Office, Friendster integration).

   * GMail contact integration needs to be fixed or removed by default.

   * Ditto for Gaim/Pidgin online status setting.

   * The Tomboy note category may not be useful to include by default.

   * There are a few experimental UI features that should be removed
e.g. the timeline view.

   * Saved email attachments only supports Thunderbird's downloads.rdf
format.  I don't know if this feature can be supported with Evolution,
and accordingly may need to be removed for now.

   * .desktop change monitoring has been disabled due to crashes in
the gmenu python bindings.  This may have been solved recently, or may
require investigation into better alternatives.

   * Preferences and Administration capplets are merged into a single
Settings category.  This can easily be split into separate categories
again, if people want to maintain compatibility with the existing

   * The "system" tab is labeled according to the OS's name, e.g.
Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD.  If this is contentious, we can rename it to
"Computer", "System", or "Gnome".

   * Different terms are used from the standard GNOME menubar:
Applications->Programs, Preferences/Administration -> Settings.

   * A few important crashers must be fixed[2]. See

   * Next-gen desktop systems are not yet used: Tracker/Beagle for
searching, Telepathy for IM contacts, mugshot daemon for web service
access.  I would love to see integration with these in future Gimmie
releases, but they are not yet a standard part of GNOME.

None of these are too bad, and all could see resolution given the
incentive of GNOME inclusion.  That said, it's an ambitious goal to
have something like Gimmie included in the next desktop release, but I
think well worth it.

Hoping for some inspired, civil debate...


[1] From the homepage:
    * Installed Programs
    * Connected Devices
    * CDs and DVDs
    * Nearby networked computers
    * Mounted network shares
    * Printers
    * System Preferences
    * Administration Tools
    * Bookmarked Folders
    * Office Documents
    * Tomboy Notes
    * Audio Files
    * Movies
    * Downloaded Files (Firefox, Epiphany)
    * Saved Email Attachments (Thunderbird)
    * Instant Messaging Buddies (Gaim, Pidgin)

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