So, it’s been about three weeks since we started work on GNOME Shell and it seems about time to give update. A lot of the first weeks has been taken up with infrastructure work – getting things building, adding new features to gobject-introspection and gjs, debugging problems with various graphics drivers. But some of the visual elements are beginning to come together as well.
While we’re still learning the ins and outs of Clutter, especially with regards to layout, it has worked well for our graphics so far. The port of Tweener that litl did to gjs is a really fun way of getting animations with little hard work. And while lots of restructuring and refactoring remain in the future, there’s no way we could have gotten to a mostly functioning desktop as quickly as we did without starting from Metacity.
So, on to the visual elements:
In the screenshot above you can see the “overlay” view you get when you click “Activities” that combines applications launching with switching to the applications that you already have open. The windows fly in nicely thanks to Tweener, but you’ll have to build things yourself to see that. That was pretty much the first thing I did on the Shell, and Marina has enhanced it since.
Colin, along with a lot of heavy-lifting on gobject-introspection, implemented a first pass at the applications sidebar on the left:
Dan took on the deceptively hard task of getting tray icons to display in the panel:
Dan also got a neat desktop-switching animation working along the lines of what was done in the Mutter “Scratch” plugin.
Sander showed up and created a quick Alt-F2 dialog:
And I’ll close with a screenshot of the first patch we got on the mailing list. It’s a bit of a cheat for me to show it here, since the patch isn’t actually in subversion, but, well, it’s an inspiration for us to add plugins!