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Woof progress report

January 21, 2009 — BarryK
I haven't been reporting all the details on this blog, but for the last few days I have been back onto working intensely on Woof. Just a few progress notes here...

Web browser
I compiled Epiphany and SeaMonkey in Woof, to compare them. Epiphany is a full-blown Gnome application, so it was a good exercise to compile and I found a few missing dependencies that needed to be in the 'devx' file.

I have been through this exercise before, but did it again to reconfirm: I compiled SeaMonkey 1.1.14 with both Mail&News and Composer modules, with only Composer, and with neither (browser only). Making each of these into binary tarballs, these are the sizes:

Browser, Mail&News, Composer: 10095KB
Browser, Composer: 7592KB
Browser only: 7328KB

As before, I came to the conclusion that we get the Composer WYSIWYG HTML editor for hardly any extra size overhead. The Mail&News component on the other hand adds about 2MB.

So, I have chosen SeaMonkey with Composer, and have chosen Sylpheed 2.6.0 to handle email and newsgroups. I did not choose Epiphany, as it has less features than SeaMonkey and doesn't work out to be much smaller.

Oh yes, another reason why I have gone for SeaMonkey rather than Firefox is it has the library which it used by 'gtkmoz', the HTML viewer used in Puppy4 and in Woof. If I had used Firefox then I would have had to find another HTML viewer, but I really want one that can handle Javascript (required for the CUPS web interface -- I would prefer not to have to use the full browser for the CUPS interface).

XFCE menu
There is good news and bad news. I fixed the menu. It now looks pretty much like in Puppy4 and all the icons now display. That's the good news.

The bad news is that after I started editing the menu, when the desktop starts up the XFCE panel does not appear until I click any icon on the desktop. Weird. Also, running off a USB stick, there is a periodic screen flicker, a major flicker of the screen that lasts for just a fraction of a second. I have not yet timed the periodicity.

For the record, the files that I edited to adjust the menu are:
/etc/xdg/xfce4/desktop/menu.xml, xfce-registered-categories.xml
These are in the 'xfdesktop4' package.
Note that ~/.config/xfce4 has files that can override this if the XFCE menu editor GUI app has been run. Note also that the menu is cached in ~/.cache/xfce4 but saving the above menu.xml file causes the cache to update.


email client

xfce panel /mail
Username: dogone
"Just a thought. Could the panel appearance upon click have something to do with layering? BTW, I will second the preference for Claws Mail. It's excellent, under active development, not a one-man-show (oh, what I just said) and of similar size. Great to have you back Mr. K, no matter how of you there are.

Looking good
Username: prehistoric
"A vote for your decisions on browser and mail. I've been using Sylpheed 2.4.7 because it is very stable, and adequate for my needs. For new users, there has also been better documentation than Claws Mail. I admit I have not gone back and run tests with Claws Mail in 6 months, and when I last tested it, I got a good bit of use before the problems surfaced. It takes time, and a number of machines with a range of specifications, to do a thorough test of core applications. Given my moniker, my personal preference for stability in the standard release is consistent. Sage, while perhaps chronologically older, remains more daring. Even though I commonly change browsers, the simplicity of installing a new one, and remastering, if needed, makes this easy. So, when I get Firefox 3.0.5 crashes every time I login to one site, as happened yesterday, I always have a fallback.

xfce-panel plugins
Username: magerlab
"what about plugins for xfce4-panel? seamonkey is a good choice anyway. It's stable and fast as anyone puppyuser knows:)

Firefox size
Username: No1
"Does anyone know how big Firefox is? Have become addicted on my work win laptop. Edit: Found that is 11.58MB. I can live with that

Can't delete
Username: No1
"It seems that I can't delete my earlier comment. I thought I could just my normal password to delete my earlier comment? So much for a "redneck edit button" :-)

Edit comments
Username: BarryK
"Yes, it would be good to be able to edit comments. You need to approach the author of PPLOG -- see link on left side of this page.

xfce panel hidden at boot
Username: disciple
""when the desktop starts up the XFCE panel does not appear until I click any icon on the desktop" FWIW the displays the same behaviour. BTW, has anybody tried the latest xfce 4.6 beta?

Tags: woof