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Love Boat - The Real Story. Haugesund

Day 3. God morgen, Haugesund!

We are on time landing in Haugesund which is our first and most southern stop. After having breakfaast we prepare for our shore excursion.

Haugesund havn

Soon we are strolling through the small inner city and stopping by at the tourist information because we are experienced individual tourists and know our duties. Haugesund's main attraction is within walking range so we visit the combined monument Haraldshaugen (with the Haraldstøtten obelisk) und Krosshaugen (that with the stone cross) in memory to the rule of king Harald Hårfagre (Harald Fairhair) and the country's christianity.

Harald Hårfagre

My travel mates decide to take a rest after the walk and I decide to fight at the pie buffet again. I am triumphant and celebrate my victory with cake and tea.

No human or other creature was harmed filling this plate.

We depart in the early evening and face another complete day at the ocean. Later on the winds intensify, at Beaufort force 7 both of our male travel party members call in seasick.

The noise of the sea

Travelling by ship is done on purpose. Being on the way moving is part of the destination. It is proven that maritime surroundings do have positive health effects on humans. One can even buy recordings of maritime and water noises or just listen to these on YouTube.

That is interesting because for humans the ocean is a hostile ecosystem full of dangers and therefore a natural frontier. To us the sound of the rushing sea is fascinating and we are able to watch the movements of the water and the waves for eternity. Instead of calming us down it should make us freak out because without the safety area of the steely colossus we would be dead within minutes.

Friendship

Last summer during a sailing trip on the river Havel I got into a heavy and fast moving thunderstorm with winds between 7 to 9 bft causing huge damages on land. We were able to take our position in a bay to let the storm pass over us maneuvring with as little sail as possible. That worked pretty well, still that was a tough and shaky situation involving massive amounts of water from various directions.

Reminded of this event I watch the waves and try to think through the thought experiment we sometimes talk about at sunny days: if we piloted the boat in direction New York, how far would we get in that nutshell (Friendship 24 sailing boat)? When well prepared and equipped and a bit lucky regarding the weather one can get mildly optimistic but if you are knocked out or thrown overboard at 10 bft and 12 meter high waves your remains will not ever be found.

That brings me to another question:

When do people realize somebody is missing?

I did not count how often I was advised not to pull a Küblböck in advance of the journey. In case you do not know (which is probably the case): Daniel Küblböck was a casting show/reality TV personality who had become a last sad media footnote by jumping off a cruiseship into the ocean in some previous year.

In this video by a travel journalist it is stated that up to 19 persons vanish from cruiseships every year.

Jumping off a sailing ship into the ocean is a very, very safe method of committing suicide. Even if there are witnesses it is almost impossible to keep track of the lost person in the water if the person is conscious and gets back to the water surface at all until rescue measures are initiated. Any person who ever has performed a "man/buoy over board" maneuvre will comprehend this.

If one goes overboard without witnesses, it will not be noticed at first.

The Red Telephone

Crew

Missing crew is probably noticed quite rapidly. From my observation the staff maintaining the outer decks seem to always work in teams of two or more. Taking this premise into account a missing crew member should be recognized within working shift but considering these guys do not do a 9 to 5 job here this may also be half a day. By the beginning of the next day's working shift it will be noticed.

Time frame: 0.5 to 24 hours? Are there a mandatory report intervals for outer deck staff?

Passenger

In this case it is reasonable to differ between single and non-single travellers.

One can move freely onboard and is not forced to leave the ship at ports. It may be likely that a missing single traveller is noticed on check out. But there is the housekeeping factor. Do they report if a cabin is not getting used for a while? It is possible in theory that that person stays overnight in other cabin(s) or mastered slepping on barstools...who knows?

So does the housekeeping report on this and if so, when? From day one, two, three...?

Time frame: one to several days?

For people not travelling alone the degree of social binding is probably crucial. There are many corners for retreat on a cruiseship. The larger the ship the higher the probability not to run into each other. Even on the small AIDAaura I met new people until the end of the trip that I was convinced not having seen during the last two weeks before.

A part of a married couple might get suspicious at the next meal or at least when going to bed if the other is absent. But there are also people in groups sharing cabins. A sleepover in another cabin might appear inappropriate to some but not impossible. But afterwards the person will have to return to the cabin sooner or later so the time frame is extended to maybe a day.

Time frame: minutes to 24 hours?

References

Love Boat - The Real Story. Das Boot

Day 2. Weekend and sunshine

The bright winter sun pushes the passengers onto the upper decks, covered in yellow fleece blankets people are laying in the sun like being on a holiday.

Plans and information

Now we are getting serious on planning our next steps: what can you do onboard? What are interesting shore excursions? The AIDA board portal becomes a permanent open browser tab; one finds any relevant information for the life onboard there: access to the cabin account, ship position, speed and course data or weather - the bridge is now under surveillance - dayplanner for events, schedules, menu plans etc.

This cruise is promoted as part of the "AIDA Selection tours". This concept is applied to niche routes like winter cruises in the northern hemisphere or long-tail world cruises. The standard light entertainment programme is extended by lectures and workshops about historic and scientific topics adjusted to the cruise.

I attended all of the scientific edutainment programme that was astonomy related. Of course one lecture was about polar lights. One may guess that these lectures were not university astrophysics level. As a person being not very fond of classic cruiseship entertainment I really enjoyed these events.

AIDA feedback

From my personal persepective the edutainment programme was a real enrichment to the overall travel experience and could even be more extended. I witnessed that the historic/social and scientific oriented content also met many passengers' approval. In future travel planning I will definitely factor in the existence of this kind of edutainment aboard.

Coffeecalypse

In the afternoon there is "Coffee and pie" on the Calypso restaurant's schedule, that sounds cosy, doesn't it? IT IS NOT! Arriving at the resaurant we realise that the rest of the ship is already present. There is an incredible crowd at the almost empty pie buffet, no unoccupied seats at the tables, too many people, too noisy, what a mess.

I hatch a plan that we take seats outside of the restaurant while I go back inside and organise some coffee and sweets - I'm just more agile acting alone.

Beverage flat, the second time

The coffeepots on the table are defended by the bloodhounds so I withdraw and step up to the coffee automat. The thing that not only makes me wonder is that I am asked to put in my board card, not my beverage flat card.

And then I learn that coffee from automats in the restaurants is charged to the cabin account. If I order a coffee at one of the bars it is covered by the beverage flatrate. Sounds weird but fact!

Step by step it becomes clear what is covered by the flatrate and what is not:

->  X is served in bottles: not covered
->  X comes from a bottle and is mixed in a alcohol-free cocktail: covered.

Sounds weird but fact!

AIDA feedback

As staff or experienced passenger you might have internalized these details but it is not really intuitive nor transparent. In my opinion it was easy to solve this huge potential of irritation and frustration with a simple labelling system on menus and automats.

Dinner disaster

This are more complicated when travelling with a three-year old. He is too old to be pacified with baby food and then be parked afterwards and on the other hand to young to adjust to the needs of adults.

At the buffet restaurants dinner is from 6 to 9 PM. To this second day we did not see through the guests dynamics or just did not pay much attention. That now takes vengeance.

About 7 o'clock we enter the Calypso restaurant. Our serenity turns into irritation because we cannot find a table for the five of us. Hoping that this task would be more successful to find a table for three in the Markt restaurant, I propose to separate so we can manage to get the kid fed. Well, two minutes later K. comes out the Markt restaurant nodding her head "They are all just sitting in front of their (wine) glasses."

In this moment it fell like scales from my eyes why the Markt restaurant closes for half an hour during dinner time - it is the only chance to have a seat after 7 PM.

For the three-year old this option turns out being too late and so dinner becomes the most stressful part of the whole day.

AIDA feedback

Closing the restaurant for half an hour is absolutely crucial. In addition to that you could establish some "kids tables" (right near the entrance) where you could also store raised seats) where families with children have priority. The priority could be easily enforced by not serving wine at these tables. Maybe this could also be interesting for dry alcoholics.

Airing

Baby, it's cold outside...

After one complete day at the sea and the stressful dinner I prepare to go for a walk on the upper decks. I am logging my 70 minutes walk with Strava to prove that I can go on water...you can't explain that!

Returning to the AIDA bar to my surprise K. and M. just take part in a discofox dance competition - and they win! - of course they do because they are really good and trained at dancing together. Great cruiseship atmosphere. Cheers!

Love Boat - The Real Story

Prologue

The long planned family vacation to the Northern Lighs is close. It was distinct from the beginning that it will be a cruise. Everyone who would get to know of these plans would then immediately ask the one word question "Hurtigrouten?". The one word answer to it is "No.", the more elaborate is "No, we decided to go with AIDA primarily because of the easy arrival within Germany. Yes, I do believe that we will be spared the loud holiday club and party atmosphere like on Mallorca on this route."

The journey is called "Winter in the high North" and part of the travel operator's catalogue since 2017. You can read two travel reports in German here:

Hints

  1. My notes have been unexpectedly evolved into a lengthy report (>5000 words) separated in several articles. You find a one page version here.
  2. Initially some bullet points were written down to remember when filling out the AIDA feedback form but I left these here. I put these in a blue box.
  3. Personal tips and side notes are put in an orange box.

AIDA feedback

... is in this blue box.

Anke's tips

... look like this.

Day 1. Hamburg

Habemus luggage

We are four adults and one three-year old on a two-week winter vacation. To almost everybody's surprise the complete luggage is stashed silently into the car's trunk. Being either in good or just indifferent mood we are heading Hamburg. A few hours later we arrive at the shuttle service's parking lot, hand over our luggage, check in and there we are standing on the boat.

The ship seems like an ant hill - in the inside passengers are swarming looking for cabins and orientation and crew is distributing the suitcase masses and fulfilling all their other tasks. After settling and coming down in the strange surrounding our small first-time cruise travel party decides to have a coffee before departure.

Arrival

The beverage billing system

We had booked the alcohol-free beverage flat in advance and an additional card at the check-in. That thing should now let magically appear some hot beverages on the table.

After getting our drinks to our surprise we got a receipt to sign. We confronted the service staff member with our confusion but that was not very helpful because his English skills were close to non-existent. That is going to be some fun...

Finally I was able to retreive the relevant information from the slightly overstrained and a bit scared very young staff member. All drinks are called to account at the normal price either to your cabin account using the bord card or to the flatrate account using your flatrate card. In every case you have to verify the recept with your cabin number and sign. The receipts are collected, scanned and available for inspection upon request (to find out abuse or wrong billings). But nobody tells you that.

AIDA feedback

Even though the stated language on board is German and part of the staff are native speakers (reception, trip counter, guides/scouts, restaurant bosses) you are probably better off speaking English in that international staff. Regarding the target group of travelers especially on these winter routes this should be better communicated. Often middle-aged or elderly people do not speak any English.

Cast off!

Six o'clock sharp we are standing on deck 6 to watch the ship slowly depart from the pier and Hamburg harbour into the night. There is dinner and the welcome show at the theatre waiting.

Sometime around 10 PM, we are heading Danmark, it has become quiet on the ship. My day, the whole week were long and busy and eventful so I decide to calm down in the hamster wheel at the finess studio on deck 9. Best sleep tonight.

Sailing away from vespertine Hamburg harbour

Nikola-Import-Plugin für Google+

Bemerkung

Der Countdown des Shutdowns läuft nun endgültig. Der Artikel wurde hinsichtlich einiger Veränderungen ergänzt:

  • Importfilter

  • Konfigurationsdatei

  • Post-Analyse mit der Option -s

  • Wasserzeichen zu Imagedateien hinzufügen

Das Ende ist nah

Häufig wurde das Ende von Google+ herbeigeunkt. Nun, da es tatsächlich am 2. April 2019 so weit ist, weicht Geschäftigkeit dem ersten Schock.

In weiser Vorraussicht beschäftigte ich mich bereits vor einer Weile damit, die Daten brauchbar zu konservieren und entschied mich für eine Lösung mit dem statischen Webseitengenerator Nikola: Verloren im Kaninchenbau von Google Takeout.

/images/takeout_gplus_slow.gif

Resultat der Nikola-generierten Seite mit hyde-Thema

Vorbereitungen

Google Takeout

Zunächst benötigt man die Daten aus dem Takeout. Da sich hier große Datenmengen ansammeln, ist es ratsam, keine weiteren außer Googe+-relevanten Produkte auszuwählen:

  • Button "Nichts auswählen", dann "Stream in Google+" aktivieren

  • Als Dateiformat HTML wählen

  • Als Archivformat zip wählen, bei tar.gz kann es Encodingprobleme geben

  • Nach Fertigstellung kann das/die Archiv/e heruntergeladen und entpackt werden

  • die index.html gibt Hinweise auf Fehler bei der Archiverstellung

Nikola

  1. Installation:

    Nikola kann über pip oder je nach verwendeter Distribution über die Paketverwaltung installiert werden: Getting Started.

  2. Initialisierung:

    Das Plugin kann in einer bestehenden mit Nikola verwalteten Webseite erstellt werden. Es ist aber auch möglich, für diesen Verwendungszweck eine neue leere Seite zu erstellen, die dann später wieder gelöscht wird:

$ nikola init gplus_dummy_site
  1. Plugin installieren:

    Zuerst das Plugin als Archiv herunterladen und entpacken oder das Repository klonen: encarsia/gplus_nikola_import. Anschließend muss man noch den Ordner in die im vorigen Schritt angelegten Seite in den noch anzulegenden plugins-Ordner kopieren.

  2. Optional: Um die Übersicht zu behalten, kann man auch den Takeout-Ordner in die Nikola-Seite verschieben.

Import ausführen

Dateistruktur

Vor dem Ausführen des Imports öffnet man zunächst die Konfigurationsdatei config.yaml. Hier lassen sich zum Beispiel Filteroptionen einstellen.

Die Ordnerbezeichnungen entsprechen der deutschen Spracheinstellung des Takeouts, bei abweichender Spracheinstellung muss man hier die entsprechenden Bezeichnungen der Dateistruktur anpassen.

Es werden Beiträge nach Verteilungsstatus unterschieden:

  1. Öffentlich geteilt

  2. Mit Meinen Kreisen geteilt

  3. Mit Erweiterten Kreisen geteilt

  4. Mit bestimmten Kreisen oder Personen/Profilen geteilt

  5. Beiträge in Communites

  6. Beiträge in Sammlungen

Tipp

Um sich einen Überblick zu verschaffen, kann man die die Plugin-Option -s nutzen. Damit werden die Verteilungsstatus aller Beiträge analysiert und aufgelistet, ohne dabei den eigentlichen Import auszuführen.

$ nikola import_gplus_html -s takeout
[...]
************************************************
*                                              *
* Share information of your G+ Takeout archive *
*                                              *
************************************************

=======
General
=======

(edit the "shared" section of your config.yaml)

Geteilt mit: Öffentlich (1832)
Shared to the community (704)
Shared to the collection (429)
[...]

===========
Communities
===========

(edit the "import" section of your config.yaml:
    > set "com" to True to include communities
    > exclude communities by listing them in "com_filter")

E-Book (275)
Das Gruselkabinett des Dr. Goo (196)
Deleted community (65)
[...]

===========
Collections
===========

(collections are considered public so this is FYI only)

Zapping (66)
Street|p|arts (61)
Unterwegs (54)
[...]

Beiträge filtern

Mit der Option import_private lässt sich einstellen, ob mit bestimmten Kreisen oder Personen/Profilen geteilte Beiträge importiert werden sollen.

Die Option import_com schaltet den Import von Communitybeträgen ein oder aus. Dabei wird nicht nach öffentlichen oder geschlossenen Communities unterschieden.

/images/GPlus_plugin/watermark.jpg

Albrecht-Daniel-Thaer-Saal

Bilddateien markieren

Falls man sein Archiv öffentlich zur Verfügung stellen möchte, mag es hilfreich oder erwünscht sein, Bilddateien mit einem Wasserzeichen oder Hinweis auf den Ursprung zu versehen.

Dafür setzt man watermark auf True und legt eine Textzeile fest (watermark_text). Dies erzeugt mit Hilfe von ImageMagick ein horizontales Textbanner für alle Bilder.

Die Dateien werden in einem separaten Ordner erstellt, ohne die Originaldateien zu überschreiben. Das bedeutet, man kann den Build-Prozess beliebig für beide Optionen laufen lassen, ohne den Import erneut ausführen zu müssen.

Import

Im gplus_dummy_site-Verzeichnis führt man nun den Import aus, dabei wird als Argument der Ordner des entpackten Takeout-Verzeichnisses übergeben:

$ nikola import_gplus_html path/to/takeout_folder

Nikola initialisiert eine neue Seite namens "new_site", dort werden alle Posts, die dazugehörigen Metadaten und die Mediendateien gespeichert.

Mit der Option -o lässt sich ein individueller Name für die neu angelegte Seite vergeben. Dies ist praktisch, wenn man zum Beispiel verschiedene Versionen der selben Ausgangsdaten erstellen möchte.

Statische Seite erstellen

conf.py

Nun wechselt man in das Verzeichnis der neuen Nikola-Instanz (standardmäßig "new_site").

Dort befindet sich die Konfigurationsdatei conf.py. In dieser lassen sich nun Anpassungen vornehmen. Da im Beispiel das Thema hyde verwendet wird, wird dieses hier gleich angepasst, außerdem die Auslieferung des RSS-Feeds deaktiviert:

THEME = "hyde"
GENERATE_RSS = False

Thema

Hyde ist ein persönlicher Favorit und wird deshalb hier installiiert:

$ nikola theme -i hyde

Im Pluginordner befindet sich eine CSS-Datei custom.css, die einige optische Anpassungen für diesen Anwendungsfall enthält, diese einfach in das Verzeichnis themes/hyde/assets/css kopieren.

Grundsätzlich funktioniert die Seite mit jeden Theme. Eine Liste der verfügbaren Themes erhält man folgendermaßen:

$ nikola theme -l   # installierbar
$ nikola theme --list-installed     # installiert

Um ein Thema zu verwenden, muss es in der conf.py angegeben und die Seite neu gebaut werden. Ein erneuter Datenimport ist natürlich nicht notwendig.

Bilder

Möchte man die Bilddateien mit Textbanner verwenden, muss in der conf.py noch der entsprechende Ordner zugewiesen werden:

IMAGE_FOLDERS = {"images_wm": "images"}

Bei einem größeren Bildervolumen ist es eventuell sinnvoll, die Bild- und Thumbnailgröße einzuschränken:

MAX_IMAGE_SIZE = 800  # default 1280
IMAGE_THUMBNAIL_SIZE = 200   # default 400

Build

Die eigentliche Generierung der Seite erfolgt zum Schluss mit

$ nikola build

Den lokalen Server startet man mit

$ nikola serve
[2018-10-18T09:57:02Z] INFO: serve: Serving on http://127.0.0.1:8000/ ...

Screenshots

/images/GPlus_plugin/postview.png

Beitragsansicht (Postception!)

/images/GPlus_plugin/archiv.png

Archiv

/images/GPlus_plugin/sharestatus.png

Der Verteilungsstatus ist als Kategorie erfasst

/images/GPlus_plugin/cat_ubersicht.png

Kategorieansicht

Mediaplayer mit GStreamer (Edition gtksink)

Mediaplayer mit GStreamer

Im einführenden Artikel zu Mediaplayer mit GStreamer werden Probleme beschrieben, die auf die Verwendung von "xvimagesink" als Videosink zurückzuführen sind.

In diesem Artikel wird als Alternative der Videosink "gtksink" verwendet und nur auf die Unterschiede zu "xvimagesink" eingegangen, da die weitere Vorgehensweise identisch ist.

Installation

Gtksink war ursprünglich Teil der "bad" plugins, befindet sich aber seit der GStreamer-Version 1.14 in den "good" plugins, die im Normalfall bei der Installation von GStreamer mitinstalliert werden.

Eine Ausnahme bildet Ubuntu, wo das Plugin separat im Paket gstreamer1.0-gtk3 (universe) zur Verfügung steht.

Glade

Der Darstellungsbereich der Mediendatei wird durch das gtksink-eigene Widget bereitgestellt. Da dies nicht in Glade verfügbar ist, wird ein leeres Containerwidget (Gtk.Box) benötigt, in das das Widget platziert werden kann.

Python

Videosink einrichten

self.sink = Gst.ElementFactory.make("gtksink")

Widget einrichten

video_widget = self.sink.get_property("widget")
builder.get_object("video_box").add(video_widget)

Listings

Python

23_gtksink_simpleplayer.py (Source)

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import os
import time

import gi
gi.require_version("Gtk", "3.0")
gi.require_version("Gst", "1.0")
from gi.repository import Gst, Gtk, GLib


class GenericException(Exception):
    pass


class Handler:

    def on_window_destroy(self, *args):
        Gtk.main_quit()

    def on_playpause_togglebutton_toggled(self, widget):
        if app.playpause_button.get_active():
            img = Gtk.Image.new_from_icon_name(Gtk.STOCK_MEDIA_PLAY,
                                               Gtk.IconSize.BUTTON)
            widget.set_property("image", img)
            app.pause()
        else:
            img = Gtk.Image.new_from_icon_name(Gtk.STOCK_MEDIA_PAUSE,
                                               Gtk.IconSize.BUTTON)
            widget.set_property("image", img)
            app.play()

    def on_forward_clicked(self, widget):
        app.skip_time()

    def on_backward_clicked(self, widget):
        app.skip_time(-1)

    def on_progress_value_changed(self, widget):
        app.on_slider_seek

    def on_vbutton_clicked(self, widget):
        app.clear_playbin()
        app.setup_player("mediaplayer.avi")
        if app.playpause_button.get_active() is True:
            app.playpause_button.set_active(False)
        else:
            app.play()

    def on_ibutton_clicked(self, widget):
        app.clear_playbin()
        app.setup_player("mediaplayer.jpg")
        app.pause()


class GstPlayer:

    def __init__(self):

        # init GStreamer
        Gst.init(None)

        # setting up builder
        builder = Gtk.Builder()
        builder.add_from_file("23_gtksink_player.glade")
        builder.connect_signals(Handler())

        #self.movie_window = builder.get_object("play_here")
        self.playpause_button = builder.get_object("playpause_togglebutton")
        self.slider = builder.get_object("progress")
        self.slider_handler_id = self.slider.connect("value-changed", self.on_slider_seek)

        # setting up videoplayer
        self.player = Gst.ElementFactory.make("playbin", "player")
        self.sink = Gst.ElementFactory.make("gtksink")

        # setting up media widget
        video_widget = self.sink.get_property("widget")
        builder.get_object("video_box").add(video_widget)

        window = builder.get_object("window")
        window.show_all()

    def setup_player(self, f):
        # file to play must be transmitted as uri
        uri = "file://" + os.path.abspath(f)
        self.player.set_property("uri", uri)
        self.player.set_property("video-sink", self.sink)

    def play(self):
        self.is_playing = True
        self.player.set_state(Gst.State.PLAYING)
        # starting up a timer to check on the current playback value
        GLib.timeout_add(1000, self.update_slider)

    def pause(self):
        self.is_playing = False
        self.player.set_state(Gst.State.PAUSED)

    def current_position(self):
        status,position = self.player.query_position(Gst.Format.TIME)
        return position

    def skip_time(self, direction=1):
        # skip 20 seconds on forward/backward button
        app.player.seek_simple(Gst.Format.TIME,
                               Gst.SeekFlags.FLUSH | Gst.SeekFlags.KEY_UNIT,
                               self.current_position() + float(20) * Gst.SECOND * direction,
                               )

    def update_slider(self):
        if not self.is_playing:
            return False # cancel timeout
        else:
            success, self.duration = self.player.query_duration(Gst.Format.TIME)
            # adjust duration and position relative to absolute scale of 100
            self.mult = 100 / (self.duration / Gst.SECOND)
            if not success:
                raise GenericException("Couldn't fetch duration")
            # fetching the position, in nanosecs
            success, position = self.player.query_position(Gst.Format.TIME)
            if not success:
                raise GenericException("Couldn't fetch current position to update slider")

            # block seek handler so we don't seek when we set_value()
            self.slider.handler_block(self.slider_handler_id)
            self.slider.set_value(float(position) / Gst.SECOND * self.mult)
            self.slider.handler_unblock(self.slider_handler_id)
        return True # continue calling every x milliseconds

    def on_slider_seek(self, widget):
        seek_time = app.slider.get_value()
        self.player.seek_simple(Gst.Format.TIME,  Gst.SeekFlags.FLUSH | Gst.SeekFlags.KEY_UNIT, seek_time * Gst.SECOND / self.mult)

    def clear_playbin(self):
        try:
            self.player.set_state(Gst.State.NULL)
        except:
            pass

    def main(self):
        Gtk.main()


app = GstPlayer()
app.main()

Glade

23_gtksink_player.glade (Source)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!-- Generated with glade 3.22.1 -->
<interface>
  <requires lib="gtk+" version="3.16"/>
  <object class="GtkAdjustment" id="adjustment">
    <property name="upper">100</property>
    <property name="step_increment">1</property>
    <property name="page_increment">10</property>
  </object>
  <object class="GtkImage" id="image1">
    <property name="visible">True</property>
    <property name="can_focus">False</property>
    <property name="stock">gtk-media-rewind</property>
  </object>
  <object class="GtkImage" id="image2">
    <property name="visible">True</property>
    <property name="can_focus">False</property>
    <property name="stock">gtk-media-forward</property>
  </object>
  <object class="GtkImage" id="image3">
    <property name="visible">True</property>
    <property name="can_focus">False</property>
    <property name="stock">gtk-media-pause</property>
  </object>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="window">
    <property name="can_focus">False</property>
    <signal name="destroy" handler="on_window_destroy" swapped="no"/>
    <child type="titlebar">
      <object class="GtkHeaderBar">
        <property name="visible">True</property>
        <property name="can_focus">False</property>
        <property name="show_close_button">True</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkButton" id="vbutton">
            <property name="label" translatable="yes">Play video</property>
            <property name="visible">True</property>
            <property name="can_focus">True</property>
            <property name="receives_default">True</property>
            <signal name="clicked" handler="on_vbutton_clicked" swapped="no"/>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkButton" id="ibutton">
            <property name="label" translatable="yes">Show image</property>
            <property name="visible">True</property>
            <property name="can_focus">True</property>
            <property name="receives_default">True</property>
            <signal name="clicked" handler="on_ibutton_clicked" swapped="no"/>
          </object>
          <packing>
            <property name="position">1</property>
          </packing>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox">
        <property name="visible">True</property>
        <property name="can_focus">False</property>
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkBox" id="video_box">
            <property name="height_request">300</property>
            <property name="visible">True</property>
            <property name="can_focus">False</property>
            <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
            <child>
              <placeholder/>
            </child>
          </object>
          <packing>
            <property name="expand">True</property>
            <property name="fill">True</property>
            <property name="position">0</property>
          </packing>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkSeparator">
            <property name="visible">True</property>
            <property name="can_focus">False</property>
          </object>
          <packing>
            <property name="expand">False</property>
            <property name="fill">True</property>
            <property name="position">1</property>
          </packing>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkBox">
            <property name="visible">True</property>
            <property name="can_focus">False</property>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkButtonBox">
                <property name="visible">True</property>
                <property name="can_focus">False</property>
                <property name="layout_style">start</property>
                <child>
                  <object class="GtkButton" id="backward">
                    <property name="visible">True</property>
                    <property name="can_focus">True</property>
                    <property name="receives_default">True</property>
                    <property name="image">image1</property>
                    <property name="always_show_image">True</property>
                    <signal name="clicked" handler="on_backward_clicked" swapped="no"/>
                  </object>
                  <packing>
                    <property name="expand">True</property>
                    <property name="fill">True</property>
                    <property name="position">0</property>
                  </packing>
                </child>
                <child>
                  <object class="GtkButton" id="forward">
                    <property name="visible">True</property>
                    <property name="can_focus">True</property>
                    <property name="receives_default">True</property>
                    <property name="image">image2</property>
                    <property name="always_show_image">True</property>
                    <signal name="clicked" handler="on_forward_clicked" swapped="no"/>
                  </object>
                  <packing>
                    <property name="expand">True</property>
                    <property name="fill">True</property>
                    <property name="position">1</property>
                  </packing>
                </child>
                <child>
                  <object class="GtkToggleButton" id="playpause_togglebutton">
                    <property name="visible">True</property>
                    <property name="can_focus">True</property>
                    <property name="receives_default">True</property>
                    <property name="image">image3</property>
                    <signal name="toggled" handler="on_playpause_togglebutton_toggled" swapped="no"/>
                  </object>
                  <packing>
                    <property name="expand">True</property>
                    <property name="fill">True</property>
                    <property name="position">2</property>
                  </packing>
                </child>
              </object>
              <packing>
                <property name="expand">False</property>
                <property name="fill">False</property>
                <property name="position">0</property>
              </packing>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkScale" id="progress">
                <property name="width_request">300</property>
                <property name="visible">True</property>
                <property name="can_focus">True</property>
                <property name="halign">center</property>
                <property name="margin_left">5</property>
                <property name="margin_right">5</property>
                <property name="adjustment">adjustment</property>
                <property name="fill_level">100</property>
                <property name="round_digits">1</property>
                <property name="draw_value">False</property>
              </object>
              <packing>
                <property name="expand">False</property>
                <property name="fill">False</property>
                <property name="position">1</property>
              </packing>
            </child>
          </object>
          <packing>
            <property name="expand">False</property>
            <property name="fill">True</property>
            <property name="position">2</property>
          </packing>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

GNOME-Anwendungsstarter

Anwendungsstarter in GNOME

Anwendungsstarter in GNOME und anderen Desktopumgebungen werden mit Desktopeinträgen in Form von Textdateien mit der Endung "desktop" realisiert.

Speicherort

Der Speicherort von .desktop-Dateien richtet sich nach den Freedesktop-Spezifikationen. Desktop-Dateien befinden sich in $XDG_DATA_DIRS/appications, also normalerweise in den Verzeichnissen

~/.local/share/applications
/usr/local/share/applications
/usr/share/applications

und werden in dieser Reihenfolge durchsucht. Alle Dateien in diesen Verzeichnissen werden in der GNOME-Shell-Übersicht bzw. der Suche berücksichtigt.

Minimalkonfiguration

Ein funktionierender Desktopeintrag muss mindestens die drei folgenden Attribute enthalten:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Application name
Exec=python path/to/script.py
Type=Application

WM_CLASS

Die WM_CLASS-Eigenschaft wird von X-Windowmanager-Systemen zur Zuordnung zwischen Anwendung und Windowmanager verwendet.

Fehlt diese Zuordnung, wird der Programmname nicht in der Topbar dargestellt, in der Seitenleiste wird das Programm nicht als Instanz angesehen, wenn es als Favorit markiert ist sondern separat und die Anwendung kann nicht von der Übersicht aus als Favorit gespeichert werden.

.desktop

In der Desktopdatei muss das Attribut StartupWMClass definiert werden.

Um die WM_CLASS-Bezeichnung eines Fensters herauszufinden, kann man in einem Terminal

$ xprop | grep WM_CLASS

aufrufen und das gewünschte Fenster anklicken.

Gtk+-Python-Anwendung

Setzt man den Programmnamen mit der Funktion GLib.set_prgname("appname"), so entspricht dies dem Attribut WM_CLASS. In der Desktopdatei muss demzufolge StartupWMClass=appname definiert sein.

Die bisher für diese Aufgabe verwendete Funktion set_wmclass(wmclass_name, wmclass_class) von Gtk.Window ist seit Version 3.22 veraltet. Sie funktioniert zwar noch, sollte aber nicht mehr verwendet werden.

Nützliche Attribute

Path

Arbeitsverzeichnis des Programms. So kann zum Beispiel die Exec-Zeile verkürzt bzw. übersichtlicher gestaltet werden:

# ohne Path
Exec=python /long/path/to/your/application/folder/run.py

# mit Path
Path=/long/path/to/your/application/folder
Exec=python run.py
Icon

Mit Icons verhält es sich ähnlich zu Desktop-Dateien, sie werden zunächst in``$XDG_DATA_DIRS/icons`` vermutet, können aber auch als absoluter Pfad angegeben werden.

Keywords

Da es mit der GNOME-Shell kein klassisches Anwendungsstartermenü mehr gibt, ist es hilfreich, wenn ein Programm unter verschiedenen Stichworten und nicht nur unter Name selbst in der Startersuche gefunden werden kann. Die Stichwörter werden als semikolonseparierte Strings angegeben.

Categories

Hier kann man Kategorien für die Einsortierung in Menüs angeben.

Zusätzliche Programmaktionen

Desktopeinträge können sogenannte Aktionen enthalten, die zusätzliche Wege enthalten, Anwendungen zu starten. Diese werden als Untermenüs in Form von "Quicklists" oder "Jumplists" dargestellt.

Im Desktopeintrag wird das Attribut Actions angelegt, diese Actions werden innerhalb der Datei darunter in "Desktop Action"-Abschnitten definiert:

[Desktop Entry]
...
Actions=option1;option2;

[Desktop Action option1]
Name=Start with Option 1
Exec=python run.py --option1

[Desktop Action option2]
Name=Start with Option 2
Exec=python run.py --option2
/images/desktop_action.png

Zusätzliche Anwendungsstarter von GPT

GPT: v0.5 release

/images/gpt/gpt_icon.png

It has been a while since I have taken some care of my tool to manage my GoPro footage with but it has gotten some attention so I could not just abandon it without losing my face so here we are...

Intro

When I first noticed, without much surprise, that there is no official GoPro desktop client for Linux, I wrote a bash script to automatically rename the files. Second step was converting this into a python script with a simple text based menu. In a weak moment of delusions of grandeur I decided to dive into GUI programming and use this application as my personal guinea pig.

Download

First things first: the result of my efforts can be downloaded from the Git repository:

Bemerkung

If you have cloned the repo sometime in the past and haven't altered anything I recommend to delete and clone again because there may be conflicts caused by a force push because I cannot git.

We've come a long way, baby

Icon

First things first: we have an icon. This is my way of coping with pedantry and an attempt to keep up the illusion of competence. I found it at The Noun Project.

GtkApplication

The application now runs as generic Gtk.Application which includes

  • starting/faving from the GNOME shell

  • identify/kill the process by name (no more random "Python" task)

  • commandline options are available

  • cleaner code, p.e. avoid starting the main loop manually

Application window

Since v0.3 there is a second main application window available with media data information and a preview widget realized with GStreamer.

These two windows are now merged into one providing a StackSwitcher to switch between these alternative views. This now is the default application window.

Not convinced to drop the "single view" windows I decided to keep them for now. You can launch the application using by executing the run script passing one of these options:

$ # compact/list view
$ python run.py -c
$ python run.py --alt-gui-compact
$ # preview window
$ python run.py -e
$ python run.py --alt-gui-ext

If you want to use the old commandline interface, you can do so by running

$ python run.py --cli

Run the script with --help option to show all available options.

Fixed issues

  • importing from "other" places should do as planned now

  • the GStreamer preview now uses the gtksink playbin (this story may be told another time)

  • timelapse generation should not freeze the main loop

Burn the widge(t)

I replaced several widgets for modern looks and better desktop integration:
  • all dialogs are Gtk.MessageDialogs now

  • the dropdown menu is a Gtk.PopoverMenu instead of a Gtk.Menu

Logs and configuration

The output of logging and the configuration file have moved to ~/.config/gpt. You may have to set your working directory again if you have used GPT before.

Installation

Dependencies

That'll do on Archlinux and derivates:

$ sudo pacman -S python-gobject python-yaml python-setuptools python-lxml python-setproctitle mediainfo ffmpeg

And that on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install python3-gi python3-setuptools python3-lxml gir1.2-gtk-3.0 gir1.2-gstreamer-1.0 gstreamer1.0-gtk3 mediainfo ffmpeg

Setuptools

The application can be installed by using setuptools. After downloading or cloning the repository run

$ python setup.py install --user  # or
$ sudo python setup.py install

Desktop file

Setuptools will also install a desktop file so you can launch GPT from the GNOME shell or menu. All alternative interface options are available via desktop action so you can start these on right click from the activities overview or dash if GPT is running or added as favourite.

/images/gpt/dash_0.5.png

Bits and pieces

  • code improvements (formatting, readability, PEP8 compliance, removal of deprecated code, file structure)

  • updated and detailed README

  • updated localization files

Consult the README for details.

NoN: v0.6 release

Let's just use it as it is now.

The last release was a huge step for the project. Now it's time for some details and polish before I focus on a neglected project of mine.

New feature: upload files to GitHub without deployment

There are two new toolbuttons to push or pull changes to or from GitHub without building or deploying the site. This imitates 'cloud' support so you can edit articles, drafts, listings etc. within the GitHub web interface and/or download/pull changed files on multiple locations.

/images/non/pushdraft06.png

Push files to the origin/src branch

This is a very basic implementation and you may have to manually resolve conflicts if you are editing in various places simultaneously.

Warnung

Consider this feature marked as testing.

Changelog

  • show input file format in statusbar

  • detect if separate metadata file exists and show info in statusbar, open file on right click

  • use the webbrowser Python package instead of subprocess commands; the package also uses the subprocess module but the code just looks nicer

  • the "New post" dialog is a GtkMessageDialog now

  • FileChooserDialog has its OK/Cancel buttons back

  • if the current working directory is bookmarked, the menu entry is labeled as "(active)" and deactivated

  • gettext localization strings in the POT file are now complete

  • German localization is complete

  • some icons changed

/images/non/menu06.png

Menu: open bookmark is deactivated

/images/non/meta06.png

Information about file format and metafile in statusbar, open separate metafile on right click if it exists

The Notwork

Die Nachricht ereilte mich per Twitter: das Ende von Google+ ist besiegelt. Na und? - Das Netzwerk hat doch schon lange seinen Reiz verloren.

Richtiges Netzwerk, falsche Zeit

Als Google im Jahr 2011 sein eigenes soziales Netzwerk launchte, sollte es der Facebook-Killer werden, ohne wie Facebook auszusehen oder zu funktionieren. Dies wirkt zunächst einseitig fokussiert, muss man jedoch bedenken, dass Facebook das mit großem Abstand führende soziale Netzwerk zu dieser Zeit war.

Im deutschsprachigen Raum findet man unter den Top 20 der sozialen Netzwerke neben dem Primus noch die VZ-Netzwerke, Jappy, WerKenntWen und Stayfriends - Netzwerke, die inzwischen heute ein Nischendasein fristen, falls sie noch existieren.

Angesichts der Konkurrenz konnte die Prognose doch gar nicht so schlecht sein? - Wenn da der blaue Riese nicht gewesen wäre. Google erwischte den vielleicht schlechtesten Zeitpunkt zum Launch. Facebook hatte weitgehende Marktbeherrschung und -sättigung (beim Nutzer) errungen. Die Mehrheit war einfach nicht gewillt, aktiv ein weiteres Netzwerk zu nutzen, weil sie schlicht keinen Grund darin sah. Die anhaltende massive Kritik und der Verdruss kamen später.

Die Spielwiese

Wie viele andere habe auch ich schnell Gefallen an Google+ gefunden. Das Kreis-Konzept ermöglichte es, den aktiven wie passiven Gebrauch gruppenbezogen zu filtern. Es gab einen uneingeschränkten Gesamtstream und mit der Ripples-Funktion konnte man den Weg von Beiträgen verfolgen.

Alle drei Elemente hat Google im Laufe der Zeit abgeschafft oder dies zumindest versucht (Kreise wurden nach Protest doch beibehalten, sie waren aber in der mobilen App später standardmäßig nicht aktiviert, allerdings wurde die Kreise teilen-Funktion abgeschafft).

Ideen wie Bildbearbeitungs-Events, echte Gespräche in Kommentarspalten, der Austausch mit vielen unbekannten Leuten und glorreicher Quatsch aller Niveaustufen zeichneten Google+ aus.

GIMPen, bis der Arzt kommt. Mein Beitrag zum Hack My Church - Photomanipulation Contest

Falsch abgebogen

Es war lange Zeit die Rede davon, dass Google+ absolute Priorität im Unternehmen hat. Doch was war nach dem Launch neben der Einführung von Communities und den minimalen Markup-Möglichkeiten eigentlich die letzte positive Entwicklung an Google+? Na? Stimmt, Collections und das Umfragetool waren passende Ergänzungen. Aber sonst?

(Beitrag nicht mehr verfügbar)
Post von vor 5 Jahren: Google hat mal wieder an Plus herumgedoktort

Die Mängelliste ist mit der Zeit stetig gewachsen und als Sahnehäubchen gab es noch den Zwangsaccountverknüpfungs-PR-GAU obendrauf. Mal überlegen, was mir so einfällt:

  • umständliches Kreismanagement, das nie irgendeine Pflege erhielt
  • Fotos:
    • Einschränkung der Bearbeitungsfunktion
    • Alben und Stories (letztere später nicht mehr), Kommentare sprengen einzelne Fotos als Beiträge ab
  • das YouTube/Google+-Kommentarsystem und generell halbseidene Integration
  • Versuch einer Reallnamendurchsetzung
  • "+1"-Empfehlungen
  • Abschaffung von Ripples
  • Abschaffung der Geburtstagsnotiz
  • Unvollständiger "Alles"-Stream
  • Ausklappen der Kommentare in "Facebook-Verhalten", also Anzeige der letzten, nicht aller, Kommentare
  • Buttons sind mal eckig, dann rund und was links ist, wandert nach rechts
  • Speicherhunger der (Android-)App
  • defizitäre Benachrichtigungsfunktion
  • Abschaffung von Community-Managern oder irgendwelchen Ansprechpartnern
  • die merkwürdige Beitragsauswahl des "Angesagten"/"What's hot"-Streams
  • kaputte Streams, plötzlich auftauchende uralte Beiträge
  • Spaces
  • der Mord an Mr. Jingles

Jedes Mal, wenn ein Update für Google+ angekündigt wurde, ging die allgemeine Stimmung in den Keller, man verabschiedete sich im Voraus und selbst die überzeugtesten Atheisten beteten "bitte lass es nicht so schlimm sein".

Diagnose: Stockholm-Syndrom.

Klimawandel

Der Schuldige an der Misere ist gefunden. Google hat es versemmelt. Aber das ist nicht die ganze Wahrheit. Kommen wir zum Elefanten im Raum: der nachlassenden Qualität und thematischen Varianz der Inhalte gefolgt von der Abwanderung der Nutzer gefolgt von nachlassender Interaktion. Teufelskreis.

Was Google+ einmal auszeichnete, war die gute thematische Durchmischung. Es gab einige größere Nachrichtenportale, die eine Präsenz pflegten und in deren Beiträgen man sich austauschen konnte (einfach so, mit fremden Leuten), es gab die Fotografen mit Hashtagterror, Kitschbilder, Musik, Katzen, Fahrräder, Autos, Blümchen, viel schrägen Humor und noch mehr Technik.

Dann fielen zuerst die Nachrichtenseiten aus. Im Allgemeinen gingen diese dazu über, sofern sie es nicht schon von vornherein taten, Google+ als Linkablage mit geschlossenen Kommentaren zu nutzen (manchmal wurde man aufgerufen, etwas zu liken).

Andere, wie etwa der Deutschlandfunk, stellten ihre Aktivität ganz ein und konzentrierten sich auf andere Verbreitungskanäle wie etwa das für eine Hörfunkanstalt sehr viel näher liegende Instagram.

Inhaltlich kippte es von sachlichen, längeren Beiträgen hin zu leicht verdaulicher Screenshot-Kost vorwiegend zu Twitter, etwas Facebook, Klickstrecken, zu komplizierten Sachverhalten wurde allmählich nur noch ein Ja oder Nein geduldet, eine kurzlebige Empörungswelle folgte der nächsten und darüber wurde nie das regelmäßige Virtue Signalling vergessen.

Dafür benötige ich allerdings kein weiteres soziales Netzwerk, das einst durch sein etwas gehobenes Niveau auffiel, denn dann verwende ich nämlich das Original.

Eine Abschiedsnachricht

Bei mir besteht nicht primär die Frage, welche alternativen Plattformen für Google+-Nutzer jetzt in Frage kommen, sondern wohin die bereits abgewanderten ehemaligen Nutzer hin sind und ob diese überhaupt wieder aktivierbar wären.

Denn das Google+, das zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt übrig geblieben ist, möchte ich nicht mehr, auch nicht woanders.

Read on, my dear

Mimicry: make MATE taste like GNOME Shell

GNOME Shell is an elegant desktop environment. I like its appearance, modern looks and the basic concepts of using it. Although I consider myself as a loyal (and/because lazy) user it's not perfect. After testing something in a VM running MATE desktop I realized _how_ laggy it is on my machine. So I decided to trick myself by making MATE behave like GNOME. Does it work?

My GNOME Shell setup

The general desktop experience is given by the GNOME Shell itself but the everyday workflow is determinded by the use of extensions. In fact I state that nobody uses a plain GNOME Shell. So before tweaking the MATE desktop let's take a look at the customizations done to GNOME.

Extensions

Essential

Honorable mentions

... of extensions that don't affect the general workflow

Multi-monitor wallpaper

It's $CURRENT_YEAR and it's still an issue. While you can configure a multi-monitor setup in the preferences conveniently you still have to glue images together with ImageMagick to get different backgrounds on your screens like a caveman.

I highly recommend the application HydraPaper for this task.

Tweaking MATE

Back in the days everybody™ loved GNOME 2. Starting the MATE desktop feels instant familiar.

It's great that the desktop has been completely ported to the GTK+ 3 framework. If you install the MATE packages in addition to GNOME there are hardly dependencies needed for installation. Also regular GNOME applications should fit nicely into the desktop.

Recommended packages and tools:

Getting things to work the GNOME Shell way

Top Panel

Easy one - it's already there and you can have as much panels as you like whereever you want (that includes all screens). Use the regular applets:

  • Weather information is integrated into the clock applet.

  • Battery applet exists but seems to be a little buggy.

  • The TaskBar extension provides the functionality of the good old window list applet, just use the original.

  • The number of workspaces is fixed, use the workspace switcher.

What's on the menu?

You can choose between different menu variations:

Menu Bar:

The classic GNOME 2-like applications menu split into "Applications", "Places" and "System" submenus.

Main Menu:

Condensed classic menu with only the distribution logo (provided by the theme) visible.

Brisk menu:

This menu originated in the Solus project provides an additional search bar. By default this menu is activated by pressing the [Super] key so this may be the choice of a GNOME Shell user.

The Brisk menu is not installed by default. Install the brisk-menu package. Use dconf-editor to change property settings under com.solus-project.brisk-menu. You can enable the dark theme mode or remove the label text.

The displayed icon is determined by the used theme. If you want to use a custom icon you have to copy the chosen icon into the theme's folder as start-here. This may be neccesary for different sizes:

/usr/share/icons/[theme]/places/[size]
~/.local/share/icons/[theme]/places/[size]

The icon for Brisk menu has to be copied as start-here-symbolic in

/usr/share/icons/[theme]/places/symbolic
~/.local/share/icons/[theme]/places/symbolic

You have to press [Esc] to return from the menu instead of hitting [Super] again.

No desktop icons

Who needs icons on the desktop if there are windows in the way anyway? You can disable desktop icons in MATE Tweak or by setting the org.gnome.desktop.background.show-desktop-icons property to "false".

Only show close button in windows

You can get rid of the minimize/maximize buttons by editing the org.mate.Marco.general.button-layout to 'menu:close'.

This solution does not affect applications using a Headerbar.

Dock

There are plenty of options to add application docks on linux desktops. There is also a specific applet for the MATE panel which can be installed by the mate-dock-applet.

My personal recommendation for now is Plank.

Keyboard application launcher

Using a keyboard launcher is one option to emulate the search bar.

With its unobtrusive look and plenty of search options Albert might be the choice of a dedicated GNOME Shell user.

Setting the shortcut to the [Super] key cannot be obtained in Albert's preferences. You will have to create a custom keybinding in dconf-editor:

  1. Go to org.mate.Marco.global-keybindings and set a "run-command-xx" from 'diabled' to 'Super_L'. The "xx" is the number of the command.

  2. Go to org.mate.Marco.keybinding-commands and set the corresponding "command-xx" to the value 'albert show'.

This will overwrite any other keybinding to the specific shortcut like Brisk menu.

Drop down terminal

I used Tilda on the GNOME 2 desktop so why not return to a long-serving application?

Even though the application is set to launch at session start in the preferences I had to add it to the startup applications manually.

/images/mate_or_gnome/mate_tilda.png

Unrolled Tilda terminal on MATE, Plank dock

Multi-monitor setup

The wallpaper issue is the same as in GNOME Shell. You may want to use HydraPaper.

You can drag a panel on an extended screen only if it is not set to "extended" (uncheck in properties).

Marco issues (probably)

  • Dragging a window to another screen might not always set this window in the foreground.

  • Dragging maximized windows (e.g. webbrowser) to other screen may overlay panels.

  • Plugging off and on extended monitors or logging into another session (like GNOME) may disarrange monitor settings and you have to drag the screens back into their positions in the preferences.

Screenshots

If you press [Print] you might be informed that "mate-screenshot" could not be found.

You can either install the mate-utils package which "mate-screenshot" is a part of or use the "gnome-screenshot" tool by editing the dconf entries org.mate.Marco.keybinding-commands.command-screenshot and org.mate.Marco.keybinding-commands.command-window-screenshot to the value gnome-screenshot.

/images/mate_or_gnome/gn_empty.png

Empty GNOME Shell

/images/mate_or_gnome/mate_empty.png

Beware of fraud! This is MATE.

What does not work

Hot corner

The Hot Corner probably is the most symptomatic feature of the GNOME 3 desktop. By moving the mouse to the top left corner or clicking on "Activities" or by pressing the [Super] key you activate the Activities Overview which shows open windows, the dash, workspaces and the application search/launch bar.

This functionality cannot be fully emulated on the MATE desktop.

Using the Brisk menu or a keyboard launcher (or both) to get the search bar function seems like a valid compromise. This is probably the common use case when pressing the [Super] key.

What's still missing is a good way of showing running application windows. I have the habit of kicking the mouse into the corner to get to the windows overview (I realize when doing that occasionally on other desktop systems) and the old [Alt]``+``[Tab] is not a replacement.

/images/mate_or_gnome/gn_win.png

Activities Overview showing open windows

Dynamic workspaces

There is currently no way to get dynamic workspaces with the Marco window manager.

Does it work?

The MATE desktop is a great project. I'm glad that they managed to preserve the GNOME 2 spirit and upgrade it to a modern framework.

It is possible to integrate functionalities known from GNOME Shell into MATE turning it into a fast hybrid GTK+ desktop.

My MATE setup is a GNOME Shell copy. A good one but still. I have not decided yet if I want to live without the hot corner and I'd love to see Marco support headerbars and improved multi-monitor setups.