Jonathan Pobst's: Banshee Integration with Nike+ Accessory

by Miguel de Icaza

For Hack Week, Jonathan Pobst did a pretty cool hack: he added support for Banshee to work with the Nike+ Accessory on iPods.

From his blog:

I decided that part of my Hack Week would be to venture from my "happy place" of Winforms in Visual Studio and write something in GTK# using MonoDevelop. I chose to write a plugin for Banshee that allows it to sync with and display files generated by taking your iPod for a run with the Nike+ accessory. Oh, and using Moonlight, just because it seemed fashionable.

Posted on 29 Jun 2007

Hack Week: Ankit

by Miguel de Icaza

Ankit from the Mono/MonoDevelop team had a fantastic idea: embedding VIM into MonoDevelop.

Watch the video:

He shows:

  • Code completion/intellisense with VIM/MonoDevelop.
  • Class/method combo boxes for navigation.
  • Full duplex communication between the two of them.

Posted on 29 Jun 2007

Hack Week: Moonlight Desklets.

by Miguel de Icaza

The folks over at #desklets have been making some progress on their hack for week.

Andreia wrote an SVG to XAML conversion tool that is very handy to import artwork from tools like Inkscape into XAML.

Everaldo did a screencast of a few desklets that the folks have been working on during Hack Week:

YouTube Video:

Gtk#/Moonlight Desklets in action

Some screenshots, because they look nicer than the YouTube video:


These are of course not as advanced as other desklets systems, this was written only in a couple of days, but we have a few interesting things in them that we think are interesting concepts in general:

  • A new launch tool called "mopen" that can launch either XAML files directly, or can launch applications that are contained in a directory (directory/default.xaml, directory/default.exe and eventually directory/default.XX where XX is an extension for a scripting language supported by Mono: Boo, IronPython, Javascript, etc).
  • mopen can launch multiple applications into the same Mono virtual machine and isolate each desklet from each other using Application Domains. This feature is important to us because it means that only one Mono Virtual Machine, Gtk# and Moonlight are loaded at a given time to run multiple applications at the same time.
    The way we did this was by adding a "--host" command line option. You can instruct your desklets (or in fact any program that can be opened with mopen) to go into a specific container. You would for example load all your stable desklets into one VM:
    	$ mopen --host desklets clock
    	$ mopen --host desklets calendar
    	$ mopen --host desklets flickr
    	$ mopen --host desklets picasa

    But keep your development desklets into a separate VM to prevent bringing everything down:
    	$ mopen --host devel stockapplet
  • Security System: today deskltes run without a security sandbox. We will be working on the Silverlight security system for Mono. Once that is implemented users will be able to run untrusted code into the sandboxed environment.
    The new Silverlight security system is a lot easier to understand than the old CAS, so we are looking forward to implement this (it is also a requirement for the Moonlight browser plugin).
  • Mono: we get to leverage our favorite CLI-based languages (C#, Boo, IronPython, Nemerle or any other language that targets the CLI) and we get to leverage the CLI APIs.

Another one

Desklets are of course not a new thing, Google and Yahoo both ship desklet systems. OSX and Vista have widgets and gadgets as well. Gnome has gDesklets, KDE has SuperKaramba.

This is merely our take on the challenge as part of Novell's hack week and it is also a good way of exercising our Moonlight engine, the Gtk# binding, Mono and try to learn something new in the process.

Marek's weather applet

If you have not seen them, you should check out what other folks at Novell are doing during their hack week. There are some videos here. Today it seems to be strongly slanted towards Evolution and panel applets.

Posted on 28 Jun 2007

Desklets and Getting Started with XAML

by Miguel de Icaza

Jackson has written a fantastic tutorial on his blog (and I think it should be moved to the Mono web site as a Guide). check it out: A Mono Developers Guide To Writing XAML.

For those of you participating in the #desklets effort, the above is a good getting started guide on XAML.

Posted on 26 Jun 2007

HackWeek: Moonlight-based Desklets for the Desktop

by Miguel de Icaza

I have yet to choose what I will do for Hackweek (likely do tech support for those trying to use Moonlight to spice up their desktop apps), but I helped a little bit on the Desklets project that Everaldo initiated:

As you can see, although the clock is transparent it is still showing the title bar, am not sure what is the right way these days of removing it. I do not think its using a POPUP window, is it?

Some folks from the Moonlight group (and other Mono hackers) are building a new desklet infrastructure for the desktop. The idea is here: Implement Desklets Using Moonlight and some sample code is available already in moon/desklets/lameclock as a reference in our Anonymous SVN repository.

You will need to install Moonlight to get it going.

You can watch a video of the new tool "mopen" launching the clock desklet that I hacked in a few minutes. The animation does a double fade: fade from clock to config and from config to clock. We could use more complex animations, using the Storyboard and Animation features, but this is what I cooked in 10 minutes:

Posted on 25 Jun 2007

Video Capture of Moonlight in Action

by Miguel de Icaza

I finally managed to do video capture, I ended up using ffmpeg for generating the file.

This shows the Surface Silverlight application running in Linux with Moonlight. It also shows two modified versions of it:

  • The first replaces pictures with bezier paths (the Mono logo) and a "live" clock photo.
  • The second one introduces a video playing live as part of the surface.

Watch the video here.

Posted on 25 Jun 2007

Hack Week Begins

by Miguel de Icaza

The next week is Hack Week at Novell, where all engineers in the Open Source group get to work on their own pet ideas during their work hours.

There is an idea database here:

Posted on 25 Jun 2007

Concert Weekend

by Miguel de Icaza

Nice week for concerts: Music Party in Paris on the 21st, Cesaria Evora in Boston on Saturday and Manu Chao today.

Posted on 24 Jun 2007

Banshee Media Player Goes to Windows

by Miguel de Icaza

Scott Peterson posts a screenshot of his progress, Banshee now starts up on Windows with Mono/Gtk# (there is a buglet somewhere that prevents it from running with the .NET Framework):

If you want to track other Summer of Code projects, check our weekly status reports here

Posted on 24 Jun 2007

Moonlight Demo/Interview in French

by Miguel de Icaza

Didier Girard met me at my hotel on Friday and we did a quick interview with a demo, which you can see on video (since I have yet to figure out how to do screen captures myself).

In the demo you can see Moonlight and the Gtk# binding to Moonlight in action as well as various assorted samples.

See it here.

Posted on 24 Jun 2007

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