Posts Tagged ‘Apple Widgets’

GNU / Linux Widgets (gdesklets, screenlets) – Apple MacoSX / Microsoft Vista like Widgets

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Screenlet Widget
I’m staying in a friend’s place for few days. Nasko a friend of mine has apple pc and showed me some nice features of the apple MacBook’s Mac OS X. One of the features I liked was the Apple Widgets which are helpful in facilitating the work with your pc. The same widgets are also included in Windows Vista (I always disabled that when used Vista).
Anyways I wondered if there is a way to have the same shiny widgets running on my Debian GNU/Linux.
I first found Gdesklets which basicly is a collection of Widgets for the Linux Gnome desktop written in Python. To run the gdesklet after installation
I had to issue the command:
$ gdesklets .Then in the tray a small tray puzzle icon appears. I sort of wondered a bit until I figured out how to add some gdesklet widgets.
To do that I had to select
“Manage Desklets” and through the gdesklets shell
to click twice the widget I would like to add to the desktop and thendrag it to the exact desktop place I would like it to have it positioned.
I have to emphasize gdesklets widgets are very, very buggy. Many of the widgets I tried crashed the whole application.
After which I had to manually kill the gdesklets app
and delete all it’s temporary files located in
~/.gdesklets directory. Many of the apps that didn’t crashed the gdesklets that required extra data from lmsensors never worked even though I have working version of lmsensors.
I suspect some of the widgets which failed to gather data from lmsensors cause
My notebook is Lenovo Thinkpad R61 and uses some custom features from the thinkpad_acpi kernel module
. Another possible reason for the crashes and misworkings of some components of gdesklets could be because I’m currently running Debian Unstable.

After being a bit disappointment from gdesklets experience.
I went looking further for some Linux widgets alternative.
Next widget related gnome prog I stucked on was jackfield . This one is said to have worked with Apple’s Widgets I don’t believe it does any more since it’s not actively developed anymore.
I tried the jackfield python program with no luck. The untarred archive of it was really messy and what was even worse was it lacked any documentation.
Hence I continued my quest for widgets just to came across a real working Gnome widget application.
Just to find Screenlets! .
I’ve red somewhere that Screenlets is based on jacfield.
The current release of Gnome Screenlets which by the way is officially part of is 0.1.2. I was pleased to find the application worked pretty decent.
Screenlets includes many, many widgets:
Here is a link containg a list of all the screenlets widgets
.If you like to have a general idea of how screenlets looks like please check out the screenlet in action screenshots