Friday, November 13, 2009

PDF Mod 0.8

Robert Dyer, Andreu Correa Casablanca, Bertrand Lorentz, Gabriel Burt

  • Add * to beginning of window title when unsaved
  • Can select more than one file in Open dialog
  • shift-ctrl-z now also works for Redo
  • Online docs now hosted on
  • Add Invert Selection action
Bugs Fixed
  • Launching with relative filepaths in args works
New Translations
Bengali, Czech, Japanese, Russian

Alexandre Prokoudine, Daniel Nylander, Jorge González, Kris Thomsen, Łukasz Jernaś, Marek Černocký, Mario Blättermann, Og B. Maciel, Petr Kovar, Runa Bhattacharjee, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay, Takeshi AIHANA

More Info
See the website for links to tarballs, git, packages, the mailing list, irc, bugzilla, and more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Banshee 1.5.1

After another 4.5 months development, including contributions from 51 people, we have released Banshee 1.5.1! Shuffle Modes Shuffle by artist or album let you listen to everything by an artist or on an album before jumping to a new random artist or album. Shuffle by rating or score lets you shuffle through your songs, with higher rated or scored tracks being more likely to play. Thanks to Elena Grassi for her patch for the rating shuffle mode that got the ball rolling. Alexander Kojevnikov wrote more about the new shuffle modes on his blog. Auto DJ This new feature gives you the option to keep your Play Queue filled with endless music. It builds on the shuffle modes work, letting you fill the queue randomly in artist, album, song, rating, or score mode. screenshot of new auto dj feature, showing options of how to auto-fill the play queue As ever, you can manually add, remove, and reorder songs in the Play Queue — even while in Auto DJ mode. Alexander, the mastermind behind this new feature, wrote more about the Auto DJ on his blog. More Info Other notable new features include keeping the playing song visible, showing tooltips for ellipsized text in the main grid view, and support for WebOS and Samsung Galaxy devices. There were over 130 bugs fixed and 20 other enhancements added since 1.5.0. Read about them on the release notes. Visit our download page to try it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Secret About Amazon's API it Doesn't Want Distributed

Amazon's Product Advertising API (PAA) lets you search pretty much everything they offer. But on August 15 they started requiring that all requests to the API be signed with the developer's Private Key. Any client-side software using the PAA directly, including website scripts, Firefox extensions, and desktop applications, would have to distribute their Private Key to all their users to sign the requests. But as you would expect, the license agreement for the API states
a private for your personal use only and you must maintain its secrecy and security.
Others have written about how the PAA license agreement bars its usage on mobile devices. But in fact, it bars it from any client-side software on any device. Or at least from software you want to distribute. You can work around this by hosting a server to sign requests for your users, keeping your Private Key private. But anybody could use your service, pretending to be your client software if necessary. And you could wind up signing requests for half the Internet. The signing requirement benefits nobody. It impedes developers, turning them off from creating applications to serve users and send customers Amazon's way. Amazon should acknowledge its mistake with this policy and reverse it. Thanks to James Vasile for reading drafts of this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PDF Mod 0.7

Contributors Romain Tartière, Bertrand Lorentz, Robert Dyer, Andreu Correa Casablanca Features
  • View Fullscreen option
  • User docs translated into ca
Bugs Fixed
  • Build fixes for *bsd
  • Update recent files list after opening a document
  • libdir expansion issue fixed in Hyena, depends on 0.2
  • es (Andreu Correa Casablanca)
  • pt (Filipe Gomes)
  • sv (Daniel Nylander)
See the website for links to tarballs, git, packages, the mailing list, irc, bugzilla, and more. I'd like to thank Bertrand Lorentz for doing the actual release!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

PDF Mod 0.6

Contributors Łukasz Jernaś, Sandy Armstrong, Igor Vatavuk, Bertrand Lorentz PDF Mod showing View, Open in Viewer menu item Features
  • Open in Viewer action that launches the default app (usually Evince)
  • Remembers last folder a doc was opened from
  • Remembers if the toolbar was hidden
  • Remember accelerator customizations
Bugs Fixed
  • Uses the XDG cache dir for storing tmp files
  • Does a better job of cleaning up tmp files
  • Fix bug with installing to custom prefix
  • Fix some zoom inconsistencies
  • Got rid of bundled binaries; Hyena is needed at build-time
See the website for links to tarballs, git, packages, the mailing list, irc, bugzilla, and more.

Friday, August 7, 2009

PDF Mod 0.5

In the spirit of releasing early and often, here is PDF Mod 0.5, a quick three days after 0.4. Contributors Bertrand Lorentz, Michael McKinley Features
  • Password-protected PDFs can be opened
  • Page labels shown in tooltip, eg A-10, or iii
  • Undo/redo have descriptions, eg "Undo Move 5 Pages"
PDF Mod opening a password-protected document, and showing page labels in the tooltipsBugs Fixed
  • Loading document doesn't block GUI thread
  • Desktop file validates
  • Process name set to pdfmod
  • Parallel make (-jN) works
  • make distcheck passes
  • icon-theme-installer included in tarball
See the website for links to tarballs, git, packages, the mailing list, irc, bugzilla, and more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

PDF Mod 0.4

Patch Contributors Julien Rebetez, Igor Vatavuk Features
  • Insert external documents via menu/toolbar
  • Drag pages between open documents
  • Export images (jpg/png) working
  • Beautiful new icon from Kalle Persson
  • UI translated into 10 languages: da de es fr hr lt pl pt_BR sv ta
  • User docs translated into 5 langauges: de es hr pl sv
Bugs Fixed
  • No longer jumps to top on zoom or delete
  • Error messages are shown to user in popup
  • Scroll when dragging near the top or bottom
  • Clicking on select matching button works
See the wiki for information on the mailing list, IRC, downloading, git, filing bugs, etc.

Friday, July 31, 2009

PDF Mod Community

PDF Mod is now taking advantage of the fabulous GNOME infrastructure:We already have six translations of the app (da de fr lt pt_BR sv), and even some translations of our user manual (sv de). Oh, and we have this beautiful new icon created by Kalle Persson: If you want to translate the app or user manual, fix a bug, or implement a feature, please join us on the list or IRC and jump right in! We have a TODO if you're looking for something to do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PDF Mod 0.3

I just released PDF Mod 0.3, with quite a few new features and bug fixes. Sandy Armstrong, Aaron Bockover, and Olivier Le Thanh Duong contributed to this release. New Features
  • Convenience keybindings for zoom/quit
  • Open document by dragging from nautilus
  • Insert external PDF into current doc by dragging from nautilus
  • Properties (title, author, etc) editor
  • Recent Documents menu
  • User guide (F1)
  • French translation
Bugs Fixed
  • Opening files with spaces in the filename fixed
  • Page background rendering glitch fixed
  • Reordering and undo bug fixed
  • Reordering now only allows dropping left/right of a page
  • Desktop file now has pdf mimetype
  • Dispose some cairo contexts we were missing

Friday, July 24, 2009


On Monday I started working on a new app, PDF Mod, for doing simple manipulations to PDF files. Five days later, I'm proud to present it to you: It can rotate, extract, and remove pages, and supports reordering pages via drag and drop. Visit the project wiki for links to the git repo, tarball and package downloading, user guides, bugzilla, the mailing list, irc, and more. There are likely some bugs, but in my testing it is quite useful and slick already. It's built on top of libpoppler/poppler-sharp, PdfSharp, Gtk#/Cairo, and Banshee's Hyena library. The app itself is a paltry 2009 lines of .cs files. It is super easy to build and run uninstalled from the tarball if you want to give it a spin: ./configure && make && make run Looking forward to your feedback, either in the comments, @gabaug on twitter, or find my e-mail address in the code or on my blog. Is this something that should have a presence on GNOME git/bugzilla/wiki? Update: PDF Mod is now fully hosted on GNOME's infrastructure. See our wiki for links to download, source repo, mailing list, bugzilla, etc.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Banshee 1.5.0 released!

Intro After six months of work by more than 30 contributors, we have released Banshee 1.5.0 (aka 1.6 beta 1)! We have an astounding 95 people listed in our developer credits now! As I recently tweeted, we are also lighting up bugzilla. So far in 2009, # bugs: 950 commented on, 501 closed, 428 filed, 171 with new patches attached! Release Information This is a beta release, debuting a lot of big underlying changes. It also has tons of fixes, polish, and performance improvements. Some feature highlights:
  • BPM Support With Banshee 1.5.0, you can autodetect the BPM of songs in your library, or you can manually set it by tapping the beat. Then, you can sort, search, or make smart playlists based on BPM.
  • Automatic Scoring As you play songs in Banshee 1.5.0, it will automatically assign them scores (0 - 100) based on if/when you press skip.

    BPM and Score columns
  • Rhythmbox Migrator Banshee 1.5.0 can import your Rhythmbox collection, including ratings, play counts, and playlists.
  • Separate Library Locations You can now specify separate library locations for your music, video, and podcast libraries.
  • Creative Commons Integration A new column displays Creative Commons licensing info where applicable (and properly tagged). The license can be edited in the track editor (see below). There is also a new default station for songs tagged 'Creative Commons'.

    Track editor, showing BPM and License URI
See the 1.5.0 release notes to read about and see screenshots of the dozens of enhancements and fixes! Get It! Since this is a beta release, we are not distributing this through the same channels as our stable releases. Visit our download page or talk to your distro to see if they have a beta channel for Banshee. Digg It!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Putting Banshee to Work

Recently I have spent some time creating a smart job scheduler for Banshee. Some jobs we have include
  • Importing
  • Saving metadata to file
  • BPM analysis
BPM analysis and saving metadata to file jobs should be paused while doing speed sensitive jobs like importing. To achieve this, each job has priority hints and a list of resources it heavily uses. The priority hints are
  • SpeedSensitive, for jobs the user is actively waiting on, such as importing
  • LongRunning, for things like BPM or Mirage analysis of the entire library
And the resources are customizable, but currently I'm using
  • CPU
  • Disk
  • Database
If two jobs use the same resource
  • SpeedSensitive jobs run immediately (more than one ok)
  • Normal jobs (not SpeedSensitive or LongRunning) then follow, one at a time
  • LongRunning jobs then follow, one at a time
It is a bit of pretty low-level polish and a pretty simple idea, but it will give better performance and a better experience. The code is in a git branch for the moment, hopefully to be merged into trunk before 1.6.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hack Banshee all Summer for Fun and Profit

As I mentioned the other day, now is a great time to get involved with Banshee, and the deal is even sweeter if you want to work on it full-time this summer and get paid $4,500 through Google's Summer of Code. We have four developers (Bertrand, Eoin, Scott, and myself) willing to mentor, and we have some rocking project ideas we'd love you to tackle:
  • Banshee Web Content Make it easy to browse, search, view, and subscribe to content from one or more of,,,
  • Telepathic Banshee Let users share files and information (recommendations/ratings, current playing info, BPM analysis) with other users on their IM buddy list(s) via the Telepathy communications library and, likely, its Tubes data-transport mechanism. There is already a submitted proposal for this project.
  • Recommendations-based Play Queue Modify the Play Queue to have an option to automatically add songs recommended by, Mirage, etc.
  • Banshee UPnP Add a UPnP extension to Banshee. More info.
  • Banshee in Context Show contextually relevant concert info, flickr photos, wikipedia info, etc.
Your application is focused around a particular project proposal, but you can apply multiple times. And you are not limited to the above ideas if you have your own. Feel free to e-mail me personally, e-mail the banshee-list, or chat us up on IRC if you have any questions or want feedback on your application. Make sure you apply with GNOME as the mentoring organization and read the GSoC FAQs. You have a week and two days (until Friday, April 3rd) to apply, so get on it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Update on Banshee

A Stable Release Banshee 1.4.3 was released on March 4th. It's a stable release fixing several freezes and MTP device support bugs. Leaping Forward Things are moving ahead at an awesome pace in trunk! Our community members are consistently in the lists of top GNOME bug filers, closers, patch contributors, and patch reviewers. You can keep informed about all their fixes and features landing in trunk in the ChangeLog. I hope we'll have a release from trunk – called 1.5.0, aka 1.6 beta 1 – very soon. We have over two months of awesome fixes and new features to unleash. If you want to hack on Banshee, there has never been a better time. There are more than four of us actively reviewing Banshee patches from long-time regulars and out-of-the-blue newcomers, and we're waiting to hear from you! Bug Reduction Effort A few weeks ago we had over 200 bugs with no response. Today, due to the efforts of our bug triaging team, we have 110. Anybody can help us out by reviewing the list of Banshee bugs, correcting the metadata fields, asking for more information, providing insights, confirming they can reproduce the bug, letting the reporter know somebody is out there and cares! etc. To get started, do a bit of reading, find a bug that looks lonely, and update or comment on it with your thoughts on how to move it forward. Join us in #banshee to get pointers and assurance.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Parasite Packages

Last night I built packages for Parasite in my OBS home repository, available for openSUSE 11.0, 11.1, and Factory. To use Parasite with Banshee, for example, just run:
$ GTK_MODULES=gtkparasite banshee-1
Then you can inspect widgets, and even edit their properties in real-time — a great way to get a widget tweaked just right without having to restart the app.
Using Parasite with BansheeUsing Parasite with Banshee - "Hello Planets!"
Thanks to Christian Hammond and David Trowbridge for such a cool tool!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Banshee 1.4.2

Yesterday we released Banshee 1.4.2, a stable release full of two months of bug fixes and polish. Fixed and improved are RSS feed parsing, library rescanning, occasional startup freezes, launching on device insertion, several crashers, improved playback on OS X (still a technology preview/alpha release), and much much more - 62 bugs fixed in total. Check out the full release notes for details of other bugs fixed and how to upgrade! Digg It!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Catching Up

Patch Reviews In the last 24 hours or so I reviewed all 62 unreviewed patches for Banshee. The oldest was over 800 days old – very sad. But now that we are caught up, patches will not slip through like that again. It's thrilling to be reviewing patches and within hours get comments and updated versions from the contributors - pumping fresh blood into the project! TagLib# Banshee uses TagLib# for metadata (artist name, track title, disc number, etc) reading and writing, and we recently took over maintaining the project. You can file bugs and patches against it in BGO. The source is still in Mono SVN. Releases and a new website will probably soon be hosted on Banshee Status We are very close to releasing Banshee 1.4.2 with a lot of good bug fixes and polish since 1.4.1. After that will come developer releases, and then Banshee 1.6 with awesome new features. I love working on new features; I've already been playing with some in my temporary (yay GNOME going to git!) git branch:
Creative Commons licensing column BPM automatic detection and manual tapability Fix metadata dialog (not finished)
We have a handful of really polished patches from various contributors that have been reviewed, iterated on, and are ready to commit after 1.4.2 is released, including:
  • Rhythmbox migrator
  • Option to read/write ratings and playcounts to files
  • Torrent support for podcasts (like Miro has)
  • Scoring of tracks based on number of plays/skips (similar to Amarok)
  • Smooth scrolling
In addition to these nearly-finished features, I'm sure there will be many other cool things that make it into 1.6. If you want to help out by translating, testing, triaging bugs, or writing code, please do! Join us on our mailing list/forum or in IRC for advice on getting started.