Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Monday 27 July 2009

Why I did write Gnote?

Because there are so many misconception about why I wrote Gnote, I think I should clarify a bit as my original announcement wasn't clear. This is to follow up on a question that was asked to me this morning where said person, who will likely read that and probably recognise thyself, had said misconception.

I wrote Gnote to answer two questions:

  • How can I have Tomboy functionality on my custom openSUSE image I made for my EEE PC, that will fit the 2GB? I don't have room for Mono on this. For what is worth, back when I tried to put a distro on it, the only distro that would fit out of the box on this EEE PC was Eeedora, a Fedora based image for the EEE PC, but that only did provide XFCE. Since I wanted GNOME, it ended up not being that useful as I didn't have a the Fedora tools to actually regenerated a custom one. None of the other did fit on 2GB, including the Mandriva Flash I had from GUADEC, Ubuntu's own, etc.
  • Is it easy to port a C# application to C++?

The second question helped me to answer the first question.

I decided that since I'm advocating Free Software, there was no reason to develop behind closed doors. I just kept it silent for the first weeks of coding, as I actually wanted to have something that works, but it was, since day 2, on gitorious. For the rest, you all know what happened: the anti-Mono crowd took it as their victory, started FUDing, etc. Barely nobody asked me why I had written that code, compared to the many that actually thought I was supporting their cause. But that's how the internet work.

The worse part is that I seem to be have been the target of hateful messages and comments from a certain number of people who found that writing code is hostile, while they blessed Tomdroid and Conboy which both take a different approach to a similar problem (kudos to their respective authors, I find Conboy fitting well on my N800, even though any typing is like torture).

And if you still think I hate Mono think again. I worked for the company that pushes Mono (and still wish I was), and I was using Tomboy on all the Linux machines I had (and to be fair I was surprised of the number of people who actually told me they had never used it because it was Mono based... looks like this didn't stop me as I had been using it for as long as I have the laptop I'm typing this on, circa Dec 2005).

Will I continue Gnote development?

Even though I'd love to have help, I definitely will maintain it as long as I can. The next release will have a boatload of features and fixes, including D-Bus support, etc. It is all in git. One has to admit the pace as slowed down recently because I have been working on other things, including AbiWord and Niepce.

Will I port another application?

No. But if a somebody is willing to hire me for that, please, feel free to contact me, I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Gnote 0.5.0

I just uploaded Gnote 0.5.0.

Get it from GNOME FTP

Read up the announcement on the new mailing list for a detailled changelog.

Beside the bug fixes, the new feature is auto import of Tomboy (and eventually Sticky Notes) notes at first run. Also I reduced a bit the dependencies: no more libxml++, no more boost.regex, but pcre instead.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Gnote 0.4.0

Just released Gnote 0.4.0.

Dependency changes: now libxml++ 2.26 is REQUIRED, because of nasty bugs in older release. Upstream itself said it was unusable. Also, if you are a packager, be aware that libxml++ 2.26 break the ABI silently. You must understand that before doing any upgrade. See bug 583825.

I already have a branch that just remove this dependency, I'll merge it after this release.

Download it

New features:

  • Handle command line argument --version and --search
  • Backlinks addin.
  • Addin to export to HTML.


  • Hard require on libxml++ 2.26. Should prevent some bugs (Bug #583807, Bug #583808, Bug #579292, Bug #579316) See git
  • Note is now trackable. Should avoid a crash related to signals. (Closes #581618)
  • Remove obsolete UTF-8 keyword in .desktop (Closes #581623) (Robert Millan)
  • Fix build with LDFLAGS="-Wl,--as-needed" (Closes #581559) (Priit Laes)
  • '-' in note title was mistakenly doubled in the menu. (Closes #581643)
  • Fix crash when entering an URL instead of a host name for the bugzilla icon in the bugzilla addin (Closes #581080)
  • Stop calculating the status icon menu position by thyself.
  • Fix UI for InsertTimeStamp addin (Closes #582788) (0.1.1)
  • Fix inconsistency in search dialog selection causing drag and drop and delete to mis-behave. (Closes #579107, Closes #582757)
  • gnote-applet is in libexec. (Closes #581631)
  • Fix markup error in German localization (Closes #582975)
  • Fix error on first run in German (de_DE) (Debian bug #528930)


  • Added translations: - Bengali India (bn_IN) - Hungarian (hu)
  • Updated translations: - Arabic (ar) - German (de) - Japanese (ja) - Spanish (es)
  • Added Greek manual.
  • Added Spanish manual.

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Gnote 0.3.1 - "Five-One-Four"

Since tomorrow I'll be in Montreal for LGM, today will be release day for Gnote 0.3.1 "Five-One-Four". Next week should be back to the regular schedule. This is a bugfix release, and it is available on GNOME FTP as usual.

The changes are:


  • Missing header in src/addins/inserttimestamp/inserttimestampnoteaddin.cpp
  • Don't crash when deleting a note (Closes #579839)
  • Plugged various memory leaks.
  • Cleared up a few Gtkmm warnings.
  • Applet was trying to use an icon named "tomboy" (Closes #581226) (Robert Millan)
  • .desktop file didn't have the version (Jonathon Jongsma)
  • .desktop has improper XFCE category and should have OnlyShowIn entry for GNOME and XFCE (Closes #580481)
  • Help didn't work in the Note windows. (Closes #581200)
  • Notebook addin toolbar button was inconsistent. (Closes #581213)
  • Delete notebook now works in the search dialog. (Closes #581222)
  • Popup menus in the search dialog now appear.
  • Output options at the end of configure and fail if D-Bus is enabled.


  • Added translations: - Japanese (ja)
  • Updated translations: - Arabic (ar) - Catalan (ca) - French (fr) - Spanish (es)
  • Fix format causing crashes. (Closes #580868)
  • Fix a typo in the gconf schema description (Closes #581239)
  • Fix small translatable strings (Closes #579197)

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Gnote 0.3.0

Wednesday is release day for Gnote. Version 0.3.0 is now available on GNOME FTP.

Here is the changelog:

New features:

  • Applet support (Closes #578979).
  • Print addon.
  • Insert Time Stamp addon.
  • Bugzilla addon.
  • Implement addin preferences.


  • Should now build if Gtk+ 2.16 is present but not Gtkmm 2.16.
  • Should build with Gtk+ 2.12 and Gtkmm 2.12 (Closes #580250) (Robert Millan)
  • Fix a typo in gnote.1 (Closes #580211) (Robert Millan)
  • Desktop file reflect XFCE and bugzilla component. (Closes #580481) (Ritesh Khadgaray)
  • Missing accelerators in link context menu (Closes #580443) (M├írio Machado)
  • Reference bugzilla component in server file (Closes #579198)


  • Short descriptions in shema must not end with a '.' (Closes #579337)
  • Added translations: - British English (en_GB) - Czech (cs) - Portugese (pt) - Spanish (es) - Thai (th)
  • Updated translations: - Arabic (ar) - German (de)

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Gnote 0.2.0

I just released Gnote 0.2.0. Here is the changelog:

New features

  • Now support addins (Bug #578980): - Fixed Width
  • Show addins in preferences.


  • Can now close the template note opened when the Preferences dialog is open. (Close #579105)
  • Check for Gtk+ 2.14 or later and include gtk/gtk.h in src/utils.cpp (Close #579240)
  • Fix wrongly highlighted URLs and a crash when inserting in some situation. (Close #579225)
  • Fix offsets on WikiWord (similar to bug #579225)
  • Initialize gettext properly (Close #579520)
  • Properly check for libxml2.
  • Drag and drop of notes to a notebook (Close #579637)
  • Fixed hang when changing the title of a note (Close #579362)
  • The open state of notes is now saved properly.


  • Update comment to reflect format in strings. (Close #579209)
  • Ensure the spelling of Gnote.
  • Some strings shouldn't be translated. (Close #579197)
  • Date format are non localizable. (Close #579207)
  • Properly use plural forms (Close #579412)
  • Remove markup from translatable strings (Close #579453)
  • Added translations: - Swedish (sv) - Greek (el) - Arabic (ar) - Catalan (ca) - German (de) - French (fr)

Many thanks to the translation teams and the people who provided feedback.

The tarball can be downloaded fronm GNOME FTP

There is more to come: the addins (I had to rewrite an addin system based on Glib::Module, which I hope will be generic enough ; I'll see when I integrate it into Niepce), the synchronization (I have a branch locally that I need to test thoroughly, for which I also needed addin support), and what not.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Gnote 0.1.2

I just released Gnote 0.1.2. Here are the changes:

  • Don't return containers on the stack.
  • BUG: Pinning notes now work.
  • BUG: Fix a potential crasher in PrefsKeybinder in the gconf callback.
  • BUG: Fixed typos in man page.
  • BUG: Remove the use of gettext calls that are only in glib 2.18
  • BUG: Fix Note search that didn't work. (Close #578956) (Wade Berrier)
  • BUG: Fix the position of the menu in case of popping upward. (Close #578958)
  • NEW: Imported the manual (Close #578982)
  • NEW: Addin preferences. (TO FINISH)
  • Clarified some (c) notices.

You can find it on GNOME FTP

Moving to GNOME

Gnote is now in GNOME git repository.


All you need is to pull from there.

It also has a bug tracker in GNOME bugzilla.

Update: is seems to be misunderstood that the URL above is for the web git interface. The git URL is git://git.gnome.org/gnote

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Gnote 0.1.1

The unavoidable bugs arose, mostly build bugs[1]. So if you had an error on BOOST_FOREACH, it is fixed. Bye-bye, gone.

Thanks do Dodji for the testing.

I released Gnote 0.1.1.



[1] if only I could have a few chroot to build with different versions

Monday 6 April 2009

Gnote 0.1.0

Following my April 1st announcement, I ironed out the last detail I deemed necessary for a 0.1.0 release of Gnote.

It should build on recent systems. I welcome any feedback or patches. If you have a build failure, I at least need the compiler errors.

Source tarballs - Homepage

PS: it is known to not build on Debian etch because of an antique version of boost.