...hack it yourself.
Since Warty came out I have become a much more hardcore gui desktop
user. I've hacked up quite a few Nautilus Scripts to make my life a
little easier, but after "losing" a hard drive on my laptop I'm back to
basic Nautilus. Now I've hit an annoying missing feature in it yet
Nautilus has this nice context menu that pops up for certain file types
and allows to do nice things like add a bunch of files to Rhythmbox,
make a tarball, or what have you. What they've never had was a way to
make an image your desktop background. I know that this a silly thing
to get all crazy about, but it really bugs me that it doesn't support
this out of the box.
I used to have a script that would do this for me, but it is kinda
annoying to have to right click, wait for the menu, then go to the
Scripts menu, and wait for it to come up, and then finally click on
"Make this my background." Also since it was attached to the scripts
menu it could come up for any filetype which seems a little strange
since you could ask the system to make an text file your background. It
wouldn't do it of course it just seems like a bit of UI there.
So now here's what I want. I want a context menu for images that says
"Change Desktop Background to image..." And then does it. And I would
prefer to learn as little as possible about the guts of Gnome and
Nautilus in the process. And I don't want to have to do it in C, I'd
rather do it in python.
So I whip out google and start to figure out how to do this "simple"
task. There seems to be a few python-bonobo tutorials out there, mostly
working with making panel applets. Bonobo adds this big maze to some of
the Gnome stuff. There are a few tools to manipulate it, but it mostly
works like a scary black box. And doesn't appear to like making any log
messages at all.
So I start taking apart some apps that use the interface namely
file-roller. The nautilus source package also has a pdf that contains
some documentation on how to build some interfaces. So I start to learn
about bonobo. For instance, did you know that bonobo can be used as a
primitive medieval torture device? It's true. Also it has something to
do with CORBA which accounts for it's rampant insanity. So I try
randomly typing strings into vi and started to get some results. The
bonobo query whatnot was telling me that yes it knew about my crazy
extension, but nautilus still was not using it.
Why nautilus? Why do you hate me so?
Follows is some of the notes that I was taking:
Try some tricks. ltracing nautilus == crash.
Sure would be nice to find out how nautilus pulls these menu items out
of it's ass. Apparently it doesn't use the bonobo activation the way we think
it should. libeel. More nautilus guts. Also some eel guts. Remember to wash
So in the end it looks like someone decided to extricate all of the
bonobo bits out of nautilus. Great. No more bonobo. But now there is
no easy python way (at least from what I see) to screw around with
I guess sometimes when in doubt just keep doing it the lame crappy way.
Ok, back to hacking pgscsh. Hacking the guhnome is too hard today.