Help: Pyhton + Glade application for Fluxbox CE

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Help: Pyhton + Glade application for Fluxbox CE

Postby shane on Tue May 05, 2009 2:59 pm

Hi all!

I am looking to create a small light weight configuration tool for the Fluxbox CE. I am learning Python a bit at a time, but I don't think my coding skills are the best around... since I am not a programmer. So think I will need some help from someone more experienced. I have chosen Python and Glade so that I can edit the code if need be without bugging you continuously.

What this application will need to do is basically read and parse various configuration files in the user's home folder... and then have these values as the current values in a prebuilt glade interface... Other possible values/limits/etc will be defined in the code. It should then be able to write these values to the user files and apply them... e.g. restarting Fluxbox...

So far so good... Now there is something else that I would like... which is the part I am really blank about. I would like this application to be as modular as possible. Why? So that in the future, I will be able to add further functionality to configure other aspects of the system. I have made a small mockup (attached) to give an idea. The buttons on the left would each be installed by a different modules and when clicked, would load the configuration interface on the right. This framework is what I really need.

Thanks... I hope it doesn't scare any possible help away :lol:
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shane
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Re: Help: Pyhton + Glade application for Fluxbox CE

Postby emorrp1 on Wed May 06, 2009 8:42 am

Well that sounds like a cool app, kind of like a gconf for ordinary apps. Good choice going with python+glade, as all the mintTools use them too, so it should be easy to make it look right in mint. Also, fyi, why limit yourself to fluxbox? This app would be just as useful in other DEs, with zero extra work!

Either before you start, or at least very early on, I recommend you learn git. It's versioning control software that's really easy to use, and will just give you that extra piece of mind in the knowledge that you have a complete backup of your development history. Once you get this far, I recommend hosting the code on github (assuming you're writing it to be open source), as I have recently done with my community version of mintupload (http://emorrp1.github.com/mintupload/). This is for two reasons: it's a free offline backup of your code, and it's really easy for someone to take the code, add a new feature, let you know and for you to integrate the change if you like.

Now to your actual question (congrats for trying to keep it modular). As with all things like this, since you have full control over the app, you can do this many different ways. The way that immediately jumped out at me would to have a list of plugins, where you scan a particular directory for the relevant code files, and append any you find to the list. As it happens ;-) this is exactly what clem made mintUpload do, so I recommend you grab a copy of the source code (>v3, in the gloria repos), either official, or community, and have a gander. Learning how to read someone else's code, and understand exactly what it does will be a very useful skill, and the best bit about open source is you can integrate the good bits, which do exactly what you want, into your own code (attribution is recommended though)

If you have any other questions, or need something explaining, let me know. I'll also help you with basic packaging when you get to it too. Good luck, I look forward to seeing this project develop.

EDIT: sorry if I seem condescending shane, I had no idea you actually create the fluxbox edition :-) Good work on that by the way! I was answering the post rather than the person, so I suppose you could take it as getting no special treatment ;D
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