There are a couple of fixes in this version
The applet no longer swallows key presses. This means it now works happily alongside other apps that also use the key, e.g. the Brisk menu, the Advanced Mate Menu or Albert. Thanks go to the folks over at Ubuntu MATE for providing this fix
Crashes relating to Pango when window list and action list contents needed to be ellipsized have been fixed
There main changes in this version of the applet are:
- 5 new types of indicators have been added
- It is now possible to add space between dock icons
- When an app requires attention from the user, it is now possible to display a badge on the app's icon, rather than have it blink on and off
The new indicators are:
The preferences dialog has been updated to allow the new indicators to be selected:
On Gtk3 versions of the applet, the indicators will be drawn using the current theme's highlight colour. This is not possible with Gtk2 (e.g. on Ubuntu Mate 16.04), but it is possible to manually set a suitable colour using the Fallback colour option on the Misc tab of the preferences dialog.
A new preferences option has been added which allows extra space to be added between dock icons.
Valid values are between 0 and 7.
0 - tightly packed
7 - a bit less cramped ....
A new preferences option has been added to select whether an app should blink its icon on and off, or just display a badge.
The badge (showing an exclamation mark) is displayed in the top left of the dock icon as below:
Some long requested features have been been added in this version of the applet:
Adding applications to the dock using drag and drop
Apps can now be added to the dock by dragging their icons off menu applets (Main Menu, Menu Bar, Advanced Menu and the new Brisk Menu are all supported) and onto the dock applet. This is for GTK3 versions of the applet only.
Dragging and dropping data between running applications
If data is dragged from an application onto another running application's dock icon, the new application will be made active allowing the dragged data to dropped onto it. This can be especially useful on small screens or single monitor setups. However, this is also for GTK3 only.
Keyboard shortcuts can now be used to activate and select applications in the dock.
The shortcuts are:
- <Super> 1 - 0 for the first 10 applications in the dock
- <Super><Alt> 1 - 0 for applications 10-20 in the dock
For example, to activate the 5th application, it would be necessary to hold down the Super key (i.e. the Windows) key and press 5. For the 12th application, it would be necessary to hold down both the Super key and the Alt key and press 2.
When these shortcuts are used, the effect is as follows:
- If the app is not running, it will be started.
- If the app is running and only has a single window open, the window will cycled between minimised and activated states.
- If the app is running and has multiple windows open, each use of the shortcut will activate and display each window in turn.
In addition to these new features the following changes have also been made to the applet:
- The Hints and Tips section of the About dialog has been updated with information regarding the new drag and drop and shortcut features.
- A bug has been fixed which would have prevented action and window lists from appearing
Finally, package maintainers need to note a new dependency of the applet - Keybinder. For example, on Arch Linux this is the libkeybinder-3.0 package, on Ubuntu 16.04 it is gir1.2-keybinder-0.0 and on Ubtuntu 16.10, gir1.2-keybinder-3.0
Changes in this release
- Added support for startup notification when launching apps.
- The applet gets a new look - a new type of indicator and a new type of active icon background have been added
- The About dialog has been reworked to hopefully be less ugly...
When starting an app the icon in the dock will now continue to pulse until the app is fully loaded, providing a useful bit of visual feedback regarding the app's status. In previous versions of the applet, an icon would pulse only once.
New indicator and active icon background types
The applet has a new indicator type, a single solid bar, and a new active icon background type where the background is filled with a colour based on the app's icon. See below:
The preferences dialog has been updated to allow the user to choose which types of indicator and icon background to use, and displays a live preview:
When using Gtk3 versions of MATE, the bar indicator will be drawn using the highlight colour defined by the current Gtk3 theme. In the screenshots above the Arc Darker theme was used, hence the the blue bars. The screenshot below shows the Ambiant-Mate theme in use, along with appropriately green indicators.
For technical reasons it isn't possible to read the current theme's highlight colour on Gtk2 versions of MATE. Therefore bar indicators will be drawn in grey. Since this colour won't fit in well with many themes, a new preference option has been added which allows the colour of bar indicators to be specified. This can be found on the 'Misc' tab of the Preferences dialog.
Clicking on the colour button will display the standard Gtk colour selection dialog, from which a new bar colour can be chosen.
To accomplish all this, the code which relates to drawing dock items has been reworked. This will allow new types of indicator and active icon backgrounds to be more easily added in future.
This now looks a bit nicer, and displays license and hints and tips info.
Summary of changes included this version:
- a bug fix
- app actions have been removed from the window list and now have their own popup window, which can be disabled if required
- the window list now appears in response to a click on an app's icon when the app has more than one window open
- on Gtk3 action lists and window list colours should now match the panel
- the applet now integrates with the Compiz window manager to provide previews of an app's open windows
Fixed bug where window lists could span monitors on multi monitor setups.
App actions - e.g. Pin/Unpin, Open New Incognito Window (for Google Chrome)- have been removed from the window list and now appear in place of the window list when the mouse hovers over an app's dock icon:
A new configuration item has been added to disable the action list popup for users who find them distracting:
If the popup is disabled, app actions can still be selected by right clicking on the app's dock icon:
Clicking on an app's icon
The configuration option that selects whether to restore all of a running app's windows or only the last active window when its dock icon is clicked has been removed. The effect of clicking an app's icon now depends on whether or not the app is running and how many windows it has open.
- If the app is not running, clicking its icon will start it
- If the app is running and has only a single window open, the window will be activated
- If the app is running and has more than one window open, the window list will be displayed (it can be dismissed by selecting a window, moving the mouse away from the applet and window list, or clicking the app's icon again)
As previously, shift-clicking a running app's icon will start a new instance of the app (not all apps support multiple instances however...)
On MATE Gtk3, window lists and action list windows will now use colours from the Gtk theme and should match the panel:
On both Gtk2 and Gtk3, when a custom panel colour is set, window lists and action lists will use this colour for their background, and choose a suitable foreground colour to ensure that text is legible.
Integration with Compiz
A new configuration option has been added which allows the user to select whether to use the applet's built in window list for selecting windows, or to use Compiz:
For the Compiz option, note:
- Compiz must be being used as the window manager. This is easy to achieve with MATE Tweak.
- The Compiz Scale and DBus Plugins must be activated in Compiz Config Settings Manager. See below
When an app has more than one window open, clicking on it's dock icon will display previews of all of the open (and non-minimized) windows, e:g:
It seems that Compiz does not display or allowed selection of minimized windows in the Scale plugin or its Application Switcher (Alt-Tab replacement). This can cause problems when they need to be unminimized since it means that there's no way to select them. The easiest way to get around this is to use the dock's built in window cycling ability, i.e. by moving the mouse over the dock icon and using the mouse wheel to activate or restore each window in turn.
Changes in this version:
Fix for improved matching of binary packaged apps on Gentoo.
Amended README.me to include the availability of an overlay for the applet on Gentoo.
Corrected position of window lists on non-expanded panels.
Fix for window list flickering on bottom aligned panels on MATE Gtk3
Increased the delay before window lists are shown when the mouse hovers over an app icon. It was 0.5 seconds, and is now 1 second.
Shortened pin/unpin window list text. It now says 'Pin ' rather than 'Pin to the dock', and the Unpin text is similarly shortened.
Fixed a bug that would cause Pin/Unpin actions to act upon previously highlighted app icons, rather than the one that is currently highlighted.
When starting to drag an app icon, the window list is now hidden.
The applet can now display progress bars and counts on app icons for apps which support this. See below:
This screenshot (taken on Ubuntu Mate 16.10 Alpha 2) shows Firefox downloading a single file, the Cumulus weather app displaying the current temperature, and the Ubuntu software updater installing updates.
A couple of things to note about progress bars and counts:
- libunity needs to be installed for this new feature to work. Getting libunity on an Ubuntu based distro is easy (and it will probably be installed by default, as is the case with Ubuntu MATE) but its availability may vary on other distros... The applet will still work without problem if libunity is not installed, but obviously will not display counts or progress bars.
- Firefox needs this extension detailed on OMGUbuntu to display download counts and progress bars.
Drag and drop rearranging of dock icons has finally been implemented. Unfortunately, this is only for the GTK3 version of the applet. Its just not possible to do this sort of thing with Python and GTK2, so GTK2 users are going to be forever stuck with the clunky old method...
The window list which appears when the mouse hovers over a dock icon has been reworked. This is how it used to look:
And this is how it looks now:
Aside from the new look and the fact that app window titles are ellipsized when they get too long, there are a few things to note. Firstly, any additional actions that the app supports are now shown at the top of the window list. In the screenshot above Chrome has two for opening new windows. These actions were previously available from the dock right click menu, but here they're more readily accessible.
Secondly, the option to pin/unpin the app is now always shown at the bottom of the list. Again, this is to make it more accessible.
Lastly, when a window is selected the window list no longer closes afterwards. This is to make switching and cycling between multiple open windows much more convenient and much less annoying. To close the window list, simply move the mouse away from it....
The new window lists work on both GTK2 and GTK3 - the above screenshots were GTK2, the one below is GTK3 on Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1:
Note that the separators in this screenshot appear narrower than in the others because a different GTK theme is being used and it draws separators differently... Also note that further changes to the window list will follow in the future, and it is still work in progress.
The final change for this release is that the way in which the dominant colour of the current wallpaper is calculated has been changed is and is now quicker and lighter on resources than before.
The applet now works on and can be built for both GTK2 and GTK3 versions of MATE.
Aside from the changes to layout containers (i.e. GTK2 VBox & HBoxes become GTK3 Boxes/Grids), underlying differences between the two toolkits meant that the code to calculate window minimise positions and window list popup positions has had to be reworked.
A GTK2 version of the applet can be produced by running
./configure --prefix=/usr during the build process. If a GTK3 version is required, running
./configure --prefix=/usr --with-gtk3 will do the trick.
Made some more improvements to the code that matches running apps with their .desktop files. In particular this relates to Ubuntu 16.04 and the following apps:
- Tor Browser
- Gnome Software
- Gnome Disks
- Bazaar Explorer.
App icons can now be sourced from the 'hicolor' directory. This fixes an issue where the icon for Enpass would not be found.
An app's window list now displays the title of the currently active window in bold and italicised text.
The options to display pinned apps from all or only the current workspace have been removed as these were based on a misunderstanding of a feature request. They have been replaced with a new option to only show indicators and window list items for windows which are on the current workspace. This new option provides the requested functionality.
Added a 'Hints and Tips' window accessible from the About dialog as a place to list useful keyboard shortcuts etc.
A couple of minor changes:
- Settings from previous instances of the applet are now imported silently (previously the user was presented with a dialog asking the user if they wanted to import the settings)
- When saving a custom launcher, if the ~./local/share/applications directory doesn't alreadyexist, it is created