Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Touching Banshee, Porting Tasque

Toward a more clickable Banshee

I've written on a patch to make the artist and album text in the Banshee track info display interactive. 95% of the time I am listening to my library on shuffle, and sometimes I hear a song and decide I want to hear more from that artist or album. Well, with my patch, you can click on either to perform a search on your library.

You can also right-click and add the album or all tracks by the artist right to the play queue, which is my favorite Banshee trick now. Have you ever used the Banshee Play Queue? It's really cool...if you're listening on shuffle and you add a bunch of stuff to the play queue, it will play those items in order and then go back to shuffling through your library (or whatever you were listening to before you shoved stuff into the queue).

Click to see low-quality demo on YouTube.

So why is this still just a patch and not in Banshee SVN? Well, really, it's kind of ugly, don't you think? Here's this pretty Banshee UI with some gross hyperlink-looking text in the middle of it. What do you folks think I should do?
  • Use a different color, like "Selected"?

  • Only change the text color on hover?

  • Both?

The only thing I like right now about having it colored all the time is that it makes the feature more discoverable. But is it worth it? Any thoughts on the appearance or behavior of this feature? If you build Banshee from SVN, give it a try and see what you think!

I'm busy lately so if somebody else wants to mess with this bug, be my guest. It won't get into SVN until after Banshee 1.4 is released, anyway. ;-)

Tasque Goes Cross-Platform

I couldn't sleep Thursday night, so I yanked some of my code from tomboy-portable2 and got Tasque going on Windows. Then I decided Tasque is simple enough to play with that I'd better get it going on Mac OS X, too. This weekend I even put together I nice little disk image for Mac users. Big thanks to Eoin Hennessy for creating Mono bindings to Immendio's Mac/GTK+ integration library. The next Tasque release will be equally supported on Linux, Windows, and Mac, so feel free to start filing bugs.

Really this is just an excuse to try stuff out for Tomboy.


Unknown said...

Is there a download link anywhere?

Sandy said...

Whoops, I knew I was forgetting something. Download link for Mac and info for building on Windows can be found on this tasque-list post.

Thanks for catching that!

Anonymous said...

tasque looks cool.

Anonymous said...

Normal text. maybe an icon. maybe highlight when mouseover.

icon singer/song sounds good.

Unknown said...

Get this whiteboard already, will you!? :-)

Nice job! It's nice to see Mono apps going cross platform.

Jud said...

For the Banshee idea: what if you did something unconventional with the text?

My idea is that the words should "pulse". Instead of being a blue underlined hyperlink, what if they slowly glowed or something like that? Or a halo pulsed around them, like with how (think back to Windows Vista for a second) in the Vista window titlebar, the actual words are surrounded by a glowing haze.

Something like that, but with a very subtle fade in/fade to normal animation.

It's not blatantly disruptive, it would _look_ pretty neat, it would get the user's attention, and they might wonder "Hmm...what else do those words do?"

Not sure if you can smoothly alter the color of text or do a small graphic halo effect like that in realtime with the widget, but it'd be cool.

libwilliam said...

If you look at the track editor on svn you will see pulsing on some of the buttons much like jud suggested. That might look good with text.

All your tiger are belong to us. said...


James said...

Excellent work on both Banshee and Tasque, I'm a regular user of both.

I wish Tasque had tighter integration with Remember The Milk - Ability to set due dates from within Tasque and also an auto-refresh feature.

Keep up the good work!

Sandy said...

@James: You can set due dates in Tasque...just click on the current due date and select from the drop-down. Auto-refresh will come eventually. :-) Please file any bugs or enhancement requests in our bugzilla here:


James said...

@Sandy: Thanks, I had overlooked this feature!

Another simple enhancement that I can think of is being able to choose custom colours for the different task categories. For example, the 'Overdue' header is critical and perhaps could be red to indicate the urgency.

Sandy said...

@james: cool idea, file a bug!

Anonymous said...


I am trying to install tasque on windows and I have found the directions really confusing. For example where do you get " tasque.sln" ?


Sandy said...

@anonymous: This is a pretty old post! Downloads for Windows are available on the Tasque website:


If you want to build Tasque yourself, mess with the code, etc, then you can check out Tasque trunk from SVN and open the Visual Studio solution. But the zip file in the link above should work! Please check out our mailing list or bugzilla if you have any problems.

Colin Arndt said...

I know this post is pretty ancient at this point, but that's the reason I'm asking my question. Is Tasque still being worked on or maintained? I noticed the last version release on live.gnome.org is from last year. I'd offer to help if I had coding skills, but unfortunately I don't. Is there any other way I can help?

Sandy said...

@Jugney Tasque is not really actively developed right now, but read this email for information about the next release and how you (even if you're not a coder) can help: