Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tomboy 1.1.1 Released, Tomboy Online Plans Solidify

Tomboy 1.1.1 Brings New Ones

After a brief release hiatus, I bring you Tomboy's latest development release: version 1.1.1!

Probably the coolest new feature in this release, courtesy of Stefan Cosma, is support for Windows 7 Jump Lists, which are totally awesome and should be added to GNOME.

Jump Lists In Action

Another cool fix that will make Dave Richards (and everyone else who has ever wanted to copy and paste a Tomboy note into an email or document) very happy. Gabriel Burt fixed a long-standing problem with gtk# to enable this (requires not-yet-released gtk# 2.12.10), and patched Tomboy to make rich HTML available in the clipboard. Thanks dude!

Pasting rich note content into Evolution (click for OO.o Writer and plain-text email examples)

I was planning on having a preview of automatic background sync in this release, but I just didn't get as far as I wanted on it. I'll be merging that feature in before the next release, though.

But while I was playing with autosync, I was doing a lot of restarting Tomboy, and got tired of the 2 second startup time. Most Tomboy users always run it, so startup time is not a huge deal, but for developers this just gets irritating after awhile. So I rejiggered some startup work to be delayed, causing the Tomboy icon to show up within about 0.5-1.0 seconds on my machine. This pleased me, so I included it in Tomboy 1.1.1. Take that fascist scum!

The Future of Snowy and Tomboy Online

You may have seen Brad's blog last week about our Snowy meeting. If you read the meeting minutes, you'll see that we're shifting our focus to be a little more goal-oriented. Our plan is to get a Snowy instance on GNOME servers as soon as the sysadmin team will let us. This instance will be Tomboy Online, and its needs will drive core Snowy development. We'll start with a private alpha and go from there.

Right now we're working on a Tomboy Online roadmap that breaks outstanding work into basic tasks so that contributors know where they can help. Once this roadmap is in better shape, I'll be blogging again to let you know what our plans are and how you can help us.

In the meantime, if you have any resources to share on automated testing of web sites, REST APIs, and overall web/server security, I'd really appreciate it. Ponies are great...pwnies, not soo much.

By the way, if you have opinions about GNOME hosting Free web services like Tomboy Online, please take Stormy's survey on GNOME Foundation goals for 2010! :-)


Anonymous said...

You can have a similiar context menu when using docky + tomboy.

Would be awesome if one could disable the trayicon, and instead force the "search notes" window to be always open.

Then the experience together with docky would be 100%!

Sandy said...

@Anonymous: Yeah, the new Tomboy context menu in Docky is great. If we had an open spec for something like Jumplists, then Docky could implement that spec and people could get the same features in Docky, or the GNOME2 Taskbar, or gnome-shell.

And yeah, I intend to make it possible to run Tomboy without the tray icon for Tomboy 1.2, though it will probably be a hidden option in GConf.

Sandy said...

Jon Pobst just informed me that I forgot to include the new icons for the Jumplists in the Windows installer. A new installer (probably versioned just for fun) will be released as soon as I get a chance to fix this. Sorry!

Omid said...

I love it. this is my favorite application.

Amber said...

Funny that startup time is sort of neglected. Now, true: I don't care much about the startup time _sec_ but in fact the terrible performance of Tomboy on even as few as 10 notes has driven me away from it.

A far more featured program like Zim is factors the snappier, has, well duh, far more features, easily integrates because of standardized text (markup) format, has graphviz plugin, can be put under revision control (git? bzr? you choose) and there are even builtin versioning features into the GUI.

Oh, and it doesn't take >2seconds (or more!) _after each keypress_ after you've pasted a screen of console output.

Sry for rant, but your 'heroic' optimization statements triggered my memory and my shrink tells me I need to vent

Tomboy fan said...

"Most Tomboy users always run it, so startup time is not a huge deal"

When Ubuntu reaches 10 second startup time (they are working hard on it), additional 2 seconds would mean 20% longer. It _is_ a huge deal :)

And it's one of the reasons people use gnote (no mono = faster startup)...

Sandy said...

@Tomboy_fan: Tomboy's start time does not block the rest of the desktop from loading. It happens in parallel, so it doesn't add anything like 2 seconds to boot time. I'm much more concerned about memory usage (which is something else we actively continue to work on reducing).

That being said, there is a little more work that can be done on start time, which I'll work on next time I get a chance, since it's easy and does have some benefit. :-)

Sandy said...

@Amber We certainly have more performance work to do with Tomboy, but it is "hard" so it can be slow going, especially with the reduced amount of spare time I have for hacking these days.

Zim is a great application and I'm glad that it suits your needs! I hope that the next time you try Tomboy, it will work out better for you.

Olivier said...

To keep the formatting while copy and pasting is very welcome here! Congrats!

Bravo for the speed improvement too!

Unknown said...

I just installed 1.1.1 on my Windows machine at work, and the startup time improvement is great :
I start Tomboy manually, and before I was always wondering for a few seconds if I had messed up my double-click. Now I double-click and bam! the icon is there.

Unknown said...

Would you not consider adding support for Evernote? They have a Developer API and it would be a great online provider for Tomboy. Actually, if you have a provider model published, I might even look into adding the support myself. :)

Sandy said...

@Ufuk Doug Johnston is working on an Evernote sync backend. It's still in the early stages:

hb said...

Congratulations on the new release. Tomboy rocks!

Did the thoughts about a third-party addin repo get more concrete? It would be nice to have them collected in one place, maybe with similar build systems et al.

Sandy said...

@hb we're still trying to figure out how we want to do that. Usability-wise, it would probably be best to have an online add-in repository. But for maintenance and distribution reasons, it might make more sense for us to collect popular add-ins into a big new tomboy-addins-extra tarball/package.

So, there is no finalized plan on this yet.

Unknown said...

Upgraded Tomboy 1.1.0 to Tomboy 1.1.1
It crashes when starting it on Windows 7 x64, anyone else having this problem?

Sandy said...

@sirblackheart I haven't heard about that happening to anyone. Could you please file a bug, and we can try to figure out what's going on?

Tomboy fan said...

"Tomboy's start time does not block the rest of the desktop from loading. It happens in parallel, so it doesn't add anything like 2 seconds to boot time."

It fights with other programs for CPU time and I/O :) And combining with the fact that systems like Ubuntu doesn't show the desktop until all loading is done, I'm looking forward to see any improvements in this area :)

Mahmoud Kassem said...

In Windows 7, the icons in the jumplist of recent notes and tasks are missing (default windows app icon is used instead). Do you have a solution?

Sandy said...

See comment #3. I'll fix this before I put out the installer for 1.1.2.