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Docky Update – Active Window What?

May 22, 2009

So a lot has been going on with Docky lately. (also is it just me or is wordpress incredibly slow to type in?) I am ramping things up in getting ready for Gnome Do 0.8.2 as well as getting Docky ready for release. Some of the new features that are going to be included are:

  • Active Window Indicator (with background color that tracks the current icon)
  • Completely revamped preferences UI, no more crazy right click menu
  • Docklet Support with the following docklets: Clock, Trash, CPU/Mem Monitor, Battery, Viewport Switch, Volume
  • Orientation support in the prefs UI (top and bottom only)
  • Right click menus have been revamped
  • Drag and drop files onto launchers to launch application with file (drag images onto GIMP etc)
  • Intellihide

Intellihide is by far my favorite new feature. Its kind of a hybrid autohide mode for docky that determines if it should be hidden or not at the current moment. It works by tracking the currently focused window, if the focused window is obscured by docky, it hides itself, otherwise it is visible. It is slightly more intelligent than that however, it keeps track of child windows and “sister” windows and treats them as a group. Things feel natural with it, even when working with multi-window applications like the GIMP.

As well there have been quite a few bug fixes. Some of the largest user visible ones:

  • Matching of Open Office apps to their respective icons
  • Ability to adjust dock size when no docklets are in use
  • Drag and drop support is now 100% glitch free when interacting with the desktop. (no dead zones)
  • Reduced CPU and Memory usage by keeping fewer and smaller buffers which are updated less frequently
  • Works better with compiz window preview feature
  • Focus behavior fixes (lots of them)
  • Hover text can no longer “fall off” the edge of the screen (it gets adjusted)
  • Separtor was blurry, now it aint
  • Empty trash action gave no warning
  • Slow to redraw icons could cause docky animations to hiccup
  • About a bajillion crashers (its getting to be pretty stable)
  • A couple small memory leaks (memory is now very stable)
  • Better handling of multiple monitors and switching between them
  • Lots of tiny fixes…

There is a lot of fun in the works. There are a lot of fun things we can continue to do with Docky to make it better, faster, and more useful. Some of these will be quick and easy, some of them will be slow and someone revolutionary. The next version of Docky is going to be AWESOME.

You can try out all these new features by branching the latest trunk

bzr branch lp:do

cd do

./autogen.sh && make && sudo make install

Oh, one last thing I forgot to mention. I get frequently asked how someone can change the icon of their favorite application on Docky. The easiest way to do this is:

  1. Remove the item from your dock if its already on there
  2. Drag item out of gnome menus onto your desktop (so there is a shortcut there)
  3. Right click shortcut, select properties
  4. Click on the icon (on the left) and select a new icon for the launcher
  5. Close the preferences window (if you have bzr version, skip to 7)
  6. Copy launcher into some nice hidden folder where you can leave it and not delete it (bzr version will make a copy on its own)
  7. Drag the launcher onto the dock
  8. Delete the launcher on your desktop
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