The Mac OS „dock“ was somehow strange, but still convenient for many purposes. The kind KDE handles its windows is not application-based, and somehow, at the moment, I dont like the fact that … there does not exist a similar dock and a similar possibility to have Main-Menus of Applications on the top of the screen.

WindowMaker is somehow a good Window Manager. But only somehow. The Docks somehow dont really work, and the Menus are really a Pain. Somehow always something is in your way. And as far as I know it is not maintained anymore.

GNOME and KDE do have Docks and both have either possibilities or projects claiming to provite the possibility to have common Main-Menus on top of the screen. Still, these Possibilities are mostly hacks, and even though, do not work very often.

I wonder why simply LD_PRELOADing GTK’s and QT’s menu-instructions isnt convenient in most cases. Mapping Menus to Windows shouldnt be too hard, you can specify the titles of the window, etc.

Anyway. So I decided to try to compile and install Étoilé. Its a pretty young project (but already has a Wikipedia-Entry in the German (!!) Wikipedia). And well, the „stable release“ doesnt really come with much new stuff. Actually just a few apps and the „EtoileMenuServer“. Using the „trunk“-version from  SVN, I could compile the most Applications under Debian Sid. Starting was a bit hard. I had to create an entry inside /usr/share/xsessions myself. Still then, I had to start the Dock and Stuff myself. But now, I am currently writing this in Etoile:

etoileI was told in the developer’s chat that the current window-manager and dock-app should be replaced by a new window-manager called „project-manager“. This one doesnt work yet (I tried it on a Xephyr-Session … it draws windows but nothing more – which makes it even more interesting to look at the code to me). But it should replace the old one.

Well, I am interested in it, and will stay subscribed to their news. But I dont think that I will use etoile as default Desktop-Manager. Bug-Testing is not needed yet because the current Dock and Window-Manager will be removed, and so far it is not yet ready-to-work. But I look forward to their development.


6 Responses to Étoilé

  1. Ben sagt:

    I’m really looking forewad to Étoilé! It sounds very promising. In fact, I hope it can be used to replace Gnome when it reaches version 1.0.

    If you need a mac-style menu bar, see my blog entry (german): http://mampfit.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/gnome-globalmenu-075-erschienen/ and a link page at http://mampfit.wordpress.com/gnome-globalmenu/ .

  2. dasuxullebt sagt:

    Looks interesting, but unfortunately, appears not to work with QT-Applications and Firefox.

  3. Ben sagt:

    It will work with Qt from version 0.7.8 onwards (current version: 0.7.5). Support for Java (Swing, etc.) is also planned.

    NO Menubar ever will work with Firefox, because they use XUL. Take a look at your screenshot – it won’t with etoile either.

    Also, KDEs Menubar won’t and will probably never work with Gnome-, Java- and XULapps. Gnome Globalmenu is the best thing there is. If you find any alternative, please tell me. But hey, it’s only firefox, and I can live with that. :-)


  4. dasuxullebt sagt:

    Hm. The strange thing about that is, that it works unter Mac OS X. So it should be portable to Linux. But well, thats something the Firefox-Developers should do.

  5. It depends on what exactly Firefox does on Mac OS X. If it uses Cocoa to create the menu bar, one might be able to port that part of the programme over to GNUstep/Étoilé relatively painlessly. If it uses Carbon instead, one would need to replace those pieces of code. Apparently, though, a framework supporting different menu bar implementations is there, so it might not be that much work in either case after all.

  6. dasuxullebt sagt:

    Well, as far as I know the debian-maintainers they will find some reason why they dont want to modify it that way. The Firefox-Programmers themselves will have other things to do. So … well … this wont happen.

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