Archive for December, 2011

Hack GNOME3 like your browser

My first reaction to the new GNOME 3.2 was that I hate it! Resistance to anything new lives strong in me, apparently. Then the realization kicked in: I can make it work exactly like I want. Modifying the JavaScript-powered GNOME Shell is as easy as hacking a web page.

And here came the extensions, and then the modified versions of existing extensions!

All of a sudden, after an hour of first whining and then hacking, GNOME 3.2 feels like home and I’m actually liking this ease of modifying my desktop to my preferences. This desktop is mine and I could have pink flying ponies in it if I wanted to. Brilliant!

To get all things going you just need a few easy steps.

  1. Load and install an extension from https://extensions.gnome.org
  2. Fork the extension project that you want to modify from git or wherever
  3. Make it your own
  4. Save your progress
  5. Run $ cp -r file_where_your_extension_is ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ on terminal
  6. Reload your desktop with Alt-F2 and to the prompt r. If Alt-F2 doesn’t launch the prompt, fix it with this.
  7. After few iterations enjoy your own modifications to your desktop!

The looking glass debugger is a useful additional tool that can also be launched from command prompt. So, Alt-F2 yet again and then just type lg.

And there you have your tools to hack your browser-like desktop an inspector and a reloader. Happy hacking, everyone!


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GNOME and JavaScript

The plans for the JavaScripter’s guide to GNOME 3.  (or the cookbook as I call my project now) are advancing.  The initial roadmap was layed this morning with Cosimo Cecci. Looks like I shall first dive into GNOME, explore the platform, read a lot of code and try to identify some patterns which are more common or important than others. Based on my views I will make a draft of what should be included in the cookbook.

On Tuesday I participated in Helsinki’s first JSmeetup. The thing that suprised me a lot was the fact that nearly no one knew of the possibility to write programs for GNOME with JavaScript. I promised to give a small presentation about the subject in February when my cookbook is looking a bit better.  Making all the different possibilities known to developers out there is an important task we have to deal with.

First week on work is finally happening and I’m happy to work with this project. Taking a plunge to GNOME with a wide smile on my face!

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