It’s been quite a while since my last update. I have not been all lazy, though. A while back I mentioned a Windows Eventlog Viewer, well, the problem is Xdialog. Xdialog has not been the best solution for several tools, due to it’s simplistic nature requiring multiple dialogs for pretty much everything. For the Eventlog Viewer it does not work at all. It’s impossible to create a GUI with Xdialog that is not a major pain in the ass.
I looked around for alternatives that would allow me to create a sophisticated GUI-Tool without a steep learning curve. I looked at c/c++ with different GUI Libraries like Edje or GTK but neither of them fullfilled my needs. I wasn’t too happy with c/c++ either, since it’s been ages since I last coded something in one of those languages. Java might have been an option, but, in my opinion, it is too big to ship on a lightweight disk.
Long story short: I ended up with Python and Qt. The Qt GUI builder allows to create a nice form in a few minutes and Python is not hard to learn. Python also offers a few features that may prove useful. The problem there is that I never worked with either before, therefore I’m not actually working on the Eventlog Viewer right now, but I’m porting simpler tools to python.
Again, there is something to show. I already ported netsetup (a fews things are still missing), it now uses a single window which makes correcting errors a lot easier.
So, Here’s another before—after comparison (click to enlarge):
I finally got around to do some work on GuARD, but I didn’t feel like debugging or writing documentation. For quite some time e16 annoyed me because it lacks configurability and several key features. Because of this I used wbar, since e16 didn’t bring its own app launcher. This is just one of the more obvious downsides.
I finally decided to upgrade to e17, which I use at my desktop for several years now. At first I was unsure if e17 would meet GuARD’s need for lightweight applications. It turns out that the memory usage is only a few MB higher than with e16, that was a nice surprise. As I am running GuARD mostly in a virtual machine, I could tweak the processing power as well. I gave it only one of my four cores and set the maximum usage to 50%. My host system is set up to run at 1200MHz unless the usage of the specific core rises above 60%. Since this will never be the case I gave GuARD effectively a 600MHz cpu. It still ran smoothly.
This encouraged me to remove wbar and use e17’s internal modules to get the job done. Namely using engage, which features a taskbar as well, a thing that was missing so far. Unfortunately I still didn’t find a way to display mounted filesystems in a more userfriendly way (allowing unmounting/ejecting). Still it is much easier and cleaner to configure things now, plus it looks better
Here are two before—after screenshots (click to enlarge):
As I mentioned in my last post, I was playing with aufs3, which basically allows to eject the CD even when it is currently in use. This works fine in low memory mode and – due to other properties of aufs – actually uses less memory. This is actually quite nice.
The downside is that after ejecting the CD, no data can be read from it anymore, obviously. This makes ejecting the CD in low memory mode generally a bad idea, unless you don’t need it anymore, for example right before the computer is switched off. The trouble was, that regular – where you can eject th disk without negative side effects – did not work anymore. Luckily I found a fix.
Apart from that, progress was slow, since I took a week off, I still fixed a few minor bugs.