What's happening in Polly Land?

Written for Polly by Conscious User on 2012-10-24

As some of you might have already noticed, Polly 0.93.5 (pre-alpha 3.5) has been released yesterday. This release has a fix for the issue that makes streams stop being updated. It's an experimental fix, so I await for the (hopefully good) feedback.

Note for Ubuntu 12.10 users: the library needed to use the Messaging Menu has changed in 12.10, and the new version is not compatible with Polly's current code. I apologize, but until the next major version you'll have to start Polly with the --statusicon parameter to use the tray icon instead.

Given the very small nature of such update, and the very long time between this release and the last one, I feel I should tell the users and supporters what's currently happening in Polly Development Land.

The bad news is that I still can't give a proper ETA for the next significant (read: not just a bugfix) release.

The good news is that, despite the appearance of abandonment, I have never really stopped coding. I took a short vacation a little bit after defending my PhD, but it was just a couple of weeks.

So why the lack of updates? Because the current development cannot be done gradually, as it involves a port to different libraries, so it's being done at a currently unusable separate branch.

And why am I taking so long? Because of three reasons: first, I have a new job as a college teacher now and I'm prioritizing it. Second, my personal life is slightly messy right now, I won't go into details. And third, the changes in the upcoming release are huge and involve a lot of things. Mainly, it will be simultaneously a port to Python 3 and GTK+3. I'm also replacing a lot of deprecated and abandoned dependencies in favor of standard Python modules.

A lot of code is already done and I'd like to believe that I'm close to finishing the most complicated parts, though I can't be sure. Here are some things already guaranteed: (apologies for not separating geek and non-geek stuff, I'm not good at writing announcements)

- Improved keyring support, based on the Secret Service freedesktop standard. Hopefully, all major desktop environments will follow this standard in the future. For the moment, I also implemented a fallback KWallet support for KDE users.

- Support for Unity launcher features like badges and quicklists.

- Much improved proxy support, including HTTP authentication.

- Port from GConf to GSettings.

- Auto-detection of environment to automagically decide whether to use the Messaging Menu, and App Indicator, a tray icon or simply notifications with actions. The user will also be able to force one of those if he prefers.

- The vast majority of dependencies are now based on the new GObject-introspection technology. This means that, for most dependencies, waiting for a Python binding to be available is no longer an issue.

- Update to the Twitter 1.1 API.

- Ability to customize the tweet font.

- Background color for mentions and unread items.

- Ability to use a custom account for bit.ly and goo.gl.

- Much improved account assistant: typing a PIN is no longer needed.

- Improved accessibility.

- I'm now trying to follow the GNOME HIGs as much as possible.

- More fine-tuned customization of notifications.

- Improved error bars, now animated and one-per-column.

Much more is to come! I really want to finish this and I ask for a little patience. Thanks for all the support so far!

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