New development home

For a long time I’ve been using Sourceforge for hosting the Radio Tray project. I’ve always wanted to have a project on sourceforge, so it was an obvious choice. Despite some hiccups, they offered great support and I’m very thankful for it. But, unfortunately they’re closing down their Hosted Apps. Those are third-party apps integrated into their overall service. An example would be Trac, which I use as the Radio Tray issue tracker. So, What now ? I could have migrated all issues back to sourceforge internal tracker, but I never liked it. In fact, I moved away from that into Trac in the first place.

So, I decided to move it outside sourceforge, into bitbucket. With that, I’m moving also the mercurial repository and the wiki, which I haven’t used in Trac, but I’m planning on using it more now. So, basically, this means moving the development into bitbucket.

But the project will still exist in sourceforge, which will remain as the main home for the project, holding project info, the binaries and the homepage. I think this division will work out nicely.

So, this leads me to what I’ve been busy with in the last couple of days….moving all the info from the old issue tracker to the new one. There’s no tool in bitbucket to import issues from Trac. Fortunately, they have a public API, so I could hack a script to move all the issues. It didn’t work 100% perfect, but it will have to do. Some information couldn’t be copied: the creation date and the author. So, every issue has now my username as the author and of course all notifications were lost.

I still haven’t closed the old issue tracker and repo…still finishing the last details :)

Let me know if experience any problems or have any other suggestions.

Cheers

New blog and new version

Hi everybody and welcome to the new Radio Tray blog. Well, it’s basically the same blog, just in a different location. The old location platform was no longer supported and it was probably a matter of days until I could no longer access it. So I moved the entire thing over to WordPress.com, which has a number of advantages: the software running the blog is obviously up-to-date and it gives me finally better control over comments to prevent spam. The blog was getting so flooded with spam I couldn’t even read the real comments! So, hopefully, now I can be of more help to anyone who comments on this blog.
And, after a long hiatus, there’s a new version of Radio Tray: 0.7.3. It’s another bugfix release although with some minor new features.Finally, some of the most annoying bugs (at least for me) were fixed. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Previous versions couldn’t reconnect in case of network failure. This was basically a stupid bug related to how RT was dealing with gstreamer states. Although that fixes small network problems, it can’t help in cases where the network failure exceeds timeout. For that, I also added a “retry” operation that prolongs this time. After that, it justs stops. I could keep on retrying, but I’m not sure if that’s the best way. Anyway, if you still have problems, please file a bug so we can review this.
  • Fixed some issues that prevented it from running well on some distros. Some related with crashes and others related to the icon not appearing correctly.
  • As for new features, we have a new plugin: MateMediaKeysPlugin. Thanks to Ken for writing this plugin. This creates the bindings for multimedia keys (in supported keyboards) under Mate desktop. It’s similar to what we had with Gnome. Which reminds me that the Gnome Media Keys plugin doesn’t support Gnome3. As Gnome2 is fading out, this plugin will probably become deprecated. I hope we can have a new one that works under Gnome3 soon. Of course, that means Radio Tray needs to work better on Gnome Shell, which it doesn’t right now, at least without modifications to the desktop.
  • And finally, I also added partial support for album cover. This looks pretty nice, but it works only with a few radio stations. Some stations publish the album cover in the stream, others publish just their logo and most don’t publish anything. Radio Tray displays any image that it receives in the stream, no matter if it’s an album cover or the radio’s logo. Both look nicer than just displaying RT’s stock icon.

That’s all for the highlights of this version. You can examine the complete changelog in Radio Tray’s homepage.

Happy listening

New maintenance release

I just released 0.7.2, which is just a quick maintenance release with one bugix, but with lots of updated translations. Thanks again all the translators for all the effort.

As for future plans, the effort is now into creating some new plugins and fixing the most important issues in the bugtracker. The roadmap is not completely established, but I would say that there will probably be another maintenance release with more bugfixes, before any major release. Also, I’m planning on creating some developer documentation to help new people craft cool plugins more easily :)

As a side note, I’m having some troubles keeping up the comments in this blog. As you can see, it’s becoming filled with spam comments. And although the spam filter eliminates many of them, lots of them still slip through. This makes reading the comments really hard because most of them are just fake. Real comments get caught in the middle and probably end up unanswered. I’m sorry for all of you that eventually commented and didn’t receive an answer.

Happy listening

Bugfix release 0.7.1

Hi everybody. Despite all my efforts yesterday, the released package had a missing file, which prevented the plugins configuration dialog to appear.I just released version 0.7.1 to fix this. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but this bug just slipped through. So, please upgrade to the new version. On the bright side, this allowed more translations to be added :)

Cheers

Ho Ho Ho! A new version is here

Finally, 0.7 is out, just in time for Christmas :)

There’s a lot of improvements, although most of the work was done on redesigning part of the code to create a plugin system. But before going into details about this new version, just a quick note about versions. This version is mostly a beta, because of all the changes that were made. Version 0.7.1 should come next with bug fixes and eventually updated translations. New features should only appear on 0.8, the next major release. I think this makes versioning much clearer. So now, to the changes on this version…

 Plugins

This is the most significant change in this release. I hope this will bring a lot of new functionalities to Radio Tray, without filling up too much the main application. Plugins can be enabled or disabled by a configuration dialog under the "plugins" sub-menu. For now, there’s only a few of them and most of those you already know. The code for sleep timer, notifications and media keys shortcuts was moved to plugins. I think it’s more logical this way. So, if you want to disable notifications, just disable the plugin for it. Also, this means that in the future another plugin for notifications can be made, that displays data differently, for example. The only plugin that is truly new is the history plugin. When enabled, you can find another entry in the plugins menu, called "history". By clicking it, a small dialog shows all the songs that were played on Radio Tray since start.

Bookmarks Configuration

The bookmarks configuration has gained a few enhancements. There’s no more "up" and "down" buttons to move things around. You can just drag and drop radio stations and groups freely. And on double-click it opens the edit dialog. I think this makes user interaction a lot easier than before.

 Default Radio List

I understand most people would want a better default list for radio stations. Unfortunately, some of them change URLs quite frequently so it’s hard to keep those bookmarks updated. Nevertheless, this version comes with a slightly bigger list. However, if you are upgrading Radio Tray, you won’t see it, because your current list is kept, instead of overwritten by the defaults. If you really want the default list, then you’d have to delete your bookmarks file. Or just take a look at the default file that should be installed at " /usr/share/radiotray/bookmarks.xml".

Other modifications

If you start Radio Tray from the command line you’ll notice that it’s not as verbose as before. That’s because, there’s now proper logging  being made. All logs go to "~/.local/share/radiotray/radiotray.log". So, if you find a bug or something that you think is not working well, that’s the file you should look into, or attach in a bug report.

And of course, we have updated translations, thanks to all the people that took the time to translate Radio Tray.

 Happy listening!

Radio Tray in the News

It’s always great to see recognition of our work. I’ve always received very good feedback from our users, which is great and has kept me motivated to keep improving Radio Tray. One other thing that is great is to discover an article talking about your work. Recently, Radio Tray was featured in Linux Magazine, with a two-page article. Amazing :) I know that Radio Tray was already featured in several blogs and websites related to Linux and Open Source, which is awesome. Nevertheless, it feels different when you see the work you’ve made printed on a magazine :) Also, for those of you that might know Portuguese, you can also listen to a recent interview on Castalio Podcast, where I talked about Radio Tray (among many other things). For those of you that don’t know, Castalio Podcast is a great podcast, run by Og Maciel in which he interviews people that in one way or the other has made contributions to the open source world.

As for the 0.7 development, we already have a running plugin system, with just a few things missing :)

Cheers, Carlos

Released 0.6.4 version of Radio Tray

I just released version 0.6.4 of Radio Tray. As I said earlier, this is a bugfix release. There’s still a lot of issues in the bug tracker, but we can’t postpone a release forever :)

The only new feature in this release is a configuration dialog that opens the first time Radio Tray is started. It allows the user to choose between the two available versions: system tray and app indicator (Ubuntu). That option is saved in the usual config.xml file, that is situated in the user’s home (~/.local/share/radiotray) and that dialog never shows up again. Well, unless radio tray is started with the parameter "–config". This parameter is useful in case someone chooses a version that is not available on the system. It can then start radio tray again and choose the other option.

The reason for this is because, although exciting, the linux desktop is a little chaotic right now. I cannot distribute Radio Tray with the system tray version by default, because it won’t work out-of-the-box in recent Ubuntu releases. But I also can’t release it as app indicator by default, because it wouldn’t make sense for all other distributions that don’t use app indicator (and also for older releases of Ubuntu). This dialog is a compromise, that hopefully will help first time users.

 

Nevertheless, I know this doesn’t make sense for distributions that definitely don’t have app indicator support. But don’t worry, there’s a now a default configuration file (/usr/share/radiotray/config.xml), that is later copied to the users config directory, with a property that allows three choices: systray, appindicator and chooser. I ask all packagers to please take this into consideration and alter the value accordingly. For example, for a distribution that doesn’t have appindicator, it doesn’t make sense to show the dialog, so the default option should be systray. In Ubuntu, however, the default choice should probably be appindicator. For all the rest, that might have both options, use chooser.

I think this covers all situations…except maybe Gnome 3, but I still want to take a look at that and hopefully create a gui version for Gnome 3 in future releases.

About the future, I’m not sure if there will be a 0.6.5 (bugfix release) or instead the long awaited 0.7.

Cheers

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.