There are a few features of the new settings API I’d like to touch on, that may be less than obvious, but which might help you in this transition period…
Every applet (and desklet and extension) has a metadata.json file – this, at minimum, has the uuid, the name, and a brief description of your applet. You’re a busy guy or gal – you haven’t had time or the energy to stop what you’re doing and begin upgrading your applet to use this new API. You can, however, begin to ease your way into it.
"description": "This does something",
If you’ve already got a program you wrote for configuring your applet, you can define it using the external-configuration-app key in your metadata file. Doing this will add a ‘Configure’ button to the applet manager in Cinnamon Settings, and allow the user to launch the configuration directly from that panel, the same way he could if you were using the API. Just be sure to make this program executable before zipping it up, and be sure it’s in the applet’s directory.
Command line launching
No matter how your applet settings are implemented, be it natively or as described above, you can directly open either the settings page or your settings program from the command line, which can be handy to use directly from your applet:
cinnamon-settings applets firstname.lastname@example.org
This will launch Cinnamon Settings, open the applets panel, and then go directly into the settings for your applet (or launch your external program).
Small things like this will help to ease the into the new features of Cinnamon 1.8. Once you’ve fully adapted your applet, it can be a seamless transition from an external setup program to native configuration.