Impressed with some of the spices
by clem 15

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I had a look at the new Cinnamon spices today and I have to say I’m impressed!

Some of the new themes were very nice and I took the opportunity to review them and apply a few “Cinnamon 1.8″ certifications.

Many applets and desklets moved to the Settings API and took advantage of our new features. Communication is something we can definitely do better… so I was really happy to see developers use what was made available for them.

When Cinnamon 1.8 was released, “Weather” by mockturl, which is the most popular applet by a long shot wasn’t easy to install and people were struggling to configure it. Its installation is now handled directly by cinnamon-settings and so is its configuration. Mockturl met the team a few times, migrated his code to the new API and Weather now has everything it needs prepared by Cinnamon, its configuration screen auto-generated and all :)

Desklets were new in Cinnamon 1.8 and the team only produced a few.  There’s 12 of them now and some of them are pretty cool (I was impressed with AccuWeather and Soundbox personally).

I had a talk with a KDE developer the other day and he was explaining to me how a Plasma widget could be a panel applet, a desklet or even a data provider… we might learn from KDE on this. At the moment, it’s quite easy to write desklets since they’re very similar to applets, but if you wanted a desklet to do the exact same thing as an applet you wrote.. you’d have to duplicate the code, whereas in KDE, you could develop one Plasma widget and give it the ability to show itself as an applet.. and as a desklet. Food for thoughts :)

I won’t talk about the Cinnamon applets… many of them are great. What’s important here is that a few times, I stopped and thought “this is better than what we do”, or “this shouldn’t be something people install, it should be what they have by default”. In some cases it was a particular feature or a layout or an idea… in other cases the entire applet deserved to be added to Cinnamon, or to replace the one that came with Cinnamon by default.

So anyway, I thought I’d share my thoughts today. I had a look at what was new… I saw a lot of cool stuff, but most of all I enjoyed the fact that what we worked on helped a lot of developers make better spices, and that some of them are definitely going to help us make a better Cinnamon.

Congratulations to all the developers and theme artists out there. I hope you’re having fun, don’t hesitate to come and join us on the IRC whenever you feel like it.

Note: Cobinja’s pull on the spices website was also merged today…. which means all comments now have dates/timestamps. I also changed the layout so that the most recent comments now show on top.

15 thoughts on “Impressed with some of the spices

  1. Reply Mintulix Aug 18,2013 22:25

    Hi Clem, nice changes on the spices website.
    Perhaps you could also improve the spices updates in Cinnamon itself. I think it has to be a bit more centralized. If I check for changes or new applets, I have to go to themes, get more online (or what’s it called in English), actualize, sort by date, after updating and perhaps configuring: all settings, applets, get more online and so on – 4 times for all spices. It happend a few times now, that I completely resettet my applet configuration because of forgetting to click the second tab (“get more online”) before hitting the button at the right bottom (or there should be the security question “will you really reset?” at least).
    Unfortunately I have no idea how to manage the updates better than to put them altogether on an extra tab – that would be confusing. Any thoughts?

  2. Reply johnno Aug 18,2013 22:38

    The Cinnamon weather app is indeed basically a nice add-on. If only the location code base wasn’t so terribly outdated. I can very easily find the code for my city (population 200.000) on weather.com but since it is not included in the code base, I cannot set the app to our local weather. I am thus forced to set it to a (much smaller) place quite some distance away from here. This makes the app a whole lot less appealing.

  3. Reply Anand Aug 19,2013 09:15

    Yes, some of the applets and desklets are beautiful. I think, probably number of downloads needs to be tracked as well along with score and last update date. Plus control center should be able to rate, add comments, etc like Software Manager integration with Mint community site.
    Two reasons I use KDE as primary desktop – 1) Multitude of widgets (Comics – Calvin Hobbes , RSS Feeds, Magic folder, Bumblebee indicator, etc) 2)Nepomuk desktop search to locate my files.

    I run Cinnamon as secondary desktop and quite like except that it becomes unresponsive after hibernate. Now am digressing…

    BTW, I had started a thread for Desklet ideas to collect thoughts from the community.
    http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=152&t=138104

  4. Reply zagortenay333 Aug 19,2013 10:40

    A meme desklet would be amazing.A desklet just like xkcd that allows to see the featured memes from memecenter or similar!!

    • Reply clem Aug 19,2013 17:00

      Well why not.. we’d add a scrollbar.. do you have an URL providing random/latest embedded “memes” then? :)

  5. Reply Mani Aug 19,2013 18:39

    I would really like to see the fusion of applets and desklets to something similar to plasmoids. It is a great feature and would make cinnamon even more awsome

  6. Reply palimmo Aug 19,2013 20:19

    Cinnamon is excellent! well done!

    I just hope that LMDE will receive soon the same attention ;)

    thanks a lot guy!

  7. Reply zagortenay333 Aug 20,2013 11:27

    Is it possible to add a dashboard type of behaviour to cinnamon to display all desklets?You could also add a hot corner for it.

  8. Reply Guillermo P Aug 20,2013 21:51

    Oh, excellent! I hope Cinnamon 2 has a broad selection of HQ spices. And btw, that increase the buzz about Cinnamon big time. I’m so anxious!

  9. Reply jonbrett Aug 27,2013 08:09

    The tweaks to the spices website are definitely an improvement.

    One thing I’ve noticed since Cinnamon 1.8 when spices became installable directly from the desktop (which is great btw) is that the spices site seems less active in terms of comments and ratings. As an applet maker feedback is really important to know what to work on next, and also for motivation. It would be awesome if users could rate and/or send comments directly from the desktop applet installer… is that a possibility?

    • Reply clem Aug 27,2013 14:11

      Hi Jon,

      It’s possible. It was done for mintinstall for instance, but it requires some work and we’ve a big roadmap already so I can’t guarantee it will be done promptly.

      • Reply jonbrett Aug 27,2013 19:13

        Hi Clem,

        Thanks for the reply. I am happy to contribute (code, test, general legwork) to this… is there somewhere where I should formally enter this (e.g. issue on Cinnamon GitHub or Linux Mint blueprints on Launchpad?).

        Thanks,
        Jon

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