Just a quick update to let you in on a few early changes to Cinnamon for version 2.6 – one of them fairly significant:
You can now add panels to every monitor, and configure them each individually. Many thanks to dalcde for all the effort and time he put into this – it adds an entirely new dimension to the desktop. After upgrading, your panels should be essentially as they were before, but if you check the panel menu, you’ll notice an extra entry, Modify Panel:
You can quickly perform a number of actions from this menu – adding a new panel, moving or deleting. If you click Add Panel, you’ll get on-screen guidance to allow you to choose where to place the new panel:
The same goes for Move Panel. If you change your mind, you can simply cancel the operation. Note: There are some visual elements that are supplied by the theme to assist in placing panels. For now, these are only available in the default Cinnamon theme. We’re hoping to have them available regardless of the theme, but for now, if it seems like nothing is happening, make sure you’re on the default theme and try again.
The panel settings page has also been reworked a bit to support this new functionality:
From here you can cycle through all the panels on your desktop (the current one will be highlighted, so you can be sure which one you’re configuring), and individually set auto-hide and height options.
A number of applets have already been updated to allow their being added to multiple panels. One notable exception is the default window list – it currently still displays all windows on all monitors. We will be updating this soon to allow multiple instances, and have it behave appropriately, depending on how it’s used (for example, only showing windows in its own monitor if you have them on a panel on each monitor,) and to ensure that everything works properly when a window is dragged between monitors – update – 2/23/2015 – The window list applet now fully supports multiple monitors and panels as of this commit.
A few minor notes:
- Applet developers, or anyone interested, you can browse the commits here.
- I encourage applet developers to evaluate their code, and set a max-instances in their metadata.json file if they are confident their applet is multiple-instance-safe. We’ve also added an ‘infinite’ option for that key – instead of setting a randomly high number, just set max-instances to ‘infinite’ and there will be no limit on the number of instances allowed.
- There is a new option in Panel settings that removes the artificial barrier normally created at either end of a panel – it allows you to mouse up against an end without ‘falling off’ into the next monitor. With the ability to have two adjacent panels now, it might be desirable to be able to easily move from one panel to the next without having to detour. One warning: If you have monitors of different height resolutions, you will still end up with a barrier of sorts on the bottom edge of the larger monitor. Monitors are normally mapped out with their upper edges aligned – so the height disparity creates a ledge. We don’t have plans to address this for now, but will consider it depending on the feedback we receive.
- You have the ability to copy a panel’s applets from one panel to another. However, the applet’s own configuration will not be copied in this process – you will have to configure this new instance. A workaround is to go into the configuration for the existing instance, and in the menu you can export your settings, then import them into the new instance.
You will now have the ability to add search providers to Cinnamon:
There are a few initial offerings here that are packaged in Cinnamon, as well as a sample applet (shown in the picture) to demonstrate some of what it can do. This has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for applet developers – it currently can only be configured with a bit of work, as we’re still deciding on how best to implement this for developers, as well as users. Feel free to give us a shout on #linuxmint-dev if you want to discuss it, or need some help trying it out.
Improved support for client-side-decorated windows
In preparing for the new LMDE release, we’ve finally updated our support for the newer GTK3 client-side-decorated windows. Tiling and dragging now works as it should, and the traditional right-click window menu once more appears if you click on the header bar. Note, this last fix will only be effective in GTK 3.12 and newer, as GTK itself doesn’t do a very good job yet in 3.10 (what we currently use in Mint 17.)
Improved the overlay when using media keys
We’ve ported the popup that appears when you change volume, brightness and other things to be rendered entirely in Cinnamon. This will allow Cinnamon theme developers to fashion these popups more in line with their theme. You can also now configure the size of this popup, or disable it entirely, if you like living dangerously.
Improved tiling overlays and previews
As we did with the media key popups, the tiling popups are now rendered in Cinnamon – again making them easier to theme, as well as making them function much more smoothly, particularly on performance-challenged systems.
There have been lots of other minor improvements, as well as a number of important bug fixes, many of which have already been backported to Cinnamon 2.4. As always, there may be bugs and unforeseen issues with all of these changes – and we appreciate those intrepid explorers who enjoy living on the edge with us running the latest builds! Please report any issues or ideas you might have on Github.