A few months ago we opened a poll asking you how you would like to get the newest news from the project. This post is the first of hopefully many to come. It’s going to be a quite big one, as it covers the last three months instead of just one month. If there won’t be enough content (aka no content) there will be no community update post.
This first edition is based on the last three developer meetings, so it’s a bit longer. Oh and yeah, we have monthly developer meetings on IRC now.
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Remember that these are all things we are currently working on. Some of features mentioned bellow can already be tested in our nightly builds.
Command Line Playback Control
Remember the command line support extension for Nightingale (and Songbird)? Good news, that’s in Nightingale by default now! You can get an exact command set by typing
Based on an old MPRIS extension for Songbird from loganfsmyth, freaktechnik added support for MPRIS 2. This allows Linux users to get information about Nightingale and control Nightingale via DBus. More information on the MPRIS implementation can be found in this wiki article. On the topic of wiki: we’ve found a way to fend of spam bots and as a result you get edit rights by default again!
Mac & Linux Dock Shortcuts
We accidentally removed the Mac OS X dock playback controls in 1.12 when we upgraded XULRunner. Johnmurrayvi re-added dock support and added a mute/unmute item. Our default .desktop file for Linux now also contains the same actions as the Mac OS X dock, thanks to the CLI API.
Previously, a couple of issues with the old Apple Media Keys extension had been reported. Notably, there was a problem requiring the media key to be pressed twice in order for it to register. We’re happy to say that the “apple-mediakeys” and “apple-remote” extensions, originally written by whitedragon (Nick Kreeger) for Songbird, have been added into our repository and the reported issues have been resolved.
Just recently freaktechnik landed the infrastructure and the UI for equalizer presets. Not only does Nightingale have a set of default presets, it also lets you save your own presets. But that’s just the beginning. It comes with a powerful API for add-on developers to create own preset sets, preset importers or any other equalizer preset related extension you can think of!
We’ve noticed a lot of issues popping up recently involving song metadata being read or written incorrectly. In our recent developer meeting during June, we discussed this problem and possible solutions. Since the meeting, new testing builds with a patched TagLib have been posted, as well as dependencies, to the patched-taglib-1.7.2-testing folder on our Sourceforge page. If you have experienced any problems you think may be related, give these builds a try. Please post any problems or comments (positive or negative!) about the builds in our forum, as we need feedback on the issue.
A Teaser for the Future
One of the biggest tasks Nightingale has set out to accomplish is updating the code so that it can utilize newer versions of the core XULRunner platform. Until now, Nightingale has relied on the 1.9 version, and updating any XULRunner application from 1.9 to 2.0 is significant step, requiring many changes, in and of itself. After an extensive amount of work, not only working on the Nightingale code, but also creating updated dependency packages, there are many signs of life from new builds based on XULRunner 9.0.1. The effort over the last year can be seen in the master-xul-9.0.1 branch of the repository, as well as the xul-9.0.1 branch of the dependencies repository. With all of these changes, the updated Nightingale builds on Linux, Mac, and Windows, and the core features are functional. The next task is changing the user interface code to provide the intended experience. For example, as seen below, the media library page has yet to be updated, and is currently inoperable. Still, even without the library page, the builds can play music!
In addition to using a newer version of XULRunner, the other dependencies are using their current stable versions as well. This includes Flac, libogg, libvorbis, libtheora, TagLib, and, most notably, GStreamer and the GStreamer plugins. The code for Nightingale’s mediacore has been updated to utilize the new GStreamer as part of the newer XULRunner builds.
We’ve finally been able to get documentation out of our code again, thanks to thebecwar. You can admire the doxygen based documentation on http://developer.getnightingale.com or build it yourself from our source, exact instructions can be found on the wiki. We’ve also started importing articles from the songbird wiki, so if you’re creating an extension, take a look at the recipebook.
An additional set of documentation has been add to the wiki as well, although it is still a work in progress. While the page on building Nightingale from source has existed for sometime, there has not been any information on building the dependency packages. This page has been created to help document the process, which can prove to be somewhat complex. The first section is intended for building the updated dependencies used in the master-xul-9.0.1 branch, while the latter section is for the current sb-trunk-oldxul branch. The dependencies currently used have proven to be a challenge, as they’re fairly dated, but they’re building on all platforms now, so the latter section will be updated with Linux and Mac instructions in addition to a finalized Windows page.
Finally, another key page has been created, involving in-line tasks from comments, such as “FIXME”, “TODO”, and “XXX”. This page lists the current task markers in the Nightingale code as of 2014/05/14.
While at RMLL freaktechnik and GeekShadow opened translations for the current firstrun, launch and dashboard pages plus the upcoming new main website. When writing this post there already is a French, Portuguese (Brasil), Spanish (Mexico) and a German translation. Those are nearly complete, however with each new Nightingale release we will add new strings for the changelogs, so you’ll never run out of strings to translate. To start translating, head over to the localization page on Babelzilla.
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