Leaftag is cool

I recently compiled leaftag and have been toying around with it. It’s actually really cool, despite all the disgusting marketing terms you can attach to it (Semantic Desktop, Desktop 2.0, Social Desktop, Moronic Desktop, etc). Leaftag allows you to attach tags to files on your file system. These tags could be things like “Important”, “Todo”, “Nude babe”, “Divorce letter” or whatever you like.

There are loads of ideas about integrating leaftag desktop applications like Nautilus, which is probably a good idea. But I’m personally happy with the “tagutils” command which does pretty much what I need it to.  You can tag files with tagutils tag, find files that have a tag attached to them with tagutils ls and so on.

In a way leaftag works like locate. Both build up indexed databases of files in order to speed up searching. The difference is that locate searches by file name, tagutils by tag. If you tag your files well, finding them based on “concepts” should be simple.

Leaftag uses an sqlite database for its index. I’m not sure how well that scales, but I guess time will tell. I’ve heard some rumors about leaftag possibly using tracker as a back-end. It cannot yet cope with moving files, but you could always overcome that by creating a zsh function that calls mv as well as updates the index for the file. Oh, by the way, when I say file, think URI.

All in all, leaftag is cool. I like it because I can see this being useful, as opposed to so many of the other “technologies” that the marketing droids are vomiting at us these days. It would be cool if one day Gnome decides to integrate it, but I think that is highly unlikely. The Holy Prophets of the Temple of Gnome in Their Infinite Wisdom will probably come to the conclusion that Gnome users are too stupid to tag files. *sigh*

Published in: on 2006.11.08 at 11:12  Leave a Comment  

Shitting in my home directory

One thing I really don’t like about Gnome and KDE (but trust me, Gnome is more offensive than KDE) is that they like dropping turds into my home directory. I have set up my directory structure to my liking. All, and I mean all directories are lowercase only (this obviously includes getting mutt to stop assuming I want a Mail directory).

So why the hell do both desktop environments insist on farting out a ~/Desktop right into my center of harmony? Freedesktop spec, you say? To hell with them and their ideas. This should be configurable. I, for instance, would have liked to call the directory ~/.desktop, since I have absolutely no use for it anyways. I *never* do a cd Desktop, so why should it be there polluting my home directory?

With KDE, the story pretty much ends there. Enter the tyrant of all desktop environments, Gnome. Gnome’s ability to do evil and mess up people’s hard work is unrivalled. All of a sudden I have a Templates directory. What for? For templates, obviously. Well, I’ve got news for you: vim already does templates for me. I don’t need it from Gnome as well. And plus, if you insist, please hide it away as ~/templates?

It doesn’t end there. Various media players assume that my music is stored in a directory called Music, MyMusic or some other stupid name that clashes with my own naming scheme. No, I want to call my directory ~/music, period. Muine, which is the superior Gnome media player, at least doesn’t have a problem with this.

Now to the dumbest of all applications: f-spot. Don’t get me wrong, I like f-spot in a way. For most parts, it’s a neat application (although digikam is better). But any time I want to import pictures it wants to copy my pictures into a directory called ~/Photos, never minding the fact that I already have my images sorted out in a directory called, believe it or not, ~/pictures. Now there is a checkbox you can untick so that f-spot doesn’t create a Photos directory and copy your images there (wasting valuable disk space), but guess what? Just to spite you, the developers force you to go and untick that box every time you import. Thanks for nothing, assholes.

And why the hell do you insist on calling the damn directory Photos? Maybe you only use f-spot for photos, but I don’t. For instance, I’ve got a bunch of images related to Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I’ve tagged all these images by character, location, artist etc. It works really well for me. But these are *not* photographs, so why insist on this stupid name?

*sigh* (I needed to get this off my chest)

Note that fluxbox doesn’t behave this way. Of the applications I normally use, only mutt is a bit braindead with its naming. But in mutt this is easily fixed, in Gnome not (remember, in Gnome-land the luser is a complete idiot who doesn’t deserve deciding how their own home directory should be structured).

Oh, and if you think I should submit a patch, forget it. Remember, we are talking about Gnome here. You can only contribute if you belong to the Holy Temple of Gnome. Normal users are simply too stupid to help out. Normal users should just sit back and happily accept it when the Profets of Gnome shove feces, in bit-sized pieces, into their carefully crafted home directories.

Published in: on 2006.11.02 at 07:57  Leave a Comment  

Playing with Gnome yet again

I love fluxbox. I think it’s a great window manager, that does just the right thing. My preferred terminal application is rxvt (actually, urxvt these days). I probably spend 99% of my time using a terminal, running GNU screen. The applications I use the most are vim and irssi.

Every once in a while I try out Gnome and KDE. After a short period of RAM munching I usually end up running back to fluxbox.  This time I’m trying out Gnome again, on an Ubuntu box.

For one, I can say that it feels a bit faster than it used to. I’m even running beagle, and I’m still able to use the system. That is a first, for me at least. But Gnome is still a far cry from fluxbox. The most annoying thing of all is that it keeps throwing out stupid little messages at me. Yesterday, for instance, an annoying thing jumped at me to inform me that “my battery is fully charged”. WHAT KIND OF UTTER STUPIDITY IS THAT? Do I care? Shouldn’t it be the laptop’s job to control my battery level? Why the hell to I have to get this? I know I can disable this somehow, but IIRC, Gnome claims to be about sane defaults..

Evolution has a way of just pissing on me as well. Constant pop-up messages. Funny, mutt never behaves like that. I guess that’s why mutt is usable, Evolution is not. And most importantly: why, why, why does my mail client handle my todo list? If somebody could do the whole world a huge favor and split this beast into seperate applications, this globe would be better place.

There are some really good Gnome apps though, the best ones being Tomboy and Muine. F-spot is slowly getting there. It’s neat, but there are some things I’d like to be able to do with it. The Ubuntu crowd screwed Nautilus and use the horrible browser mode lunacy by default. A few mouse clicks and you are back to the normal, useable spatial Nautilus, which is quite nice acutally.

The main difference between using fluxbox and Gnome is that in fluxbox you are busy using rxvt and vim, working away, whereas in Gnome you are using gnome-terminal and Gvim, constantly being interrupted by some stupid message dialog jumping right into your face and ruining your workflow. Nice touch.

Published in: on 2006.10.31 at 09:00  Leave a Comment