Gnome Do!


I can't possibly tell you how excited I am about the new Gnome Do project. I didn't even know it existed until yesterday - and I swear I've looked. It's a quick-launcher clone of QuickSilver for the Mac, which I've been missing since I gave up on OSX over a year or so ago. Unlike the horrible Deskbar thing that comes with Gnome, this app actually works super well, and unlike Katapult, it's written for Gnome. It's exactly what I've been waiting for, and I've even thought of trying to do it myself on occasion (thank goodness my laziness has paid off instead).

I installed it from their repositories last night and it's absolutely clean as hell and works like a charm. I have to say I'm a little worried as it's implemented in Mono, and I've almost given up on that as every app I've used so far that relied on it ended up having weird memory leaks or used up 100% of my CPU or something (F-Spot, Tomboy), but Gnome Do is so cool, I don't care.

The site is pretty sparse, and there's no configuration menu to speak of yet, but in general there's a few things that come "out of the box" which are really nice (and again, very similar to Quicksilver):

* Do tracks specific folders you tell it to to a specific depth (more info here), so you can type the first few letters of the file or folder and it'll pop up.

* It keeps track of your bookmarks in Firefox, so you can type the first few letters of a bookmark to pull up that URL

* All of the applications that are in your menu are indexed, so launching the Calculator is as simple as hitting the hotkey (Windows Key aka 'Super' + Spacebar by default) and typing the first few letters.

* Hitting tab after you find what you're looking for will give you options that you can navigate with the arrow keys. For example, if you want to open a command line in the folder you chose, you can do that instead of launching Nautilus.

* Typing "ru" (as in Run) and hitting tab will give you list of applications to run including the ones in the System settings.

* Typing "rus" and will bring you to your home directory... oh, wait, that's probably just on my box. ;-)

In addition, Do has a plugin system which is pretty cool as well - there's three examples available right now including one for Pidgin and Rhythmbox. So to chat to someone, you can simply type "chat" and then hit tab and choose the contact you want to start a chat with. Rhythmbox will pull up your list of music, so you can play an album or song by typing the first few letters of its name.

David Siegel who wrote this thing did an absolutely fantastic job, I'm definitely subscribing to his blog to keep track of updates. If you're using Ubuntu and/or Gnome go grab this immediately, as it totally rocks.


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