Failure to Develop: netbook-launcher

I wanted to have a crack at developing a customised version of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix launcher screen (the netbook-launcher package in the repositories), these modifications would have been simple additions which take the new message system notifications currently in the system tray and would have displayed them as large icons in a similar style as the netbook launcher.

If you remember I was talking about easy to use interfaces with which I could give to my nan and my dad who both have bad eyes and could do with a computer that’s even simpler to use than the normal Ubuntu interface.

The problem is that when I started to hack on the ubuntu netbook-launcher code base, I couldn’t compile it. The apt-get build-dep command installed all the dependencies, but it still wanted a gnome SVN autogen file. Making it officially the hardest project to hack into as a new comer since I joined into the Ubuntu/launchpad/bzr easy to develop mantra.

So I gave up, since there weren’t any instructions on how to do it in the README or any logical reason why it should need some random development file from gnome that isn’t available in a devel package.

Instead I did a ui mock-up in inkscape, it’s not as useful as doing the devel work myself, but at least it gets my ideas on paper for you guys to see.

Oh and Happy Yule!

Update:Neil J. Patel has kindly given instructions on Christmas day explaining how to compile the netbook-launcher, so I’ve submitted two bug reports to add the missing packages to the build-deps. #500335 and #500334