Marina Court project theme v.1

 

Marina Court green theme
Green theme with black white background. Click on the image to enlarge

 

I have been working on the theme of my current project and I would appreciate any comments.

This is a WordPress site using the Lukoo theme. I tweaked the theme so that the contents look a bit more compact. Below are some of the changes I tweaked on the theme to my liking:

  • Used a black & white background image instead of a plain white-grey color background
  • Increased the width of the body wrapper
  • Decrease height of header wrapper
  • Decrease the bottom padding of the main content wrapper
  • Increased the width of the main content wrapper so that the main content and the sidebar are close to each other.
  • Changed the background image of the main content wrapper with opacity of 90% for transparency
  • Added opacity 0.9 to the sidebar wrapper with CSS

From the screenshot above, there are still a lot I can do to make the theme better. For example I need to create my own custom logo to replace the Lukoo logo. Probably change some of the text colors and sidebar. I would really love to hear some opinions on the design. If you do have some ideas to share, then don’t hesitate to drop some comments below.

Thanks

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Using Glade for UI development on Gnome

On my post about network traffic monitor project, I said that I will share some details on it here. Well here it is. My application works on a GNOME desktop environment which is the default Ubuntu desktop. Now there are two ways to go about creating GUI application on GNOME. The hard way would be to hardcode the UI from scratch using the GTK libraries or the easier way would be using a tool like Glade that helps to generate the codes for you. Glade is an open source RAD tool.

I used Glade for my project as it is so much easier to use than hardcoding each widget like windows and text boxes. It also saves a lot of time since it is much faster too. With glade you can add any widgets that the GTK library provides into a container. You can then configure the properties of that widget for example the title name, the width and length etc. When saving the project, Glade will create an glade file which is in fact a XML file that describes all the widget and its properties so that you can use it on your application.

The Glade file can be loaded by applications dynamically by using GtkBuilder GTK object. GtkBuilder adds connection between widgets and the application source code. By using GtkBuilder, Glade XML files can be used in numerous programming languages including C, C++, C#, Vala, Java, Perl, Python,and others. Below is the code snippet to add the Glade file using python.

builder = gtk.Builder()
builder.add_from_file(“filename.glade”)

builder will be used as a reference to the Glade file that is added as filename.glade. To interact with a widget on the Glade file you need to reference it first for example:

window = builder.get_object(“main_window”)
combo = builder.get_object(“combobox_interface”)

window is now referencing the widget named “main_window” that is defined in Glade. combo is referencing “combobox_interface” widget. Once you successfully reference the widget, you can interact with them for example connecting signals to it. A signal is used to tell the application that an event has occurred. Examples of events are user clicking a button or resizing the window. Since my application is GUI based, it needs to be event-driven so that it will react whenever a user interacts with it. The codes below is an example of how to connect signals.

window.connect(“delete-event”, destroy_window)
window.connect(“response”, destroy_window)

In the codes above, I’ve connected the “delete-event” and “response” signal to the window widget. The “delete-event” signal will be emitted when the window is closed for example the user clicked to the ‘X’ button on the window. destroy_window is a callback function which is called when the signals are emitted. Callback functions are used to execute codes in response to the events.

Glade can be a pretty neat tool if you ask me especially for developers that uses RAD methodology. You can change the interface easily without changing much of the codes. You can also see the changes nearly instantly after editing the design.

I will post other information of my project soon.

IDE headaches

Since I started using Ubuntu, I still have problems finding the right IDE to use for my programming needs. I went through a few like eclipse, netbeans, komodo edit, gedit + plugins and now geany. Eclipse and netbeans are nice but they are quite heavy. I prefer IDE that runs fast so I don’t have to wait 15 seconds for an IDE to start. Komodo Edit is lighter and served me well for my python project I was doing last year. Recently I tried gedit with configurations to work well for php. Yeah, gedit is the main text editor for Ubuntu but it can be used for programming with a little tweak. But the thing I don’t like about it is the lack of code folding. Now I’m trying out geany, which is in the repositories for Ubuntu. Geany is also light weight and has most IDE functions like:
# Syntax highlighting
# Code folding
# Symbol name auto-completion
# Construct completion/snippets
# Auto-closing of XML and HTML tags
# Call tips
# Many supported filetypes including C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal (full list)
# Symbol lists
# Code navigation
# Build system to compile and execute your code
# Simple project management
# Plugin interface (see Plugins)

So lets see how long Geany will last.

Network traffic monitor for Ubuntu

I am currently working on my Python project as a requirement of my final year project. The project is a small application that works on the panel applet of the Ubuntu OS. It monitors network traffic by different application layer protocols for example http, ftp, smtp and telnet and displays any network activity for that particular protocol in a graphical view.

I have always wanted to build an application with Python since its widely used in open source operating systems. This will give me an opportunity to work in an open source environment. Python by the way is an open source programming language.

I am a big fan of the Ubuntu operating system ever since I installed it on my computer for the first time in 2007. My first Ubuntu distribution was 7.04: Feisty Fawn and I was captivated by its beauty and it opened my eyes to the world of open source. And that is the reason why I wanted to work in an open source environment.

My project is still in its initial stages and I hope that the prototype will be up and running somewhere around August this year. Will be submitting my project on sourceforge.net so that I could get some feedbacks from the community. Well, I hope that this project will go well as planed.