GNOME Do is my favourite Ubuntu app right now. I have always felt jealous that Linux users didn’t have anything as good as Quicksilver for Mac; well, now we do 1. I’ve been meaning to write about GNOME Do for a month now, but could never describe it properly. It’s best understood when seen, so should check out these screencasts.

The best thing about Do is it’s extensibility—there are a lot of plugins already available, and many more are in development. I didn’t want to be left out; so I wrote a few of my own.

Screenshot of Wordnet plugin for GNOME Do

Wordnet Action is really just a duplicate of the built-in Do ‘Define Word Action’. This was the first plugin I wrote, and I wanted something simple to test the build process. That being said, I like Wordnet better than the default Dictionary. Wordnet needs to be installed for this plugin to work, just type sudo aptitude install wordnet to get it.

Screenshot of Gmail plugin for GNOME Do

Gmail Action is similar to (well, almost a duplicate of) the built-in ‘Mail To Action’, but instead of opening your default mail handler, it will open a compose page in Gmail. You’ll need to be signed-on Gmail of course. I’ve tested it only with Gmail’s new version, but it should probably work with the old version as well.

Screenshot of TSClient plugin for GNOME Do

I’ve also written a plugin for indexing saved TSClient connections. Most of it’s code is based on Peter Stuifzand’s SSH Action.

You can the source of all these plugins in my do-plugins Bazaar branch… I had a lot of fun yesterday reading up on Bazaar and exploring Launchpad, learning a bit about Mono, etc. I wouldn’t say that I’ve done any programming—I just copied some other people’s code and modified it a bit. I’m now itching to try and build a decent plugin from scratch, but am short on ideas, and especially short on time.

Some caveats:

  • The plugins are built againt the latest trunk version of GNOME Do, and they probably won’t work with the repository version.
  • I couldn’t find pretty icons for Wordnet and Gmail, so have used the default icons.

Well, this post was a bit overly verbose—I couldn’t help myself as I haven’t been writing a lot lately. Keep an eye out for more updates.

1. Windows users: you might want to try out some of these Quicksilver alternatives.

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