Frogr 1.0 released

I’ve just released frogr 1.0. I can’t believe it took me 6 years to move from the 0.x series to the 1.0 release, but here it is finally. For good or bad.

Screenshot of frogr 1.0This release is again a small increment on top of the previous one that fixes a few bugs, should make the UI look a bit more consistent and “modern”, and includes some cleanups at the code level that I’ve been wanting to do for some time, like using G_DECLARE_FINAL_TYPE, which helped me get rid of ~1.7K LoC.

Last, I’ve created a few packages for Ubuntu in my PPA that you can use now already if you’re in Vivid or later while it does not get packaged by the distro itself, although I’d expect it to be eventually available via the usual means in different distros, hopefully soon. For extra information, just take a look to frogr’s website at

Now remember to take lots of pictures so that you can upload them with frogr :)

Happy new year!

Bringing sanity back to my T440s

As a long time Thinkpad’s trackpoint user and owner of a Lenovo T440s, I always felt quite frustrated with the clickpad featured in this laptop, since it basically ditched away all the physical buttons I got so used to, and replace them all with a giant, weird and noisy “clickpad”.

Fortunately, following Peter Hutterer’s post on X.Org Synaptics support for the T440, I managed to get a semi-decent configuration where I basically disabled any movement in the touchpad and used it three giant soft buttons. It certainly took quite some time to get used to it and avoid making too many mistakes but it was at least usable thanks to that.

Then, just a few months ago from now, I learned about the new T450 laptops and how they introduced again the physical buttons for the trackpoint there… and felt happy and upset at the same time: happy to know that Lenovo finally reconsidered their position and decided to bring back some sanity to the legendary trackpoint, but upset because I realized I had bought the only Thinkpad to have ever featured such an insane device.

Luckily enough, I recently found that someone was selling this T450’s new touchpads with the physical buttons in eBay, and people in many places seemed to confirm that it would fit and work in the T440, T440s and T440p (just google for it), so I decided to give it a try.

So, the new touchpad arrived here last week and I did try to fit it, although I got a bit scared at some point and decided to step back and leave it for a while. After all, this laptop is 7 months old and I did not want to risk breaking it either :-). But then I kept reading the T440s’s Hardware Maintenance Manual in my spare time and learned that I was actually closer than what I thought, so decided to give it a try this weekend again… and this is the final result:

T440s with trackpoint buttons!

Initially, I thought of writing a detailed step by step guide on how to do the installation, but in the end it all boils down to removing the system board so that you can unscrew the old clickpad and screw the new one, so you just follow the steps in the T440s’s Hardware Maintenance Manual for that, and you should be fine.

If any, I’d just add that you don’t really need to remove the heatskink from the board, but just unplug the fan’s power cord, and that you can actually do this without removing the board completely, but just lifting it enough to manipulate the 2 hidden screws under it. Also, I do recommend disconnecting all the wires connected to the main board as well as removing the memory module, the Wifi/3G cards and the keyboard. You can probably lift the board without doing that, but I’d rather follow those extra steps to avoid nasty surprises.

Last, please remember that this model has a built-in battery that you need to disable from the BIOS before starting to work with it. This is a new step compared to older models (therefore easy to overlook) and quite an important one, so make sure you don’t forget about it!

Anyway, as you can see the new device fits perfectly fine in the hole of the former clickpad and it even gets recognized as a Synaptics touchpad, which is good. And even better, the touchpad works perfectly fine out of the box, with all the usual features you might expect: soft left and right buttons, 2-finger scrolling, tap to click…

The only problem is that the trackpoint’s buttons would not work that well: the left and right buttons would translate into “scroll up” and “scroll down” and the middle button would simply not work at all. Fortunately, this is also covered in Petter Hutterer’s blog, where he explains that all the problems I was seeing are expected at this moment, since some patches in the Kernel are needed for the 3 physical buttons to become visible via the trackpoint again.

But in any case, for those like me who just don’t care about the touchpad at all, this comment in the tracking bug for this issue explains a workaround to get the physical trackpoint buttons working well right now (middle button included), simply by disabling the Synaptics driver and enabling psmouse configured to use the imps protocol.

And because I’m using Fedora 21, I followed the recommendation there and simply added psmouse.proto=imps to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX line in /etc/default/grub, then run grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg, and that did the trick for me.

Now I went into the BIOS and disabled the “trackpad” option, not to get the mouse moving and clicking randomly, and finally enabled scrolling with the middle-button by creating a file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-trackpoint.conf (based on the one from my old x201), like this:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "Trackpoint Wheel Emulation"
        MatchProduct "PS/2 Synaptics TouchPad"
        MatchDriver "evdev"
        Option  "EmulateWheel"  "true"
        Option  "EmulateWheelButton" "2"
        Option  "EmulateWheelInertia" "10"
        Option  "EmulateWheelTimeout" "190"
        Option  "Emulate3Buttons" "false"
        Option  "XAxisMapping"  "6 7"
        Option  "YAxisMapping"  "4 5"

So that’s it. I suppose I will keep checking the status of the proper fix in the tracking bug and eventually move to the Synaptic driver again once all those issue get fixed, but for now this setup is perfect for me, and definitely way better than what I had before.

I only hope that I hadn’t forgotten to plug a cable when assembling everything back. At least, I can tell I haven’t got any screw left and everything I’ve tested seems to work as expected, so I guess it’s probably fine. Fingers crossed!

Frogr 0.11 released

Screenshot of Frogr 0.11

So, after neglecting my responsibilities with this project for way too long, I finally released frogr 0.11 now, making the most that I’m now enjoying some kind of “parenting vacation” for a few days.

Still, do not expect this new release to be fully loaded of new features and vast improvements, as it’s more like another incremental update that adds a couple of nice new things and fixes a bunch of problems I was really unhappy about (e.g. general slowness, crashes).

Wrapping it up, the main changes included with this release are:

  • Moved to the new GTK+’s header bar plus the typical menu button when GTK+ >= 3.12 (GTK+ 3.4 is still supported). I personally like this change a lot, as it makes frogr much more compact and sleek IMHO, and much better integrated with newer releases of GNOME.
  • Added a new option to automatically replace the “date posted” field in flickr with the “date taken” value from the EXIF metadata when uploading pictures. Useful to keep your photo stream sorted regardless of when you uploaded which pictures. Thanks a lot to Luc Pionchon for requesting this feature. I never thought of it before, now I use it all the time!
  • Sped up the load of pictures into the main window, as it was a very slow process when importing tags from the XMP keywords was enabled. I measured a 3x improvement, but YMMV.
  • Fixed random crashes due to the missing initialization of the gcrypt library introduced with the recent changes to use SSL API end points. Thanks a lot Andrés for your help with this!
  • Fixed issues related to the OS X port, which prevented frogr 0.9 from having video support and caused many problems with the 0.10 release. Now it should be fine, grab the bundle from here.
  • Other things: removed calls to deprecated APIs, updated translations, fixed a few minor bugs and a bit of a clean-up here and there, which is usually good.

As usual, feel free to check the website of the project in case you want to know more about frogrhow to get it or how to contribute to it. I’m having a hard time lately to find time to devote to this pet project, so any help anyone can provide will be more than welcome :-) fosdem-15-logo

By the way, I’m going to FOSDEM this year again, so feel free to say “hi” if you want to chat and/or share a beer (or more!).

Frogr 0.10 released

frogrQuick post to let the world know that I’ve just released a new version of frogr right now, in order to address a few issues present in the previous version. Mainly:

  • Deprecation of non-SSL end points for the Flickr API (see these two posts for more info). From now on, frogr will use SSL-only API calls.
  • Address issues with frogr‘s AppData file. Apparently, the AppData file was neither valid (according to appdata-validate) nor being installed properly, preventing frogr from showing up nicely in the GNOME Software app.
  • Allow disabling video uploads at configuration time (enabled by default), instead of making the decision depending on the detected platform. This will hopefully make life easier for packagers of other platforms (e.g. MacPorts).
  • Removed libsoup-gnome code once and for all (API deprecated a while ago).
  • Other things: updated translations and fixed a few minor bugs.

As usual, feel free to check the website of the project in case you want to know more about frogrhow to get it or how to contribute to it.

Frogr 0.9 released

So, after a bit more than one year without releasing any version of frogr, I finally managed to get some “spare” time to put all the pieces together and ship the ninth version of it, which I believe/hope is going to be a quite solid one.

Frogr 0.9

In all honesty, though, this version does not come with many new features as the previous ones, yet some changes and fixes that I believe were quite necessary, and therefore should help improving the user experience in some subtle ways.

For instance, the layout of the dialog to edit the details of a picture has changed (as per Ana Rey‘s comments during GUADEC) to enable a more efficient usage of vertical space, so much needed these days in small widescreen laptops. Of course, design-wise still sucks, but I believe it’s much more convenient now from a pragmatical point of view.

Also, frogr is now a little bit more “modern” in things such as that it now supports GStreamer 1.0 (0.10 still supported), a lot of deprecated code (e.g. Stock items, GtkActions) has been replaced internally and it now integrates better with GNOME Shell’s search box. Ah! and it also now provides an AppData file to integrate with GNOME Software Center, which is a nice touch too.

Another interesting thing is that I finally fixed the problem that we have with multiple selections in the main view, which was neither intuitive nor very useful, as Ctrl and Shift modifiers did not work as expected. So, from now on, it is finally possible to work with disjoint multiple selections of pictures, a feature I was missing so much.

Last, I fixed two important problems in the code that caused frogr consume two much memory, specially after uploading pictures. It was a quite severe problem since frogr was not properly freeing the memory used by pictures even after those were uploaded and removed from the UI, causing important issues in cases where people tried to upload a lot of pictures at once. It’s hopefully fixed now.

And that’s all I think. As usual, you can check the website of the project to know how to install frogr on your system if you don’t want to wait for your favourite distribution to ship it, or if you just want to check more information about the project or to contribute to it.


Ah! By the way… I’m going to FOSDEM again this year, but this time by train. Can’t wait to be there! :)

Frogr 0.8 released

During the last weeks, I decided to make the most of some spare time I had while still in “nowhere land” (see my previous post) and so I’ve been working in frogr to see if I could release the 0.8 version before the end of the year. In my mind it looked like kind of a nice and humble Christmas present to the world and, at the same time, a interesting way to spent this time I had between my depart from my previous job and the start of the new one.

And it turns out that, at the end, I didn’t manage to have as much spare time as I initially expected to have (I was pretty busy most of the time, actually), mainly due to many unrelated things I needed also to take care of, but in the end I still managed to steal some minutes here and there and I’m now proudly announcing that the new release is finally out.

But before going on, see the mandatory screenshot, as taken in my Fedora 18 machine:

As you can already spot in the screenshot, some changes are already quite visible, but some others are not, so let’s now comment on the most important ones, one by one…

Ported to GtkApplication and GMenu

It’s no secret that one of my favourite changes in this release is the integration with GNOME 3‘s “global menu” (aka the application menu), which makes frogr more beatifully integrated with the desktop than ever. However that came with a price: I needed to port frogr to GtkApplication first and then implement both the application menu and the menu bar using GMenu, which also made me raise the required version for GTK+ up to 3.4.

Sure I could have kept adding more ifdefs to the code to keep supporting previous GTK+ versions, but I also saw this as a good opportunity to clean up the code and get rid of so many conditional compilation units that were increasingly harder to maintain, and so I did it. As a plus, the OS X specific code has been reduced enormously as well, since GTK+ 3.4 integrates very well with OS X without having to do anything special, as I needed to do when I used GTK+ 2.24 for that port.

Loading and saving ‘projects’

This has been one of the features that several people have suggested in the past in different occasions, and so one of those I hope people will enjoy the most with this new release: the possibility to save the current session into a “project file”, so you can resume your work later.

How it works it’s actually pretty simple: when you save a session to a project, frogr will just serialize your current pictures, sets, groups and local tags to a json file (using json-glib) that you can use to restore the state later. It could be more sophisticated, but I think that it works reasonably well in the tests I did considering what it was designed for. In any case, please feel free to report bugs or feature requests to improve or fix things if needed.

Support for video uploads

Believe it or not, frogr has been almost ready to upload videos since some time ago, since for Flickr a video is just a “moving picture”, and it’s treated in exactly the same way than pictures when it comes to the upload API.

The only thing that was missing to remove that almost from here was to generate thumbnails for videos so they could get loaded into the UI. Not rocket science, sure, but something which needed doing and which was not a priority at all until now. And to be honest, it is not a priority yet anyway, but I felt like doing it this time once and for all, so from now on you can upload videos too.

Other features & bug fixes

Besides those three and perhaps more noticeable features, frogr 0.8 comes with several other new things, bug fixes, small changes and refinement that I hope will make this release more stable, useful and fun to use than ever.

Some examples of those other new things are, as taken from the NEWS file:

  • Handle and report errors in a better way (no more mysterious failures).
  • Perform after-upload operations (add to sets/groups, set license…) in parallel.
  • Avoid fetching sets/groups/tags when still not connected yet to Flickr.
  • Hide title bar when main window is maximized (see screenshot above).
  • Renamed the ‘Actions’ menu to ‘Edit’ and brought the ‘File’ menu back.
  • Allow sorting elements in the icon view by size.

Last, I’m also quite happy to tell that the OS X port of frogr has been finally migrated to GTK+ 3 in this release (at last!), and that the whole process of building it for that platform is now easier than ever, thanks to a specific Jhbuild moduleset I created for that purpose, following the lead of GEdit (thanks Nacho for the suggestion).

Check out the README file in the osx/ directory if you feel curious about the process or if you want to build it yourself. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 commands in the terminal to get something like this running in your OS X machine:

Also, another advantage of having that moduleset created, is that now it’s trivial to properly document (by means of a shell script) the bundle file used to distribute frogr in OS X, instead of just providing an “opaque” pre-compiled bundle, as I used to do in an “unofficial way” with previous versions. Feel free to grab the bundle I’ve just created for this release from the GNOME FTP server.

So that’s it. I hope you enjoy using frogr 0.8 as much as I did writing it, and if you eventually find it useful too, then even better! As usual, check the website of the project for additional information or just to know how to install frogr on your system.

Frogr 0.7 released

As you might already know Flickr has added support for OAuth a while ago, which is meant to be the obvious replacement to the old Flickr auth API that has been available since a long long time ago, which has been used by many applications our there, like frogr. But the important point here for apps using the old auth method is that it won’t be longer available after July 31st, which means they should get updated if they want to keep working as so far.

Frogr 0.7

So, this is the main point of this release: to update the internal implementation of the Flickr REST API in frogr (which, ideally, will be released independently as a library at some point) to use OAuth instead of the old authentication API.

Additionally, in order to make things easier for users of older versions, the application will take care of exchanging the authentication token from the old system to the new ones used by the OAuth API. If you want to know more details about this, check the related API. For the rest of you, you shouldn’t notice anything the first time you run this new release.

Still, some other things were included in this new release that are worth mentioning:

  • Ability to import tags already present in pictures  (e.g. as set by f-spot or shotwell).
  • Allow users deciding, right from frogr and on a picture-by-picture basis, whether to set the geolocation information for pictures when uploading them to Flickr.
  • New tags are added to the auto-completion without having to upload anything first.
  • Allow using a dark version of your theme if available (e.g. Adwaita).
  • Some redesign of the menu bar, thinking of a future migration to GMenu.
  • Added menu accelerators for the most common operations.
  • As usual, bugfixes, cleanups… that kind of stuff.

Also, you can check the announcement mail or the NEWS file if you want for more detail about this new release, as well as the website of the project for additional information, such as knowing about ways of collaborating or how to get frogr installed on your system.

I think that’s it. Enjoy!

Frogr 0.6.1 (bugfixing) release

Shit happens in many ways, and sometimes that means you release an application with some bugs you just can’t stand and need to roll out a bugfixing release as soon as possible. Does this sound familiar to you? :)

So that’s why this new release of frogr, just one week after the 0.6 version had been published, has arrived, taking care exclusively of fixing the following problems, as stated in the NEWS file:

  • Fix memory leaks, the most important one happening in the editing details dialog.
  • Problems using combo boxes with versions of GTK prior to 2.24.
  • Fixed problems authorizing frogr on the MacOSX version.

From those above, patches for some them were already included in the debian packages from frogr’s Ubuntu PPA and in the package for the Mac, but the most important ones -the leaks- were not, so that’s why I decided to roll this new version out.

So that’s all, if you were already an user of frogr, go and grab it through the usual ways.

Frogr 0.6 released

After some changes here and there frogr 0.6 is finally out.

Frogr 0.6 running in GNOME 3

Besides the usual bugfixing work, the main new features on this release are:

  • Integration with the GNOME general proxy settings (optional).
  • Open pictures in the default image viewer  from the details dialog and the main view.
  • Allow users to specify the license to be set for the pictures.
  • A new User Manual, under “Help > Contents”.
  • Some UI improvements.

As usual, you can get frogr through different ways: you can grab the source code from its git repository or via the xz and bzip2 tarballs, specific packages for Fedora or for Ubuntu (ranging from Karmic to Oneiric) and even a version for MacOSX, if you dare to use it.

By the way, at the moment frogr is already being packaged in some distros (see this) and others might follow, so perhaps it could be that you already were able to install it by just using your favorite package manager with the standard repos. Otherwise, it might be just a matter of time, I guess…

For more information about the project and also how to contribute, check out its web site.

Last, but not least, I’d like to make an special mention here to the awesome Quinn Dombrowski, who very well could be the “most passionate frogr user I’ve ever known” and who was kind enough to design, handcraft and send -from Chicago to Spain- a stuffed frogr mascot plus a beautiful vest for my son (which design comes also with its own incredible story), as a sign of gratitude for writing this tiny app. I’m still shocked about it, see what I’m talking about:

Frogr mascot Onfim vest

If you want to see more pictures you can check my set in flickr, although I warn you these two ones taken by the artist are way better than mine :-)

Seriously Quinn… and yet once again: Thank you!

Frogr 0.3 released (hello, flicksoup!)

After more than one year without writing almost anything related to my other pet project “frogr“, I finally found some time, motivation and energy to put all the loose parts I already had more or less in place together and evolve them towards what finally made a new release of this -yet another- GNOME flickr uploader.

That way, I finally released frogr 0.3 two days ago (see the announcement here), featuring the following changes:

  • Replaced flickcurl (synchronous, libcurl based) with flicksoup (asynchronous, libsoup based) as the backend library for dealing with the Flickr API.
  • Improved authentication process and made it more “seamless”, so the application is more aware now of the potential issues that might happen, reporting them to the user if needed (e.g. asking the user to re-authorize the app).
  • Better error handling and reporting, not only about the authorization process but about everything about the user-flickr interaction, which made it way more user-friendly (e.g. quota limit exceeded, host unreachable, process cancelled by the user…).
  • Added support to allow cancelling uploads (no more closing the application if forgotten to do something before pressing ‘Upload’!).
  • Added support to allow setting pictures to be added to albums after the upload process. So far, only adding to already existing albums is available, but for the next release allowing the user to create albums on the fly is also planned.
  • Menubar redesigned, so no options get hidden in the contextual menu (did you know there was one?).
  • Updated translations… errr… well… updated THE only translation we have so far (es_ES). Doesn’t it make you feel like tranlating frogr to your beautiful language? C’mon, it’s a really small file with just a bunch of strings!.
  • Simplified code both in frogr and flicksoup, which should ease a lot future enhancements in next releases of frogr, as former design was blocking quite a lot of things until I changed it once and for all.
  • Lots of bugfixes and several minor improvements.

From the point of view of the end user, perhaps it’s a bit strange to even mention the flickcurl/flicksoup change in the list of features above, but I couldn’t help it since that was the biggest change since 0.2 and what I consider the most important one, since it allowed (or just helped a lot, as you wish) that the rest of points actually happened in the way I thought it would be the right one: through a GNOME-ish library which would allow implementing asynchronous operations without the need of using threads (thanks to the mainloop and implementing the methods using the GIO’s GAsync functions), as well as properly reporting errors through GErrors, as it’s commonly done in these kind of applications.

I must say flickcurl is still a great C library which currently implements 99% of the remote flickr API, but for this project I found it too complicated and limited for the kind of things I’d like to do in frogr, which was leading me in many ocassions to work things around in many ways that wouldn’t be necessary if it was a GObject library based in libsoup, instead of a C library based in libcurl. And that’s why I decided to start its implementation, back in February 2010. Unfortunately, the library is not mature enough yet to be separately released, so for the time being I’m just developing it along with frogr, so I can at least release the application, and keeping the intention of release it separately at some point in the future. Still, you can grab the latest code from its own repository if you want to use it separately, where I regularly dump all the changes I do to it through frogr. But I must warn you, it just implements a few functions so far, those strictly needed by frogr, so don’t expect a complete libsoup based version of flickcurl yet, which is far more mature and full of features than this one.

[UPDATE 03/06/2011]: Today I removed the flicksoup repository from gitorious since the truth is that at the moment is not an independently maintained library and what I was doing at the end was (i)regularly dumping files from frogr repo to the flicksoup one. And this, apart from being tedious and usually out-of-sync, was also an issue from the point of view of some distros (like Fedora) when it comes to package frogr, so I decided to go ahead and remove it for the time being. Hopefully in the future flicksoup will be released as an independent library, but as for now it is just part of frogr (although I will keep the whole picture in mind when developing changes for flicksoup inside of frogr). More details in this bug

As usual, you can grab frogr through different ways:

So far, there are only a few of pre-compiled 32-bit packages for ubuntu and fedora in there (those I generated myself, basically), but hopefully this manual effort could stop being needed at some point in the short terms thanks to the efforts of my mate at Igalia Alberto García, who kindly already packaged for debian and asked for its inclusion in the project. Thanks, Berto!