BenV's notes

Screenlets, retarded downloads, and python

by on Jul.31, 2009, under Boring, Morons, Software

Somewhere in my mailbox I found a link to Impulse. I’ve messed around with pulseaudio and have it running on my server together with mpd which allows for some network audio fun, but that’s not the story now. Back then I wondered if it would be possible to have a VU meter and stuff like that, but couldn’t find it. So when I ran into this I was curious (how implemented, is it any good, etc).

So what the fuck are screenlets? Looks cute, feels cute, and once you think about it for a bit you immediately realize that it’s cute for 10 minutes after which you’ll kill the thing because it slows down your PC and you never really look at it anyway, but regardless I feel like checking it out.

“<BenV> Download… … I thought this page said download… and fuck off with your .deb file, gimme the source Ah, there we go – Source

It’s funny how some people write software that they don’t want anyone to use. How the shift-3 am I supposed to download that source thing? Log in? Are you insane? For a download?

(speaking of which, go to hell fileplanet, gamersheaven and all such “login to download” kanker sites).

So what they really want to change that download link into is this: DOWNLOAD.

Feeding a url from that page to gives you a “Self signed certificate, AAAARGH, I’m dying, je moeder” whining from wget, so stuff it a –no-check-certificate and patch my slackbuild, done. Wait a minute…. certificate? On a http:// link? Oooh, thanks for the redirection guys. Makes me wonder why opera doesn’t bitch about self signed certificate for that link…. while wget does… let’s try firefox… nope, no warning. WHAT THE FUCK, try opening a website and they scream bloody murder because of a self signed cert, but a download? Oooh, noo, nooo problem. Morons.

In case you’re wondering about the cert, either go there for yourself, or check what openssl thinks:

benv@janeman:~:0> openssl s_client -connect
depth=3 /L=ValiCert Validation Network/O=ValiCert, Inc./OU=ValiCert Class 2 Policy Validation Authority/CN=
verify error:num=19:self signed certificate in certificate chain
verify return:0

Maybe it’s OK when “they” selfsign, but it’s not ok if -I- selfsign? Guess I’m clueless…

Anyway, back to screenlets:
Untarring their ‘sourceball’ gives me a retarded directoryname (no version number), which hints me that it’s probably no decent autoconf thing. Ok, it’s python, so no surprise there.
Other than that it builds and install without issues. Note to self: have to add python support to slackbuild, they’re clean enough to support that.

So after installing, wondering what to do next… I type “screenlets” in my urxvt and hit enter.
Will it work?


Big surprise, probably something I managed to not install, how stupid of me. So what does it say now?

cat: /etc/screenlets/prefix: No such file or directory
No module RSVG , graphics will not be so good
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/share/screenlets-manager/", line 28, in
import screenlets
File "/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/screenlets/", line 51, in
from options import *
File "/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/screenlets/", line 30, in
import utils
File "/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/screenlets/", line 286, in
import session
File "/usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/screenlets/", line 38, in
from xdg import BaseDirectory
ImportError: No module named xdg

Mhm, that’s cute….
Missing python-xdg then huh. Let’s see how easy_install handles that. Speaking of which, I don’t think I have installed that yet. Let’s go!

root@janeman:/usr/src# wget

root@janeman:/usr/src# tar xf setuptools-0.6c9.tar.gz
root@janeman:/usr/src# chown -R root:root setuptools-0.6c9 ; chmod -R o-w setuptools-0.6c9
*peek in dir* -> AU MY EYES... full of garbage junk and stuff. Fine, I'll just guess the install
root@janeman:/usr/src/setuptools-0.6c9# python build
root@janeman:/usr/src/setuptools-0.6c9# mkdir pkg ; python install --root `pwd`/pkg
root@janeman:/usr/src/setuptools-0.6c9# cd pkg ; makepkg /usr/src/packages/setuptools-0.6c9-x86_64-1.tgz

And we have a package. Now for xdg:

That should fix it 🙂
However, the screenlets require more garbage, such as gnome-keyring (in case of missing GConf at least) so I ran but then also needed libtasn which was also handled by Man I love that script. Especially the leech support 🙂
But the screenlets still didn’t function. … so I hunted for gnome-python-desktop, which had YET ANOTHER RETARDED BUILD SYSTEM CALLED ‘WAF’. *sigh*. I hate it when 5 million people think they’re smarter than the other. They should simply all succumb to me. *adds another todo note in*

But then: finally, it worked!

*time passes*

Yep, I’ve messed around with it a bit…. and it’s cute… but fluxbox has its own mind about it. (giving the widgets a nice “you’re an application!” bar)… maybe I’ll reserve a desktop for it and
see if I like it. A nice ‘widget’ screen on desktop 10 or something 🙂
The good:

  • It’s cute
  • Skinning support
  • Seems easy to build new screenlets, so many more will spawn

The bad:

  • Gnome based, so gnome deps and many screenlets assume too much
  • Young, so a bit buggy (mouse clicks through some screenlets, although that could be fluxbox related)
  • Eyecandy, while some could be useful it is just another resource hog.

One thing though… where’s the auto-download-and-install support? Even firefox has it these days… 🙂


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