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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Avant Window Navigator is a dock-like bar for Linux, which sits on an edge of a user's screen and tracks open windows.

Awn_logoAvant Window Navigator (abbreviated AWN or Awn) is a dock-like bar for Linux, which sits on an edge of a user's screen and tracks open windows. Instead of representing open windows as buttons or segments on a bar, it uses icons to minimize screen space and add visual appeal. Avant Window Navigator was created by Neil J. Patel and is currently in the beta stages of development.

Both the appearance and functionality of Avant Window Navigator may be customized, and plugins and applets are available, such as to display the progress of a download in Mozilla Firefox or to control a music player like Rhythmbox. The plugins use the D-Bus IPC system, and applets can be written in C, Python, or Vala. There is a sister project, AWN Extras, which is a collection of community-contributed applets and plugins. Its releases are usually kept in sync with AWN

One of the major requirements to run older versions of Avant Window Navigator is a composited environment. Therefore, the user was required to install a compositor, such as Compiz, which could tax performance on low-end systems. Some alternatives were to use Xfce, which has a compositing manager since version 4.2.0, or to enable compositing in Metacity when using GNOME. However, support for non-composited environments is available in version 0.4.0.

awn-manager-1
Prerequisites.
    You need to figure out whether your computer is capable of running AWN. Your computer needs to be capable of compositing support, which allows for "real" transparency, among other things. This means, for example, that you should be able to make translucent/transparent any window, and be able to see the windows that are behind it. There are currently two ways to get these effects: Xgl and AIGLX. Your distribution may have documentation (either official or user-generated) on which method you can use and how to install/configure it. Here is information for several distributions:

        Gentoo: Xgl, AIGLX
        Ubuntu: Xgl, AIGLX
        openSUSE: Xgl, AIGLX
        Fedora: AIGLX

    Make sure that your X installation has the "Composite" extension enabled. Again, the links above and/or your distribution's documentation/user support will help you with this, as this is beyond the scope of this document.

    You need to install a compositing manager. There are several currently available:

        Beryl/Compiz/Compiz Fusion: This group tends to be the most popular among compositing managers, because of the number of effects you can achieve with it, such as "wobbly windows", minimize/maximize effects, workspaces laid out on a three-dimensional cube, etc. The Beryl project has merged with the Compiz window manager to form the Compiz Fusion project. It is compatible with both Gtk+ and KDE environments.

        Xfce: Recent versions of the Xfce desktop environment (starting from version 4.2.0) have added support for compositing in its window manager, xfwm4. However, this feature is configurable at compile-time with a ./configure switch, so if you are running a binary package-based distribution (such as Debian or Fedora), you may or may not have this feature.

        Metacity: The default window manager for Gnome. Compositing support was started for this WM in November 2003 (around version 2.7.0), but it has never been very stable. Because of this, it is not enabled in most distributions. Recently though, work has started on a new implementation for compositing support that will most likely be in version 2.22.0, barring any showstoppers.

        Cairo Compositing Manager: According to its website, it is "a versatile and extensible composite manager which [uses] cairo for rendering. Rendering can be done in 2D or 3D, using Xrender and Glitz backends." At the time of this writing (2007-11-25), the project is in its infancy and under heavy development, so your mileage may vary.

        xcompmgr: Back before Compiz was created or Xfce had compositing support, this was the way to make windows translucent and have drop-shadows. It was more of a proof-of-concept application for the new (at the time) Composite extension for X. Unfortunately, this application hasn't been updated since 2005, and doesn't have an official release. It is not recommended that you use this.
Awn-Preview-0.4

Installation Type.
Now that you've determined that your computer can run AWN, it is time to install the software. There are two methods to install the software:
    Binary packages (recommended)
    Compiling/installing the source code (if there are no binary packages for your distribution, or if you wish to test one of the many development branches)
Post-Installation.
Now that you've installed AWN, you probably want some applets (mini programs associated with AWN) to add more functionality to your dock.
You can also customize how the dock looks with themes.
Applet List
Image:Animal-Farm-applet.png
Animal Farm
Displays fortune messages.
Python
0.3.2
Awn Notification-Daemon
An awn implementation of the libnotify notification daemon (note: there is no icon).
C
0.2.1
Image:Bandwidth-monitor.png
Bandwidth Monitor
A network bandwidth monitor
Python
0.3.9
Image:Battery-applet.png
Battery Applet
This applet displays your computer's current power status
Python
0.2.1
Image:Cairo-clock.png
Cairo Clock
Displays an analog clock. Provides 3 themes and can optionally use MacSlow's Cairo-Clock's themes.
Python
0.3.2
Image:Main-menu-applet.png
Cairo Menu
Displays a list of all the applications on your computer in a standard menu format
C
0.2.4
Image:clock-calendar-applet.png
Clock/Calendar Applet
Displays a clock and calendar on the bar, and integrates w/ several external calendar applications to display appointments.
Python
0.2.4
Image:Comics-applet.png
Comics!
View your favourite comics on your desktop
Python
0.3.2
Image:file-browser-launcher.png
Common Folder Launcher
Launcher for common folders and bookmarks
Python
bzr (0.4.1)
Image:Cpufreq-applet.png
CPU Frequency Monitor
Monitors and controls the CPU frequency.
Python
0.3.2
Image:Dialect-applet.png
Dialect Applet
Change your keyboard input layout.
Python
0.3.9
Image:digital-clock-applet.png
Digital Clock
A digital clock and calendar applet.
Python
0.2.4
Image:Dropper-applet.png
Dropper Applet
Shows actions overlay when you drag something over the applet.
Python
?
Image:Feeds.png
Feeds Applet
Monitors web feeds.
Python
0.3.9
Image:file-browser-launcher.png
File Browser Launcher
Launches the user's file manager or opens bookmarks.
Python
0.2.4
Image:Trash-applet.png
Garbage
A lightweight, cross-desktop trash applet
Vala
0.3.9
Image:Indicator-applet.png
Indicator Applet
An applet to hold all of the system indicators.
C
bzr (0.4.1)
Image:GMail-Applet-Icon.png
Mail Applet
The Mail Applet lets you check your mail from AWN.
Python
0.2.1
Image:Hardware-sensors.png
Hardware Sensors
Shows the hardware sensor readouts
Python
0.3.9
Image:Main-menu-applet.png
Main Menu
Displays a list of all the applications on your computer in a AWN dialog window
C
0.2.1
Image:Media-control.png
Media Control Applet
This applet displays album art in an AWN dialog while allowing you to control your favorite media players
Python
0.2.1
Image:Media-icons.png
Media Icons Applet
This applet allows you to add media icons like play, pause, and next/back to your awn bar, and control a list of media players
Python
0.2.1
Image:Media-player.png
Media Player
Plays any media files you drop on it
Python
0.3.2
Image:mount-applet.png
Mount Applet
Displays mounts from /etc/fstab and allows one to mount/unmount them.
Python
0.2.4
Image:Notification-applet.png
Notification Area Applet
Replaces the gnome-panel notification area and shows it right on your dock
C
0.2.1
Image:pandora-applet.png
Pandora Applet
Plays Pandora internet radio.
Python
0.2.4
Image:file-browser-launcher.png
Places
Launch your folder bookmarks
C
0.2.4
Image:Application-exit.png
Quit applet
A simple gnome-quit launcher
Python
0.2.1
Image:Zeitgeist-logo.png
Related Applet
Applet displaying related items by talking to Zeitgeist
Vala
?
Image:Rtm.png
RTM Applet
Use Remember The Milk from AWN.
Python
0.3.2
Image:Gnome-panel-workspace-switcher.png
Shiny Switcher
A workspace switcher supporting compiz and other WMs. Its main design goals include an appearance compatible with awn and single click workspace switching. Has many features including grabbing images of application windows and desktop backgrounds. It is extremely configurable, though the current release does not have a preferences dialog.
C
0.2.4
Image:Showdesktop-applet.png
Showdesktop Applet
Hides/shows all of the windows of the current viewport, similar to the showdesktop icon of gnome-panel.
Python
0.2.1
Image:Slickswitcher.png
SlickSwitcher
A visual workspace switcher.
Python
0.3.9
Image:Dropper-applet.png
Stacks Applet
A stacks applet. Provides a convenient location to place commonly used files.
Python
0.2.1
Image:Cpu-applet.png
System Monitor
Manage system activity
C
0.2.1
Image:awnterm.png
Terminal Applet
A pop-up terminal that lives in AWN.
C
0.2.4
Image:ThinkHDAPS.png
ThinkHDAPS Applet
Displays the status of HDAPS.
Python
0.3.2
Image:To-Do.png
To-Do List Applet
Manage a simple To-Do list.
Python
0.3.2
Image:Tomboy.png
Tomboy Applet
Control Tomboy with D-Bus
Python
0.3.2
Image:Multimedia-volume-control.png
Volume Control
A fancy volume changing applet that works much like the gnome panel version.
Python
0.2.1
Image:Weather-applet.png
Weather Applet
This applet downloads and displays the current weather conditions and weather forecast from weather.com.
Python
0.2.1
Web Applet
A generic web applet
C
(bzr)
Image:Wobblyzini.png
Wobblyzini
Displays a simple animation.
C
0.2.1a
Image:Main-menu-applet.png
Yet Another Menu Applet
Main menu with places and recent documents
Python
0.3.9
Awn1
Discontinued Applets
Image:Affinity-applet.png
Affinity Applet
Search your computer via Affinity.
Python
0.2.4 – 0.3.2.1
Image:Arss-applet.png
aRSS Applet
Watch your feeds.
Python
0.2.4 – 0.4
Image:Comic-applet.png
Comic Applet
Fetches your favorite comics from the internet, such as Dilbert or xkcd.
Python
0.2.4 – 0.4
Image:Showdesktop-applet.png
DesktopManager
Manages the desktop Wallpaper
Python
0.3.2 – 0.4
Image:Filebrowser-applet.png
File Browser
Displays the contents of a directory and allows you to navigate folders.
C
0.2.1 – 0.4
Image:Lastfm-applet.png
Last.fm Applet
Stream any of the Last.Fm radio stations.
Python
0.2.4 – 0.3.2.1
Image:Main-menu-applet.png
MiMenu (Main Menu) Applet
Another applet for the Menu.
Python
0.2.4 – 0.4
Image:Mobile-meebo.png
Mobile Meebo
Access to the Meebo Instant Messenger
Python
? – 0.4
Image:Separator-applet.png
Separator
Displays a thin line to separate applets. Moved to Awn Core.
C
0.2.1 – ?
Image:plugger.png
Stacks Plugger
Displays mounted volumes and allows you to browse them through stacks.
C
0.2.1 – 0.4
Image:Trash-applet.png
Trash Applet
This applet allows you to display and empty your trash can. Like the gnome panel trash applet.
C
0.2.1 – ?
Image:Trash-applet.png
Trasher Applet
Like the trash applet, but uses stacks to allow you to preview your trash.
C
0.2.1 – 0.4
Adserver                   610x250
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