The special features of this application could be said as follows...
- You can make window sitters , fixed desktop mascots, and, furthermore, desktop clock mascots, using MaCoPiX.
This application could be a follower of "ActX". So, it is basically put emphasis on the function as an window sitter. But, of course, it can be used as the other type of desktop mascots.
- Using Gtk+ as GUI
MaCoPiX can edit its all configuration from its GUI. Furthermore, it is possible to create any mascots. You don't need to use any text editors for such purposes.
- Using gdk-pixbuf for image loading
Compared with ActX, in which we can only use xpm type imgaes, MaCoPiX can handle all types of images supported by gdk-pixbuf.
- Biff function
MaCoPiX has biff function to checke local mail spool and POP/APOP servers.
In addtion, MaCoPiX is now reinforced in functions of its menu, balloon and biff systems, compared with ActX.
MaCoPiX might use and create the following two types of directries,
dir-1. User Directory (HOME$/.macopix/)
This directory will be created for all users of MaCoPiX under users' home directory automatically. It is used for installation and saving mascot, resource, and menu files for each users (I explained them below).
Furthermore, in this directory, sub-directories, "pixmap/" and "sound/", will be created. These directories will be used for saving image and sound files for installed mascots.
dir-2. Common Directory(/usr/share/macopix/ etc.)
If you installed MaCoPiX and its mascots via binary packages, the mascots should be installed in such directory. Basically, only the root user should have a write-permission to this directory.
The exact path name to this direcotry will be determined at the time of installation (configure) of the program.
MaCoPiX needs (and creates) the following files...
file-1. Mascot file (*.mcpx) ----and the accmpanied image and sound files
(please see the following item as "Mascots".)
file-2. Resource file (*.rc)
the resource file is the file described the parameters kept all times regardless of changing mascots. If you do not appoint any files for the resource file (you can appoint the desired resource file with "-r" option), the default one (HOME$/.macopix/macopix.rc) should be loaded.
file-3. Launcher Menu file (*.menu)
This is the Launcher menu in which your favorite mascots are registered. Please see the following item "Launcher menu".
The mascot of MaCoPiX is made up with
1. a mascot file (*.mcpx)
The definition and setting for the mascot are described.
2. image files
You can use any image types loaded by gdk-pixbuf.
3. sound files
These files are not necessary always (The mascots in this web-site do not include these files).
If you want to do, you can ring some sounds in the case of clicking or mail arriving via some external commands (esdplay etc.).
likely in the case of ActX. Of course, you can use shaped mascots, if you appoint the shaped images with alpha values (ex. png, gif, xpm).
At the starting time of the application, the mascot file should be appointed as "% mascot mascot.mcpx".
In such case, MaCoPiX automatically searches the mascot file according to the following priority.
1. absolute path or relative path from the current directory
2. User Directory ($HOME/.macopixrc/)
3. Common Directory (/usr/share/macopix/ etc)
User directory(2) should be automatically created at the first time for using MaCoPiX. Distribution Directory(3) will be determined by the installer at the time of installation.
Image files should be appointed in the mascot file. These files are also searched according to the following priority.
1. same directory where the mascot file exists
2. User Pixmap Directory ($HOME/.macopixrc/pixmap/)
3. Common Pixmap Directory (/usr/share/macopix/pixmap/ etc)
And, if you slected automatic install (option -a; saved in the resource file), mascot files are automatically installed at the time of loading.
Starting with the -O (--over-write) option, the priority of loading will change to 1 > 3 > 2 in order to overwrite mascots in user directory with ones in the distribution directory installed by RPM package etc.
You should take care of tha locale of your system to use mascots. Mascot files should be written in one of the locale. If you use the mascot in the different locale environment, balloons and menus could not be presented correctly (only with GTk+1.2). If you are using Gtk+2.x, MaCoPiX automatically converts mascots' character code.
Maybe, I, the autohr of this application will release his mascots in "ja" (japanese-euc) locale. If you interested in them, please transrate them for your environment. Furthermore, if there is a gettext message file (in po/ directory of the source tree) for your environment, you can change the dialog messages of GUI into your language. When you translated these files, please contact with the author.
In the field "Mascot Launcher" of the popup menu, you can register your favorite mascot for easy changing.
To use this function, you have to prepare the launcher menu file (*.menu). You can load and create it from the popup menu in every time. And you can also edit it in the configuration dialog.
It is difference from the ActX one that the menu file has two levels as "Category" -> "Mascot". All "Mascots" have to be included in "Categories".
Each resource file can appoint one menu file as its default menu file. If no menu files are apointed at the starting, this default menu should be loaded. Furthermore, if no mascot files are apointed at that time, a mascot selected at random from the menu file should be loaded.
If you apoint a menu file at the starting time, please use "-m" (or "--menu") option.
MaCoPiX can be a mail checker for the following types of the mail environment.
1. local spool (UNIX mbox : /var/spool/mail/$USER etc)
3. POP3 (with APOP auth)
After preparing proper configuration, please start MaCoPiX with "-b" (or "--biff") ooption, or please check "Biff Check" on the popup menu.
If you use the biff checker in POP, your password are saved in the resource file with plain text. So, please be careful for the management of the resource files. (Basically, the resource files can be seen only by yourself.)
Time Signal Function
MaCoPiX has a time signal function, which do some actions (external command, mascot changing ... etc.) every hour on the hour (00 minute).
After preparing proper configuration, please start MaCoPiX with "-s" (or "--signal") ooption, or please check "Time Signal" on the popup menu.
The configurations for this function are saved in the resource file. "Mascot Random Change" cannot work, if you do not appoint any menu files.
When there are no focus windows, or when the mascot sitck out of the desktop dew to the position of the focus window, MaCoPiX can move its mascot to the "Home Position".
If you made your configuration to use this function and set Xhome & Yhome, MaCoPiX assume a hypothetical focus window in your desktop as you can see int the figure on the right side. And, the mascot sits on this unvisible hypothetical window in the case that the desktop condition agrees the mascot to go to its home position.
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