A Journey Begins (GSoC - 2022)

 

Introduction

Hello 👋😁 ! I am overjoyed to announce that my proposal to XFCE for GSoC - 2022 got selected !

Oh ! I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Amrit Borah and I am a somophore undergraduate student at the Indian Institute of Information Technology Guwahati (IIITG), India, pursuing Computer Science Engineering (CSE). I have only recently completed my 4th semester at college. 

Tasks in my proposal

So, getting back to the topic at hand - GSoC, I will be taking on 4 tasks for XFCE.

Namely,

  • Implementing option to enable expansion of folders in "Details View" in Thunar. (link)The desired outcome -


  • Adding user profiles to XFCE Terminal (link)
    • I'll also be rewriting the preference-dialog in plain C. Currently it has been written using glade.
  • Handling session restoration for XFCE Terminal (link)
  • Implementing colored highlights for files/folders in Thunar. (link) The desired outcome -


Further details on the topics can be found on the links corresponding to the respective tasks.

What I'll be working with -

 I will be working with GTK - 3.0 toolkit and C source code for the aforementioned tasks.

Linux, C & XFCE

I first started using Linux back in 2018. Quite frankly, I hated the look of Windows 10. I wasn't really tech savvy enough to really know the fundamental differences between Windows & GNU/Linux. All I could differentiate them by, was their looks. I wanted to make my desktop look and feel like MacOS. I have always liked it's pleasant looks. The MacOS desktop is pure eye candy to me. But unfortunately I never had the pleasure to own a Apple Mac. So I installed Ubuntu. Followed youtube tutorials and customised gnome to look like mac os. Then as year went by I tried out other distros like Pop OS, Opensuse, etc. But the laptop I had then was the Y530 from Lenovo which had Nvidia GTX 1050. Gaming was an issue for me. So I switched back to Windows. 

Finally in 2020, when I got my own personal laptop for college, I got a thinkpad E14 with the intention of daily driving Linux. I tried out a variety of flavors on that hardware. It had great keyboard ! On the quest for the perfect Distro, I stumbled upon numerous YouTube channels on Linux notably DistroTube. Following the guide for Arch installation I successfully installed arch and tasted my first WM i.e Awesome WM. Customising it wasn't too bad but since I had little knowledge of lua I found it's config too verbose and hard to hack into ( (whispering...) I wasn't tech savvy back then ) . It was only a matter of time before I started WM hopping much like my distro hoping earlier. Tried out bspwm & xmonad. I even tried learning Haskell, but only went as far as the basics (didn't venture into monads).

But I think I finally settled down on Fedora. Gnome is/was my favourite DE but I always had one gripe i.e stuttering/lagging when switching into the overview view using intel igpus. It has now been solved ig with Gnome 42, at least it's really smooth for me now. So (I sincerely hope ! distro/wm hopping is fun but tedious 😭) Gnome it is then.

 Coming onto C now, my first introduction to C programming language was in my CS course. It was one of the topics in my 1st semester. I kinda like C to be honest. I am most familiar with it's syntax more so than other programming languages. But memory management is not fun 😭. Oh the seg faults 😇 ! Later we did have Java as a course. I have a good relation with Java. But the real meaty portions of the OS was taught in my Operating Systems course in 4th sem. I loved that course.Finally got a formal introduction to the depths of an operating system.

 I hadn't used XFCE on any of my main machines since they were quite capable hardware. It's only when I bought a raspberry pi 4, I got the taste of the XFCE DE. I am quite impressed with the performant and snappy look and feel of the DE. And Now I have the pleasure to work for XFCE 😄 !

Final thoughts

I have gone on for too long now. So keeping it short, I am really greatful for the opportunity that I am provided with and I thank Sergios - Anestis Kefalidis (my mentor & maintainer of XFCE Terminal), Alexander Schwinn (maintainer of Thunar & xfce org admin for gsoc) & Yongha Hwang (Xfce Developer) for the reviews and support.

I would also like to congratulate my fellow GSoC contributors - Pratyaksh Gautam & Yogesh Kaushik - and wish them the best of luck !

Really excited ! 😁

My contributions to XFCE

  • For Thunar (link)
  • For XFCE Terminal (link)

 

Comments