Free Software Wish List

This has been gathering in my brain, I figure I should write it all down:


  • Render everything using Composite and OpenGL
    basically then we can have output that doesn’t suck! Translucency is not only cool, but useful in some UI.
  • All 2D graphics to be drawn with Cairo.
    Enough said here – vector is the future.
  • A magnify screen function (look at MacOS X’s) except using Cairo et all so that everything is still smooth when you zoom (use those vector graphics baby, yeah!)
  • Graphics cards companies to pull their finger out and do full open source drivers.

GNOME (note that this is only long because I love it so much and spend so much time using it)

  • To be able to set emblems on files/folders in Nautilus via the contextual menu.
  • To have the Create Archive option in the contextual menu have a submenu with options such as “.tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .zip” (or just .gz, .bz2 if only a single file is selected)
  • Take less time to log in
  • Evolution to not leak memory.
  • Evolution to handle big maildirs better (where big is the multiple hundred of thousands of messages
  • For Evolution to not do “checking” stuff on mailboxes.
  • Gaim getting it’s contact list from Evolution
  • Nautilus having better graphics for open versus closed folders (at least in the theme I use – Industrial)
  • The applications menu to be faster
  • Get rid of the Window List and Virtual Desktop – they are broken UI elements. Windows 95 proved that the taskbar just doesn’t scale when you have enough memory to run more than one application. Maybe a NeXT style dock would be good? I don’t have the answer here
  • Dashboard and Beagle to become easily installable and usable. If there’s issues with shipping mono apps as part of core gnome, then lets rewrite them in something that isn’t mono. I want that functionality!
  • gThumb to become good – think iPhoto on steroids with links into Gimp. Also, some sane way to store metadata
  • Multisync to work properly with evo2
  • Multisync to sync photos (and their metadata)
  • GnuCash to be GTK2
  • xchat to get some HIG UI love
  • All settings that a user could care about to be in a user-visible folder and able to be easily backed up (e.g. by dragging to a blank CD with nautilus-cd-burner). i.e. put everything in a folder called “Settings” instead of buried around in dotfiles.
  • A good backup utility that my mother can use (that’s smart enough to split things over multiple CDs if needed)
  • GUI for ACLs
  • Open With to be file specific as well as global
  • Animation with UI events (drool at OSX’s effects, then make better ones)
  • A good RAD dev environment. Something involving Glade and Python and integrated. Think Visual Basic 3 (when it was actually good) but on steroids with GNOME love.
  • Gnome Time Tracker to scale better (and not corrupt it’s own data files – i.e. use rename and sync properly)
  • Rhythmbox to have iPod (or any MP3/Ogg player) integration. I want to plug my ipod in, and see it in both Nautilus and Rhythmbox (and have a big Sync button in RB, as well as being able to drag files to it).
  • The desktop background to be Xinerama aware and know not to stretch an image over both screens. let me set one for each screen!
  • Have “random” desktop backgrounds from a folder
  • a desktop background option to better “fill” the screen on widescreens (where the image isn’t widescreen)

General Utils

  • xfsdump to get DVD support (multi volume dumps directly to DVD)
  • g++ to be faster and use less than a squigabyte of memory
  • prism54 to have proper link monitoring (with the gnome panel applet)
  • GUI version of kismet

there’s more… i just can’t be bothered writing any more at the moment :)

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