17 January, 2012

Add 'Share' functionality to Cheese - check!

Great news! The sharing functionality I have been lately working on, have been merged into Cheese master! Now, users will be able to share pictures and videos within different technologies! This needs some improvement though.

First of all, nautilus-sendto needs a good check in the configure.ac file. We are talking here about a runtime dependency, and it would be really nice to have a hint for the user in the form of a message at configure time if nautilus-sendto is not installed on their system or they have the wrong version of it. I already tried something, but it is not completely working, and therefore had to be dropped from the patch for the merge:

# Check for nautilus-sendto runtime dependency.
NAUTILUS_SENDTO_DEP_MSG="This is a runtime dependency just needed for using the sharing functionality in Cheese."
AC_PATH_PROGS([NAUTILUS_SENDTO], [nautilus-sendto], [notfound])
AS_IF([test "x$NAUTILUS_SENDTO" = "xnotfound"],
   [AC_MSG_WARN([Unable to find nautilus-sendto >= $NAUTILUS_SENDTO_REQUIRED in the path. $NAUTILUS_SENDTO_DEP_MSG])],
   [NAUTILUS_SENDTO_SYSTEM=`nautilus-sendto --version | $SED 's/nautilus-sendto //g'`
    AS_IF([test $NS_VERSION_COMPARE = 0],
       [AC_MSG_WARN([Unable to check the version of nautilus-sendto, it is probably too old. At least $NAUTILUS_SENDTO_REQUIRED is required. $NAUTILUS_SENDTO_DEP_MSG])])]

The problem with this solution, is that it will only work for those versions of nautilus-sendto that include support for the --version argument, currently just nautilus-sendto master, since this is a feature I also worked on during the nautilus-sendto integration, and was merged about a week ago. This means, that old versions of nautilus-sendto will not recognize this argument, and therefore return an error message ("Could not parse command-line options: Unknown option --version"), that AS_VERSION_COMPARE will use, comparing a version number with a string, instead of a version number with another version number, which will of course make the check useless. In the meantime, while I work on finding an improved solution, the user will be informed in two ways in case they hit this problem: through the UI by an insensitive 'Share' action and through the README file.

There are other bits that also need some improvement. As I already explained a few blog posts ago, for accomplishing this task,  I used nautilus-sendto, that internally uses libsocialweb, which needs to have some libsocialweb accounts first set up for working. Right now, the only way for setting those accounts up is using Bisho, that is also giving some problems. The idea now and next challenge, is to use GOA (GNOME Online Accounts) in libsocialweb instead, at least, and just for the moment, for the Google services, so my next tasks will be to focus on porting the current libsocialweb YouTube service to use GOA, and to fix all of those underlying bits that are not working correctly, to make the sharing functionality work really well!

As you can see, I do not get bored. I will be back soon with more news!


  1. You could do reverse logic on your problem.

    If you can recognize that nautilus-sendto does not have the --version command line option, then it means that this version will not be suitable for cheese, and thus an insensitive icon could be displayed.


  2. Hei Gil, thanks for your advice! You can read in the following link, why this approach is very complex to do right: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=668072#c4