IntroductionPerlPanel draws a small taskbar on your screen to display some useful widgets like a programs menu, some shortcut icons, a clock and so on. It's similar to the Windows Taskbar, the Gnome Panel, and KDE's Kicker.
However, those programs are designed to be tightly integrated into the environment they are part of. For example, Kicker's not much use without KDE.
This kind of flies in the face of the Unix tradition of having lots of small, simple programs that don't depend on each other. Such is the price of user-friendliness. So users of minimalist window managers miss out on the useful bits of panel programs because they won't, or can't, run a heavy desktop environment on their systems.
This is where PerlPanel comes in. It is a panel program much in the vein of the Gnome Panel and Kicker, but is completely independent of any particular environment. So you can use it with Blackbox, for example, or WindowMaker.
Running PerlPanelRunning PerlPanel is as simple as typing "perlpanel" into your terminal. However you might wish to add this to your ".xinitrc" file or any other scripts that start when your X session begins.
To run PerlPanel with a configuration file other than the default, you can specify a file as an argument, for example:
This allows you to run more than one panel at a time.
Configuring PerlPanelAll configuration is done in the resource file, located in "$HOME/.perlpanelrc". This is an XML file and so it should be fairly easy to edit as you need. However most parts of it can be changed using the Configurator applet.
AppletsThe PerlPanel is really just a container for components called applets. If you've used Gnome or KDE you should be familiar with applets - they're small widgets that perform a particular task. PerlPanel comes with a number of useful applets that are enabled by default. They are explained in brief below.
Installing Third Party applets
To install an applet, you can simply drag the file onto the panel. Or
you can use the ``Install Applet...'' item in the ``Add To Panel'' submenu
of the Action Menu, or the ``Install Applet'' button on the ``Add Applet''
dialog of the Configurator. Each of these will display a dialog that
will prompt you for the filename of the applet to be installed. Then you
can add the Applet to your panel.
The 'ActionMenu' Applet
The 'BatteryMonitor' Applet
The 'BBMenu' Applet
The BBMenu applet is a program launcher menu, like the Windows Start Menu. It can understand any Blackbox-compatible menu file, and will look for them on your system. It tries the following locations, in this order:
$HOME/.perlpanel/menu $HOME/.blackbox/menu $HOME/.fluxbox/menu $HOME/.waimea/menu /usr/local/share/blackbox/menu /usr/share/blackbox/menu /usr/local/share/fluxbox/menu /usr/share/fluxbox/menu /usr/local/share/waimea/menu /usr/share/waimea/menu
The BBMenu isn't (yet) clever enough to recognise submenus that contain special Blackbox commands, so you might find that there are empty submenus and extra separators in the menu. If you copy your menu file into "$HOME/.perlpanel" and remove the Blackbox-specific elements, PerlPanel will automatically detect it and use it instead.
BBMenu will attempt to find an icon file for each entry in the menu. It
does this by searching in common directories for a .png file that
matches the program name. For example, if your menu has an entry for
the c<foobar> program, BBMenu will look for a file called foobar.png.
If you want to specify an icon to use for a program, you can do so by placing a copy of the image (or a symbolic link to it) in "$HOME/.perlpanel/icon-files".
The 'Clock' Applet
The Clock applet shows the current time in a text form. Clicking on the
applet will bring up a dialog with a calender for this month, and a
page that lets you change the format used to render the time. The
format used is that of the POSIX "strftime()" function. Consult the
strftime manpage for an explanation of the formatting characters.
The 'Commander' Applet
The 'Configurator' Applet
The Panel tab contains various positioning and padding options for the panel itself.
You can add, remove and re-order applets on the panel from the 'Applets'
The 'CPUTemp' Applet
This applet displays the reported temperature of your computer's CPU. You
need to have a supported motherboard, and the "mbmon" program installed.
The temperature can be displayed in Celsius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin.
The 'DriveManager' Applet
This applet lets you control removable storage media. When you click on
the applet you will be shown a menu that lets you mount, unmount and
eject any removable media that is attached to your computer.
The 'GnomeMenu Applet
By default, this applet reads the menu information from the "applications:"
Gnome-VFS URI. However you can change this URI to any that Gnome-VFS
understands. Edit the "base" attribute of the applet's configuration.
The 'Launcher' Applet
The 'LoadMonitor' Applet
The 'Lock' Applet
This icon locks the screen so that others cannot access your files and
programs while you are away from the keyboard. You must enter your
password to unlock the screen. This applet requires that you have the
XScreenSaver program installed.
The 'NautilusBookmarks' Applet
The 'NotificationArea' Applet
The 'OpenBoxMenu' Applet
The 'Pager' Applet
The 'PanelPet' Applet
The 'RecentFiles' Applet
The 'RunMe' Applet
The 'Separator' Applet
The 'SetiAtHome' Applet
This applet displays the total current number of work units completed
for your Seti@Home account, and the progress on the current one. If you
click on the applet you will be shown a configuration dialog allowing you
to enter your account details. You can also check progress on a remote
host using SSH - you may wish to register your SSH RSA/DSA key on the
remote host so that you're not prompted for a password every time.
The 'ShellManager' Applet
This applet gives you a quick and simple way to launch remote shells - you can easily add shortcuts to your most frequently visited hosts, and open connections to them from the list. Clicking on the applet brings up a menu with list of accounts, and entries for adding and editing accounts.
By default, the ShellManager will invoke SSH using the "gnome-terminal"
program. If you want to change this, edit the "terminal" attribute of
the applet's configuration.
The 'ShowDesktop' Applet
The 'Spacer' Applet
The 'Tasklist' Applet
The Tasklist shows you all the programs currently visible on your
desktop. You can click on the entries for each program to raise them
to the top of the stack. You can right-click on them to bring up a
context menu for maximising, minimising, shading and so on.
The 'Trash' Applet
The 'Volume' Applet
The 'Webcam' Applet
This applet loads an image from a website and displays it on your panel.
If you click on the image you can see it full-size. If you right-click on
the image you can configure the applet URL and update interval.
The 'WiFiMonitor' Applet
The 'WindowMenu' Applet
This applet is an alternative to the Tasklist applet, which can
sometimes use up a lot of space on the panel. This applet presents
a simple icon button. Clicking on this button pops up a menu listing
all the current windows. Click on a window's entry to raise it.
The 'XMMS' Applet
This applet will also control the Beep Media Player.
Writing AppletsApplets are very easy to write - they're simple Perl scripts. If you want to learn how to write applets, consult perlpanel-applet-howto.
- * perl(1)
- * Gtk2
- * XML::Simple
- * Xmms::Remote
CopyrightCopyright (c) 2004 Gavin Brown.
PerlPanel is free software, you can use it and/or redistribute it under the terms of the GNU General Public License. See the COPYING file for more information