Some Frequently Asked Questions about Mumbles:
” What, no About Page?”
” Why not libnotify?”
This is probably the most frequently asked question about mumbles. “Why not put this work into libnotify?” and “why not just use libnotify to do the same thing?” And the answer is two-fold:
The first reason, I think, warrants a bit of history of the project. I started mumbles as basically an excuse to play around with Python. I had just reorganized the way I worked on multiple desktops and wanted a way to see IM alerts on any desktop. I also wanted something that was a little more attention grabbing than what I found I was able to do from my client (now Pidgin). I had also used an application called Growl, in my past OSX days, that I really liked, so I started to look for something similar for Gnome. I ran across this post at Hack It Linux that linked to a tutorial about creating desktop notifications. So I ran with that idea with the intention of picking up a bit of Python, which led to learning about DBus, which led to learning about how to use Cairo, and so on. I took the project as an excuse to learn more about all of these cool applications I had been hearing about (from Python eggs to Glade) and tried to stitch all if that into an application that could be useful to others. I was certainly aware of libnotify, but at the time knew less about it that I probably should have. I didn’t find that the libnotify alerts fit in too well with Compiz/Beryl/Compiz Fusion so one early goal, was to try to make them look flashier (see Cairo). I have since learned that libnotify allows custom themes and can do similar window stacking, so while, I’m sure I could have worked more with libnotify, I don’t regret using mumbles as an opportunity to learn about Cairo and other things that make mumbles, at least in my opinion, different than libnotify.
The other reason, even after learning more about libnotify, that I see for separate projects is that, I think, they play different parts. I see libnotify as more of single event, system-level alerts, where I see mumble’s role as more of a repeating, application-level notification system. I personally, don’t think I want a mumbles notification when I join a wifi network, nor do I think I want a libnotify alert on every IM message. I also think the plugin system used in mumbles serves a different purpose than libnotify. I see the ability to handle various application plugins as a separate issue to that of how the notifications are displayed. But, I do think it makes sense to do things like add the ability to use libnotify alerts to display notifications using mumbles and it’s plugins. I would also like to work on other ways to integrate the two (and other systems) in order to provide the most complete way to control notifications as possible. I’m sure this will be a main focus of the next version of mumbles, so if you have any comments or ideas, please get involved in the discussion (on the forum, in the comments, or by contribution).
“How do I get mumbles to start on startup?”
This will vary from distro to distro, but here are a few tips that will hopefully point you in the right direction.
If you are using the deb package, you should be able to add ‘mumbles’ to your startup list just like any other application. On Ubuntu, you select the System-Preferences->Sessions menus, click to add a new item and enter just ‘mumbles’ for both the name and command. Next time you log in, mumbles should be started.
If you have installed mumbles from the source package, you can follow the same procedure as above, but instead use the path to mumbles where you unzipped the package. Something like ‘/home/dot_j/mumbles-0.4/src/mumbles’ should do the trick.
“How can I tell if mumbles is working?”
The simplest way is once mumbles has started (most likely the mumbles icon is in your panel), is to open a terminal and type ‘mumbles-send “title” “message”‘ (or ‘ /home/dot_j/mumbles-0.4/src/mumbles-send “title” “message”‘). If things are working, you should see a notification on screen.
If you do not see a notification using mumble-send, try starting mumbles with the ‘-v’ flag from a terminal. That should tell you a little more about what’s happening. If you still have problems, please don’t hesitate to ask a question on the forums.