Bazaar developers’ blog

March 1, 2010

Bazaar Explorer’s Killer Feature

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ian Clatworthy @ 6:33 am

Bazaar Explorer 1.0.0 hits the streets yesterday. It’s now well entrenched in my Top 5 applications along with Firefox, Thunderbird and gvim – I truly love using it. Some user docs are coming but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at my favorite feature … project-specific tools.

The first time I opened a repository called “bzr”, Explorer guessed that I was working on the core Bazaar project and asked if I wanted to use the bzr “Hat”. I replied Yes. Now, every time I open a branch in that repository, my toolbox magically gets a Bazaar Development section as shown below.

The Toolbox

The first 3 actions take me to the Open Questions, New Bugs and Active Code Reviews for bzr on Launchpad. That lets me reply to support questions, triage new issues and review merge proposals. Clicking on Servers pops up a menu of bzr-related web sites I visit from time to time, the PQM bot that merges proposed changes to our mainline (if and only if all tests pass) and our Hudson continuous integration server (that runs our regression test suite on lots of  different operating systems).

Servers for bzr

Likewise, Docs pops up a menu of documentation I commonly use …

Docs for bzr

BTW, you don’t need to be using a shared repository for Explorer to propose using a Hat for given location and its subdirectories. Opening a branch or checkout with the right name will work as well. If you don’t want to use a Hat for a location, that’s equally fine. Explorer will remember that fact and not ask you again.

This feature isn’t only for “bzr” development either. Explorer ships with around 20 hats for a variety of popular open source projects on Launchpad including MySQL, Inkscape, Gwibber, Mailman, GNOME Do and Launchpad itself. You can easily create your own as well by simply adding a hats/project-name/tools.xml file under your explorer configuration directory (e.g. ~/.bazaar/explorer). Here’s a sample tools.xml file:


<folder title="Tools">
<separator/>
<folder title="QBzr Development">
<toolset name="lp-devel" project="qbzr" />
</folder>
</folder>

It might just be me but I find project-specific tools mega cool: fast access to the places I need to visit, anytime I’m working on a particular project. Explorer is and will remain an easy-to-use GUI application suitable for casual users of version control. My grand vision though is for it to evolve into a collaboration-centric, BYO editor IDE, suitable for hard-code developers like myself to spend most of their day in. Keeping the easy-vs-powerful balance right won’t be easy but I’m confident we can do it. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

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10 Comments

  1. Awesome… but I still prefer working in command line :)

    Comment by MyFreeWeb — March 7, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  2. Does Bazaar Explorer require the Qt toolkit? It looks hideous on my system, and I’m unmotivated to figure out why (I use virtually no Qt applications). Can it use the Gtk widget library instead?

    Comment by Ben Finney — March 8, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

    • Currently, Qt is required. I do have plans for a Gtk version but that’s a while away.

      Can you raise a bug about the bad appearance and attach a screenshot? Qt can be configured to use a Gtk theme so that apps fits into a Gtk environment. If you raise a bug, we can investigate further.

      Comment by Ian Clatworthy — March 9, 2010 @ 1:14 am

      • Sadly the Bazaar bug tracker requires maintaining a site-specific set of credentials, so no, I won’t be the one filing such a report until that changes. I’m happy to correspond via email about this if you want more detail though.

        Thanks for the confirmation about the Qt requirement.

        Comment by Ben Finney — March 9, 2010 @ 1:20 am

  3. Hello Ian,

    Althouh I’m still using darcs (along with bzr) and would like to see more darcs support in LP (to import repos), Explorer is evolving into really great tool.

    Thank you for it, and, pls. take care about your health as well.

    All the best.

    Sincerely,
    Gour

    Comment by Gour — March 12, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  4. Hiya,

    You can easily create your own as well by simply adding a hats/project-name/tools.xml file under your explorer configuration directory (e.g. ~/.bazaar/explorer). Here’s a sample tools.xml file

    Is the above mentioned somewhere in the docs?

    Somehow I’m unable to find it. :-(

    Sincerely,
    Gour

    Comment by Gour — March 12, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  5. Gour,

    I should delete that branch as hats for Bazaar and other projects are now bundled. The conditions tag is meant to control when actions are enabled. It’s currently not implemented so treat it as a comment (or ignore it altogether!) please.

    Comment by Ian Clatworthy — March 15, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  6. You can easily create your own as well by simply adding a hats/project-name/tools.xml file under your explorer configuration directory (e.g. ~/.bazaar/explorer). Here’s a sample tools.xml file

    Is the above mentioned somewhere in the docs?

    Somehow I’m unable to find it. :-(

    Sincerely,
    Gour

    Comment by tütünex — February 12, 2011 @ 7:26 am


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