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Currently I am personalizing my Ubuntu installation and i want to write a small applet to add it in the top left corner of the screen. This should be a "main menu" like in Mac OS X where i have a menu that opens when i click the (Apple/"Tux") logo and offers me to run the updater, the software center, etc. With this i could combine this applet with my global menu i already have activated to achieve a mac-like menu interface. :-)

Which tools and programming languages are used to write such applets and what is the first place i should look for such information?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Gnome-panel is deprecated and will no longer be available in Ubuntu from 11.10. It is based on infrstructure that is no longer being used by anyone.

If you like that type of setup, then I would recommend you have a look at Xfce. I think xfce4-panel is much better than gnome-panel, and it's actively developed. I believe their panel plugins are mostly written in Vala. But Xfce4 is also able to use gnome-panel applets if you install xfce4-xfapplet-plugin.

Because of all the modernization (gnome-panel has been unchanged for years) it's become a little more difficult to start programming. The tools themselves are easier to use, but the community needs time to catch up and write good documentation, tutorials, etc.

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The problem for me is, that i do not wnat to use Unity while having Docky active. Furthermore Unity is way to overloaded for me! Therefore i am currently running "Ubuntu Classic" with (obviously) Gnome. Can you please explain me, what does it mean to change to Xfce? Themes, icons, setup of my desktop... what will change or stay as it is? – Christian Ivicevic Aug 20 '11 at 13:54
Well. It is a different desktop environment, but it is based on GTK, like Gnome is and uses many of the same tools. But sticking with Gnome2 isn't a real option. 10.04 will be supported until April 2013, so that's the best bet if you really want to stick with it. But Xfce is a natural replacement for the Gnome 2 environment and it's being actively developed and maintained. In many cases, it's possible to setup Xfce so that it'll just seem like a new version of Gnome 2. You can just install it and choose it when you login. The only conflict is notify-osd, which will need to be uninstalled. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Aug 20 '11 at 15:56
You are talking about Gnome2. What's about Gnome3? I think this version will be still supported, isn't it so? So i can have a look at Gnome3 and maybe tweak it if it does not fit my purposes :-) – Christian Ivicevic Aug 20 '11 at 20:11
But Gnome-panel3 is something else entirely, and does not support gnome-panel applets. At least it didn't the last time I had a look at it. Gnome2 is deprecated by gnome and no longer supported. Ubuntu uses Gnome3 in 11.10 and onwards, and gnome-panel 2 will no longer be available at all. You'll probably need to use entirely different tools in order to make applets for gnome-panel3. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Aug 20 '11 at 20:25
I will try out Gnome3 and if it does not suit my requirements I will look for tweaking possibilities or another alternatives! – Christian Ivicevic Aug 20 '11 at 20:29

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