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ROX Filer Updated: Writing your own linux software and more

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st May 09:27:58 | Permalink | Printable

Once regarded as a quirky and unfriendly OS used by stereotypical computer geeks, Linux has in little time radically grown into a cool, smart and rapidly developing platform that the bigger news websites would like to believe is the future Microsoft Windows slayer- they've obviously not heard of RISC OS then. Regardless of that little matter, Linux has been enjoying its first taste of RISC OS in the form of ROX-Filer.

Developed by Thomas Leonard and friends, ROX-Filer is a graphical file manager for Unix/Linux which provides a RISC OS-like interface. It is also the core component of the ROX desktop; a RISC OS-like desktop for Unix/Linux. Recently, ROX-Filer 1.1.3, a new developer release of the filer, has been released with the following changes from 1.1.2 (names of contributors given in brackets):


  • Added 'Huge, With...' display styles. In huge mode, normal icons are scaled up if they're too small. This is mainly useful with thumbnails...
  • Added a ROX-Filer/Styles file for default colours (default filer background is now lighter). The styles can be overridden in /ROX-Filer/Styles (suggested by Stephen Watson).
  • Pinboards and panels should now work with IceWM without needing -o (Christopher Arndt).
  • Allow text messages in the toolbar to go off the side (instead of resizing the window).
  • Opening the shell minibuffer with a selection adds ' "$@' after the cursor. Without a selection, the name of the file under the cursor is added.
  • Pressing the `' key opens the menu (suggested by Christopher Arndt). Hold down Ctrl for the File submenu.
  • The AppMenu file has become AppInfo.xml and contains extra bits -- tooltips for applications and extra details for the `Info' box.
  • Added a 'Refresh' button to the info box, and made it look nicer.
  • Automatic resizing of windows when changing directory is now optional (requested by Paul F. Johnson and Andreas Thorn).
  • The symlink box allows you to choose to create relative or absolute links (suggested by Stephen Watson).
  • Winking an item in a directory makes it flash twice instead of once (easier to see). Also, creating a new file or directory from the menu winks the new item.
  • Double clicking on a filer window's background resizes the window (Denis Manente).
  • If an item's name is truncated, show it in a tooltip when the pointer is held over the item (Denis Manente).
  • Translations:

    • Hungarian by Andras Mohari.
    • Russian by Dmitry Elfimov.
    • Updated the French translation (Vincent Lefèvre).



Thomas also revealed to drobe.co.uk that he has released ROX-Lib, a library of shared (python) code to make writing ROX applications easier. A short tutorial showing how to use ROX-Lib to create a text editor with drag-and-drop loading and saving, error reporting and a toolbar is now on-line too.

More tutorials may be written if there is demand and if that is not enough, Stephen Watson has created some nice little applets, including a clock, an elm wrapper that indicates when you have new mail, and a load monitor (shows how busy the system is).


ROX-Filer: rox.sourceforge.net/rox_filer.php3
ROX: rox.sourceforge.net
ROX Software, as recommended by Thomas:

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