Fun Little Acire Story

With the new release of Acire just out I wanted to tell you folks a fun little story of an added benefit to Acire that I never envisaged when I came up with the idea for the app.

Yesterday I got an email from someone (I will keep the identify private) saying:

I’m trying to create an application but I can’t seem to find any way to embed a gnome-terminal into my app. I know you’re not offering support :) but if you have some spare time is there any chance you can point me to the documentation for that?

This happens a lot: someone wants to do something, so they ask for help over email or on another medium such as IRC. Unfortunately, I am usually pretty busy and typically don’t have the time to answer support questions. Before Acire existed I would have at most hunted out some links or possibly just the person to to go and ask on a particular forum or mailing list.

Now Acire exists, I just fired it up, selected Python VTE from the cateogries combo box, clicked on the snippet, and then cut and pasted the code into the email:

#!/usr/bin/env python

# [SNIPPET_NAME: Embed a VTE terminal]
# [SNIPPET_DESCRIPTION: Embed a VTE terminal in your application]

    import gtk
    print >> sys.stderr, "You need to install the python gtk bindings"

# import vte
    import vte
    error = gtk.MessageDialog (None, gtk.DIALOG_MODAL, gtk.MESSAGE_ERROR, gtk.BUTTONS_OK,
        'You need to install python bindings for libvte')
    sys.exit (1)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    # create the terminal
    v = vte.Terminal()
    v.connect ("child-exited", lambda term: gtk.main_quit())

    # fork_command() will run a command, in this case it shows a prompt

    # create a window and add the VTE
    window = gtk.Window()
    window.connect('delete-event', lambda window, event: gtk.main_quit())

    # you need to show the VTE

    # Finally, run the application

Job done. What made me smile about this was that Acire not only helps me, but it helped me help someone else too. Rocking. :-)

  • ethana2

    Is there any way to submit snippet requests through acire?

    Like, how do I request administrative authentication in a Java app?

  • Ed S

    Acire is targeted at the Python+GTK+GNOME stack that is popular for Ubuntu development – see Jono’s post, It has features (including ongoing work) that work for Python, and will not work for Java (at least, not without major modifications to the code – though who knows what people might add in the future). Second, there isn’t currently any way to request snippets through Acire. That would need a communication mechanism like a mailing list/forum/etc – a link to which could be put on Acire’s Help menu, once the forum is set up :-) In fact, Jono wants more programmers to join in and submit Python snippets to the python-snippets project on… if you write Python, consider contributing! :-)

  • CoolGoose

    Thanks again Jono for the tips ;)

  • Rich

    Brilliant idea, I plan on using this myself – but I must say, the logo is crap! How about something a bit more scalable and colorful, eh Jono?

  • uninja

    Don’t forget to import sys before the attempt to import vte.

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  • Jon

    I’ve install acire and python-snippets, is it right that the only categories I see are pygtksourceview, cairo, apport and pygtk?