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Introducing Gwibber 2.30

Gwibber 2.30 brings some significant new features and user interface improvements, including a multicolumn messaging mode and support for persistent message caching. Under the hood, Gwibber 2.30 has a much-improved backend that is more stable and has a smaller memory footprint. The backend exposes some of its core functionality through D-Bus, making it possible for third-party applications to take advantage of Gwibber's messaging capabilities.

The Gwibber 2.30 user interface is cleaner and more intuitive. The sidebar has been collapsed into an icon strip that uses less space. The icon groups are highlighted with the color of the associated account. Users can drag the slider outward to expand it into a more conventional tree view. The new target bar at the bottom of the window makes it easy for users to toggle sending for individual accounts. Gwibber has a new account management user interface that was developed by Ken VanDine. It streamlines the account preferences into a single window that is largely consistent with Empathy's account manager.

One of the most significant enhancements in Gwibber 2.30 is the new multicolumn user interface. It allows users to view multiple streams at the same time in a single window. A drop-down menu allows users to select which stream is displayed in each column.

Ubuntu 10.04

Gwibber is included out of the box in Ubuntu 10.04, which is scheduled for release this month. Gwibber is a key ingredient in Ubuntu's Social from the Start initiative, which aims to make messaging and social networking a central part of the Ubuntu user experience. In Ubuntu 10.04, Gwibber can be launched from the "Broadcast" item on the messaging menu. Ubuntu's new Me Menu has an integrated textbox that is powered by Gwibber. The Me Menu offers a convenient way to send a message to all of your active Gwibber accounts.

CouchDB and SQLite backends

Gwibber 2.30 uses Ubuntu's DesktopCouch framework so that it can its message cache, accounts, settings, and other relevant information inside of a local CouchDB database. Although DesktopCouch offers a lot of compelling advantages, such as seamless synchronization, it has some performance limitations and is difficult to package.

Users who do not want to rely on CouchDB can instead use Gwibber's SQLite backend. This alternate storage backend obviates the DesktopCouch dependency and also offers improved performance and stability. If you want to run Gwibber with SQLite, you can obtain it from the 230-sqlite-backend branch on Launchpad. I am currently working to integrate this alternate backend directly into the latest code in Gwibber trunk so that it will be easier to maintain it alongside the existing CouchDB backend.

In future versions of Gwibber, SQLite will be used by default for all message caching. CouchDB will be used for storing accounts if it is available, with the ability to automatically using SQLite instead as a fallback when DesktopCouch is not installed.

Gwibber 3.0 roadmap

I have already started to assemble a roadmap for Gwibber 3.0. The next version will likely add support for Buzz and Reddit. Some services that were supported in earlier versions will be making a comeback, including Ping.fm, RSS, and BrightKite.

Other significant features on the roadmap include support for new-style retweets, improved direct message handling, Twitter lists, Facebook filters, more comprehensive inline media previews, better scrolling behavior, nickname autocompletion, and unread message notification in the sidebar. Several of these features are already implemented in experimental branches and will arrive in the nightly builds soon.

Now that Gwibber 2.30 is out, I'll be updating this blog more frequently with information about new features and other Gwibber-related projects, including the upcoming mobile ports and cross-platform version. Stay tuned for more details!

27 Responses to “Introducing Gwibber 2.30”

  1. Dahaniel says:

    I don't know if this is the right place for feature requests, but showing the userpic instead of the Gwibber icon in the notifications would be really cool!

    • Ryan Paul says:

      I'd like to add that feature, but I'm waiting for native disk caching functionality to be added to the HTML rendering component that Gwibber uses. It's likely that this will be fixed for Gwibber 3.0. There is an open bug report about it here.

  2. Jeff S says:

    Gwibber is a very cool tool, great work! Any plans for supporting some of the other popular social networking sites like:

    LinkedIN Xing Naymz Ecademy etc.

    Most important for me would be LinkedIN.

    Thanks for the great work on gwibber!!!! =)

  3. Cick says:

    A good feature would be to recognize GPS co-ordinance when rendering the messages. This could be displayed as icon that links to a configurable mapping resource like googlemaps or open street map give the social broadcast a location

  4. Aditya says:

    Gwibber is a really cool application. I see that your development page is empty right now. I would like to contribute. Any pointers?

  5. Dave says:

    Great app! Can't wait for facebook filters. Shove it to the top of the list. Right now we have to experience all the things wrong with facebook.... (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/facebook_suck)

  6. buzz says:

    Hello! Wow great app! I have a suggestion. When there is no account in a social network, the social networking icons of that network should disappear from the sidebar.

    • Ryan Paul says:

      The Gwibber sidebar will only show icons for the accounts that you have configured. If you are seeing icons for accounts that you do not use, it's probably a bug.

  7. Nivex says:

    Are there any packages (a PPA?) from the 230-sqlite-backend branch?

    • Ryan Paul says:

      No, we haven't released tarballs or packages of the SQLite branch. The SQLite backend will probably be merged into trunk during this cycle.

  8. Philip says:

    Really appreciate this. Excellent

  9. Drew says:

    I'd use Gwibber but there's no Ping.fm support in the version packaged with Ubuntu 10.4 as far as I know! >:( It would also be nice to have Plurk support, since I use that more than Twitter.

  10. Timóteo says:

    Just installed ubuntu 10.04 and setup gwibber. cool app, great looking theme... but why cant I remove updates?

    I like to have my screen clean, so I know that if theres nothing there its because I have already read everything. Kinda like in google reader you have "new items | all items"

    I hope to see great improvements for gwibber 3, looking forward to it.

  11. Flash858 says:

    Like many, many others, I cannot get Gwibber to add facebook. It is authorized on my facebook page, has Facebook added in the app section of gconf, but alas, not in the actual window.

    No one seems to have a fix for this for Lucid.

    Why would you release this if it simply does not work?

  12. JayDee says:

    I love Gwibber, it's the best program of it's kind. The only thing is it would be nice to see Gwibber work with Myspace's friend stream and AOL's Lifestream.

    Keep up the great work Gwibber team, you have a killer app. :)

  13. Gwilh says:

    Hey, Gwibber is a terrific micro-blogging client, I use it every day ! Hav you heard that Google have given/open it API ? So I think you will be able to integrate Google Buzz in the next release ;) I hope !

    • Ryan Paul says:

      Google Buzz will be fully supported to the extent made possible by its API in Gwibber 3.0. I'll be writing a blog entry about Buzz in Gwibber very soon.

  14. Markske says:

    I would like to see the feature using https for twitter Now if someone sniffs your connection ...

    that is something that I don't like for the rest a nice tool :)

  15. ReddishShift says:

    I'd like to see the return of the "Hide taskbar entry" option.

  16. tnbt says:

    a twitter filter based on keywords would be a great feature in gwibber.

  17. Andre says:

    I tried some other Twitter clients but switched back to Gwibber :-) Looks good but sometimes i can't tweet, nothing happens. I can't delete tweets either. Overall a good app. Hope for improved versions soon.

  18. CalaverX11 says:

    When will support for Facebook on Ubuntu 10.04 be fixed? It just stopped working one day, for no reason whatsoever. I tried everything, from hand-editing certain python code files to purging my couchdb and even my entire user account.

    I apt-get purged everything related to gwibber, certain python libs, and all the configuration files I could find that were installed as part of the package and generated afterward. Nothing worked. Only after I completely destroyed and re-created my user account did Facebook start working again...and then stopped, again, for no reason.

    I'm not about to go through all that trouble a second time. I hope this gets addressed in an upcoming release.

  19. Fuzz says:

    Hope version 3 fixes the Facebook issues, love the intrerface but it's far too buggy to use at the moment...

  20. Brad says:

    This is a great program , but I have found that it sometimes takes hours and sometimes days before it will refresh new Facebook posts. Also it should contain a clear feature for old status and pictures . If the programmers could fix that then I would continue using Gwibber. If there is no fix soon I will be deleting this and I'll look for a different app that will accomplish what I want.

  21. Andrew Hall says:

    Great work guys - I hope you are communicating with the guys at diaspora to add their accounts when launched. My wife wants to know too when you will be launching for Windoze?!