Rod Hilton's rants about software development, technology, and sometimes Star Wars

I wanted to start experimenting with the Gnome Deskbar recently, particularly to make it easier to update my twitter feed. There are a number of deskbar plugins for twitter updating, though most of them are obsolete because of recent changes to Deskbar.

I had a lot of trouble getting WAYD (a twitter/pownce/jaiku updater) to work with Deskbar, so I figured I’d post to explain what I had to do to make it work.

First, when you download the plugin, you need to put it in the correct directory. A lot of instructions tell you to place the file in ~/.gnome2/deskbar-applet/handlers but these instructions are for older style plugins. You want to place the file in ~/.gnome2/deskbar-applet/modules-2.20-compatible

Next, you need to rename the file. The file is named to have a version number in the filename after a dash. Dashes aren’t allowed in python filenames, so rename to

Last, you need to fix a small bug in the WAYD code. Around line 375 you will see:

  if not c.twitter() and not c.jaiku() and not p.pownce():

change this to:

  if not c.twitter() and not c.jaiku() and not c.pownce():

Then you can reload Deskbar (remove it from your panel and re-add it), right click the icon, go to preferences, and enable the plugin. Be sure to put your login information in by clicking ‘more’ on the preferences screen.

Update: You also need to change line 107 from

  except URLError, e:


        except urllib2.URLError, e:

To prevent a crash when there’s a problem with twitter updates. Additionally, if you post a message that’s too long (>140 characters) to twitter, you get an unhelpful generic error message. To make it tell you something useful, find the following code

  message = "Your post to Twitter might have had a problem"

and add this below it:

        if len(self.text) > 140:
            message="Your post is too long for Twitter."
            n = pynotify.Notification("Twitter Results", message, "stock_internet")

I’ve sent the author my changes, so hopefully he’ll update his site with a new copy of the file and make this post obsolete.

Update: The author has merged my changes in. Go to his site to get the latest version (you still need to rename it to though).

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