Solaris Common Desktop Environment: Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide

To Create a New Control

This section describes the general steps for defining a control and describes how to create various types of controls.

  1. If the control will have a PUSH_ACTION and/or DROP_ACTION, create the action definitions. These are the actions that run when the user clicks the control or drops a file on it.

  2. Create the icon image files for the control.

    For information about icon sizes, names, and locations, see Icon Image Files.

  3. Create a new Front Panel configuration file in:

    • System-wide: /etc/dt/appconfig/types/language/*.fp

    • Personal: HomeDirectory/.dt/types/*.fp

  4. Add the control definition to the file.

  5. Save the file.

  6. Choose Restart Workspace Manager from the Workspace menu.

Creating a Control that Runs an Action When Clicked

Use these fields to define the control's behavior:

Creating a Control that Opens a File

Use these fields to define the control's behavior:

Creating a Control that Behaves as a Drop Zone

Use the DROP_ACTION field to specify the action that runs when the user drops a file on the control. The action must be capable of accepting a file argument.

Frequently, a control definition includes both a PUSH_ACTION and DROP_ACTION field. You can use the same action for the push and drop action.

For example, the following control, located in the Personal Applications subpanel, runs the X client xwud, which takes a file argument.

CONTROL Run_xwud
 	CONTAINER_NAME				PerAppsSubpanel
 	ICON							XwudImage
 	PUSH_ACTION					RunXwud
 	DROP_ACTION					RunXwud

Creating a Control that Monitors a File

Use these fields to define the control's behavior:

Creating a One-Instance (Toggle) Control

A one-instance control checks to see whether the process started by the PUSH_ACTION is already running. If the process is not running, the PUSH_ACTION is run. If the process is already running, the window is moved to the top of the window stack in the current workspace.

Use these fields to define the control's behavior:

To Create a Client Window Control

A client window control is an application window embedded in the Front Panel. For example, you can put a system load meter in the Front Panel by creating an xload client window control.

  1. Define the control.

    Use these fields to define the control's behavior:

    • TYPE: Set to client.

    • CLIENT_NAME: Specifies the client to be started.

      The value of CLIENT_NAME must match the first string (res_name) in the WM_CLASS property on the application's top-level window. For more information, see the xprop(1) man page.

    • CLIENT_GEOMETRY: Specifies the size, in pixels, needed for the client's Front Panel window.

      The xwininfo(1) man page describes how to find out the size of a window in pixels.

  2. Choose Restart Workspace Manager from the Workspace menu.

  3. Start the client from a terminal emulator command line.

    For example, the following control displays a 30 × 20 pixel load meter.

    CONTROL LoadMeter
     	TYPE							client
     	CLIENT_NAME					xload
     	CLIENT_GEOMETRY			30x20

    If the client is not saved and restored between sessions, you may want to configure the control to start the client when the user clicks it. For example, you can configure the LoadMeter control to start xload by adding the following line to the definition:

    PUSH_ACTION				StartXload

    and creating the action:

    ACTION StartXload
     	EXEC_STRING				/usr/contrib/bin/X11/xload

To Animate a Control

You can attach an animation sequence to be used when the user chooses the control or drops an object on it.

In order to have an animation sequence, a control must:

  1. Specify the animation sequence using the ANIMATION component:

    	ANIMATION animation_name
     		ANIMATION	icon1				[milisecond_delay]
     		ANIMATION	icon2				[milisecond_delay]

    where icon1, icon 2, etc. are the names of icons, and milisecond_delay is the time delay between animation icons in milliseconds. The default time delay is 200 milliseconds.

  2. Add the PUSH_ANIMATION and/or DROP_ANIMATION fields to the control definition. The value is the name of the ANIMATION sequence.

    For example, the following lines animate a control that starts the BestEditor application. The time delay between icons is 300 milliseconds. The example assumes you've created icon files frame1, frame2, etc.

    CONTROL BestEditor
     	PUSH_ANIMATION BestEdAnimation
     ANIMATION BestEdAnimation
     	frame1			300

Providing On Item Help for Front Panel Controls

There are two ways to provide help for a control: