About Global Village

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Global Village is a Gnome application designed to place a front-end, or graphical user interface onto the CLI interface of Xplanet.

Originally intended to create and update the desktop wallpaper in a gnome environment, showing a traditional rectangular projection of the planet Earth.

Global Village now provides as many of the features of Xplanet as seem reasonable, and with the ability for plugins the scope is nearly limitless.

Current Status

Currently, Global Village is functional. It can be considered in the alpha stage of development. Things are changing behind the scenes, but not as often as they used to.

It can currently show a preview of the final image, and then display that image on the desktop at user specified intervals (in seconds), and has an icon in the notification area of the Gnome panel.

Plugins are working, having been subject to many changes. Currently working plugins show recent earthquakes, cities and recent fires on earth. Plugins can be enabled or disabled at any time.


26th September, 2010

It has been a longtime. and nothing has been happening here. I have decided to restart development, mostly because of the recent earthquakes in Christchurch.

It wont happen over night, gtk has moved on from libglade to gtkbuilder, some of the data on the web has also moved on or changed formats. It has been so long since I looked at the code that I expect to throw most of it away and start again. I have new ideas.

Install bug.
29th March, 2009

Discovered a bug in the install process, install.py will install dependenceies on Ubunut (and some others) like python-configobj, but unfortunately the install.py code requires python-configobj to run. So untill that is sorted you will need to install python-configobj bofore running install.py

The 0.0.9-3 Config and Path fixes.
22th March, 2009

Fixed a couple of show stopper bugs, the config files were getting updated with the wrong path to marker files, and in some cases confusion over xplanet locations after an install from source.

The default xplanet source installs into /usr/local/share/xplanet while Ubuntu and others install into /usr/share/xplanet which confuses the installer for Global Village.

The fix is to uninstall the /usr/local/share/xplanet, then re-install with ./configure --prefix=/usr/ and then install 0.0.9-3 Global Village. Before runing Global Village enter 'gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/globalvillage' whichi will give you a clean slate to start from.

Remember it requires a build of xplanet from the SVN repo. Thses instuctions are what I used:

svn co https://xplanet.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xplanet/trunk xplanet

And then ./configure --prefix=/usr/ on Ubuntu and similar distros when installing xplanet. Also, you will need to .dev packages for jpeg, pango and png to build xplanet.

The 0.0.9-2 Fixes and updates.
21th March, 2009

Fixed some bugs in the Cities and Fires plugin. Tidied up the installation and a few other things.

The Dodgy 0.0.9 Version
19th March, 2009

Just a reminder that the 0.0.9 is called Dodgy for a reason, it quite possibley wont work. Use the 0.0.8 release if you want a working version.

Map Management
16th March, 2009

The map manager is up and running. Select a planetary body, and drag and drop from the file browser onto the list or the specific buttons to add maps, also drag and drop to re-arange the order. Right mouse button to pop up a remove window just as with the cities plugin.

For planets other than Earth, the first map in the list is used. Earth is treated as a special case. Global Village will divide the maps up equally thoughout the year, so if you have 3 maps, the map will be changed every 121 days. 12 maps and it will be changed every 30 days and so on.

Other minor fixes. The install now places a menu item in the Graphics sub menu of the main Gnome menu, and support for Xplanets -origin option in the 'Advanced Options' of the main window. On the down side changes to the fires plugin have introduced bugs...

Fixes and final 0.0.8
13th March, 2009

Fixes to the preview image, and can now be run from any terminal by typing globalvillage. This is the last release for 0.0.8

Remember it requires a build of xplanet from the SVN repo.

Update for Release 0.0.8
12th March, 2009

Some fixes to the installer. Remember it requires a build of xplanet from the SVN repo.

Some known bugs so far:

  • Needs to be run from the install directory, the link in /usr/bin does not work.
  • The preview never works the first time it is run, quit and run again as a work around.
  • Users need to manually edit the config in ~/.globalvillage to alter the images for maps etc...
  • Draging and Dropping of Cities from the available cities to the visible cities does not always update the marker file. Check and then Uncheck one of the options as a work around for this.
  • If Nautilus is drawing the desktop, there is a flicker of the screen each time the background is updated when nautilus makes it's copy.
New Release: 0.0.8
11th March, 2009

After being glued to the lazy boy for a week with a fractured foot I started to look at this again. The installer has been fixed and tested on Ububntu Distros. Still I hesitate to call it a beta release. Partially because it still requires a built of xplanet from the SVN repo and partially because I feel there is so much to do...

Now if I could just trip down those stairs again...

Problems with time zones.
6th August, 2008

After hours, spread across a few days of searching the internet for a free database I realised there was one right in front of me. I look at it several times a day.

The Gnome clock on the panel. A quick search and I found Locations.xml, a 17mb file, with latitudes, longitudes, city names, country codes, and with metar codes for the weather.

Previously I had been using another file, of cities, locations and metar data, but no time zone information.

29th July, 2008

The Weather reporting in the Cities plugin is now functional, though lacking in styles other than the Plain_Text style.

26th July, 2008

I have made some changes to support Pyinotify 0.8.0 as the 0.7.x versions had a few issues often missing changes to files. Pyinotify 0.8.x is now a requirement.

Development Focus.
23nd February, 2008

Just a reminder that the current focus for Global Village is on the 'core' of the application. Plugins will follow. The fewer plugins there are the easier it is to make big changes... The beta is proably not far off...

Global Village 0.0.7 (dodgy) and the images archive.
22nd February, 2008

Well, it's been a year since I started this, and 7 months since that last (minor) update.

Today I uploaded two new files, the "even less stable than the alpha" version 0.0.7 and an images file (these are the icons and other images associated with Global Village, not earth maps etc...). I have been meaning to split the package for some time, as the images used in Global Village dont change too often.

I would not recomend running the install script on the 0.0.7 version, just unpack it some where, unpack the 0.0.2 images to the same directory, and then look at and edit the config.py file. Feel free to email me if you are having trouble, but I stress that it is not yet ready for general use.

Actually, it's not true, 0.0.7 is just as stable and usable as 0.0.5, but the install is not working, and so much is changing that it might be some time before the install script is updated to reflect these changes.

20th July, 2007

The wallpaper plugin now includes an option to display cloud images over Earth. This is handled by Doug Hawkins clouds.py in loop mode. (see here for details on clouds.py)

12th July, 2007

A new plugin to display Cities, and optionally weather, has been added. This (and the fires plugin) uses the new 'styles' options for creating the marker files.

Currently has approximately 8500 available cities, although not all respond to requests for weather reports.

2nd July, 2007

Started work on 'styles' for generating marker files. A style is like a plugin, that generates marker lines. Examples are (will be) icons or text, scalable and fadeable images to represent intensity of age of event, eg: for earth quakes or fires etc...

Back on board.
19th June, 2007

Well, it has been a while since any progres has been made on Globalvillage, for a number of reasons. Work has begun again. The first thing I noticed is that pyinotify was causing some problems, but updating to pyinotfy 0.7.0 fixed that.

Website overhaul.
4th April, 2007

Yes, there has been progress with Global Village. There is a new 'logging' feature with a GUI that provides useful information for users and developers alike. This provides 'log' reports on the behaviour of specific parts of Global Village.

But the real news is that the web site has had a make over.

Global Village 0.0.5 alpha released
27th March, 2007

At last an update, with new features and a working install script!

A lot of changes, improvements and ground work, building on the previous refactoring. Plugins can now be enabled and disabled 'on the fly' and the plugins have become stable. Global Village has been running for days with out a problem. But there is still a lot of work to do :-)

Please see the ChangeLog for details or get it now.

Global Village 0.0.4 alpha (not) released
28th Febuary, 2007

A lot of changes have been going on, a lot of refactoring has happened, and many bugs squashed (and new ones born). From a users point of view not much if anything has changed so I will not release the current code, onwards towards 0.0.5...

Global Village 0.0.3 alpha released
19th Febuary, 2007

Fixed some gconf issues and removed a dependancy on RSS.py for the earthquakes plugin. Installing is still difficult so beware!

Global Village 0.0.2 alpha released
11th Febuary, 2007

Minor additions, some real improvements like 'Random' images in the about dialog ;-) and, also uses the real screen size of the system rather than my screen size...

Initial Release
8th Febuary, 2007

This is the first pre-alpha release of Global Viallge.

globalvillage is (c)2007 by Rob Brown-Bayliss and released under the GPL version 2 software license. Enjoy! - 7