Gnome Sidebar

Thumbnail screenshot Sidebar offers an alternative to file managers and application menus.

The user's files, media, contacts, tasks and bookmarks are presented in a convenient desktop sidebar. The aim is to focus on the data files themselves, rather than the applications used to edit them.

Sidebar automatically scans the users home directory structure for supported data types, and can accept new items via drag and drop. An XML-based database of the users files/data items is maintained and presented in a window or taskbar applet. A fast, intuitive interface allows the database to be searched by category and substring of the filename. File items can be previewed, then viewed or edited in the application associated with their MIME type.

Sidebar is written for the Gnome desktop environment in the C language. It runs on Linux, and probably other platforms supported by Gnome. It is intended to integrate with the environment as much as possible, for example, using Bonobo components to preview files, the Medusa indexer for fast scanning, and GnomeVFS for accessing files in a standard way.

The project is currently at an early stage of development. It is functional, but not feature complete or ready for everyday use. If you like the sound of the project and are interested in getting involved then I'd love to hear from you!

Tim Chapman
lpxtpc at


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