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A Look Back At Docky in 2009

Dock application ‘Docky’ only came into its singular being this year yet already is one of the most popular 3rd party applications available for Linux (though here’s hoping it makes it into ‘the repo’s come stable!).

As with a few other of my favourite Linux applications, Docky has an incredibly insightful and focused team who hare a passion for making Docky awesome ” as proven by its breathtakingly fast development speed!

So, to Docky ” my favourite application of 2009!

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Quick over-view of Docky in 2009

GNOME Do Docky

Docky entered Do-ers lives officially around the end of January last year /early February, but many of us were using the alpha’s from dubious PPA’s or botched sources before then.

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Docky has issues running smoothly with some graphics cards, leading me to have to use the ‘classic’ interface for most of the time ” but switching it to Docky to take a screenshot!

Rock Out With Your Dock Out

The official release title for GNOME Do Docky was titled “Rock out with your Dock out”. Somewhat sadly i remember reading lots of forum threads and posts on what a terribly rude name it was…

A further release or two adding new features and fixing bugs (like the awful slow-dock Nvidia users suffered from) and Docky really hit the ground running. You couldn’t find an Ubuntu screenshot without Docky sat proudly at the bottom. (Well, unless they were FOSS zealots ” GNOME Do/Docky are MONO applications).

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Criticisms, feature wishes and ‘Why can’t it do this?’ questions started to crop up as people became invested in the awesomeness of GNOME Do Docky and saw potential. Users wanted multi-dock docklet laden stack-happy 3D mode bars with compiz integration and cherries on-top.

Docky goes solo

If this was the Victorian era some mid-rate author would probably write the day Docky left GNOME Do down in a fit of pseudo-poeticism in order to preserve the fateful day…

“The sky darkened, clouds swam o’er and the lands fauna resumed foetal positions, in comfort for the oncoming storm. The day was lost in the sea of October two-‘ousand and nine. The folks of Do village had littler prepared for their livestock a-turning… A-turning into something shiny an’ gay. Something with multiple glassy disguises an’ the power to stride any-side of your display. An it got a postman-messenger who sat on it an told yee’ of any forthcomin’ post… O’lord we prayed, let it be by thee name of Dockiee.” 

Yep, we’ve reached the point where Docky “left” GNOME Do and became its own application. It causes a ton of reaction across the blogosphere as people wondered what was going to happen to their precious dock.

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People needn’t have wondered long, as we pinned down Docky dev Jason Smith for an interview to excise the answers needed! We even went all grandiose and named it “The Future Of Docky – Docky Creator Jason Smith Tells Us Why Docky Is Going To Get Even More Awesome”. You couldn’t write that on a postage stamp!

Boy oh boy did Docky live up to Jason’s word…

Docky Gets New… (well, what doesn’t it get!?)

Aside from a shiny panel mode, a slew of new docklets, multi-dock support, some application ‘helpers’(Banshee control, tomboy control, etc), zeitgeist integration, 3D view, third-party theme support, gorgeously slick panel-painting and a ton of potential new docklets that take Docky even further into the realms of being a killer-app.

What is possibly left to come?!

I have no-doubt that 2010 will be just as fruitful for this incredibly young application and some of Docky designer Dan Rabbits’ mock-ups are starting to become reality (grid view, pulseaudio), docklets will continue slipping through (there’s an awesome Dropbox one on the way)

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And I’m sure we’ll start to see some tight Compiz integration (with scale and thumbnails.)

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As always you’ll find the latest Docky going’s on here at omgubuntu.co.uk, so why not subscribe to our RSS or follow us on twitter?

[BTW, fact fans, out of 436 posts since this blog started “proper” in August, this is  only the 15th post on Docky...]