Monday, February 28, 2011

Vala, Vala everywhere!

...okay, okay, maybe not everywhere. But since I posted on Vala a while back, I've noticed a couple of teams in particular seem to have embraced it wholeheartedly. What's really cool is that these teams have been writing some really impressive software for GNU/Linux in Vala. Nearly all of these software projects were started within the last year or two, and these aren't your grandma's Linux apps. These are sleek, fast, and have a strong focus on usability and a nice, clean interface. They're really worth checking out.

Here are the teams and their software:
  • Yorba
    • Shotwell (photo organizer)
      This one's extra impressive because in less than two years it's gone from brand new project to the default photo manager for top GNU/Linux distributions Ubuntu and Fedora
    • Lombard (video editor)
    • Fillmore (music recorder)

  • Elementary
    These guys started out creating slick themes for Ubuntu, and before long started making their own apps. They've started up so many software projects, particularly in the last year, I don't know how they could possibly have time to work on them all:
Elementary has another app named Dexter, an address book, and although it's currently written in Python, I wouldn't be surprised to see it go the way of some of their other apps like Purple.

There's also Midori, a lightweight browser, which I don't think the Elementary team started, but I know they contribute to it, and somehow or another Vala is involved, possibly due to their influence.

As if that wasn't enough, next month the Elementary team is releasing their own GNU/Linux distro, based on Ubuntu, but with a cleaner interface and packaged with many of their apps. Here's an early screenshot:


  1. The Elementary guys are really impressive. What is interesting is that the C# inspired Vala seems to be fulfilling the promise of Mono.

    The Mono folks have said many times that their motivation for starting Mono was to bring a great dev environment to Linux that would allow them to more rapidly write great apps. There are some pretty cool Mono apps but there has hardly been an explosion of them.

    It seems as though C#/Mono inspired the creation of Vala which is now doing what Mono was supposed to do.

  2. [...] can’t wait! with a slick, clean interface and many of the elementary team’s apps that I’ve posted about before, this just might be good enough to replace Ubuntu. I know I’ll definitely be checking it [...]