File Manager Integration for Linux (TortoiseHG)


Last milestone: Polished the history widget to be reused in other applications, implemented the FolderView widget, which were integrated in a single application.

Current development (last for SoC): Refactoring the status and diff viewer as widgets.

Current implementation

Source code

Ubuntu packages

There are packages available for Ubuntu at Personal Package Archive:

It is possible to use those packages to build them for Debian or any other Debian based distribution.

These packages have some caveats:


Packages and distributions:

Nautilus menus:

Current view of Nautilus integration:


  1. Improve the integration between Nautilus and TortoiseHG
    1. Make the plugin stable (./)

    2. Enable the plugin works not only in debug mode (./)

    3. Fix/Enable support for submenus (./)

    4. Enable other options still hidden for Nautilus
  2. Provide a consistent GUI to follow a project using Mercurial
    1. Get reusable widgets out of each dialog/command
      • Done for simple dialogs (clone, merge, update, about) (./)

      • History/Log view (./)

      • Folder viewer (new) (./)

      • Diff viewer & Diff buffer (in progress)

      • Diff list (custom !Liststore for Status viewer) (./)

    2. Propose an integrated UI with the refactored widgets (partially done)

    3. Improve the UI (partially done)

  3. Other improvements
    1. Provide packages for a Debian based distribution (./)

User Interface Improvements

From a technical point of view, it seems it is not clearity when a GtkDialog and/or a GtkWindow is used in TortoiseHG. Some of them are GtkDialog and some of them GtkWindow without any clear distinction.

The following diagram shows the relation between dialogs/windows. There are two windows that can be invoked from the shell (hgtk) or from another window (history). Please note that history is also invoked from the shell (hgtk log) but for simplicity doesn't appear linked in the diagram.

Because both update and datamine can be invoked directly or indirectly from hgtk is needed to know how to close the dialog (hide it or destroy it) according the circunstances.

Cloning repositories

The following screenshot show the current user interface of hgtk clone:

The usability may be improved just agruping common items and using proper buttons instead of a toolbar. The button 'X' in the upper right corner is reduntant, because the window managar provides such button and in a dialog a button 'Cancel' or 'Close' could give better feedback.

Merging repositories

The same criteria as Cloning repositories may be applied in this dialog. The current one is:

and the proposal:

It worth noting that the former window has two different behaviors: merge and undo a merge. The button in the toolbar is activated/deactivated according to that. The same happen with the label "Merge with revision".

It could be confusing having two dialogs in one. One possible change could be:

Updating repositories

Selecting a changeset

The actions merge and update allows to select the changeset to be used, which may be choosen by the user filling the entry field or browsing the logs. The logging browsing is a common window:

The data is the same shown as hgtk log, but shorter. It would be nicer to share the same widget to choose the current.


Notes about internal changes that need to be improved to reuse some widgets.


This widget, implemented under hggtk/vis/, can receive as parameter another widget: a status bar.

The status bar is not a standar Gtk.StatusBar, it is a custom one. The status bar is not directly related to an history viewer. It is used to give feedback about a working in progress.


  1. It allows the status bar received is None. Hence, it is optional. However, it tries to access the methods begin() and end() of the status bar, but if the status bar is None it will fail.
  2. It fails if the repo given is None. It is needed if there is an application that browse directories through the system. No every directory has a repo.


  1. A simple workaround is to validate if status bar is not None before using any method.
    • The final solution is not using any status bar in the History view and emit signal any time some action happens ('begin' and 'end').
  2. Make the repo calls conditional and add a method to set a new repo later. If repo is None, the view should be cleaned.

Diff and Status viewer

These are not implemented as widgets, they are implemented together in a window, which is reused in both history and datamine windows. In the history window is embedded inside a horizontal panel and in the datamine one is shown in a dialog.


  1. They are not separated, so it's harder to reuse them in a standalone application.
  2. There are three parts where a diff viewer is used:
    • Inside the history window
    • As a dialog in history window
    • As a dialog in datamine window
  3. There are two different ways to show diffs:
    • A simple one using sourceview with syntax highlighting (display in the graph)
    • A clone of htk (used as status and diff in the graph)


  1. To reimplement them as widgets.
  2. They can communicate each other through signals or sharing a model.

This has been harder than expected, because it mixes code:

Some parts of the code were taken from hgview, which were extended but without any abstraction of the repository.

I spent more time in solving this particular issue because an abstraction of the repository will be helpful in the future, for instance:

The handle of the diff buffer (to be used in a TextView) is still in progress, while the ListStore to be shared with the diff buffer is done (still pending some polishing).

Folder viewer

This widget didn't exist because there was not a standalone application.

This is implemented to work with local folder and emiting a signal every time a different folder is selected. Connecting that signal in the application it is possible to find the proper repository to fill the history widget.

Project viewer

This widget didn't exist because there was not a standalone application.

This is a specialization between the Folder viewer and the Status viewer. The idea is to have filtered the files involved in the project.

Integrated UI


It is possible to integrate them in a unified interface and it makes easy to rearrange the widgets to experiment with different dispositions.

As a proof of concept, the following interface has the main window designed with Glade, the application that load it also add the widgets Folder and TreeView (it should be renamed to GraphView or any better name than TreeView). Every time a different folder is selected is needed to check if still we are using the same repository, another one or just in common folder (without revision). Once the check is done, the TreeView is updated.

The integration of other widgets will be as easy as that. For instance, the not finished yet isolation of StatusView is also possible to embed:

LinuxFileManagerIntegrationStatus (last edited 2012-11-11 13:05:58 by abuehl)