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GNOME

Epiphany History Selection Mode

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GNOME
Web

Since my last blog post I have been working on implementing a selection mode for Epiphany’s History Dialog. The selection mode is a pretty common pattern seen throughout GNOME applications. It’s used to easily manipulate a set of selected items from a list or grid. I’ve used the selection mode from GNOME Boxes as a reference when implementing it in Epiphany.

[...]

Activating the selection mode reveals the action bar at the bottom which can be used to delete the selected items from history or open them in new tabs in the main browser window.

Another new change is the addition of the Copy URL button located to the right of each history row. The button is used to copy the item’s URL to clipboard. This change is not directly related to the selection mode, but it was added in order to remove the right-click popover menu which was previously used to open history items in new tabs and copy URLs to clipboard.

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The archaeology of GNOME accessibility

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GNOME

There are many people in the world who cannot make full use of their computers without some sort of accessibility support. Developers, though, have a tendency not to think about accessibility issues themselves; they don't (usually) need those features and cannot normally even see them. In a talk at the 2020 GUADEC virtual conference, Emmanuele Bassi discussed the need for accessibility features, their history in GNOME, and his effort to rethink about how GNOME supports assistive technology.

He began by defining "accessibility" as usability by people with disabilities; this usability is often provided through the use of assistive technology of some sort. When one thinks about who benefits from accessibility, it is natural to picture people like Stephen Hawking, who clearly needed a lot of assistive technology. But that is not what the most common consumers of assistive technology look like; instead, they look like his parents, who are active people in their late 60s. They are computer-literate, but they are getting older and need more affordances than they once did.

[...]

Much of the accessibility implementation is maintained outside of the GTK source tree, which brings problems of its own. The end result is that GNOME's accessibility support never worked all that well. But it lets managers check the "accessibility" box, which is all many of them need. Unfortunately, accessibility is not a box that can be checked and forgotten about; it is a process that must be constantly kept up with. But the GNOME project ended up mostly forgetting about it.

In the intervening years the world has changed. CORBA has been replaced by D-Bus, for example. Patience for out-of-tree modules is mostly gone. The move to Wayland is creating problems for existing assistive technology, as is the sandboxing that is increasingly being used for GNOME applications.

AT-SPI has been ported to D-Bus, he said, but the architecture of the accessibility subsystem as a whole is the same. It remains in the X11 world, where every application expects to have access to the entire system. This is a design that dates back to the days when applications were installed by the system administrator and could (hopefully) be trusted; they certainly were not acquired from random places on the Internet.

The world has changed, he said, so accessibility support in GNOME needs to change with it. The system is "stuck" and needs a redesign. But this is hard because, unlike the situation with other desktop features, it is not possible to ask users of assistive technology to contribute. To a great extent, they simply cannot perceive what is not available to them, so it's hard to even ask them to report regressions.

The first thing that needs to happen is to consolidate the various pieces, many of which have been untouched for years. Some new functionality has been added, mostly to match new features provided by browsers, but as a whole GNOME accessibility support just doesn't really work. The abstraction layer doesn't really abstract anything, so changes typically have to be made in many places. The toolkit needs to be simplified; as things stand now, application developers expect GTK to take care of everything, but that is not the case. There is also a need for funding; this work is not trivial and it's not reasonable to expect it to be done by volunteers.

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Epiphany History Selection Mode

Filed under
GNOME

Since my last blog post I have been working on implementing a selection mode for Epiphany’s History Dialog. The selection mode is a pretty common pattern seen throughout GNOME applications. It’s used to easily manipulate a set of selected items from a list or grid. I’ve used the selection mode from GNOME Boxes as a reference when implementing it in Epiphany.

This is how the History Dialog looked like before...

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Identifying Operating Systems in GNOME Boxes

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GNOME

One secret sauce of GNOME Boxes is libosinfo. It basically is an umbrella for three components: libosinfo, osinfo-db-tools, and osinfo-db.

libosinfo offers programmatic means to query for information about OSes. osinfo-db-tools is a set of tools that help manipulate and extract information from OS images (such as ISO files). osinfo-db is a database of operating system information describing requirements for virtualized installations as well as virtual drivers and devices that work with each OS in the database.

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Linux App Summit Goes Online in November

Filed under
KDE
GNOME

Once again, KDE and GNOME are teaming up to bring you THE conference for people interested in establishing Linux as a great end-user platform. At the Linux App Summit we work on making app creation for users easy and worthwhile.

Since travel is complicated nowadays, we decided to make LAS 2020 a virtual conference. The event will open Thursday, 12th November and we'll wrap up on Saturday, 14th November. Our goal is to engage people in multiple time zones and make the content available online after the conclusion.

The Call for Talks is now open! Please take a look at the suggested topics and send in your ideas. We encourage new speakers, so don’t hesitate to submit a proposal!

Save the date on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you at LAS 2020!

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Also: KBibTeX 0.10-alpha2 aka 0.9.81

KDE and GNOME: QML, MyPaint Brush Engine, Daniel van Vugt and Pitivi Summer of Code

Filed under
KDE
GNOME

  • QML Online - Can be everywhere!

    A new feature of QML Online is already available, allows it to run in any site/blog with minimal js/html code!

    Hopefully, our experience with QML examples, tutorials and documentation should change in the near future.

  • MyPaint Brush Engine [Final Phase]

    Coming to my project, it is almost complete apart from some finalisation related stuff that still is remaining. Perhaps, some review changes that my mentors shall give me once my current patch has been reviewed are also remaining.

    [...]

    I don't know why, but I always seem to have this feeling at the back of my head that something will come up that will be tough to handle and ruin my project. Though this has been happening even before GSoC started. That scares me a bit Sad Anyways.

  • Ubuntu's Prolific GNOME Developer Is Looking To Tackle Deep Color Support

    GNOME could soon be playing nicely with deep color displays that aim to offer more realistic color reproduction thanks to the greater bit depth for each color component. 

    Canonical's Daniel van Vugt who has led many of the Ubuntu GNOME performance optimization initiatives and countless bug fixes for GNOME since Ubuntu switched back to using it as the default desktop is now looking at plumbing deep color support. Daniel recently has been working on better graphics clock frequency scaling as part of optimizations to improve the GNOME 4K experience particularly when using Intel graphics. The latest area he started dabbling with is deep color support. 

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  • Vivek R: Pitivi: Object Tracking

    I’ve been selected as a student developer at Pitivi for Google Summer of Code 2020. My project is to create an object tracking and blurring feature.

    In this post, I introduce a feature in development which allows the user to track an object inside a video clip.

GNOME and GTK: Devs, Themes and Declaration of Digital Autonomy

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GNOME

            

  • Diego Escalante Urrelo: A minimal jhbuild GNOME session in Debian

    I recently setup a GNOME development environment (after about seven years!). That meant starting from scratch since my old notes and scripts were completely useless.

    My goal for this setup was once again to have the bare minimum jhbuild modules on top of a solid base system provided by my distro. The Linux desktop stack has changed a bit, specially around activation, dbus, and systemd, so I was a bit lost on how to do things properly.

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  • Molly de Blanc: busy busy

    I’ve been working with Karen Sandler over the past few months on the first draft of the Declaration of Digital Autonomy. Feedback welcome, please be constructive. It’s a pretty big deal for me, and feels like the culmination of a lifetime of experiences and the start of something new.

    We talked about it at GUADEC and HOPE. We don’t have any other talks scheduled yet, but are available for events, meetups, dinner parties, and b’nai mitzvahs.

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  • Linux themes update – August 2020

    Customization plays a big part when it comes to Linux. Users around the world are using different kind of distribution and most of them really like to make their desktop look just amazing. In this monthly article, you will get to know about the new trending themes for Linux.

    So without further let’s get down to the business.

    Note: All the themes are GTK based so they shall apply on most of the desktop environments.

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  • libhandy: project update

    Since the last update, we have progressed a lot in achieving a significant milestone; that is handling multiple rows in our widget. For me working through this implementation involved understanding the GtkGrid implementation, then developing an idea around it to add the adaptive factor to our brand new widget.

    One issue that has been lingering for a while was to find a way for accepting column weights through XML layouts.

    The issue persists in the latest code, but for the time being, this is our workaround: currently, we have a weight property for every child widget (which defaults to 0) and then the column’s weight is derived from the widgets belonging to that column.
    So if widgets belonging to the same column have different weights defined in XML (or assigned programmatically), its unpredictable what weight the column will end up having. So, it is to be taken care that every widget belonging to the same column don’t have different weights.

    That does not sound good, but thankfully, Adrien recently came up with a suggestion of keeping a property which accepts comma-separated values. We will be implementing this in the coming days. This will remove the unpredictable weight issue with our current approach (Yay!).

KDE Plasma Desktop review: I'm still not switching from GNOME

Filed under
KDE
GNOME
Reviews

I have to confess: I don't give KDE a fair shake. It's not because I don't believe it to be a strong take on the Linux desktop, it's just that I prefer a much more minimal desktop. Also, I was never a big fan of the old taskbar/start menu/system tray combo. I leaned more toward the GNOME way of thinking and doing things.

Recently, a reader called me out on my lack of KDE coverage, so I thought it was time to offer up my take on where KDE Plasma stands, and who might be best suited to use this open source desktop. Comparing Plasma to my usual GNOME desktop is really quite challenging, given these two desktops are night and day. It's like comparing the works of Clive Barker to that of William Gibson--they're both incredibly good at what they do, they're using the same tools to tell stories, but in very different genres.

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Games: GNOME, Core Defense, Steam and Monster Crown

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GNOME

  • Implementing Recently Played Collection in GNOME Games

    In my previous blog post, I talked about how I added a Favorites Collection to Games. Favorites Collection lists all the games that’s marked as favorite. In this post I’ll talk about what went into adding a Recently Played Collection, which helps you get to recently played games more quickly.

    Since most of the ground work for supporting non-user collections are already done as part of introducing Favorites Collection, it required much less work to add another non-user collection. For Recently Played collection, the main differences from Favorites Collection in terms of implementation are...

  • Core Defense offers up a different kind of Tower Defense with deck-building

    Core Defense is a Tower Defense game at it's core but it's quite unusual in how it sprinkles in the content and it's out now with full Linux support. After being in Early Access on itch.io for a few months, it's looking good.

    It takes the usual wave-based approach from your typical TD game but instead of giving you set tower types and specific placements, it's a little more open-ended. As you progress through the waves, you build up your defences based on what cards you pick as rewards, a little like a deck-builder and you use these unlocks to gradually build through the blank canvas of a map you're given.

  • 4 ways to back up Steam games on Linux

    Are you a Linux gamer? Do you play a lot of Steam video games? Trying to figure out how to back up your games so you don’t have to keep re-downloading them? If so, this list is for you! Follow along as we talk about 4 ways to back up Steam games on Linux!

  • Monster Crown has a new adult take on Pokemon and it's now in Early Access

    With a darker tone, a setting aimed at adults and creatures that might give a few pixelated nightmares, Monster Crown has entered Early Access as a new breed in the genre of monster catching.

    Monster Crown definitely captures some of the spirit of early Pokemon games, with a new and unique take on it. Instead of throwing a magical ball to capture creatures and force them to your will, Monster Crown gets you to offer them a contract and see if they want to join you. It's a little odd but an interesting spin.

GTK 3.99

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GNOME

This week, we’re releasing GTK 3.99, which can only mean one thing: GTK4 is getting really close!

Back in February, when 3.98 was released, we outlined the features that we wanted to land before making a feature-complete 3.99 release. This was the list...

We’ve dropped animation API from our 4.0 blocker list, since it requires more extensive internal restructuring, and we can’t complete it in time. But all the other features have found their way into the various 3.98.x snapshots, with the accessibility infrastructure being the last hold-out that landed very recently.

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Also: GTK 3.99 Released With The GTK4 Toolkit Finally Close To Debut

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Kernel: Linux Plumbers and New in Linux 5.9

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  • Linux 5.9 Supports A Lot Of New Audio Hardware, Intel Silent Stream Added

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  • Linux 5.9 Networking Changes Are As Active As Ever

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5 of the Best Linux Laptops in 2020

If you’re shopping for a laptop and know you’re planning to run Linux, you can either get any laptop, reformat the hard drive and install your favorite Linux distro on it or just get a laptop that is running Linux right out of the box. Here are some of the best Linux laptops you can get in 2020. [...] These all come preloaded with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which is a solid base for any of the various flavors or just vanilla Ubuntu. Many of the drivers have been contributed upstream by Dell, so many distros that use newer kernels should be able to take full advantage of the Killer Wi-Fi cards and Intel Iris Plus Graphics. [...] Pine64 has been in the news often for its Pinephone, but the Pinebook Pro is another great product from them. It’s a 14” ARM laptop that weighs less than 3 lbs/1.5 KG and sips power. It’s a great little machine that helps to push Linux forward on the ARM platform and comes in just under $200. Read more

Richard Stallman: A Discussion on Freedom, Privacy & Cryptocurrencies

Dr. Richard Stallman is well-known for his free software movement activism. His speeches and work revolve around a term: freedom. And it is precisely that word that prompted Stallman to launch the GNU Project, founding the Free Software Foundation and releasing the GNU General Public License, among other projects, to promote the free software concept. RMS, as Dr. Stallman is also known, has some opinions regarding the concept of cryptocurrencies that have been widely discussed within the crypto community. Read more