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GNOME OS and Proposed GNOME Patches

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  • GNOME OS Images Available For Testing

    GNOME OS as the Linux build with bleeding edge GNOME software for testing continues taking shape and a call for testing has been issued.

    For GNOME module maintainers and other interested individuals, a call for testing of GNOME OS was issued today for the latest operating system images.

    While GNOME OS is improving with its hardware support, this call for testing is focused on using GNOME Boxes or other virtualization software for firing up this bleeding-edge version of GNOME.

  • GNOME OS call for testing (+BuildStream workshop)
    Hi all,
    As most of you have probably heard by now, our nightly VM images are
    ready for wider testing. I'd like to ask at least maintainers of GNOME
    core modules to test it.
    Core modules are defined in
    I'd also like to request maintainers of core modules to review the way
    their modules (and their dependencies) are built, and file bugs if the
    apps doesn't work correctly or would prefer it to be built with a
    different set of options.
    The image can be downloaded from
    To run it with you distro version of gnome-boxes (or anything that
    uses libvirt), first decompress it, then run:
    virt-install --name GNOMEOS --boot uefi --video virtio --memory 2048
    --import --disk disk.img
    To run it in nightly flatpak of gnome-boxes, decompress and convert to
    qcow2 using:
    qemu-img convert disk.img disk.qcow2
    then from gnome boxes, add a new virtual machine, select "GNOME
    Nightly x86_64" and select the qcow2 image.
    The image uses the "user" variant by default, and can be updated using
    GNOME Software, or using the command line:
    sudo ostree admin upgrade
    If you'd like to try the developer image, use
    sudo ostree admin switch GnomeOS:gnome-os/master/x86_64-devel
    you can switch back to  the user image using
    sudo ostree admin switch GnomeOS:gnome-os/master/x86_64-user
    Lastly, I'd like to announce that we're going to do an informal
    workshop on using BuildStream to develop GNOME components starting at
    16:00 UTC on the GUADEC platform. That's about 3 and half hours from
  • Proposed GNOME Patches Would Switch To Triple Buffering When The GPU Is Running Behind

    The latest GNOME performance work being explored is effectively how to make the Intel graphics clock speed ramp up quicker when necessary. Canonical developer Daniel van Vugt is working on a set of patches for enabling triple buffering with Mutter when the GPU starts falling behind and that additional rendering work in turn should ramp up Intel GPUs to their optimal frequency in order to smooth out the performance.

    Daniel has been working on various GNOME desktop optimizations focused primarily on Intel graphics and at 4K. He had been seeing the modern Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver at times delivering lower performance than the classic "i965" driver. On investigation, he found that it wasn't due to the OpenGL driver per se but the iGPU was running in a lower clock/performance state.

Why now is the best time to use GNOME

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The GNOME desktop environment has been through many changes since its initial release in March 1999. For most of this time, the open source project has issued updates twice a year, which gives users predictability in when they can expect new features to land on their Linux and other Unix-like desktops. Its latest release, GNOME 3.36, came out in March, and the project is preparing to issue its next iteration in September. To learn about what's new in GNOME, I spoke with Emmanuele Bassi.

Emmanuele has been contributing to GNOME for more than 15 years. He started as the maintainer of language bindings that allow developers to use GNOME libraries in other programming languages, then moved on to contribute to GTK (a cross-platform widget for developing GNOME apps) and other parts of GNOME. In 2018, GNOME hired Emmanuele as a full-time GTK Core Developer, where he works on GTK and the GNOME application development platform.

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GUADEC Talks and Other Coverage

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  • GNOME-Usage Program Still Striving To Report Per-Program Power Analytics

    Ultimately the likely scenario to be pursued is at least being able to leverage the battery power consumption rate on laptops and utilizing some well-tuned models for being able to provide some extrapolated estimates on power consumption for the different areas and for per-program reporting. Power information on Intel CPUs (and now AMD with the amd_energy driver in Linux 5.8+) is also at least fairly safe to come by these days as well as one of the key inputs. The accuracy though will largely depend upon the user's hardware and quality of the yet-to-be-generated models.

    Beyond the obvious technical challenges, there are also other obstacles around this process such as data privacy concerns if soliciting power samples from the community for creating these possible models. Long story short, don't look for GNOME to be providing these per-application power analytics like macOS and Windows in the near term.

    Those interested in finding out more on this effort can see the slide deck from Aditya's presentation.

  • GUADEC 2020: Intern lightning talks

    Hi, I hope you are all enjoying GUADEC! I am just passing by to let you know that on Monday 27th, 18:00 UTC, we will have our traditional Intern lightning talks where you will get to see our Outreachy and Google Summer of Code interns present their projects.

  • Gaurav Agrawal: GUADEC 2020: Newcomers Workshop

    We are hosting Newcomer’s workshop BOF on Monday 27 Jul 2020, (15:00 → 17:00 UTC) , This is a great place to be at if you are someone who’s looking to explore how to contribute to GNOME. We will be going through the project’s practically and will be sharing you the information that gives you the head-start to your journey at GNOME!

    For yours and our convenience we have prepared a wiki post which helps you go through the initial setup for participating in this workshop, Kindly just go through this and setup your systems as per the instructions.

GNOME Desktop/GTK: GNOME Radio and Ayatana Indicators

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  • GNOME Radio 3 Presentation at GUADEC 2020

    GNOME Radio is the Public Network Radio Software for Accessing Free World Broadcasts on Internet running on GNOME.

    On July 10, 2020 I published my Master thesis on GNOME Radio; gnome-radio-0.2.0 and gnome-internet-radio-locator-3.0.1, at Oslo Metropolitan University and University of Oslo in Norway.

  • Ayatana Indicators / IDO - Menu Rendering Fixed with vanilla GTK-3+

    The whole Ayatana Indicators project received a bit of a show stopper by the fact that the IDO (Indicator Display Object) rendering was not working in vanilla GTK-3 without a certain patch [2] that only Ubuntu has in their GTK-3 package. Addressing GTK developers upstream some years back (after GTK 3.22 had already gone into long term maintenance mode) and asking for a late patch acceptance did not work out (as already assumed). Ayatana Indicators stalled at a level of 90% actually working fine, but those nice and shiny special widgets, like the calendar widget, the audio volume slider widgets, switch widgets, etc. could not be rendered appropriately in GTK based desktop environments (e.g. via MATE Indicator Applet) on other distros than Ubuntu.

    I never really had the guts to sit down without a defined ending and find a patch / solution to this nasty problem. Ayatana Indicators stalled as a whole. I kept it alive and defended its code base against various GLib and what-not deprecations and kept it in Debian, but the software was actually partially broken / dysfunctional.

Ergonomics and Gnome Software

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Ergonomics is about the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize overall interaction. In short, ergonomics is about making things comfortable and efficient to work with. This also applies to software design and development, or at least it should.

Companies and projects have been thinking and researching ergonomics in software development pretty much since the beginning, even if that was just a developer thinking about where best to place this or that button in his program.
The GNOME project had the Usability Project from 2001 to 2011 and now apparently has design teams to cover usability. GNOME also came up with the HIG - the Human Interface Guidelines. So you would think the GNOME world is well prepared in terms of software ergonomics as far as human to interface interactions go.

Unfortunately the GTK+/GNOME using world in reality seems to have paid little heed to usabiliy studies as of late, just as much as the hodgepodge of applications written for the different desktop environments using the toolkit, with all their various takes on window borders, size, button placement and size etc. and custom applications for the various distributions and projects does not help.

KDE on the other hand has never had this problem and presents a well integrated desktop experience, even when using Qt applications not explicitly written for being part of the KDE suite. It even has a settings module to integrate GTK applications into the overall look as much as possible. This works quite well but perhaps apart from Firefox and LibreOffice most KDE users seem to prefer a as pure as possible desktop experience.

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Also: Proposal Raised For GNOME Software Labeling Its Carbon Cost / Environmental Impact

GNOME: Alternative GNOME Shell Application Menu Extensions and GSoC Projects

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  • Alternative GNOME Shell Application Menu Extensions

    GNOME shell comes with a dashboard-like application menu layout by default. The default layout features a spacious, grid-like layout, search bar, and large icons for easy accessibility. Linux users who have used Unity or macOS application menus would find this menu familiar. This article will cover a few application menu extensions that can be used as alternatives for the default menu in the GNOME shell.

  • Ayush Mittal: Pitivi: Making the Render dialog usable: Render profiles

    It’s been around two months when I officially became a GSOC student Developer at Pitivi and now, the 1st coding month has completed. Although we had a structured proposal to follow during GSOC, we adapted as per what looked much more suitable and made more sense. If you have been using Pitivi, you are in for a surprise.

  • Alejandro Domínguez: Fractal: Update progress

    It’s being a busy month, but productive nonetheless!

    Since the last update about how things were going most of the error handling stuff has been reworked, as announced. There are a few bits remaining but they are in very specific places that require prior work in other areas. The approach chosen was to have a common trait that handled the error and each backend function now has a (mostly) specific error type that implements that said trait. Managing errors for new requests is as easy as creating a new type for the error that indicates all possible cases, composing over foreign error types if required, and implementing the trait HandleError to manage how the error should be shown in the GUI and/or logged, or just marking the trait if the default implementation is good enough.

  • Refactoring Pitivi's Media Library

    Since my GSoC project is about improving Pitivi’s Media Library and introducing new features to it, the first task was to clean it up.

    To display assets the Media Library used a Gtk.TreeView widget to show a detailed list view and a Gtk.IconView widget to show a simpler icon view. Some major drawbacks with the previous implementation using two separate widgets are:

Events: DebianDay, GUADEC 2020 and OpenSUSE + LibreOffice

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  • Let's celebrate DebianDay 2020 around the world

    We encourage our community to celebrate around the world the 27th Debian anniversary with organized [DebianDay][1] events. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic we cannot organize in-person events, so we ask instead that contributors, developers, teams, groups, maintainers, and users promote The Debian Project and Debian activities online on August 16th (and/or 15th).

    Communities can organize a full schedule of online activities throughout the day. These activities can include talks, workshops, active participation with contributions such as translations assistance or editing, debates, BoFs, and all of this in your local language using tools such as [Jitsi][2] for capturing audio and video from presenters for later streaming to YouTube.

    If you are not aware of any local community organizing a full event or you don't want to join one, you can solo design your own activity using [OBS][3] and stream it to YouTube. You can watch an OBS tutorial [here][4].

    Don't forget to record your activity as it will be a nice idea to upload it to [Peertube][5] later.

  • GUADEC 2020 Kicks Off Today as GNOME’s First Virtual Conference

    The GUADEC 2020 (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) event kicks off today until July 28th as GNOME’s first online conference in the coronavirus era.

    The time has come for the summer Linux conferences to open their doors to virtual visitors, and GUDEC 2020 is the first major Linux conference to switch to an online format. The event was supposed to take place in Zacatecas, Mexico, but as you can imagine, everyone is adapting every day to respond to the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis, which affects us all.

    GUADEC 2020 is the place where GNOME users and developers from all over the world gather together to share knowledge and discuss upcoming features of the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment, which is used by numerous Linux-based operating systems, including Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, and many others.

  • openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference Extends Call for Papers

    Organizers of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference are extending the Call for Papers to August 4.

    Participants can submit talks for the live conference past the original deadline of July 21 for the next two weeks.

    The conference is scheduled to take place online from Oct. 15. - 17.

    The length of the talks that can be submitted are either a 15-minute short talk, a 30-minute normal talk and/or a 60-minute work group session. Organizers believe shortening the talks will keep attendees engaged for the duration of the online conference.

Sam Thursfield: Tracker at GUADEC 2020

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GNOME’s conference is online this year, for obvious reasons. I spent the last 3 month teaching online classes so hopefully I’m prepared! I’m sad that there’s no Euro-trip this year and we can’t hang out in the pub, but nice that we’re saving hundreds of plane journeys.

There will be two talks related to Tracker: Carlos and I speaking about Tracker 3 (Friday 23rd July, 16.45 UTC), and myself on how to deal with challanges of working on GNOME’s session-wide daemons (Thursday 22nd July, 16.45 UTC). There are plenty of other fascinating talks, including inevitably one scheduled the same time as ours which you should, of course, watch as a replay during the break

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Jussi Pakkanen: The ABI stability matryoshka

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Going from this we can find out the actual underlying problem, which is running programs of two different ABI versions at the same time on the same OS. The simple solution of rebuilding the world from scratch does not work. It could be done for the base platform but, due to business and other reasons, you can't enforce a rebuild of all user applications (and those users, lest we forget, pay a very hefty amount of money to OS vendors for the platform their apps run on). Mixing new and old ABI apps is fragile and might fail due to the weirdest of reasons no matter how careful you are. The problem is even more difficult in "rolling release" cases where you can't easily rebuild the entire world in one go such as Debian unstable, but we'll ignore that case for now.

It turns out that there already exists a solution for doing exactly this: Flatpak. Its entire reason of existance is to run binaries with different ABI (and even API) on a given Linux platform while making it appear as if it was running on the actual host. There are other ways of achieving the same, such as Docker or systemd-nspawn, but they aim to isolate the two things from each other rather than unifying them. Thus a potential solution to the problem is that whenever an OS breaks ABI compatibility in a major way (which should be rare, like once every few years) it should provide the old ABI version of itself as a Flatpak and run legacy applications that way.

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Also: Apoorv Sachan: The Second Milestone

Download Now: Get GNOME 3.38’s New Default Wallpapers Right Now

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Just don’t expect much of a deviation on what’s gone before. What’s that saying again? Ah yes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Jakub Steiner’s GNOME 3.38 wallpaper sits in vogue with previous background designs. It is predominately blue, it features a variety of geometric shapes, and uses fractal lighting for texture and effect.

As with the GNOME 3.36 wallpaper and earlier there are 3 distinct variations of the main design: morning, day, and night. You can use each of these on their own, or use them as part of a dynamic wallpaper slideshow that subtly transitions between then over the course of the day...

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