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Media in GTK 4

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Showing moving pictures is ever more important. GTK 4 will make it easier for GTK apps to show animations; be that a programmatic animation, a webm file or a live stream.

Before looking at animations, it is worth spending a little bit of time on the underlying abstractions that GTK uses for content that can be drawn. In GTK 2 and 3, that was mainly GdkPixbuf: you load a file, and you get a block of pixel data (more or less in a single format). If you wanted to animate it, there is GdkPixbufAnimation, but it is fair to say that it was not a very successful API.

GTK 4 brings a new API called GdkPaintable that was inspired by the CSS Houdini effort. It is very flexible—anything that you can plausibly draw can be a GdkPaintable. The content can be resizable (like svg), or change over time (like webm).

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25 Best GNOME Extensions

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GNOME is a very popular desktop environment among Linux users, and rightly so. With the addition of many useful tools, GNOME becomes an extremely powerful Desktop Environment. To enhance the GNOME experience, we have GNOME extensions. There are thousands of extensions available for GNOME, so that you can use them according to your needs. You can tweak everything on the GNOME desktop, from the appearance to the functionality, to match your needs.
Today, I will introduce you to the 25 best GNOME extensions to enhance your GNOME Desktop experience. All 25 extensions are tested on latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, so all these extensions should also work on older Ubuntu releases. So, let’s get going!

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GNOME: Mutter and GNOME Shell, Trademarks and Meson

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  • This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | April 2020

    The command-line extensions tool received a round of improvements, and now reports extension errors better. Switching the scale of a monitor now should update all interface elements properly on GNOME Shell. Another quality of life improvement that landed was the inclusion of ASCII alternatives in the search index, which for example allows “eteindre” match “éteindre” (French for “power off”).

    GNOME Shell now integrates with the parental controls technology being developed across the GNOME stack. If there are user restrictions in place, GNOME Shell now filters the applications that are not supposed to be used by the particular user.

    One important improvement that landed during April is the rewrite of GNOME Shell’s calendar daemon. This updated version should prevent a lot of heavy background processing of events. Given the extents of the improvements, this is being considered for backporting to GNOME 3.36, but the size of the changes are also considerable. Testing and validation would be appreciated.

  • Jussi Pakkanen: The need for some sort of a general trademark/logo license

    The problem of software licenses is fairly well understood and there are many established alternatives to choose from based on your needs. This is not the case for licenses governing assets such as images and logos and especially trademarks. Many organisations, such as Gnome and the Linux Foundation have their own trademark policy pages, but they seem to be tailored to those specific organizations. There does not seem to be a kind of a "General project trademark and logo license", for lack of a better term, that people could apply to their projects.


    Due to this the current approach we have is that logo usage requires individual permission from me personally. This is an awful solution, but since I am just a random dude on the Internet with a lawyer budget of exactly zero, it's about the only thing I can do. What would be great is if the entities who do have the necessary resources and expertise would create such a license and would then publish it freely so FOSS projects could just use it just as easily as picking a license for their code.

Connections: A New Remote Desktop Client for GNOME

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A new and modern remote desktop client for GNOME named “Connections” is announced.
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Cinnamon Vs. GNOME: Which one is for you?

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One great thing about Linux based systems is the variety of choices that the users have to choose from as per their liking. Users get a lot of options to choose from in the case of almost every aspect of the system, be it package managers, desktop environments, applications, and even bootloaders (if your hardware supports them).

One of the most important of these things is the desktop environment. It is the basic look and feel of the system, it consists of the set of basic applications and often also the amount of work that your hardware has to do (some DEs are lighter than others).

In this article, we are going to compare the two popular desktop environments, GNOME and Cinnamon.

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GNOME is not the default for Fedora Workstation

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Red Hat

We recently had a Fedora AMA where one of the questions asked is why GNOME is the default desktop for Fedora Workstation. In the AMA we answered why GNOME had been chosen for Fedora Workstation, but we didn’t challenge the underlying assumption built into the way the question was asked, and the answer to that assumption is that it isn’t the default. What I mean with this is that Fedora Workstation isn’t a box of parts, where you have default options that can be replaced, its a carefully procured and assembled operating system aimed at developers, sysadmins and makers in general. If you replace one or more parts of it, then it stops being Fedora Workstation and starts being ‘build your own operating system OS’. There is nothing wrong with wanting to or finding it interesting to build your own operating systems, I think a lot of us initially got into Linux due to enjoying doing that. And the Fedora project provides a lot of great infrastructure for people who want to themselves or through teaming up with others build their own operating systems, which is why Fedora has so many spins and variants available.

The Fedora Workstation project is something we made using those tools and it has been tested and developed as an integrated whole, not as a collection of interchangeable components. The Fedora Workstation project might of course over time replace certain parts with other parts over time, like how we are migrating from to Wayland. But at some point we are going to drop standalone support and only support X applications through XWayland. But that is not the same as if each of our users individually did the same. And while it might be technically possible for a skilled users to still get things moved back onto X for some time after we make the formal deprecation, the fact is that you would no longer be using ‘Fedora Workstation’. You be using a homebrew OS that contains parts taken from Fedora Workstation.


So for RHEL we now only offer GNOME as the desktop and the same is true in Fedora Workstation, and that is not because we don’t understand that people enjoy experimenting with other desktops, but because it allows us to work with our customers and users and hardware partners on fixing the issues they have with our operating system, because it is a clearly defined entity, and adding the features they need going forward and properly support the hardware they are using, as opposed to spreading ourselves to thin that we just run around putting on band-aids for the problems reported.

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How Ubuntu Made GNOME Shell Faster in 20.04

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So you won’t be surprised to hear that this particular developer has once again played a major role in delivering major performance improvements to the desktop, as on show in the recent Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release.

Not all knights ride on horseback or wear shiny armour.

Now, in a forum post Daniel explains some of his canny-code changes in more detail and I won’t lie: some of the engineering effort taking place beneath the hood, in the engine is …incredibly complicated sounding.

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14 projects chosen by GNOME for Google Summer of Code 2020

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Improved desktop notifications and a Wayland-compatible battery testing tool are among the 14 projects selected by GNOME for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

The yearly, three month long initiative from Google is a mainstay of the free software calendar. Under the guidance of community-based mentors students get paid to work on achievable and practical efforts that benefit users within the open source sphere.

The aim of GSoC is as much about each student learning, maturing and developing their software development skills as it is delivering a ‘tangible’ result at the end of the process.

Projects chosen for the initiative also need to meet a certain set of criteria, and be achievable within the time frame — hence no pie-in-the-sky “build a free and open source 1:1 clone of Adobe Photoshop CC in GTK” type wishes!

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GNOME 3.36.2 released

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GNOME 3.36.2 is now available. This is a stable release containing
four weeks' worth of bugfixes since the 3.36.1 release. Since it only
contains bugfixes, all distributions shipping 3.36.x should upgrade.

The GNOME 3.36 flatpak runtimes has been updated as well

If you want to compile GNOME 3.36.2, you can use the official
BuildStream project snapshot...

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Also: GNOME 3.36.2 Released with Multiple Bug Fixes and Improvements

GNOME 3.36.2 Released With Restoring TLS 1.0/1.1, Crash Fixes, Other Stable Updates

Customize GNOME in Ubuntu 20.04 with a New Look

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You can try this cool tips to customize your latest GNOME 3.36 desktop in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
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More in Tux Machines

Gina Häußge and OctoPrint

Well, I found myself in the situation that I had this huge Open Source project on my hands that really was not a thing you could still do on the side, but I also had no funding. I could just have said, "well, okay then" and gotten myself a regular job again. No risk, steady paycheck. But not as exciting either. So, I did what just two or so years prior I had laughed off and decided to go self-employed. I figured I would probably kick myself for the rest of my life if I didn't even TRY to see if I could maybe continue working on OctoPrint full time funded through crowdfunding. So, I went for that. Set up a Patreon campaign, pushed out a "Call to Action" on all social feeds of the project and hoped for the best. Read more

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Michael Larabel on What's Coming in Linux 5.9: OpenRISC, NFS and Intel

  • OpenRISC Sees Sane TLB Flushing With Linux 5.9

    While RISC-V is flourishing when it comes to this open-source CPU architecture, the related OpenRISC architecture is still advancing but not seeing as much hardware efforts around it. In any case, the Linux kernel support continues improving for OpenRISC and with Linux 5.9 are more improvements.  OpenRISC still lacks any open-source ASIC with predominantly being used on FPGAs and a few commercial efforts based on the OpenRISC 1000 architecture. OpenRISC on the Linux software side has continued seeing improvements since its introduction back in 3.1. 

  • NFS Client Changes For Linux 5.9 Include User Xattr Support

    As reported a few days ago the NFS server with Linux 5.9 saw user xattr support finally merged for user-extended attributes as defined by RFC 8276. The NFS client changes have now been sent in for this kernel and include the user xattr support along with other changes.  The NFS client pull request was sent in on Friday by Trond Myklebust. Most notably is the support for user extended attributes through the NFSv4.2 protocol as previously covered on Phoronix. Both the client and server support was wired up by an Amazon engineer. 

  • Intel P-State With Linux 5.9 Adds Passive Mode With Hardware P-States

    Merged last week to Linux 5.9 were the main set of power management updates while hitting the kernel now are some last minute power-related changes.  Intel power management maintainer Rafael Wysocki for a while now has been working on allowing the P-State CPU frequency scaling driver to work in its passive mode when hardware p-states (HWP) is enabled for the system. That support is now deemed ready for mainline and will be available with Linux 5.9.

KDE Development Report From Nate Graham

  • This week in KDE: Highlight changed settings and much much more

    This week a big new feature landed for Plasma 5.20: the System Settings app now has the ability to optionally highlight any settings you’ve changed from their default states! This required a ton of engineering throughout the stack which will pay many dividends down the road. For example, it opens the door to a global “reset to defaults” button now that all of the pages know what their default states actually are and take into account distro default settings, rather than always using KDE upstream defaults. Big thanks to Kevin Ottens, Benjamin Port, and Cyril Rossi, who made this happen.

  • KDE Plasma 5.20 Seeing More System Settings Work, KDE-Inhibit Helper

    KDE developers remain very busy tacking new features onto Plasma 5.20 and other improvements for polishing their desktop.  KDE developer Nate Graham has published his weekend report on the various KDE changes that landed over the past week. Some of this week's highlights include:  - Plasma 5.20's System Settings can now highlight any settings that have been changed from their default states.  - The System Settings area's autostart page has been rewritten. Also, the System Settings global shortcuts and standard shortcuts have been combined into a single "shortcuts" area.