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GNOME

GNOME: Purism Fractal Sponsorship and Developer Center Initiative

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GNOME
  • Purism Fractal sponsorship

    I’m happy to announce that Purism agreed to sponsor my work on Fractal for the next couple of weeks. I will polish the room history and drastically improve the UX/UI around scrolling, loading messages etc. which will make Fractal feel much nicer. As part of this I will also clean up and refactor the current code. On my agenda is the following:

  • Developer Center Initiative – Meeting Summary 10th November 2018

    Thibault currently holds a branch for gnome-devel-docs. The branch contains the old GNOME Developer docs ported to markdown. To ensure that no duplicate work happens between gnome-devel-docs master and the branch, the next step is to announce to relevant mailing lists that further contribution to the developer docs should happen in the gnome-devel-docs branch. Even more ideal would be to have the branch pushed to master. The markdown port is not synchronized in any way with the mallard docs in master, so any changes to the mallard docs would require re-synchronization and that’s why currently editing ported markdown docs in the branch currently is a no-go for now.

    Pushing the branch does imply that we initially loose translations though and most changes made to gnome-devel-docs seem to be translations these days with a few exceptions (mostly grammar corrections). Thibault and Mathieu expressed interest in supporting translated docs in the future, but it is a substantial amount of work and low on the todo list.

    We agreed that I should try to get in touch by e-mail to the relevant mailing lists (including translations) and to individuals who contributed to gnome-devel-docs recently to hear their opinion before we proceed.

KDE and GNOME: Freenode#live, KDE Applications 18.12 and More

Filed under
KDE
GNOME
  • Freenode#live post

    The weekend of 3 and 4 November Dave and I went to staff the KDE booth at Freenode#live, in Bristol. I had never been in that corner of England before, It turns out to have hills, and a river, and tides. Often an event brings me to a city, and then out, without seeing much of it. This time I traveled in early and left late the day after the event so I had some time to wander around, and it was quite worthwhile.

    Turns out there is quite a lot of cider available, and the barman gave me an extensive education on the history of cider and a bit on apple cultivation when I asked about it. Sitting down with a Slimbook and a pint can be quite productive; I got some Calamares fixes done before the conference.

  • KDE Applications 18.12 branches created

    We're already past the dependency freeze.

    The Freeze and Beta is this Thursday 15 of November.

  • Talking at PETCon2018 in Hamburg, Germany and OpenPGP Email Summit in Brussels, Belgium

    Just like last year, I managed to be invited to the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Conference to talk about GNOME. First, Simone Fischer-Huebner from Karlstadt University talked about her projects which are on the edge of security, cryptography, and usability, which I find a fascinating area to be in. She presented outcomes of her Prismacloud project which also involves fancy youtube videos…

  • GSConnect 15 Offers Better Phone Integration With The GNOME Shell

    In addition to this week bringing KDE Connect 1.10 for the communication/integration between the KDE desktop and Android smartphones/tablets, GSConnect as the GNOME Shell port of this open-source software also received a new feature release.

    GSConnect is the GNOME-based version of KDE Connect that provides integration with the GNOME Shell, Nautilus file manager, and also the Chrome/Firefox web-browsers for sharing of data and message handling from Android devices to your GNOME Linux desktop.

GSConnect v15 Released With Rewritten Gnome Shell UI, Option To Send Keyboard Events From Desktop To Android

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GNOME

GSConnect v15 includes a rewritten Gnome Shell user interface "to better conform to design guidelines". By default (when the Display Mode is set to User Menu in the GSConnect settings), the extension no longer uses icons for actions such as sending files, locating the device, and so on, and instead a regular menu is used.

The latest v15 release also ships with a new feature which allows sending keyboard events from the desktop to Android devices.

Read more

GNOME UX Work and Mutter

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GNOME
  • Birds in flight

    If you follow Planet GNOME, you?ll know about Jim Hall?s fantastic usability testing work. For years Jim has spearheaded usability testing on GNOME, both by running tests himself and mentoring usability testing internships offered through Outreachy.

    This Autumn, Jim will once again be mentoring usability testing internships. However, this time round, we?re planning on running the internships a bit differently.

    In previous rounds of usability testing, the tests have typically been performed on released software: that is, apps and features that are already in the hands of users. This is great and has flagged up issues that we?ve gone on to fix, but it has some drawbacks.

    [...]

    There’s lots of work in progress UX work in GNOME right now, all of which would benefit from testing. This includes the new menu arrangements that are replacing app menus, new sound settings, new design patterns for lists, new application permission settings, the new lock screen design, and more.

  • GNOME's Mutter Finally Gets Meson Build System Support, Other Cleanups

    GNOME's Mutter window manager / compositor picked up Meson build system support today and in the process received various clean-ups like dropping OpenGL ES 1.x support.

    While most GNOME components have been switched over to offering Meson build system support for months as an alternative to Autotools, only in the latest Mutter Git code as of today is Meson support for this key component to the GNOME desktop.

GNOME: GNOME Translation Editor 3.30.0 and WebKit/WebKitGTK+ Updates

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GNOME
  • GNOME Translation Editor 3.30.0

    This new release isn't yet in flathub, but I'm working on it so we'll have a flatpak version really soon. Meantime you can test using the gnome nightly flatpak repo.

  • WebKitGTK+ 2.22.2 and 2.22.3, Media Source Extensions, and YouTube

    Last month, I attended the Web Engines Hackfest (hosted by Igalia in A Coruña, Spain) and also the WebKit Contributors Meeting (hosted by Apple in San Jose, California). These are easily the two biggest WebKit development events of the year, and it’s always amazing to meet everyone in person yet again. A Coruña is an amazing city, and every browser developer ought to visit at least once. And the Contributors Meeting is a no-brainer event for WebKit developers.

    One of the main discussion points this year was Media Source Extensions (MSE). MSE is basically a way for browsers to control how videos are downloaded. Until recently, if you were to play a YouTube video in Epiphany, you’d notice that the video loads way faster than it does in other browsers. This is because WebKitGTK+ — until recently — had no support for MSE. In other browsers, YouTube uses MSE to limit the speed at which video is downloaded, in order to reduce wasted bandwidth in case you stop watching the video before it ends. But with WebKitGTK+, MSE was not available, so videos would load as quickly as possible. MSE also makes it harder for browsers to offer the ability to download the videos; you’ll notice that neither Firefox nor Chrome offer to download the videos in their context menus, a feature that’s been available in Epiphany for as long as I remember.

  • On WebKit Build Options (Also: How to Accidentally Disable Important Security Features!)

    When building WebKitGTK+, it’s a good idea to stick to the default values for the build options. If you’re building some sort of embedded system and really know what you’re doing, then OK, it might make sense to change some settings and disable some stuff. But Linux distros are generally well-advised to stick to the defaults to avoid creating problems for users.

    One exception is if you need to disable certain features to avoid newer dependencies when building WebKit for older systems. For example, Ubuntu 18.04 disables web fonts (ENABLE_WOFF2=OFF) because it doesn’t have the libbrotli and libwoff2 dependencies that are required for that feature to work, hence some webpages will display using subpar fonts. And distributions shipping older versions of GStreamer will need to disable the ENABLE_MEDIA_SOURCE option (which is missing from the below feature list by mistake), since that requires the very latest GStreamer to work.

PipeWire Hackfest Reports

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GNOME
  • Update from the PipeWire hackfest

    As the third and final day of the PipeWire hackfest draws to a close, I thought I’d summarise some of my thoughts on the goings-on and the future.

    [...]

    One key thing that PulseAudio does right (I know there are people who disagree!) is having a custom configuration that automagically works on a lot of Intel HDA-based systems. We’ve been wondering how to deal with this in PipeWire, and the path we think makes sense is to transition to ALSA UCM configuration. This is note as flexible as we need it to be, but I’d like to extend it for that purpose if possible. This would ideally also help consolidate the various methods of configuration being used by the various Linux userspaces.

    To that end, I’ve started trying to get a UCM setup on my desktop that PulseAudio can use, and be functionally equivalent to what we do with our existing configuration. There are missing bits and bobs, and I’m currently focusing on the ones related to hardware volume control. I’ll write about this in the future as the effort expands out to other hardware.

  • Pipewire Hackfest 2018

    For Pipewire, the policy decisions would be split off from the main daemon. Pipewire, as it gains PulseAudio compatibility layers, will grow a default/example policy engine that will try to replicate PulseAudio's behaviour. At the very least, that will mean that Pipewire won't regress compared to PulseAudio, and might even be able to take better decisions in the short term.

    For GNOME, we still wanted to take control of that part of the experience, and make our own policy decisions. It's very possible that this engine will end up being featureful and generic enough that it will be used by more than just GNOME, or even become the default Pipewire one, but it's far too early to make that particular decision.

    In the meanwhile, we wanted the GNOME policies to not be written in C, difficult to experiment with for power users, and for edge use cases. We could have started writing a configuration language, but it would have been too specific, and there are plenty of embeddable languages around. It was also a good opportunity for me to finally write the helper library I've been meaning to write for years, based on my favourite embedded language, Lua.

GNOME 3.30.2 RELEASED

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GNOME

I'm pleased to announce the release of GNOME 3.30.2, the final planned
release for the GNOME 3.30 series (sorry for the week delay)

It includes numerous bugfixes, documentation improvements, and
translation updates.
All distributions shipping GNOME 3.30 are strongly encouraged to upgrade.

Also, for this release I wanted to take advantage of our CI system to
make the build process publicly available [1]

Read more

Also: GNOME 3.30.2 Desktop Environment Released as the Last in the Series, Update Now

GNOME 3.30.2 Released As Focus Shifts To GNOME 3.32

Update on PipeWire

Filed under
Red Hat
GNOME
  • PipeWire Hackfest

    So we kicked off the PipeWire hackfest in Edinburgh yesterday. We have 15 people attending including Arun Raghavan, Tanu Kaskinen and Colin Guthrie from PulseAudio, PipeWire creator Wim Taymans, Bastien Nocera and Jan Grulich representing GNOME and KDE, Mark Brown from the ALSA kernel team, Olivier Crête,George Kiagiadakis and Nicolas Dufresne was there to represent embedded usecases for PipeWire and finally Thierry Bultel representing automotive.

    The event kicked off with Wim Taymans presenting on current state of PipeWire and outlining the remaining issues and current thoughts on how to resolve them. Most of the first day was spent on a roadtable discussion about what are and should be the goals of PipeWire and what potential tradeoffs there would be going forward. PipeWire is probably a bit closer to Jack than PulseAudio in design, so quite a bit of the discussion went on how that would affect the PulseAudio usecases and what is planned to ensure PipeWire works very well for consumer audio usecases.

    Personally I ended up spending quite some time just testing and running various Jack apps to see what works already and what doesn’t. In terms of handling outputing audio with Jack apps I was positively surprised how many Jack apps I was able to make work (aka output audio) using PipeWire instead of Jack, but of course we still have some gaps to cover before PipeWire is ready as a drop-in Jack replacement, for instance the Jack session management protocol needs to be implemented first.

  • PipeWire Is Still On Track For One Day Being A Drop-In Replacement To PulseAudio

    Various Linux audio stakeholders are in Edinburgh having a PipeWire hackfest following the Linux Foundation events that took place last week.

    While PipeWire is mostly talked about these days on the video side for being part of the technology to allow for Wayland remote desktop handling on KDE Plasma and GNOME Shell desktops as well as being important for Flatpak app sandboxing, part of the longer-term vision at Red Hat is on seeing PipeWire also be a success on the audio front.

Elementary's Pantheon Desktop Update Proposed For Fedora 30

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Red Hat
GNOME

Fedora Workstation 30 will continue to use the GNOME Shell by default (more than likely, GNOME 3.32) but adding to the list of alternative desktop environments could be the elementaryOS' Pantheon Desktop. Pantheon has been available for a few releases on Fedora, but this change proposal is about upgrading the desktop.

Pantheon is the elegantly designed open-source desktop by the Elementary designers. Pantheon builds on some GNOME components and their custom apps are GTK3-based. ElementaryOS itself is Ubuntu-based, but for those attracted to this desktop but preferring a different OS stack, these packages could soon be bundled in Fedora in their latest form. Fedora contributor Fabio Valentini is hoping to arrange for this new/updated Pantheon desktop option in the Fedora 30 release, which will be out next year.

Read more

Themes/GTK: Enhancing the Looks of GNU/Linux

Filed under
Mac
GNOME
  • elementary OS 5.0 Capitaine-X Combo Customization

    This short tutorial explains in brief to customize elementary OS 5.0 with Capitaine icons + Elementary-X theme combo. You see, this will make your OS looks like Apple macOS smoother. This combo is really beautiful, thanks to Keefer Rourke and Suraj Mandal, the talented developers of the respective artworks. I also mention here a one-liner command so you can test this in instant (i.e. one tap on LiveCD session). Okay, enjoy this customization!

  • Nordic Theme And Zafiro Icons Looks Amazing Together On Desktop

    If you are fond of dark theme whether it's your personal liking or for comfort of your eyes, then you landed on the right page. Today, we introduce you to the very elegant theme called "Nordic". This Gtk theme is created using the awesome Nord color pallete which looks amazing on the desktop, it is released under GNU General Public License V3. Nordic also pack theme for Gnome Shell, and support almost every desktop environment such as Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, Mate, Budgie, Panteon, etc. If you are using distribution other than Ubuntu/Linux Mint then download the theme directly from its page and install it in this location "~/.themes" or "/usr/share/themes". Since Nordic theme pack is in active development that means if you find any kind of bug or issue with it then report it to get fixed.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Metropolisim, Monster Prom, Kingdom Two Crowns and Lots More

  • Metropolisim aims to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever, will have Linux support
    Metropolisim from developer Halfway Decent Games is releasing next year, with a pretty bold aim to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever.
  • Monster Prom, the dating sim that won me over is now available on GOG
    Visual novels and dating sims aren't something I'm usually into, however Monster Prom is actually funny and worth playing and it's now available on GOG. I know we have a number of GOG fans here, so hopefully this will be interesting for you. As always, we try to treat all stores equally with release info.
  • Kingdom Two Crowns will be coming to Linux after all with the Quality of Life update
    Kingdom Two Crowns, the third in the Kingdom series released recently for Windows and Mac. It looked like we weren't getting it, but it's now confirmed to be coming. In their new roadmap post on Reddit and Steam, under the "QoL #01 Update" (Quality of Life Update) they noted that they will add "Add SteamOS (Linux) Support". This update is due out sometime early next year. This is really nice news, it's good to know they didn't give up on supporting Linux after all.
  • Steam Link for the Raspberry Pi is now officially available
    After a rather short beta period, the Steam Link application for the Raspberry Pi is now officially out.
  • Valve in it for the 'long haul' with Artifact, first update out and a progression system due soon
    Artifact, the big new card game from Valve isn't doing so well but Valve won't be giving up any time soon. The first major update is out, with a progression system due soon. At release, it had around sixty thousand people playing and that very quickly dropped down hard. Harder than I expected, a lot worse than Valve probably thought it would too.
  • Bearded Giant Games open their own store with a 'Linux First Initiative'
    Bearded Giant Games, developer of Ebony Spire Heresy have announced their new online store along with a 'Linux First Initiative'. I know what you're thinking already "not another store", but fear not. For now, it's mainly going to be a place for them to sell their games directly. Speaking about it in a blog post, they mentioned how they hate having to check over multiple forums, channels, emails and so on to stay up to date and they wish "to spend more time giving love to my projects instead of updating 4 different distribution channels, translating pages, writing different press releases and making separate builds"—can't argue against that.
  • The Forgotten Sanctum, the final DLC for Pillars of Eternity II is out along with a patch
    Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire expansions come to a close with the release of The Forgotten Sanctum along with a major update now out.
  • Pre-order Meeple Station for instant beta access, what the developers say is like Rimworld in space
    Meeple Station, the space station building sim that the developers say is like Rimworld in space can now be pre-ordered with instant beta access. While we don't like the idea of pre-orders, getting access to the beta right away is a decent way to do it. Sadly, their Kickstarter campaign actually failed which I didn't notice. Making sure that wasn't the end of it, the developer Vox Games decided to go the Early Access route. They weren't left out in the cold of space though, as they also recently announced that Indie DB will be publishing their game. Under the label of Modularity, this will be the first title published by Indie DB.
  • Heroes of Newerth drops support for Linux and Mac
    Heroes of Newerth, the MOBA originally from S2 Games which is now handled by Frostburn Studios has dropped Linux and Mac support. [...] I'll be honest here, I couldn't care less about it personally. The last time i tried it, it was the single most toxic experience I've ever had in an online game. I've played a lot of online games and even so it was still at a level I had not seen before. I tried to go back to it a few times, never with a happy ending. Still, sad for any remaining Linux (and Mac) fans of the game. Looking over some statistics, it's not popular with viewers either. Around 180 on Twitch compared with nearly 100K for League of Legends and over 50K for Dota 2.
  • Unity 2018.3 With HDR Render Pipeline Preview, Updated PhysX & More
    Unity Tech is ending out the year with their Unity 2018.3 game engine update that brings a number of new features and improvements to its many supported platforms.

Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 4.0-rc2 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
  • Just when you think you can stop drinking, Wine 4.0 has another release candidate available
    Just before the weekend hits you in the face like a bad hangover when you realise it's Monday already, there's another bottle of Wine ready for you. Of course, we're not talking about the tasty liquid! Put down the glass, it's the other kind of Wine. The one used to run your fancy Windows programs and games on Linux. Doing their usual thing, developer Alexandre Julliard announced that the Wine 4.0 Release Candidate 2 is officially out the door today. While this release is nothing spectacular it is an important one, the more bugs they're able to tick off the list the better the 4.0 release will be for more people to use it.

Android Leftovers

A Look At The Clear Linux Performance Over The Course Of 2018

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it's time for our annual look at how the Linux performance has evolved over the past year from graphics drivers to distributions. This year was a particularly volatile year for Linux performance due to Spectre and Meltdown mitigations, some of which have at least partially recovered thanks to continued optimizations landing in subsequent kernel releases. But on the plus side, new releases of Python, PHP, GCC 8, and other new software releases have helped out the performance. For kicking off our year-end benchmark comparisons, first up is a look at how Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution evolved this year. For getting a look at the performance, on four different systems (two Xeon boxes, a Core i5, and Core i7 systems), the performance was compared from Clear Linux at the end of 2017 to the current rolling-release state as of this week. Read more