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KDE and GNOME: KDE Frameworks 5.55, Rhythmbox 3.4.3, Files 3.30 and More

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  • Android Notifications Coming To KDE Frameworks 5

    Beginning with February's KDE Frameworks 5.55 release, there will be an Android notifications back-end introduced.

    KDE developer Volker Krause has been working on wiring up an Android notification back-end as part of KF5Notifications for being able to display alerts on Android phones/tablets as part of the native Android notification system.

  • KF5 Android Notification Backend

    With the ongoing work on realtime data access in KDE Itinerary we need a way show notifications in case of delays or other trip changes. That’s what KF5Notifications is for, which unfortunately isn’t supported on Android yet. Since an Android specific code path in KDE Itinerary for that would be quite ugly, I did look into adding Android support for KF5Notifications. How hard can it be? Wink


    With the ongoing work on realtime data access in KDE Itinerary we need a way show notifications in case of delays or other trip changes. That’s what KF5Notifications is for, which unfortunately isn’t supported on Android yet. Since an Android specific code path in KDE Itinerary for that would be quite ugly, I did look into adding Android support for KF5Notifications. How hard can it be? ;)Starting with KF5 5.55 we will have basic support for notifications, notification interaction and notification actions on Android. There’s probably still a number of features and flags in KF5Notifications that can be better mapped to Android’s native system, and there’s still work to be done to improve compatibility with a wider range of Android versions, but it’s a good start. But maybe even more importantly, we now have a template for integrating Android Java code in KF5 frameworks.

  • Alternative Toolbar Plugin Updated for Rhythmbox 3.4.3 (PPA)

    Alternative toolbar plugin released a new bug-fix version today with the latest Rhythmbox music player 3.4.3 compatibility.

    Alternative toolbar is a third-party plugin for Rhythmbox. It replaces the default header bar with Gnome-style client-side decoration. And the standard toolbar replaced by a compact toolbar.

  • Files 3.30 in Ubuntu 19.04 Daily Builds
  • Lucid

    I still remain as emotionally invested in the GNOME and Flatpak communities as ever - I just won’t be paid to contribute, which is no bad thing for an open source project.

And Then They Were Gone: GNOME Reverts Back to Brown for Folder Icons

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Development is a perpetual, constantly changing and iterative landscape upon which changes can evaporate as fast as they made form.

Case in point this week? A shocking design u-turn — said in jest, lest you panic — by GNOME designers, who’ve reverted back to brown folder icons in the promising new flat icon set it plans to debut in GNOME 3.32.

Yes, the spiffy blue folders that, to my eyes at least, were a kindly-on-the-eye improvement over the beige directories that went before, are gone.

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Issue handling automation for GNOME

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I remember some time ago discussing with someone from GNOME how important is to make a good issue report, the conclusion came along the lines of “I have 10 seconds to read per issue, if the issue is not well done it’s most likely I won’t have time to read it”. It’s true most of us are focused on doing actual code, after all it’s what most of us enjoy and/or what we are paid for. So bug handling always takes a quite back place on our priorities.

On the other hand, the management of issues is neccessary for a healthy project, specially if you are using it for planification, prioritization, feedback gatherer and interaction with other developers or teams. In general, a set of open issues that is representative, updated and properly reported helps the project progress and build a community around.

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GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.31.4 Deliver Desktop Performance Improvements

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While released too late for making it into GNOME 3.31.4 proper as the newest GNOME 3.32 development release, out today are GNOME Shell 3.31.4 and Mutter 3.31.4 and both of these components offer up performance fixes/improvements.

GNOME Shell 3.31.4 improves the icon grid performance, which is for a bug opened for nearly one year about high CPU usage when scrolling the app grid. This was reported by Canonical's Daniel van Vugt and even for a Core i7 Kabylake desktop CPU the app grid scrolling introduced high CPU overhead while now has the necessary fixes in place.

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Also: Librsvg is almost rustified now

GNOME 3.31.4

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  • GNOME 3.31.4 released

    Here is GNOME 3.31.4, the first development snapshot of 2019. Try it out, test it, improve it.

  • GNOME 3.31.4 Released As A Big Step Towards GNOME 3.32

    GNOME 3.31.4 is out today as their latest development snapshot towards this March's GNOME 3.32 desktop release. GNOME 3.31.4 comes with several exciting additions ranging from enhancing its default web browser to the GNOME Boxes virtualization component enabling 3D/OpenGL support with VirtIO-GPU.

LVFS Nets Phoenix

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Red Hat
  • Phoenix joins the LVFS

    Just like AMI, Phoenix is a huge firmware vendor, providing the firmware for millions of machines. If you’re using a ThinkPad right now, you’re most probably using Phoenix code in your mainboard firmware. Phoenix have been working with Lenovo and their ODMs on LVFS support for a while, fixing all the niggles that was stopping the capsule from working with the loader used by Linux. Phoenix can help customers build deliverables for the LVFS that use UX capsule support to make flashing beautiful, although it’s up to the OEM if that’s used or not.

  • Firmware Vendor Phoenix Tech Joins The LVFS For Linux Firmware Updates

    Last month firmware vendor AMI joined the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) while today the other big firmware vendor, Phoenix Technologies, is also backing LVFS for their OEM/ODM partners that want to distribute firmware update capsules on this RedHat-based service.

    Phoenix provides the basic firmware implementation for the likes of Lenovo ThinkPads, Tuxedo Computers, and plenty of other OEM/ODM partners for motherboards. Phoenix has already been helping their partners with UEFI firmware updates on LVFS and now they will continue doing so as an official member. But it will still be up to their actual customers to want to engage with LVFS support for their products.

Browsers: Epiphany, Chromium, and Firefox in Fedora

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Red Hat
  • Epiphany automation mode

    Last week I finally found some time to add the automation mode to Epiphany, that allows to run automated tests using WebDriver. It’s important to note that the automation mode is not expected to be used by users or applications to control the browser remotely, but only by WebDriver automated tests. For that reason, the automation mode is incompatible with a primary user profile.

  • Fedora Updates Chromium With VAAPI Support, Here's How To Enable Hardware-Accelerated Video Decoding

    Chromium was updated in Fedora with a patch that enables VAAPI (Video Acceleration API) support. When VAAPI is used, the video playback should be smoother, while also using less CPU and improving the power usage.

    While this patch was rejected by the upstream Chromium maintainers, there are quite a few third party packages that include the VAAPI patch, for Ubuntu, Arch Linux, and others. And now, Fedora includes this by default!

  • Fedora's Firefox To Stick With GCC Over Clang, Beefed Up By LTO/PGO Optimizations

    Last month Fedora developers were planning on building their Firefox package with Clang rather than GCC to follow the move by upstream Mozilla in transitioning their production builds from being built under GCC to LLVM Clang. But now Fedora has reversed course and will continue building with GCC though now benefiting also from PGO and LTO optimizations.

    After announcing their plans to move over to Clang-built Firefox builds for Fedora (and receiving the necessary permission from the FESCo committee), they are sticking to the GNU Compiler Collection after all. GCC developers from both Red Hat and SUSE stepped up and found and fixed some bugs that improved the Firefox build. Additionally, arguments against Clang were raised on the basis of missing features and security.

  • Cambodia – Statistics
  • Our Letter to Congress About Facebook Data Sharing

    Last week Mozilla sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee concerning its investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices. We believe Facebook’s representations to the Committee — and more recently — concerning Mozilla are inaccurate and wanted to set the record straight about any past and current work with Facebook. You can read the full letter here.

To No Surprise, Fedora 30 Will Target GNOME 3.32

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Red Hat

New Fedora releases go hand-in-hand with the latest and greatest GNOME releases. But as a formality, the change proposal has been submitted to officially approve shipping Fedora Workstation 30 with the GNOME 3.32 desktop.

With needing the approval of the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo), the change proposal was drafted on Monday for updating GNOME against its 3.32 release that will be out in March.

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Also: Introduction to eBPF in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

‘Cast to TV’ Lets You Stream Media From Ubuntu to Chromecast

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It just got a little easier for Ubuntu users to cast video, music and pictures to a Chromecast equipped TV direct from the desktop.

We’ve previously shown you how to cast video from Ubuntu to a Chromecast using the open-source MKChromecast tool, and the latest versions of the popular VLC media player has Chromecast support built-in too.

Now there’s a new way for Linux users to cast content to a nearby TV over the local network using Google’s cheap n’ cheerful dongle using a GNOME Shell extension.

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Also: How Tracker is tested in 2019

GNOME Calculator ... a library in the making

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GNOME calculator is a handy little application. Long story short, it is a calculator application for GNOME as you all know. Written (and rewritten) for GNOME, it includes lexer, parser, and evaluation of expressions, plus a GTK+-based user interface to access the features of the calculation engine. This "engine" currently lives inside the projects' tree lib folder, and is used as a static library for the application. The library seemed fairly well split from the user interface, but it turned out there is a dependency on gtk textview, because of a mathematical equation subclassing Gtk.SourceBuffer (from gtktextview library) for easier handling, which is a subclass of Gtk.TextBuffer (from gtk+). So gtk+ is a transitive dependency of the calculator library. Moreso, the library also has a direct dependency on gtk+ due to having a reference to a Gtk.TextTag for "marking" the answer part of the equation to be able to reuse it and/or find it programatically in the text view or visually by marking it with bold characters.

With all these stated, you can see that if you would like to build a simple console application for evaluating expressions using this library, you would have to pull in gtk and gtksourceview as a dependency, which might not be the best thing to do.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu-Centric Full Circle Magazine and Debian on the Raspberryscape

  • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #121
  • Debian on the Raspberryscape: Great news!
    I already mentioned here having adopted and updated the Raspberry Pi 3 Debian Buster Unofficial Preview image generation project. As you might know, the hardware differences between the three families are quite deep ? The original Raspberry Pi (models A and B), as well as the Zero and Zero W, are ARMv6 (which, in Debian-speak, belong to the armel architecture, a.k.a. EABI / Embedded ABI). Raspberry Pi 2 is an ARMv7 (so, we call it armhf or ARM hard-float, as it does support floating point instructions). Finally, the Raspberry Pi 3 is an ARMv8-A (in Debian it corresponds to the ARM64 architecture). [...] As for the little guy, the Zero that sits atop them, I only have to upload a new version of raspberry3-firmware built also for armel. I will add to it the needed devicetree files. I have to check with the release-team members if it would be possible to rename the package to simply raspberry-firmware (as it's no longer v3-specific). Why is this relevant? Well, the Raspberry Pi is by far the most popular ARM machine ever. It is a board people love playing with. It is the base for many, many, many projects. And now, finally, it can run with straight Debian! And, of course, if you don't trust me providing clean images, you can prepare them by yourself, trusting the same distribution you have come to trust and love over the years.

OSS: SVT-AV1, LibreOffice, FSF and Software Freedom Conservancy

  • SVT-AV1 Already Seeing Nice Performance Improvements Since Open-Sourcing
    It was just a few weeks ago that Intel open-sourced the SVT-AV1 project as a CPU-based AV1 video encoder. In the short time since publishing it, there's already been some significant performance improvements.  Since the start of the month, SVT-AV1 has added multi-threaded CDEF search, more AVX optimizations, and other improvements to this fast evolving AV1 encoder. With having updated the test profile against the latest state as of today, here's a quick look at the performance of this Intel open-source AV1 video encoder.
  • Find a LibreOffice community member near you!
    Hundreds of people around the world contribute to each new version of LibreOffice, and we’ve interviewed many of them on this blog. Now we’ve collected them together on a map (thanks to OpenStreetMap), so you can see who’s near you, and find out more!
  • What I learned during my internship with the FSF tech team
    Hello everyone, I am Hrishikesh, and this is my follow-up blog post concluding my experiences and the work I did during my 3.5 month remote internship with the FSF. During my internship, I worked with the tech team to research and propose replacements for their network monitoring infrastructure. A few things did not go quite as planned, but a lot of good things that I did not plan happened along the way. For example, I planned to work on GNU LibreJS, but never could find enough time for it. On the other hand, I gained a lot of system administration experience by reading IRC conversations, and by working on my project. I even got to have a brief conversation with RMS! My mentors, Ian, Andrew, and Ruben, were extremely helpful and understanding throughout my internship. As someone who previously had not worked with a team, I learned a lot about teamwork. Aside from IRC, we interacted weekly in a conference call via phone, and used the FSF's Etherpad instance for live collaborative editing, to take notes. The first two months were mostly spent studying the FSF's existing Nagios- and Munin-based monitoring and alert system, to understand how it works. The tech team provided two VMs for experimenting with Prometheus and Nagios, which I used throughout the internship. During this time, I also spent a lot of time reading about licenses, and other posts about free software published by the FSF.
  • We're Hiring: Techie Bookkeeper
    Software Freedom Conservancy is looking for a new employee to help us with important work that supports our basic operations. Conservancy is a nonprofit charity that promotes and improves free and open source software projects. We are home to almost 50 projects, including Git, Inkscape, Etherpad, phpMyAdmin, and Selenium (to name a few). Conservancy is the home of Outreachy, an award winning diversity intiative, and we also work hard to improve software freedom generally. We are a small but dedicated staff, handling a very large number of financial transactions per year for us and our member projects.

Security: Back Doors Running Amok, Container Runtime Flaw Patched, Cisco Ships Exploit Inside Products

  • Here We Go Again: 127 Million Accounts Stolen From 8 More Websites
    Several days ago, a hacker put 617 million accounts from 16 different websites for sale on the dark web. Now, the same hacker is offering 127 million more records from another eight websites.
  • Hacker who stole 620 million records strikes again, stealing 127 million more
    A hacker who stole close to 620 million user records from 16 websites has stolen another 127 million records from eight more websites, TechCrunch has learned. The hacker, whose listing was the previously disclosed data for about $20,000 in bitcoin on a dark web marketplace, stole the data last year from several major sites — some that had already been disclosed, like more than 151 million records from MyFitnessPal and 25 million records from Animoto. But several other hacked sites on the marketplace listing didn’t know or hadn’t disclosed yet — such as 500px and Coffee Meets Bagel. The Register, which first reported the story, said the data included names, email addresses and scrambled passwords, and in some cases other login and account data — though no financial data was included.
  • Vendors Issue Patches for Linux Container Runtime Flaw Enabling Host Attacks
  • How did the Dirty COW exploit get shipped in software?
    An exploit code for Dirty COW was accidentally shipped by Cisco with product software. Learn how this code ended up in a software release and what this vulnerability can do.

10 Cool Software to Try from CORP Repo in Fedora

In this article, we will share 10 cool software projects to try in Fedora distribution. All the apps or tools covered here can be found in COPR repository. However, before we move any further, let’s briefly explain COPR. Read more