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GNOME

Richard Hughes and His Work on Firmware Blobs (LVFS)

Filed under
Red Hat
GNOME
  • Fun with SuperIO

    While I’m waiting back for NVMe vendors (already one tentatively onboard!) I’ve started looking at “embedded controller” devices. The EC on your laptop historically used to just control the PS/2 keyboard and mouse, but now does fan control, power management, UARTs, GPIOs, LEDs, SMBUS, and various tasks the main CPU is too important to care about. Vendors issue firmware updates for this kind of device, but normally wrap up the EC update as part of the “BIOS” update as the system firmware and EC work together using various ACPI methods. Some vendors do the EC update out-of-band and so we need to teach fwupd about how to query the EC to get the model and version on that specific hardware. The Linux laptop vendor Tuxedo wants to update the EC and system firmware separately using the LVFS, and helpfully loaned me an InfinityBook Pro 13 that was immediately disassembled and connected to all kinds of exotic external programmers. On first impressions the N131WU seems quick, stable and really well designed internally — I’m sure would get a 10/10 for repairability.

  • Please welcome AKiTiO to the LVFS

    Over the last few weeks AKiTiO added support for the Node and Node Lite devices, and I’m sure they’ll be more in the future. It’s been a pleasure working with the engineers and getting them up to speed with uploading to the LVFS.

    In other news, Lenovo also added support for the ThinkPad T460 on the LVFS, so get any updates while they’re hot. If you want to try this you’ll have to enable the lvfs-testing remote either using fwupdmgr enable-remote lvfs-testing or using the sources dialog in recent versions of GNOME Software. More Lenovo updates coming soon, and hopefully even more vendor announcements too.

Getting back into Outreachy

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GNOME

Outreachy is a great organization that helps women and other minorities get involved in open source software. (Outreachy was formerly the GNOME Outreach Program for Women.) I've mentored several cycles in Outreachy, doing usability testing with GNOME. I had a wonderful time, and enjoyed working with all the talented individuals who did usability testing with us.

I haven't been part of Outreachy for a few years, since I changed jobs. I have a really hectic work schedule, and the timing hasn't really worked out for me. Outreachy recently posted their call for participation in the December-March cycle of Outreachy. December to March should be a relatively stable time on my calendar, so this is looking like a great time to get involved again.

I don't know if GNOME plans to hire interns for the upcoming cycle of Outreachy, at least for usability testing. But I am interested in mentoring if they do.

Following conversations with Allan Day and Jakub Steiner, from GNOME Design, I'm thinking about changing the schedule we would use in usability testing. In previous cycles, I set up the schedule like a course on usability. That was a great learning experience for the interns, as they had a ramp-up in learning about usability testing before we did a big usability project.

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New Videos & New Opportunities

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Red Hat
GNOME

Flatpak 1.0 has released which is a great milestone for the Linux Desktop. I was asked at GUADEC whether a release video could be in place. In response, I spontaneously arranged to produce a voice-over with Sam during the GUADEC Video Editing BoF. Since then, I have been storyboarding, animating and editing the project in Blender. The music and soundscape has been produced by Simon-Claudius who has done an amazing job. Britt edited the voice-over and has lended me a great load of rendering power (thanks Britt!).

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GNOME 3.30 Brings Back Desktop Icons with Nautilus Integration, Wayland Support

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GNOME

Earlier this year, the GNOME devs decided to remove the ability of the Nautilus (Files) file manager to handle desktop icons, stating with the GNOME 3.28 release, promising to bring it back as soon as possible through a new implementation in the form of a GNOME Shell extension.

As expected, users were skeptical about the new implementation if it will offer them the same level of convenience that the previous method provided via the Nautilus file manager. We said it before and we'll say it again, desktop icons are he to stay for many years and they are not going to disappear.

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Also: Desktop Icons For The GNOME Shell Are Back With Beta Extension

4 Neat New GTK Themes for Your Linux Desktop

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GNOME

The new Yaru/Communitheme theme might be the talk of the Ubuntu town right now, but it’s not the only decent desktop theme out there.

If you want to give your Linux desktop a striking new look ahead of the autumn then the following quad-pack of quality GTK themes might help you out.

Don’t be put off by the fact you will need to manually install these skins; it’s pretty to install GTK themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS above, providing you set hidden folders to show (Ctrl + H) in Nautilus first.

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Also: Getting Things GNOME

GNOME Shell, Mutter, and Ubuntu's GNOME Theme

Filed under
GNOME
Ubuntu

GNOME: GNOME Shell, Shotwell, GNOME Asia 2018 in Taipei

Filed under
GNOME
  • Customing time and date formats in the GNOME top bar

    Do you want another time and date format in the GNOME top bar than what is set in your default locale? The Clock Override extension for GNOME gives you full control of what and how time and data information is display in the top bar.

    The GNOME Shell for Linux doesn’t provide a lot of customization options out of the box. GNOME really don’t believe that anyone would ever want to customize their beautiful desktop shell. They’ve taken their design-by-omitting-customization paradigm so far that they’ve even left out the ability to customize the date and time format. Fortunately, the GNOME Shell is quite extensible and users always do find a way to change things the way that they want them.

  • Face detection and recognition in shotwell

    After dabbling a bit with OpenFace, I wanted to add similar face detection and recognition abilities to a typical Linux desktop photo app. So I discovered Shotwell, which is a photo manager for Gnome. Shotwell had a partial implementation of face detection (no recognition) which was under a build define and not enabled in the releases. With that code as the starting point, I started integrating the ideas from OpenFace into Shotwell.

  • Shobha Tyagi: GNOME.Asia Summit 2018

    GNOME.Asia Summit 2018 was co-hosted with COSCUP 2018 and openSUSE.Asia Summit in Taipei, Taiwan 11-12 August 2018.

  • Umang Jain: GNOME Asia 2018, Taipei

    I am very pleased to attend to GNOME Asia(again!) that took place at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei this year. Its always great to see GNOME folks around, hanging out and have a social side of things. GNOME Asia was co-hosted with OpenSUSE Asia summit and COSCUP.

    [...]

    We had a GNOME BoF to address couple of issues around conferences: Mostly around standardization of conference organization, budget, effect of local team presence at potential conference venues etc.

GNOME: NVMe Firmware and GSConnect

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GNOME
  • Richard Hughes: NVMe Firmware: I Need Your Data

    In a recent Google Plus post I asked what kind of hardware was most interesting to be focusing on next. UEFI updating is now working well with a large number of vendors, and the LVFS “onboarding” process is well established now. On that topic we’ll hopefully have some more announcements soon. Anyway, back to the topic in hand: The overwhelming result from the poll was that people wanted NVMe hardware supported, so that you can trivially update the firmware of your SSD. Firmware updates for SSDs are important, as most either address data consistency issues or provide nice performance fixes.

  • Gnome Shell Android Integration Extension GSConnect V12 Released

    GSConnect v12 was released yesterday with changes like more resilient sshfs connections (which should make browsing your Android device from the desktop more reliable), fixed extension icon alignment, along with other improvements.

    GSConnect is a Gnome Shell extension that integrates your Android device(s) with the desktop. The tool makes use of the KDE Connect protocol but without using any KDE dependencies, keeping your desktop clean of unwanted packages.

  • Linux Release Roundup: Communitheme, Cantata & VS Code

    GSconnect is a magical GNOME extension that lets your Android phone integrate with your Linux desktop. So good, in fact, that Ubuntu devs want to ship it as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 18.10 release (though last I heard it probably just end up in the repos instead).

    Anyway, a new version of GSconnect popped out this week. GSconnect v12 adds a nifty new features or two, as well as a few fixes here, and a few UI tweaks there.

GNOME 3.30 Desktop Environment Gets Beta 2 Release Ahead of September 5 Launch

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GNOME

Coming two weeks after the first beta release, the highly anticipated GNOME 3.30 desktop environment received a second beta release today as Michael Catanzaro informed us via an email announcement. This beta 2 release is tagged as GNOME 3.29.91, and it marks the Software String Freeze stage in the development cycle.

But it doesn't look like it was an easy release for the GNOME Release Team, as Michael Catanzaro reports build failures for several components, including GNOME Boxes, which didn't make it for this second beta release. As a consequence, numerous components weren't updated in this beta 2 release.

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Happy birthday, GNOME: 8 reasons to love this Linux desktop

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GNOME

GNOME has been my favorite desktop environment for quite some time. While I always make it a point to check out other environments from time to time, there are some aspects of the GNOME desktop that are hard to live without. While there are many great desktop environments out there, GNOME feels like home to me. Here are some of the features I enjoy most about GNOME.

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More in Tux Machines

OSS/Microsoft Openwashing Leftovers

Brave and Firefox Latest

  • Brave Browser Team Up With Tor
     

    TOR [sic] or The Onion Router uses technology that separates your computer from the website you’re viewing by routing the network traffic through 3 seperate servers before it reaches your computer. That being said Brave Core Beta hasn’t been fully tested yet so “users should not rely on it for serious use just yet,” Brave said.

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  • Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved
    When Firefox 64 arrives in December, support for RSS, the once celebrated content syndication scheme, and its sibling, Atom, will be missing. "After considering the maintenance, performance and security costs of the feed preview and subscription features in Firefox, we’ve concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep feed support in the core of the product," said Gijs Kruitbosch, a software engineer who works on Firefox at Mozilla, in a blog post on Thursday. RSS – which stands for Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication, as you see fit – is an XML-based format for publishing and subscribing to web content feeds. It dates back to 1999 and for a time was rather popular, but been disappearing from a variety of applications and services since then. Mozilla appears to have gotten the wrecking ball rolling in 2011 when it removed the RSS button from Firefox. The explanation then was the same as it is now: It's just not very popular.
  • Cameron Kaiser: It's baaaaa-aaack: TenFourFox Intel
    It's back! It's undead! It's ugly! It's possibly functional! It's totally unsupported! It's ... TenFourFox for Intel Macs! Years ago as readers of this blog will recall, Claudio Leite built TenFourFox 17.0.2 for Intel, which the update check-in server shows some determined users are still running to this day on 10.5 and even 10.4 despite various problems such as issue 209. However, he didn't have time to maintain it, and a newer version was never built, though a few people since then have made various attempts and submitted some patches. One of these attempts is now far enough along to the point where I'm permitted to announce its existence. Riccardo Mottola has done substantial work on getting TenFourFox to build and run again on old Intel Macs with a focus on 32-bit compatibility, and his patches have been silently lurking in the source code repository for some time. Along with Ken Cunningham's additional work, who now also has a MacPorts portfile so you can build it yourself (PowerPC support in the portfile is coming, though you can still use the official instructions, of course), enough functions in the new Intel build that it can be used for basic tasks.

Security: 'Smart' Locks, Windows in Weapons

Android Leftovers