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GNOME in Ubuntu, New Developments

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  • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: August 11, 2017

    We’re preparing to make the changes described above in the coming weeks, that means that the GNOME Shell Ubuntu session is going to transition to this design in the next few days. Didier will be posting a series of blog posts next week on how this all works as they are landing. The vanilla upstream GNOME session will also emerge from this work. And we’ll link to the posts in next week’s newsletter, but keep an eye on social media for up-to-date information.

    We’ve resurrected the “power off” option when the power button is pressed.  This will appear in GNOME Control Center 3.25.90.

  • GNOME Calendar App to Support Adding and Modifying of Recurrences for GNOME 3.26

    The Beta release of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment is still not out as probably there's more apps and core components that need to be released, but this gives us extra time to look at the new features of various GNOME apps.

    We already told you what's coming to the Nautilus (GNOME Files) and Epiphany (GNOME Web) apps, and it now looks like the maintainers of the GNOME Calendar app have released the Beta version for GNOME 3.26.

GNOME: GNOME Shell, GUADEC, and More

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  • Integrate KDE Connect with GNOME Shell

    A new extension helps to integrate key features of KDE Connect with GNOME Shell. The Mconnect GNOME extension allows you to quickly peek at your phone’s power levels, locate it when mislaid, and even send text messages to your Google contacts. What is KDE Connect again? KDE Connect is the easy way to connect Android to Ubuntu.

  • GNOME Shell 3.26 Beta Drops Autotools Support

    The GNOME Shell 3.25.90 release is available today which serves as its v3.26 beta.

  • Dev v Ops

    In his talk at the 2017 GUADEC in Manchester, Richard Brown presented a set of objections to the current trend of new packaging systems — mostly AppImage, Snap, and Flatpak — from the perspective of a Linux distribution integrator.

  • Forward only binary patching

GNOME: Firefox Sync, GNOME Web, GObject, GUADEC

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  • On Firefox Sync

    Epiphany 3.26 is, unfortunately, not going to be packed with cool new features like 3.24 was. We’ve just been too busy working on improving WebKit this cycle. But there is one cool new thing: Firefox Sync support. You can sync bookmarks, history, passwords, and open tabs with other Epiphany instances and as well as both desktop and mobile Firefox. This is already enabled in 3.25.90. Just go to the Sync tab in Preferences and sign in or create your Firefox account there. Please test it out and report bugs now, so we can quash problems you find before 3.26.0 rather than after.

  • GNOME Web 3.26 Adds Support for Firefox Sync

    Firefox Sync support will be the headline feature in GNOME Web 3.26, letting you sync browser tabs, history and other data between Epiphany/Web and Firefox.

  • GObject design pattern: attached class extension

    I wanted to share one recurrent API design that I’ve implemented several times and that I’ve found useful. I’ve coined it “attached class extension”. It is not a complete description like the design patterns documented in the Gang of Four book (I didn’t want to write 10 pages on the subject), it is more a draft. Also the most difficult is to come up with good names, so comments welcome Wink

  • GUADEC 2017 presentation

    During GUADEC this year I gave a presentation called Replacing C library code with Rust: what I learned with librsvg. This is the PDF file; be sure to scroll past the full-page presentation pages until you reach the speaker's notes, especially for the code sections!

  • At GUADEC 2017 in Manchester

    And not only I have participated in the Akademy 2017 conference but got to GUADEC 2017 all in the same week! And, god, I really loved it too because it’s the first GUADEC I attend since The Hague in 2010 and I loved to meet again with old friends of the Hispanic community. Important to say I missed a lot of you, guys. Hope we’ll fix this next year Wink

    I should acknowledge the travel sponsorship by the GNOME Foundation and the GNOME Hispano association. Without them I couldn’t attend this year.

  • Living an extraordinary GUADEC

    It has been a really great pleasure to attend this GUADEC, where the 20th anniversary took place in Manchester. It started with a journey of almost three days traveling to get there, but this challenge was greatly rewarded! I celebrated with many friends during the Welcome Party. Thanks Sam, Lene and Javier Jardon to make it! CONGRATULATIONS!

  • GUADEC 2017

    I haven’t been blogging much lately but I couldn’t miss this opportunity of telling you about GUADEC 2017 in the hope that it is going to encourage you to attend our next year edition in Almería, Spain.

    Looking back at the six editions of GUADEC that I have attended so far, I can honestly say that we are getting better and better, edition after edition. You might disagree but it is quite clear to me that we are evolving in a very promising direction as a software project and as a community (despite the political turmoil that our world is under).

    The GNOME Way™ has shined as a promising path towards a sustainable and progressive community, where “It is a rejection of technological elitism. It is an egalitarian version of openness” that enables us to move forward in an ethical way.

GNOME's Epiphany Web Browser Enables Firefox Sync by Default for GNOME 3.26 Beta

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The first Beta release of the upcoming GNOME 3.26 desktop environment is upon us, currently scheduled to land today, August 9, 2017, but most probably will be delayed a day or two as not all components have been released.

Read more

Also: GNOME 3.26's Nautilus File Manager Gets Full-Text Search Support, Flatpak Builds

GNOME: GUADEC 2017, Blobs, and the GNOME Way

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  • GUADEC 2017

    I attended my first GUADEC this year, held in beautiful city of Manchester. I am in general not very enthusiastic about social meetings but GUADEC was something I always wished to attend and I am glad I did.

  • Building local firmware in fwupd

    Most of the time when you’re distributing firmware you have permission from the OEM or ODM to redistribute the non-free parts of the system firmware, e.g. Dell can re-distribute the proprietary Intel Management Engine as part as the firmware capsule that gets flashed onto the hardware. In some cases that’s not possible, for example for smaller vendors or people selling OpenHardware. In this case I’m trying to help Purism distribute firmware updates for their hardware, and they’re only able to redistribute the Free Software coreboot part of the firmware. For reasons (IFD, FMAP and CBFS…) you need to actually build the target firmware on the system you’re deploying onto, where build means executing random low-level tools to push random blobs of specific sizes into specific unnecessarily complex partition formats rather than actually compiling .c into executable code. The current solution is a manually updated interactive bash script which isn’t awesome from a user-experience or security point of view. The other things vendors have asked for in the past is a way to “dd” a few bytes of randomness into the target image at a specific offset and also to copy the old network MAC address into the new firmware. I figured fwupd should probably handle this somewhat better than a random bash script running as root on your live system.

  • The GNOME Way

    When I first got involved in GNOME, one of the things that struck me was how principled it was. The members of the project had a strong set of values, both about what they were doing and why they were doing it. It was inspiring to see this and it’s one of the things that really made me want to get more involved.

    Over the years that I’ve participated in the project, I’ve been able to get a better sense of GNOME’s principles and the role that they play in the project. They are the subject of this post.

    The principles that the members of the GNOME project hold in common play an important practical role. They make problem-solving more efficient, by providing a basis on which decisions can be made. They also help to coordinate activities across the project.

GNOME Desktop Shell Built Using HTML5, Latest GUADEC 2017 Reports

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  • Hands On With Manokwari, a GNOME Desktop Shell Built Using HTML5

    It’s not often that I get to write about a new desktop shell — especially one I’ve never heard of! So when a reader mailed me this ask to ask exactly that, I had to say yes.

    The desktop shell in question is Manokwari. It’s built for GNOME 3 using GTK+ and HTML5 and is, I’m told, an evolution of an earlier project called blankon-panel. That project didn’t ring any bells with me, but it may  for you as blankon-panel, now Manokwari, is the desktop used by the BlankOn Linux distribution.

  • My first GUADEC Big Grin

    I attended my first GUADEC this year which was held at Manchester, UK. One of the reason I started contributing to GNOME was becasue of the family like community it has. Being a newcomer at GNOME, I felt so welcomed and part of this huge family at GUADEC!

  • My trip to GUADEC 2017

    One week ago attended this years GUADEC (Gnome User And Developer European Conference) taking place at the MMU Birley Fields Campus in Manchester, UK.

    Unfortunately I could not attend the first half of Day 1 so I missed some nice talks, but I just arrived in time to present my work on the cloud provider API for the Google Summer of Code at the Interns lightning talks. You can find my slides here. It was really amazing to hear about all the other interesting project going on and also meeting people to talk about the stuff they were doing. I also got a lot of positive feedback on my own GSoC project which was really motivating to me.


     The first talk was done by Jonathan Blandford who gave an entertaining overview of the history of the GNOME project and how it evolved from having 5 different clocks to a user experience focused desktop environment just by removing more and more features. In the second one by Neil McGovern, the current GNOME Foundation Executive Director, was more a overall look at the near future and how free software and a free desktop system could have an influence on that.

GNOME and GTK: Progress towards GTK+ 4, Brief History of GNOME and Ultimate Blue GTK Theme

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  • The Blockers For GTK4: Constraint-Based Layout, Finished OpenGL Renderer & More

    At last week's annual GUADEC GNOME developer conference, the state of the GTK4 tool-kit was a hot discussion item.

    Red Hat's Matthias Clasen has written a new GTK+ blog-post to discuss the happenings from the developer meetings last week. When it comes to the current GTK3, they are going to focus on API stability now but will introduce new APIs where worthwhile like in the areas of color emoji support and client/server-side negotiation protocol support for Wayland.

  • Progress towards GTK+ 4

    Last week at GUADEC in Manchester, the GTK+ maintainers and interested folks met for a working session during the unconference days.

    Georges already did a nice job summarizing the results in his blog post, which you should read (if only to see some pictures of the assembled GTK+ folks).

  • A Brief History of GNOME [PDF}
  • Ultimate Blue Claims To Be An Easy On Eyes Theme

    Ultimate Blue is designed to make desktop better, it's dark theme which is easy on eyes and looks great at the same time. It is compatible with Gtk 3.20/3.22/3.24 and available for Gnome, Unity, Cinnamon, Xfce, Mate and so on, it also has Gnome Shell theme. Obsidian icons used in the following screenshots. If you find any issues with this theme then report it to developer and hopefully it will get fixed in the next update. If you are using other distribution you can directly download theme from its page and install it manually in ~/.themes folder or /usr/share/themes/. You can use Gnome-tweak-tool to change themes.

GNOME: Random Wallpaper GNOME Extension, GTK3 Interface to libratbag/ratbagd

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  • Random Wallpaper GNOME Extension

    A week or so ago we mentioned a neat Bing Wallpaper changer extension for GNOME — and boy did you make it known that Bing isn’t your preferred source of desktop wallpapers!

    And so we’re back for another stab at satisfying your want for fuss-free, auto-changing desktop backgrounds — and we’ve found a doozy.

  • GSoC part 11: all large features are done!

    From the much too abstract list of features in the beginning of this post, the only items that aren’t linked to are the welcome and error screens. No, I didn’t forget about those; I just saved those for last. To me, it was the least essential feature as owning more than one device, let alone using them simultaneously, is a niche case. As it turns out, however, the changes I made while implementing these screens also pave the way for eventual keyboard support. Let me explain!

    The welcome and error screen both provide a different "view" into the same application window. If we add the configuration screen, that gives three such different views. To allow for these different views, I added the concept of a "perspective", which I define as a certain view into Piper.

  • Libratbag's Piper Mouse GUI Interface Had A Successful GSoC

    While this year's Google Summer of Code isn't done for a few more weeks, the Piper mouse control user-interface for libratbag has now seen all of its major features completed.

    Piper is designed to be a universal interface for easily configuring gaming mice on Linux with a GTK3 interface to libratbag/ratbagd. GSoC student developer Jente Hidskes has been working on the project this summer and this week announced he completed all of his key planned features.

Reports From GUADEC in Manchester

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  • GUADEC + Unconferences | 2017

    This year’s GUADEC was amazing. I’m really happy I could attent it this year (even though my tasks are accumulating and I’m really afraid to look at my emails again…). I’m still in Manchester so, if anyone wants to meet me and buy me a tea, do get in touch!

  • Back from GUADEC

    After spending a few days in Manchester with other fellow GNOME hackers and colleagues from Endless, I’m finally back at my place in the sunny land of Surrey (England) and I thought it would be nice to write some sort of recap, so here it is:

6 reasons why GNOME is still the best Linux desktop environment

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I've been using Linux for about 15 years now, trying multiple desktop environments along the way. For the majority of my career, I was a diehard KDE Plasma user (starting with version 2.x). I stuck with Plasma for the majority of the 4.x series, eventually moving on due to stability issues. I've tried Xfce, MATE, Openbox, and many others, but ever since I switched to GNOME 3, I've never looked back. It's a responsive and stable environment that allows me to focus on my work with minimal distractions.

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Android/Linux Devices: Fire OS/Fire HD, Chromebook Pixel, Pixel 2 XL

  • New Amazon Fire HD 10 adds full HD display, hands-free Alexa
    Amazon has made concessions to hit that price point, of course—mostly via the limitations of Fire OS—but let's start with the good stuff. The 10.1-inch, 1920×1200 pixel IPS screen is colourful, bright, and has excellent viewing angles. It's laminated to the glass, too, making it clear and easy to read. The shiny rear surface of the old Fire 10 has been given the shove, replaced with a hard-wearing, textured plastic that provides plenty of grip, without feeling cheap (or, at least more premium than the price tag suggests).
  • Meet the really cheap Google Home Mini and really expensive Chromebook Pixel 3
    Android fansite Droid Life is on fire today with a big series of leaks of Google's upcoming hardware launches. After showing off pictures and pricing for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the site has details on the new "Google Home Mini," a second smartphone-powered Daydream VR headset, and a new flagship Chromebook Pixel. First up is the new "Google Home Mini," a smaller version of the Google Home, which will retail for just $50. The colors here are "Chalk" (white/grey), "Charcoal" (black), and "Coral" (red). Like the Amazon Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini skips the thumping speaker setup for a smaller, cheaper form factor meant more for commands and Q&A sessions rather than for music.
  • The Pixel 2 XL price jumps $80, now starts at $849