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KDE and GNOME: Kubuntu Site, Marble Maps, Kube in Randa, and UX in GNOME

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KDE
GNOME
  • Call for design: Artful Banner for Kubuntu.org website

    Kubuntu 17.10 — code-named Artful Aardvark — will be released on October 19th, 2017. We need a new banner for the website, and invite artists and designers to submit designs to us based on the Plasma wallpaper and perhaps the mascot design.

  • Randa 2017 Report – Marble Maps

    Just came back home yesterday from Randa Meetings 2017. This year, even though my major motive for the sprint was to use Qt 5.8’s Qt Speech module instead of custom Java for text-to-speech during navigation, that could not be achieved because of a bug which made the routes not appear in the app in the first place. And this bug is reproducible both by using latest code, and old-enough code, and is even there in the prod app in the Google Play Store itself. So, although most of my time had gone in deep-diving on the issue, unfortunately I was not able to find the root-cause to it eventually. I will need to pick up on that in the coming weeks again when I get time, to get it fixed.

  • Kube in Randa

    I’ve spent the last few days with fellow KDE hackers in beautiful Randa in the Swiss Mountains.
    It’s an annual event that focuses on a specific topic every year, and this time accessibility was up, so Michael and me made our way up here to improve Kube in that direction (and to enjoy the scenic surroundings of course).

  • Usability testing for early-stage software prototypes

    In this article, Ciarrai Cunneen and I describe how to do a paper-based usability test, using an early redesign of the GNOME Settings app as an example. The updated Settings features in GNOME 3.26, released on September 13.

    When writing open source software, we often obsess about making our logic elegant and concise, coming up with clever ways to execute tasks and demonstrate ideas. But we sometimes forget a key fact: Software is not useful if it is not easy to use.

    To make sure our programs can be used by our intended audience, we need usability testing. Usability is basically asking the question, "Can people easily use this thing?" or "Can real people use the software to do real tasks in a reasonable amount of time?" Usability is crucial to the creative process of building anything user-based. If real people can't use our software, then all the hard work of creating it is pointless.

    [...]

    In early 2016, GNOME decided to make a major UI update to its Settings application. This visual refresh shifts from an icon-based menu to drop-down lists and adds important changes to several individual Settings panels. The GNOME design team wanted to test these early-stage design changes to see how easily real people could navigate the new GNOME Settings application. Previously, GNOME relied on traditional usability tests, where users explore the software's UI directly. But this wouldn't work, since the software updates hadn't been completed.

More in Tux Machines

Wine and Games for GNU/Linux

  • Wine 3.13 is out as well as DXVK 0.63 for D3D11 with Vulkan
    First of all the latest Wine development release is out with Wine 3.13 and on top of that DXVK for Vulkan-based D3D11 in Wine also release version 0.63.
  • Feral's GameMode 1.2 Released For Optimizing Linux Gaming
    For what just started out as a tool to ensure you are using the "performance" frequency scaling governor when running Linux games, Feral's open-source GameMode system tool has slowly been picking up some extra functionality. Out this weekend is Feral GameMode 1.2 as the newest release. GameMode 1.2 adds configuration options about the default and desired governors, now supports soft real-time scheduling on kernels with SCHED_ISO support and will then use renice to boost games to a higher priority, the GameMode service is now D-Bus activated than needing to be explicitly enabled by systemd, and the GameMode libraries are now properly versioned.
  • Stardew Valley multiplayer just got a PC release date
    Since the moment Stardew Valley launched back in 2016, multiplayer has been one of the most anticipated additions to the games. After a period of beta testing, it’s nearly ready to roll out on PC, Mac, and Linux. While it probably isn’t going to look a lot different from the beta that’s currently available, this is exciting news for more reasons than one.
  • Multiplayer is coming to ‘Stardew Valley’ on PC, Mac and Linux
    According to a tweet from Eric Barone (@ConcernedApe), the sole developer behind Stardew Valley, the feature is coming to the lighthearted farming game on August 1st. Along with the release date, the game’s developer also released a new trailer for the feature (see it above).
  • 'Stardew Valley' multiplayer arrives on PC, Mac and Linux August 1st

Android Leftovers

Jonathan Dieter: Small file performance on distributed filesystems - Round 2

Last year, I ran some benchmarks on the GlusterFS, CephFS and LizardFS distributed filesystems, with some interesting results. I had a request to redo the test after a LizardFS RC was released with a FUSE3 client, since it is supposed to give better small file performance. I did have a request last time to include RozoFS, but, after a brief glance at the documentation, it looks like it requires a minimum of four servers, and I only had three available. I also looked at OrangeFS (originally PVFS2), but it doesn’t seem to provide replication, and, in preliminary testing, it was over ten times slower than the alternatives. NFS was tested and its results are included as a baseline. I once again used compilebench, which was designed to emulate real-life disk usage by creating a kernel tree, reading all the files in the tree, simulating a compile of the tree, running make clean, and finally deleting the tree. The test was much the same as last time, but with one important difference. Last time, the clients were running on the same machines that were running the servers. LizardFS benefited hugely from this as it has a “prefer local chunkserver” feature that will skip the network completely if there’s a copy on the local server. This time around, the clients were run on completely separate machines from the servers, which removed that advantage for LizardFS, but which I believe is a better reflection on how distributed filesystems are generally used. I would like to quickly note that there was very little speed difference between LizardFS’s FUSE2 and FUSE3 clients. The numbers included are from the FUSE3 client, but they only differed by a few percentage points from the FUSE2 client. Read more

GNOME 3.30 Desktop Environment to Enter Beta on August 1, GNOME 3.29.4 Is Out

With a two-day delay, the GNOME Project through Javier Jardón announced today the release of the fourth and last development snapshot of the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment before it enters beta testing next month, GNOME 3.29.4, which continues to add improvements to various of GNOME's core components and applications. However, due to the summer vacation and the GUADEC conference, GNOME 3.29.4 isn't a major snapshot as many would have expected. It only adds some minor changes and bug fixes to a handful of components, including GNOME Shell, Mutter, Evolution, GNOME Photos, GNOME Builder, GNOME Online Accounts, Polari, Bijiben, Evince, Epiphany, Baobab, GNOME Control Center, and File Roller. Read more Also: GNOME 3.29.4 Released As Another Step Towards GNOME 3.30