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GNOME Desktop/GTK: Gnome Shell Extension for Chromecast, GTK Hackfest in Brussels, GTK+ Renamed to GTK and New in GNOME Photos

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GNOME
  • Stream Videos, Music And Pictures From Gnome To Chromecast With Cast To TV Extension (v6 And v7 Released)

    If you own a Chromecast device and you're using Gnome Shell, you should give Cast to TV a try. This Gnome Shell extension adds a new entry in the system menu which allows casting local files to Chromecast or other devices over the local network.

  • Report from the GTK hackfest in Brussels

    Thanks to the GNOME Foundation, various GTK developers were able to meet in Brussels right after FOSDEM, for one of our yearly hackfests.

  • GTK+ No More - It's Just GTK As Developers Prepare For This Year's GTK 4.0

    Beyond the FOSDEM conference itself this past week in Brussels, GNOME developers also used the occasion once again for hosting a developer "hackfest" as they prepare for the home stretch in GTK 4.0 development.

    First up, the developers did decide this week to do away with "GTK+" with the project formally just going by "GTK" now... The "plus" is no more. "The "plus" was added to "GTK" once it was moved out of the GIMP sources tree and the project gained utilities like GLib and the GTK type system, in order to distinguish it from the previous, in-tree version. Very few people are aware of this history, and it's kind of confusing from the perspective of both newcomers and even expert users; people join the wrong IRC channel, the URLs on wikis are fairly ugly, etc."

  • GTK+ renamed to GTK

    The GTK+ toolkit project has, after extensive deliberation, decided to remove the "+" from its name.

  • GNOME Photos: an overview of zooming

    One thing that I really wanted from the beginning was smooth zooming. When the user clicks one of the zoom buttons or presses a keyboard shortcut, the displayed image should smoothly flow in and out instead of jumping to the final zoom level — similar to the way the image smoothly shrinks in to make way for the palette when editing, and expands outwords once done. See this animated mock-up from Jimmac to get an idea.

    For the zooming to be smooth, we need to generate a number of intermediate zoom levels to fill out the frames in the animation. We have to dish out something in the ballpark of sixty different levels every second to be perceived as smooth because that’s the rate at which most displays refresh their screens. This would have been easier with the 5 to 20 megapixel images generated by smart-phones and consumer-grade digital SLRs; but just because we want things to be slick, it doesn’t mean we want to limit ourselves to the ordinary! There is high-end equipment out there producing images in excess of a hundred megapixels and we want to robustly handle those too.

    Downscaling by large factors is tricky. When we are aiming to generate sixty frames per second, there’s less than 16.67 milliseconds for each intermediate zoom level. All we need is a slightly big zoom factor that stresses the CPU and main memory just enough to exceed our budget and break the animation. It’s a lot more likely to happen than a pathological case that crashes the process or brings the system to a halt.

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Variscite unveils two i.MX8 QuadMax modules

Variscite announced Linux-powered “VAR-SOM-MX8” and “SPEAR-MX8” modules with an up to an i.MX8 QuadMax SoC plus up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC. It also previewed a VAR-SOM-6UL COM. At Embedded World next week in Nuremberg, Germany, Variscite will showcase its Linux and Android driven i.MX8-family computer-on-modules, including new VAR-SOM-MX8 and SPEAR-MX8 modules that feature NXP’s highest-end i.MX8 SoC up to a QuadMax model (see farther below). We have already covered most of the other showcased products, including the 14nm fabricated, quad -A53 i.MX8M Mini based DART-MX8M-Mini. When we covered the DART-MX8M-Mini in September, Variscite didn’t have an image or product page, but both are now available here Read more

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Programming: Developer Happiness, Rblpapi 0.3.8 and Python

  • Developer happiness: What you need to know
    A person needs the right tools for the job. There's nothing as frustrating as getting halfway through a car repair, for instance, only to discover you don't have the specialized tool you need to complete the job. The same concept applies to developers: you need the tools to do what you are best at, without disrupting your workflow with compliance and security needs, so you can produce code faster. Over half—51%, to be specific—of developers spend only one to four hours each day programming, according to ActiveState's recent Developer Survey 2018: Open Source Runtime Pains. In other words, the majority of developers spend less than half of their time coding. According to the survey, 50% of developers say security is one of their biggest concerns, but 67% of developers choose not to add a new language when coding because of the difficulties related to corporate policies.
  • Rblpapi 0.3.8: Keeping CRAN happy
    A minimal maintenance release of Rblpapi, now at version 0.3.9, arrived on CRAN earlier today. Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required). This is the ninth release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. It accomodates a request by CRAN / R Core to cope with staged installs which will be a new feature of R 3.6.0. No other changes were made (besides updating a now-stale URL at Bloomberg in a few spots and other miniscule maintenance). However, a few other changes have been piling up at the GitHub repo so feel free to try that version too.
  • Episode #200: Escaping Excel Hell with Python and Pandas
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