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GNOME

Thoughts on Flatpak after four months of Epiphany Technology Preview

Filed under
Red Hat
GNOME

It’s been four months since I announced Epiphany Technology Preview — which I’ve been using as my main browser ever since — and five months since I announced the availability of a stable channel via Flatpak. For the most part, it’s been a good experience. Having the latest upstream development code for everything is wonderful and makes testing very easy. Any user can painlessly download and install either the latest stable version or the bleeding-edge development version on any Linux system, regardless of host dependencies, either via a couple clicks in GNOME Software or one command in the terminal. GNOME Software keeps it updated, so I always have a recent version. Thanks to this, I’m often noticing problems shortly after they’re introduced, rather than six months later, as was so often the case for me in the past. Plus, other developers can no longer complain that there’s a problem with my local environment when I report a bug they can’t reproduce, because Epiphany Technology Preview is a canonical distribution environment, a ground truth of sorts.

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GNOME Foundation to Receive $1M from Anonymous Donor over Next Two Years

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GNOME

The donation was made by an anonymous person, though the money will be received by the GNOME Foundation over the next couple of years. Honored by this gesture, the team pledges to use the money to hire more developers and streamline their operations to improve the GNOME desktop environment.

"We are honored by the trust given to us and will work hard to justify that trust. This particular donation will enable us to support the GNOME project more widely, and tackle key challenges that the free software community faces," said Neil McGovern, Executive Director of GNOME Foundation.

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GNOME and KDE: Boxes + Flatpak, GNOME 3.29.2, KDE Promo, LXQt, and Plasma 5 on Slackware

Filed under
KDE
GNOME
  • Boxes + Flatpak

    It might seem at first sight that Boxes is a simple application, and that is partially true if you ignore the deep stack under the hood responsible for making virtualization simple™. The various modules (some of them gigantic such as qemu, libvirt, freerdp…) need to be setup in perfect harmony for us to boot a whole operating system with its essential functionalities.

  • OpenSUSE 15 Leap Released, Facebook and Google Already Face GDPR Complaints, GNOME 3.29.2 and More
  • Promo Sprint Report: What We Did and How You Can Help Us

    February was a big month for the Promo team - we held a long-awaited sprint in Barcelona, Spain from the 16th to 18th. The aim of the sprint was to look at information we had collected over the prior years, interpret what it meant, and use it to discuss and plan for the future. The activities we came up with should help us accomplish our ultimate goal: increasing KDE's visibility and user base.

    Nine members of the team made it to Barcelona: Aleix Pol, Ivana Isadora Devčić, Jure Repinc, Kenny, Łukasz Sawicki, Lydia Pintscher, Neofytos Kolokotronis, Paul Brown, and Rubén Gómez. We met at Espai 30, an old factory converted into a social center for the neighborhood. Coincidentally, that is one of the places where the Guifi.net project started -- rather fitting for a meeting that comprised Free Software and communication.

    [...]

    That last thing is important because the Promo team must discover what technologies people use, how they use them, and what they like and dislike about them to be able to market KDE products. We decided to take a step back and work on a market research project that will provide us with solid information on which to base our actions.

  • LXQt 0.13 Arrives with Minor Improvements

    LXQt 0.13 is available to download. It's the latest version of the LXQt desktop, which aims to provide an elegant, resource friendly 'next-gen' LXDE.

  • [Slackware] May update for Plasma5

    On with the show.

    After recompiling LibreOffice and VLC to compensate for the recent poppler update in Slackware-current, my next target was – naturally – my Plasma5 package set. The KDE-5_18.05 release of ‘ktown‘ for Slackware-current offers the latest KDE Frameworks (5.46.0), Plasma (5.12.5) and Applications (18.04.1) on top of Qt5 5.9.5 (I decided to wait with an update to Qt5 5.11.0).
    You can and should check out the README file for more details and for installation/upgrade instructions.

GNOME 3.30 Desktop Environment Receives Support for ARM64 Hardware Architectures

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GNOME

GNOME 3.29.2 has been released today as the second of four development snapshots towards the GNOME 3.30 desktop environment, due for release this fall. It comes five weeks after the first snapshot, GNOME 3.29.1, with even more improvements and new features across various components.

One of the most exciting new features that landed during this development cycle is support for building the GNOME desktop environment for ARM64 (AArch64) architectures, which would allow it to run on various ARM hardware, including the upcoming Librem 5 Linux smartphone from Purism.

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Also: GNOME 3.29.2 Released As The Second Step Towards GNOME 3.30

Looks Like GNOME's Nautilus File Manager Will Allow Running of Binaries, Scripts

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?

Filed under
GNOME
Ubuntu

Comment Ubuntu 18.04, launched last month, included a new Welcome application that runs the first time you boot into your new install. The Welcome app does several things, including offering to opt you out of Canonical's new data collection tool.

The tool also provides a quick overview of the new GNOME interface, and offers to set up Livepatch (for kernel patching without a reboot).

In my review I called the opt-out a ham-fisted decision, but did note that if Canonical wanted to actually gather data, opt-out was probably the best choice.

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GNOME Development

Filed under
GNOME
  • GLib gets MinGW32 continuous integration and code coverage

    Thanks to the work of Christoph Reiter, GLib has had continuous integration builds on Windows (using MinGW32/MSYS2) for a week or two now. Furthermore, he’s added code coverage support, so we can easily see how our code coverage is changing over time. Thanks Christoph!

  • Automatically shutting down a daemon on inactivity

    Automatically shutting down daemons when not in use is in vogue, and a good way of saving resources quite easily (if the service’s startup/shutdown costs are low).

  • Moving clang out of process

    For the past couple of weeks, Builder from git-master has come with a new gnome-builder-clang subprocess. Instead of including libclang in the UI process, we now proxy all of that work to the subprocess. This should have very positive effect on memory usage within the UI process. It will also simplify the process of using valgrind/ASAN and obtaining useful results. In the future, we’ll teach the subprocess supervisor to recycle subprocesses if they consume too much memory.

GNOME 3.30 Desktop to Introduce New App for Finding Free Internet Radio Stations

Filed under
GNOME

GNOME 3.30 is currently in heavy development, with a second snapshot expected to land this week, and the GNOME Project recently updated their future plans page for the upcoming releases with the inclusion of the Internet Radio Locator app, which could make its debut during this cycle.

Internet Radio Locator is an open-source graphical application built with the latest GNOME/GTK+ technologies and designed to help users easily locate free Internet radio stations from various broadcasters around the globe. It currently supports text-based location search for a total of 86 stations from 76 world cities.

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GNOME Development/Developers

Filed under
Development
GNOME
  • Nautilus Ability To Launch Binaries Or Scripts To Be Reverted, Might Be Implemented Differently

    It looks like the decision to remove the ability to run binaries and scripts from Nautilus file manager will be reverted. The change comes after some use cases appeared that the developers agreed they need to support, "especially for enterprise and content creators".

    One such use case that was mentioned as a reason for reverting this is a small "if then that" script for building HTML and PDF files, which uses Zenity to display a dialog, as well as notifications to display the progress.

    I find the use case being used as an example a bit weird because that's certainly not something common, like a self-extracting game script for instance.

  • Stickers in Riot

    The matrix.org protocol is flexible so this is a good example of how to add new features to the clients that uses matrix without the need to change the protocol.

    This is not a core feature because you can send images, but I think this is great and add a simple way to show reactions for the users, so as I was reading I thought that we can add this to Fractal, so I started to read how we can add support for this.

  • Talking at GPN 2018 in Karlsruhe, Germany

    Similar to last year I managed to attend the Gulasch Programmier-Nacht (GPN) in Karlsruhe, Germany. Not only did I attend, I also managed to squeeze in a talk about PrivacyScore. We got the prime time slot on the opening day along with all the other relevant talks, including the Eurovision Song Contest, so we were not overly surprised that the audience had a hard time deciding where to go and eventually decided to attend talks which were not recorded. Our talk was recorded and is available here.

GNOME: GNOME Boxes and More

Filed under
GNOME
  • Boxes now supports RDP connections

    Boxes has been the go-to option for easy virtual machine setups in GNOME for quite some time, but some people don’t know that our beloved application can also act as a remote viewer.

    The “Enter URL” option in the new machine assistant is how you get a new remote machine added to your collection. It supports addresses of Spice and VNC servers and oVirt and Libvirt brokers. You can also paste the URL of an operating system image (iso, img, qcow, etc…) and Boxes will download and boot it for you.

  • Dual Monitor: Fix Mouse Getting Stuck On Second Monitor In Gnome Shell With Ubuntu Dock Or Dash To Dock

    On my dual monitor setup, if I made any application fullscreen on the primary monitor (left-hand side screen - monitor "1" in the image above), the mouse cursor would get stuck on the secondary monitor (right-hand side screen) and I could only move it back to the primary monitor if I moved between monitors through the top part of the screen.

  • Dash to Panel Update Adds Intellihide, New Configuration Options

    Dash to Panel merges the GNOME Dash (aka Dock) and top bar into a unified, single panel that you can place on any edge of the screen:

    In the latest update, Dash to Panel v14, the task bar picks up a bunch of welcome improvements, including support for “intellihide” (aka auto-hide).

    This option (off by default) makes the panel slide out of view when an application window is maximised and/or touching it, and gracefully restored when there’s space for it.

    Although hidden you can access the panel at any time just by moving your mouse to the screen edge it’s hiding under.

Purism/PureOS Development Updates

Filed under
GNU
Linux
GNOME
  • virtual-keyboard: Add new virtual keyboard protocol
  • Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland

    Purism's Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

    On behalf of Purism, Dorota's latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

  • Introducing Calls

    Arguably the most critical functionality in a phone is the ability to make and receive calls through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), that is normal cellular calls using phone numbers. While at Purism we are eager to implement communication systems that enable much greater privacy and security than one can expect from PSTN calls, the PSTN is still the most ubiquitous network and for the time being we can’t very well go around selling a phone that isn’t able to make PSTN calls.⁰

    My task has been to develop a dialer and call handler for PSTN calls. Like all of our work on the Librem 5, this is intended to make use of existing code wherever possible and also target the GNOME platform which our PureOS defaults to. There is currently no GNOME PSTN dialer so we intend to contribute our program to the GNOME project.

  • Purism Introduces Its Telepathy-Using GTK3-Based Phone Dialer Plans

    Purism has formally introduced "Calls", its GTK3-based PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone dialing application that it hopes will be accepted into the upstream GNOME project. Purism plans to develop this phone dialer using GNOME's Telepathy framework but for now is using a simple oFono back-end.

    Calls is the new program Purism is developing to make and receive conventional telephone calls for supporting their default GNOME-based software stack being developed for the Purism 5 smartphone.

    While Telepathy is controversial among even GNOME developers, they are pursuing this framework for their phone call application as it will also support SIP calls and other features provided by the GNOME framework.

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