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GNOME

GNOME 41 Released. This is What's New.

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News
GNOME

GNOME team announced the release of GNOME 41 with some exceptional changes and updates. We wrap up the release in this post.
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GNOME 41 Desktop Environment Officially Released, This Is What’s New

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GNOME

Six months in development, GNOME 41 is here as a hefty update and the first major release after GNOME 40 with new features like a new power mode setting in the Power settings panel of the GNOME Control Center called Performance, which will be available on hardware that supports this feature. The Performance mode increases CPU performance to allow your apps and activities to run faster.

Also new in the GNOME Control Center is a Multitasking settings panel that gives you control over window management and workspace multitasking options like the Activities hot corner, Active Screen Edges, the ability to show workspaces on all displays, choose between dynamic or fixed workspaces, and restrict app switching to the current workspace when using the Super+Tab keyboard shortcut.

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GNOME 40 comes to Debian 12 “Bookworm” GNU Linux, Download for Testing

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GNOME
Debian

After the freeze and release phase of Debian 11, the developers are back to work, Gnome 40.4 is already in testing (Debian 12 Bookworm). Download and check out.

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This Extension Always Hide GNOME Top Bar (Except in Overview) in Ubuntu

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GNOME

For PC / notebook has a small display, it’s possible to hide the top panel in GNOME desktop to get more spaces and/or focus on your work.

There’s a ‘Hide Top Bar‘ extension that enables ability to auto-hide the top bar, just like the left dock does. However, in this tutorial I’m going to introduce another extension.

It’s a very light extension that the developer promoted it has no options and no bugs! It will ALWAYS hide the top-bar, except only in overview screen. Just like GNOME shows the dock only in overview without Ubuntu Dock (Dash-to-dock) extension.

The extension will also disable the top-left hot-corner, which is used to trigger the ‘Activities‘ overview. It’s designed for those who are accustomed to start overview screen using the Windows (or Super) key, or three-finger touchpad gestures in GNOME 40 (defaults in Ubuntu 21.10).

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Marcus Lundblad: Maps and GNOME 41

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GNOME

It's been a while since my last blog post. And in the meantime GNOME 41 was released. So I thought it would be time for a new post, although there's not been that much news to show in Maps itself since the last update (where I showcased the refreshed icons for search results.

But a few small visual improvements have been done since.

Already in 40.0, we made the display of population numbers for places (such as towns, cities, and similar) locale-aware. So that it now uses localized digits and decimal separators.

[...]

This utilises the localization API from ES (JavaScript) and as can be seen here gives a localized unit suffix and also in the case of Japanese as shown in the last example, the multiple in this case is 10,000, as this is based on traditional Chinese numerals, with denominations 10⁴, 10⁸ and so on. So in this case it would translate to “800 ten-thousands (man)”.

And over in libshumate (the new GTK4-based map rendering library we're working to eventually replace libchamplain, and enable migrating to GTK4), James and Corentin has been busy.

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The Truth they are not telling you about “Themes”

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GNOME

Before we start, let’s get this out of the way because the week long delirium on social media has dragged enough.

Yes, libadwaita “hardcodes” Adwaita. Yes, applications, as is, will not be following a custom system theme. Yes this does improve the default behavior of application for GNOME when run on other platforms like Elementary OS. However, this is was the result of a technical limitation, and not some evil plot as Twitter will keep telling you…

The reason is that in order for High Contrast (and the upcoming Dark Style) to work, libadwaita needs to override the theme name property so it doesn’t fallback to GTK’s “Default” High Contrast style. The “Default” style is an older version of Adwaita, not your system style.

Compared to GTK 3, there isn’t a new way to enforce the “hardcoded” style. The GTK_THEME variable still works, as does gtk.css and probably 3 other ways of doing this. Likewise, if you are developing a distribution, you have control of the end product and can do anything you want with the code. There is a plethora of options available. Apparently complaining on social media and bullying volunteers into submission was one such option…

And I guess this also needs to be stated: this change only affects apps that choose to use libadwaita and adopt the GNOME Design Guidelines, not “every” GTK 4 application.

As usual, the fact that the themes keep working doesn’t mean they are supported. The same issues about restyling applications when they don’t expect it apply and GNOME can not realistically support arbitrary stylesheets that none of the contributors develop against and test.

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Anaconda accessibility improvements

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GNOME

On the Workstation images, accessibility already was at the same level as a finished system would offer. Workstation media run a full Gnome session, with Orca available. The installer does not have to do anything. However, for the Server images the situation is different. The environment is heavily reduced: no sound, no Gnome, no Orca. That also means, no accessibility. Let’s change that!

The latest Fedora 35 beta nightly builds now have the brltty screen reader on Server images. Thus far, brltty is enabled only for the console, which requires Anaconda to be started in text mode. There is also no means to configure the brltty session, so autodetection must work for your braille terminal device.

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Why Many Linux App Developers Don’t Want Distros to Use Themes

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Development
GNU
Linux
GNOME

You may associate Linux with the freedom to make your desktop look however you want, but that’s not the case with GNOME. At least, not without knowing which extensions to install or how to read code. By default, GNOME is intended to look and feel a certain way, and many developers would prefer if Linux distributions didn’t change the appearance of their apps by using themes.

Is it an issue when you change the theme on your own personal machine? No, you know what you're getting yourself into. But confusion can arise when the customized experience comes presented as the default.

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Introducing Emblem

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GNOME

Emblem is a new design tool that generates project avatars, or emblems if you will, for your git forge or matrix room. To set a GitLab project avatar one can put a logo.png file at the root of the project, if there is no manually set project avatar it will be picked up automatically.

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GNOME Subtitles Free Subtitle Editor Software Gets a Major Update After Two Years of Silence

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GNOME

If you never heard of GNOME Subtitles before, let me tell you that it’s a powerful subtitle editor for the Linux desktop, supporting most common text-based subtitle formats and offering features like subtitle translation, synchronization of times and frames, as well as built-in video previewing.

The new release, GNOME Subtitles 1.7, is here to rewrite the GStreamer media playback engine to support newer and modern video formats. In addition, it improves audio and video playback support by allowing users to open an audio file after a video file display the last played frame, fixes video player stutters, fixes an issue with the side bar resizing itself during video playback, and disables VAAPI by default to prevent playback issues.

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Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover protocol found leaking hundreds of thousands of credentials

A flaw in Microsoft's Autodiscover protocol, used to configure Exchange clients like Outlook, can cause user credentials to leak to miscreants in certain circumstances. The upshot is that your Exchange-connected email client may give away your username and password to a stranger, if the flaw is successfully exploited. In a report scheduled to be published on Wednesday, security firm Guardicore said it has identified a design blunder that leaks web requests to Autodiscover domains that are outside the user's domain but within the same top-level domain (TLD). Exchange's Autodiscover protocol, specifically the version based on POX XML, provides a way for client applications to obtain the configuration data necessary to communicate with the Exchange server. It gets invoked, for example, when adding a new Exchange account to Outlook. After a user supplies a name, email address, and password, Outlook tries to use Autodiscover to set up the client. Read more

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos. [...] Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself. [...] For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago. On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch. Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version. The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple. New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts." There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Kernel: Google, Xen, and Mesa

  • Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

    Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated". With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel.

  • Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Feature
  • Clang-format for Xen Coding Style Checking Scheduled - Xen Project

    At the moment there is no tool that would allow to format patches in Xen. The idea of Xen-checker is to use the clang-format approach as a base for Xen ‘checkpatch’ process. The new tool consists of modified .clang-format configuration file to automate Xen patches format checking and reformatting. The tool can be used as a pre-commit hook to check and format every patch automatically. Some features are missing in the clang configurator, so new clang-format options have been proposed for more flexible code formatting. Also, the purpose of the topic is to start the discussion about the existing rules for Xen code formatting to eliminate possible inaccuracies in the work of the Xen checker. This will make it easier to adhere to the unanimous decision.

  • Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs - Phoronix

    Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story. Joshua Ashton known for his work on DXVK and other Direct3D-on-Vulkan efforts for Valve has opened the merge request to enable RADV Vulkan ray-tracing for older generations of AMD GPUs.

Astro Pi Mk II, the New Raspberry Pi Hardware Headed to the Space Station

While Izzy and Ed are still going strong, the ESA has decided it’s about time these veteran Raspberries finally get the retirement they’re due. Set to make the journey to the ISS in December aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon, the new Astro Pi MK II hardware looks quite similar to the original 2015 version at first glance. But a peek inside its 6063-grade aluminium flight case reveals plenty of new and improved gear, including a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8 GB RAM. The beefier hardware will no doubt be appreciated by students looking to push the envelope. While the majority of Python programs submitted to the Astro Pi program did little more than poll the current reading from the unit’s temperature or humidity sensors and scroll messages for the astronauts on the Astro Pi’s LED matrix, some of the more advanced projects were aimed at performing legitimate space research. From using the onboard camera to image the Earth and make weather predictions to attempting to map the planet’s magnetic field, code submitted from teams of older students will certainly benefit from the improved computational performance and expanded RAM of the newest Pi. As with the original Astro Pi, the ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have shared plenty of technical details about these space-rated Linux boxes. After all, students are expected to develop and test their code on essentially the same hardware down here on Earth before it gets beamed up to the orbiting computers. So let’s take a quick look at the new hardware inside Astro Pi MK II, and what sort of research it should enable for students in 2022 and beyond. Read more