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GNOME: Tracker 3.0, Sandboxing WebKitGTK Apps, DevConf.CZ 2020, GNOME's Mutter

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GNOME
  • API changes in Tracker 3.0

    Lots has happened in the 2 months since my last post, most notably the global coronavirus pandemic … in Spain we’re in week 3 of quarantine lockdown already and noone knows when it is going to end.

    Let’s take our mind off the pandemic and talk about Tracker 3.0. At the start of the year Carlos worked on some key API changes which are now merged. It’s a good opportunity to recap what’s really changing in the new version.

    I made the developer documentation for Tracker 3.0 available online. Thanks to GitLab, this can be updated every time we merge a change in Git. The documentation a work in progress and we appreciate if you can help us to improve it.

    The documentation contains a migration guide, but let’s have a broader look at some common use cases.

  • Sandboxing WebKitGTK Apps

    When you connect to a Wi-Fi network, that network might block your access to the wider internet until you’ve signed into the network’s captive portal page. An untrusted network can disrupt your connection at any time by blocking secure requests and replacing the content of insecure requests with its login page. (Of course this can be done on wired networks as well, but in practice it mainly happens on Wi-Fi.) To detect a captive portal, NetworkManager sends a request to a special test address (e.g. http://fedoraproject.org/static/hotspot.txt) and checks to see whether it the content has been replaced. If so, GNOME Shell will open a little WebKitGTK browser window to display http://nmcheck.gnome.org, which, due to the captive portal, will be hijacked by your hotel or airport or whatever to display the portal login page.

  • DevConf.CZ 2020

    Once again, DevConf.CZ, is our meeting-while-freezing winter conference in Brno. For this year I cooked up two talks:

    An hour-long talk about Portals during the first day of the conference. The room was almost full and the questions were very relevant. A few attendees met me after the talk seeking help to make their apps start using Portals and with ideas for new Portals. You can watch the recordings below:

    On the last conference day, I had a quick twenty minutes talk about GNOME Boxes in the virtualization track. The audience wasn’t our known faces from the desktop talks, so I got the chance to show Boxes for the first time for a bunch of people. I did a quick presentation with live demos and Q&A. It was a success IMHO. Check the recordings below:

  • GNOME's Mutter Working On Variable Refresh Rate Support (VRR / Adaptive-Sync / FreeSync)

    Sway's Wayland compositor recently added Variable Refresh Rate / Adaptive-Sync support to help avoid tearing and stuttering while now GNOME's Mutter is working on similar VRR support on the desktop.

    A work-in-progress patch series was posted over the weekend for adding variable refresh rate support into Mutter for X.Org and Wayland. This includes checking for VRR support from connected monitors using the DRM properties, support for activating VRR, and the ability to toggle the VRR support via a DBus API. The VRR support isn't advertised to Wayland clients at the moment for the lack of an upstream Wayland protocol around VRR.

Where are the best GNOME communities

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GNOME

As with all open source projects, GNOME is developed by volunteers as well as employees. These people communicate in many ways to drive the project forward. For development, the old way is mailing lists for discussion and repository sites for the actual code and issue tracking. When you want something that does not exist yet or have a problem you cannot solve, you need to find the communities passionate about GNOME. This takes a bit of effort, so here are some places to start. If you start developing, you need to find a community that talks your programming language. Many will also deal with GNOME, as a side effect if not as their main activity.

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GNOME's Red Hat-Centric Infrastructure, Fedora's Git Forge and More Red Hat/IBM

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Red Hat
GNOME
  • GNOME Infrastructure updates

    As you may have noticed from outage and maintenance notes we sent out last week the GNOME Infrastructure has been undergoing a major redesign due to the need of moving to a different datacenter. It’s probably a good time to update the Foundation membership, contributions and generally anyone consuming the multitude of services we maintain of what we’ve been up to during these past months.

    [...]

    ...Red Hat Storage Team who helped out reviewing the Ceph infrastructure design and providing useful information about possible provisioning techniques.

  • Fedora's Git forge decision

    Back in February, LWN reported on the process of gathering requirements for a Git forge system. That process then went relatively quiet until March 28, when the posting of a "CPE Weekly" news summary included, under "other updates", a note that the decision has been made. It appears that the project will be pushed toward a not-fully-free version of the GitLab offering. It is fair to say that this decision — or how it was presented — was not met with universal acclaim in the Fedora community; see this response from Neal Gompa for more.

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  • With Kubernetes Operators comes great responsibility

    Operators are a powerful way to extend the functionality of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Kubernetes. OpenShift provides features for deploying Operators in a safer way, such as OperatorHub, and the Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM). In this post we explore safe ways to deploy Operators to Openshift 4.x using OperatorHub, OLM and scoping rules for Operators.

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  • The IBM i Community Adapts To The New Normal

    As we enter the third week of the unprecedented coronavirus lockdown that has shut down large swaths of our country, IBM i shops are adapting to the “new normal” along with everybody else. For essential employees in certain industries, that means working in an uncertain and potentially hazardous environment, while for the rest of us, it means telecommuting from home.

    If you work in finance or insurance along the two coasts, chances are good your headquarters has been closed down and your colleagues sent home to work remotely from laptops, smartphones, and PCs. But if your company makes or moves stuff in the industrial heartland of the United States – home to the nation’s strategic paper-products supply – then many of your essential staff are likely trucking right through the coronavirus lockdown. (And if they’re actually in the trucking business, they’re likely enjoying the empty roads.)

GTK Apps and GNOME: Maps, Window Blur and Extension

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GNOME
  • Marcus Lundblad: Maps in GNOME 3.36

    There's been quite a while since the last blog post. Since then 3.36.0 was released, and also the first update for the stable 3.36 branch, 3.36.1 has been released.

    As I've written about before one of the main features in 3.36 is the support for trip planning for public transit using third party services, as shown here from Paris...

  • TIL Wayfire Supports Background Window Blur in GTK Apps

    One longstanding complaint I hear about modern day GTK apps is that they don’t like anywhere near as fancy as their macOS, Windows, iOS and even KDE Plasma counterparts.

    And a big reason for that is the lack of blur effect support in Mutter (and GNOME Shell at large, though yes: this is changing).

    Thing is, next-gen window compositors based on the Wayland stack are already capable of doing more than just ‘showing’ windows on the screen.

  • An introduction to GNOME shell extensions

    GNOME has a sleek interface, designed to support your work while being out of your way when possible. These considerations depend on your preferences. Some people want all the graphics and the icons, some wants to minimize distractions while remembering how to run stuff with keyboard shortcuts. A known issue is that GNOME has taken away the application menu that is common in other systems. you can add an extension to add it yourself. You write extensions for GNOME in JavaScript, though there are times when you can link to other languages. Because you use JavaScript, you can also use CSS packages such as Bootstrap.

    What are the extensions changing?

    This may seem like an irrelevant question but as you start troubleshooting, you need to know this. Any extension is actually adding code to the gnome-shell. Due to this, your desktop will crash due to a bad extension so test carefully before trusting any code. It is a good idea to remember this both when you are installing other people’s extensions and when you are coding yourself.

    You can learn how to make an extension quickly if you know JavaScript and you follow the documentation at the GNOME wiki. You can start by using the standard tools which create the required files for you. There are only two required files, though, so creating them yourself is not a big task.

Do Ubuntu’s Bespoke Changes Make a Separate GNOME OS More Likely?

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GNOME
Ubuntu

In the second part of his take on “what’s wrong with the free desktop app ecosystem and how we can fix it”, Tobias spotlight’s Ubuntu’s divergence from the upstream defaults as symptom of hurdles placed in front of developers who want to target the GNOME experience.

With GNOME desktop designers and developers (upstream) and the Linux distros shipping it (downstream) often pulling in different directions the ‘target’ developers should try to aim for is, well, a little less clear.

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Meet the GNOMEies: Regina Nkemchor Adejo

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Interviews
GNOME

Well, My full name is Regina Nkemchor Adejo, I am a Nigerian. I am a technology enthusiast who transitioned into sciences from an arts background. I currently work as a database and application specialist in a tax organization. I am a YouTube content creator, I create technical videos related to database and Linux administration.

Most importantly, I love computers! I spend most of my time on them.

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There is No “Linux” Platform (Part 2)

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GNU
Linux
GNOME

The problems outlined in Part 1 are of course not new, and people have been working on solutions to them for a long time. Some of these solutions have really started to come together over the last few years, empowering the people making the software to distribute it directly to the people using it.

Thanks to the work of many amazing people in our community you can now develop an app in GNOME Builder, submit it to Flathub, get it reviewed, and have it available for people to install right away. Once it’s on there you can also update it on a schedule you control. No more waiting 6 months for the next distribution release!

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GNOME Desktop/GTK: GNOME Themes and GObject Class Private Data

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GNOME
  • How does GNOME themes work

    The GNOME themes file is essentially a CSS file, done, you can stop reading. There are a few more details you may want to hear about. The theme files describe what your desktop looks like but that is not all. It also contains the artwork needed for it to work. You make all your configuration in the CSS file of your theme. A caveat is that much of the look comes from the GTK 2.0 and GTK 3.0 themes. Another issue is that the standard setup does not allow your own themes, you need to download the User Theme extension to use your own theme. The reason is that the theme files delivered with your distribution are compiled from gresource files. This integrates the themes closer to the development process but has the drawback that making your own requires more programming skills. Documentation is also scarce, for users that is. Development documentation is plentiful.

  • GObject Class Private Data

    It can be very handy to store things you might do as meta programming in your GObjectClass‘s private data (See G_TPYE_CLASS_GET_PRIVATE()).

    Doing so is perfectly fine, but you need to be aware of how GTypeInstance initialization works. Each of your parent classes instance init functions are called before your subclasses instance init (and in order of the type hierarchy). What might seem non-obvious though is that the GTypeInstance.g_class pointer is updated as each successive _init() function is called.

Zorin OS Core Makes GNOME More Comfortable

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OS
GNOME
Reviews

Zorin OS 15.2 is a simple yet workable computing platform. I would prefer to have an option to swap out Zorin OS' GNOME integration for the more flexible XFCE desktop on the Core edition.

If Zorin OS sounds promising to you except for the GNOME experience, consider trying the Lite edition. XFCE, despite its lightweight design, offers a more traditional desktop layout experience.

Zorin OS has some fine features that are buried within settings options. I would like to see some included help screens and other new user documentation built into Zorin OS. Users unfamiliar with Linux or the otherwise barren landscape when first seeing the Zorin desktop would have an easier time getting started using it.

This independent Ubuntu-based Linux distribution is designed especially for newcomers to Linux, but established Linux users looking for a change of pace without the need for stretching their technical acumen should not shy away from this distro.

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A Summary Between KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS And GNOME 3.36 Gresik

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KDE
GNOME

After publishing my latest GNOME and then Plasma articles, I think it is interesting to summarize between them in a separate article considering several interesting stuffs. First, their release date are the same, 11, except Plasma is in February and GNOME is in March. Second, they publish interesting videos and announcements I listed below. Third, they had conferences in 2019 that back them up namely Akademy and GNOME.Asia Summit I also listed below. Fourth, they have users who love to write reviews such as Dedoimedo and OMG! Ubuntu I listed below too. Last but not least, I also mentioned where to download their source code, to contribute to them, and the donation links. I wish this summary article helps you in figuring out more about both. Enjoy desktop GNU/Linux!

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Android Leftovers

Linux 5.6.2

I'm announcing the release of the 5.6.2 kernel.

All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.6.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.6.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;a=summary

thanks,

greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.6.2 Released With Fix For The IWLWIFI Intel WiFi Driver

DownZemAll is an open source download manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

Recently, while casually browsing GitHub, I came across a name that seemed familiar at first; it turned out to be a new download manager called DownZemAll. The program's name is very similar to the popular DownloadThemAll! extension for Firefox, which is what surprised me. The official page reveals that the developer of DownZemAll started the project during the time the legacy add-on stopped working with Firefox Quantum, and seems to have used it as the inspiration to rewrite this application. But that's where the similarities end, because DownZemAll is a desktop program. Let's take a look at it to see how it stacks up. The interface is mostly what you'd expect in a download manager: a menu bar, toolbar, the main pane, but unlike others, DownZemAll has a sidebar too. The options in the side panel are also available from the right-click menu. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows: Choose Linux, The Linux Link Tech Show, Bad Voltage