Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'natty'

Joshua Hoover

As many of you will already know, today Ubuntu 11.04 introduced Unity, Ubuntu’s new interface, which is simpler, easier to use and more beautiful than previous editions of Ubuntu. We want to say a big well done to everyone who has contributed. For more on Ubuntu 11.04 see ubuntu.com.

Along with Unity there are some great improvements to Ubuntu One. Once upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 you will see that Ubuntu One is more easily accessible in the launcher. We gave Ubuntu One preferences an all new look, new features, and even a new name, Ubuntu One control panel. The control panel allows selective syncing so you can easily manage the cloud folders you want synced locally and easily view which folders have been shared with you.

Ubuntu One control panel on first open Ubuntu One control panel web folders

Some other great news is that for some time now the team has been working hard to improve overall speed and performance. Many of you will notice this already and over the next few weeks, as we finish our server upgrades, everyone will be getting their files synced up to 200x faster. Yes, we’ve seen real world performance gains of up to 200x faster!

In addition to improvements in Ubuntu 11.04, we’ve also improved contacts on the web. For starters, there’s an all new look and feel that makes it faster and easier to manage your contacts. You can now delete and merge contacts in bulk. Not content with plain old merging, we also added smart merging. Click the new Find & merge duplicates button and it will find any duplicate contacts and allow you to merge them in one click.

Facebook contacts in Ubuntu One

The enhancements to contacts are great, but it would be even better if you could pull in your contacts from Facebook. Now you can. Seamless import from Facebook includes your friends’ profile pictures, first, middle and last name, birthday, ‘about me’ and any website they have listed. What’s really cool is it will merge existing contacts automatically for you.

Want to give importing your Facebook contacts a try? Follow the steps on our project wiki. Don’t worry, we don’t send messages to your contacts, post to your Facebook wall, or do anything other than import your Facebook contacts.

Ubuntu One Facebook import

Well that’s it for now folks but keep your eye on us for upcoming news about updates to our Windows beta, Android file sync app and more.

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Christian Giordano

One of our goals in the Unity design effort is maximising immersion in content, and reducing the amount of chrome and clutter needed around that content.

Unity’s new Overlay Scrollbars are a small but important detail in this bigger picture.

Problem

Today’s scrollbars are optimized for cursor driven UI but they became easily unnecessary and bulky on touchable and small screen devices. In those cases, optimization of the screen’s real-estate becomes essential. Other platforms optimized for touch input like Android and iOS are already using a light-weight solution visible only while dragging the content.

Our interest is in bringing a more lightweight approach to window chrome, like scrollbars, to the desktop experience. Touch and scrollwheels are making that chrome, if not obsolete, then certainly less important. We want to embrace new thinking from the mobile world, while still retaining some of the key semantics and experiences of the desktop world in recognition of the differences between the environments.

Process

Research

There have been few attempts in the past to bring innovation in this very mature GUI widget. Unfortunately the most radical approaches didn’t really survive long. We had a look at these attempts and analyzed why they failed. Some of them were just trying too hard, a good approach could have been to do a step at the time, in this case more an evolution than a revolution.

Prerequisites

After having a better idea on the problem, and the various attempts, it was time to take some decisions starting from the scope for the solution.

The prerequisites we defined were:

  • Has to reduce at the minimum the usage of screen real-estate: to provide more immersive experiences.
  • Has to allow the user the ability to interact with 100% of the content surface: to be able to work over any content already created.
  • Has to work well both on cursor driven UI and on touch ones: this is a prerequisite of any Unity solution.
  • Shouldn’t conflict with the window resizing functionalities (ie. dragging windows borders)

One of the contexts we used to validate our solution was scrollable panes rich applications like Eclipse:
Eclipse IDE

Prioritization

To have a solution which would embrace touch input devices, some of the functionalities available on cursor driven solutions might have to go. For this reason we prioritized the scrolling functionalities (from the more important to the least):

  1. Scrolling via mouse wheel (or dragging content on touch devices)
  2. Scrolling via thumb
  3. Page up/down
  4. Jump to position via bar
  5. Line up/down

Exploration

Going for an evolution approach of the current cursor driven scrollbars towards the overlay ones we have seen on more recent touch UI platform, we quickly narrowed down the options and the variations we considered were fairly similar.

Solution

Without further ado, here the video which shows both the prototype and the work in progress implementation (the visual might not be 100% accurate).

Overlay Scrollbars in Unity from Canonical Design on Vimeo.

User testing

As we usually do, especially for the more controversial design solutions, we tested the prototype in our office with external users. The results were so positive that they almost surprised us. People were involved in completing tasks where the scrollbars were just a marginal mean, of course they weren’t aware of what was really tested. Bottom line, despite they were using a not 100% stable prototype, they used the scrollbars so intuitively, going straight to the thumb and using it without any problem.

The current implementation is already available for everyone to test it starting from here. Please give it ago and report some bugs if you can!

Disclaimer

  1. We are fully aware that our solution can be an easy target for critics (as they were who tried to innovate in the field before us). As mentioned earlier, we believe priorities are changed recently in the industry and that this is the right time to make our own attempt.
  2. We just noticed MacOSX Lion is likely to give it a try on merging the traditional scrollbars with the overlaid ones. From the few screenshots we saw, it looks like a quite different solution. What else can we say, good luck to them and may the best win!

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roaksoax

For all of those who don’t know, “PowerNap is a screen saver for servers except it doesn’t save your screen, it saves the environment and lowers your energy bill.” Dustin Kirkland :) . PowerNap was originally created by Dustin to be integrated with (UEC), but it has been extended for Home use. Originally, it put to sleep machines (suspend, hibernate, poweroff) when a list of Processes were not found in the process table for  a determined period of time. However, during the Natty cycle improvements were made. So, PowerNap now puts to sleep (suspend, poweroff, powersave) machines that are tagged as underutilized  by a set if Monitors.

Improvements Overview

  • PowerNap, has a set of Monitors to be able to detect activity within the server and determine if it is idled or not. If it is, PowerNap will execute an ACTION. Administrators can chose what monitors to enable/disable. These are:
    • ProcessMonitor: Looks for a process in the process table.
    • IOMonitor: Monitors IO activity by process name.
    • InputMonitor: Monitors Mouse/Keyboard input activity connected to USB.
    • LoadMonitor: Monitors a server load threshold.
    • TCPMonitor: Monitors active TCP connections (i.e. SSH).
    • UDPMonitor: Monitors activity received in any user defined UDP port.
    • WoLMonitor: Monitors WoL packets on ports 7 and/or 9.
    • ConsoleMonitor: Monitors console activity.
  • The process starts when PowerNap begins monitoring for an ABSENT_PERIOD (i.e. 300secs). If within that period no activity has been detected, then PowerNap executes an ACTION.
    • Before the ACTION is taken, PowerNap enters to the GRACE_PERIOD (I.e 30 seconds), notifying the user that the ACTION will be taken in GRACE_PERIOD amount of seconds. (i.e. On second 270 PowerNap will notifies its users and the period between 270 and 300 seconds is known as GRACE_PERIOD).
  • The possible ACTIONS are:
    • Best-effort – Automatically decide between a user defined action or any of the other methods listed below (these methods rely on pm-utils)
    • Suspend (Command: pm-suspend)
    • Hibernate (Command: pm-hibernate)
    • Poweroff (Command: poweroff)
    • Powersave – Newly added method that reduces the Power Consumption (Command: pm-powersave)
  • The PowerSave method executes a set of scripts both provided by pm-utils and PowerNap. These scripts have the objective to reduce the power consumption of the machine by turning off hardware capabilities or tuning the OS. It is possible to provide any custom script as well as chose which to enable or disable. Examples of these scripts are:
    • Turn off all the CPU cores except of one.
    • Reduce the cores frequency to the lowest possible.
    • Disable WoL from Network Cards.
    • Change the NIC speed from 1Gbps to 100Mbps.
    • Turn off USB ports.
    • Disable HAL polling.
  • Now, when the PowerSave ACTION is taken, the machine keeps running in a lower power state. PowerNap keeps Monitoring until activity is detected. Once any of the Monitors detects activity, the PowerSave action is reverted.

 

PowerWake

  • PowerWake is simply a tool that sends WoL packets to an specified IP/Broadcast address to be able to wakeup a server.

 

Additional Tools

  • powernap-now: Sends a signal to the PowerNap daemon to execute the ACTION regardless of the state of the monitors.
  • powerwake-now: Sends a signal to the PowerNap daemon to wakeup during the PowerSave mode.
  • Note that these commands have to be executed in the machine running PowerNap. If this needs to be done through the network, then the command will have to be sent remotely to be executed in the machine.


The Future

  • Second Stage Action: Second Stage Action when entered into PowerSave mode. (i.e. Suspend after 2 hours after running in PowerSave mode).
  • Client/Server Model: The main Idea is to create a powerwaked Server that tracks all the machines using PowerNap in the network and is able to schedule wakeups, upstates, etc, etc.

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Iain Farrell

That’s what we want the Ubuntu desktops in Natty to feel like. We’re changing things a little bit for the coming release too. We’ll still feature some fantastic photography sourced from our Flickr group but this time we’re reserving at least 3 places for non photographic wallpapers, so things that are rendered or drawn.

Maverick wallpapers

The wallpapers from the last cycle were one of the finest collections we’ve ever had and we’re excited to see what you’ve all got to share with us in 2011. If you’ve got an amazing photo you’d like to submit simply head over to the Ubuntu Artwork group on Flickr, join up and add your photo(s) to the group. Please tag anything you’d like us to consider with the tag NattyWallpaper so that we know to look at it when judging comes around.

If you have a rendering or drawing you’d like to submit we have a new site set up for handling submissions. It can be found at http://art.ubuntu-owl.org/. As with the Flickr group images should be tagged NattyWallpaper so we can review them more easily.

For guidance on what formats are best to submit can I suggest you look at the excellent wiki page on the subject which can be found on the Ubuntu wiki at – wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Documentation/Backgrounds.

We recommend a minimum resolution of 2560 x 1600 and templates for GIMP can be found on the wiki page.

Lastly we have to have selections made and a package accepted into the distro in time for the UI Freeze on the 24th March so we’ll stop accepting entries after 13th March 2011 so get snapping, sketching and thinking and we’ll look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

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David

Ubuntu Translations TVLadies and gents, I’m pleased to announce the next Ubuntu Translations videocast tomorrow from Dallas, Texas, where this week we are holding the Canonical Platform Rally for the next version of Ubuntu, the Natty Narwhal.

This time around I’ll have the privilege to be joined by ??Danilo Šegan (or his alter ego ?????? ?????), the Launchpad Translations developer team lead.

Those of you involved in translations will know Danilo well, not only for his work in developing the translations application in Launchpad, but also for his community involvement. A regular at UDS and GUADEC conferences, he’s also developed and maintained some of the key tools in the Free Software Localization ecosystem, such as xml2po and intltool.

He’ll be explaining all the cool new things coming up in Launchpad Translations, such as better upstream integration, and will also tell us a bit more about other changes affecting the way Launchpad is being developed.

As usual, we’ll be taking and answering your questions, so come and join us for a chat!

Note that if you wish to participate in the online chat, you’ll need to sign up for a ustream account (it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes), but we’ll also be answering your questions on the #ubuntu-translators IRC channel on Freenode.

Talk to you all tomorrow!

Ubuntu Translations Videocast - Launchpad Translations News


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David

Ubuntu Translations Portal

Following the series of blog posts about the Ubuntu Translations plans for the Natty cycle, this week I’m thrilled to report on the Ubuntu Translations Portal, and to announce its initial test deployment.

The idea behind the portal is to aggregate all existing content and to be the main entry point to the translations community for new contributors, providing them answers, inspiration and excitement. For experienced translators it will be a central point for resources and news about translating Ubuntu.

The main goal for this cycle is the deployment of the portal, with an official news feed and planet-like and microblogging feeds, all nicely wrapped in an Ubuntu-Light-based theme. I’m happy to report that we’re doing good progress on this.

So without further ado, here’s a preview of what the portal will look like:

Note that as it stands now, this is very much an alpha deployment on an external site, for development and testing purposes. As such, you’ll see that there is not much content, and that that content has been put there to help with development. You’ll also see that the theme still needs work in several parts of the site, but the current state will already give you a good idea of the shape the portal is taking.

Also note that one of the main requirements is that the site is multilingual, so that everyone can see it in their own language. We’ve been setting up the infrastructure for that, so that next cycle we can start translating the portal in all of the Ubuntu languages, but the first iteration this cycle will probably be in English.

Contribute

Do you want to take part in shaping up the Ubuntu Translations portal?

There are many ways in which you can help. Here are just a few:

Join the Ubuntu Translations Portal discussionDiscuss. Participate in the discussion, ask your questions and stay up to date with the latest developments and announcements in the portal.

Help developing the Ubuntu Translations PortalDevelop. Have you got web development or web design skills? We need you! Help us developing the theme and infrastructure for the portal.

Report a bug in the Ubuntu Translations PortalReport. Have you been using the portal and have noticed any bugs or anything that needs improvement? Report them as bugs in the Ubuntu Translations Portal project in Launchpad.

Write and moderate content for the Ubuntu Translations PortalWrite. Do you want to submit articles related to translation, help with content editing or moderation? Join the Ubuntu Translations Portal editors team and put your writing skills to work.

Stay tuned for more updates. Looking forward to everyone’s participation!

Other posts in this series:


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David

Unity

We all know about Unity, the project that is changing the way we interact with our computer by bringing a consistent user experience and a solid, elegant design for desktop and netbook users.

We want to make sure Unity is for everyone, and one of the key aspects to make it possible is that it is available in everyone’s language.

Unity is already available in more than 60 languages, and can be translated into almost any other. Unity is also Free Software, which means it is in your own hands to make it happen.

So, if your language is not in that list, how can you translate Unity?

  • If you are new to translations, you might want to read the Ubuntu Translations Quickstart Guide.
  • Next thing you can do is go to the Unity translations page and start translating online right away.
  • You can then do the same with the Applications and Files places and translate them as well.
  • That’s it! You’ll find that contributing to Ubuntu by translating it is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways you can start

If you’ve got any questions, you can contact the translations team in whichever way you prefer.

We’ve got about 150 Ubuntu translation teams, and I’m pretty sure we can make that by the time Ubuntu Natty Narwhal is released there is a translation from each one of these teams.

Hence, I’m proud to announce the Unity L10N project, stay tuned for more updates and join the translation party!


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David

(still) open

After the new Natty Narwhal Alpha 1 pre-release, I am pleased to announce that Natty is now open for translation:

Translate Ubuntu Natty!

  • Translation caveats. Remember that according to the release schedule translatable messages might be subject to change until the User Interface Freeze on the 24th of March.
  • Language packs. During the Natty development cycle, language packs containing translations will be released twice per week except for the freeze periods. This will allow users and translators to quickly see and test the results of translations.
  • Firefox. The first language packs will not yet contain Firefox translations. We’ll get them in soon as we’re adapting to the new upstream langpack packaging structure, so that Firefox is localized by default as usual.
  • Test and report bugs. If you notice any issues (e.g. untranslated strings or applications), do check with the translation team for your language first. If you think it is a genuine bug, please report it.

That’s it, happy translating! :-)

(still) open image by Joseph Robertson – License: CC by-nc-sa 2.0


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David

Translations Stories - A tsig mit zibn tsigelekhAs Jono has been mentioning recently, one of the projects we’re working on the translations community this cycle are Translations Stories.

We’d like to show how translations change people’s lives for the best, and how the work of translators has an impact on that. We’d like to share our excitement and highlight the awesome work translators do, and we thought that articles with translations stories would be the perfect vehicle for that.

In order to achieve this, we need your help. You don’t have to be a translator for this: you only need a few spare hours and be willing to give back to the project contributing on this effort to raise awareness on translations.

So, without further ado, here’s how:

Contribute

Do you want to submit a story to let everyone know about the fantastic work the translation team in your language is doing? Well, that’s easy!

  • Sign up. Sign up for writing a translations story on this wiki page by adding your name to the list there.
  • Research. Think about what you want to write, and get some information. The Get inspired section below (or here) should give you a few pointers to get you started.
  • Write a Story. Write a short article highlighting an area of your choice related to translations. Don’t forget to add a picture!
  • Send the Story. Send me your story (david (DOT) planella (AT) ubuntu (DOT) com) adding the word [STORY] to the e-mail’s subject. I’ll then take care of publishing it to Ubuntu News, Ubuntu Planet and to the translators Facebook page.

Get inspired

Here are some ideas about what you can write about:

  • Schools with Ubuntu in your language: Check out the schools using Ubuntu in your language. Get in touch with them to get more information and write how they are using Ubuntu.
  • Translation Jams: Did you run a translation jam during the UbuntuGlobalJam or at any other time? Tell us how it went!
  • Statistics: Did your team had a whooping increase in translation coverage since the last release? Tell us how you dit it and promote some healthy competition among teams.
  • Interviews: Interview and tell us about people being able to use Ubuntu in their language
  • Workflow: Are you particularly proud about your successful translation workflow and would like to show it to other teams? Write an article and let everyone know!
  • Be creative: There are lots more of other subjects or areas where we can highlight the work of translators and their impact on people’s lives. Use your imagination as a source for stories!

Stay tuned for more news on this effort. We’ll soon be publishing some guidelines on how to write good translations stories to help you making them even more awesome.

Are you going to be the first to send one? Looking forward to reading them!

Picture: A tsig mit zibn tsigelekh by Center for Jewish HistoryNo known copyright restrictions


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