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Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'

We’ve sent out a call for instructors for Ubuntu Open Week. Open Week runs from 2-6 May in #ubuntu-classroom (the week after release).

Since Developer Week is already off and rocking I’m looking for some more end-user-y type sessions. Want to dig in? Then sign up and let me know!

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Jay Taoko has put up a blog post talking about Unity’s hardware requirements. You can find the information on the wiki page too.

On the wiki page we talk about the OpenGL features we use and the hardware we test on, we hope to grow this over time. 

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I’ve already talked about how I multitask with Unity. Today I’m going to talk about how I use the Dash.

(Unfortunately the flicker is way more annoying in this video than before. Jason tells me it’s my nvidia driver, I’ll need to hunt down a non-nvidia machine to rerecord this video, but it gives you a general idea)

( ogg / mp4 )

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I have made a video of how multitasking works in Unity to demonstrate some of the more advanced features.

(ogg / mp4 )

Glitches are from the recording, it’s smooth on my actual desktop, also, when I say something in the video and it doesn’t happen it’s because I am fat fingering it, unfortunately we haven’t found a solution for that yet.

This is a guest session version of how I work to give you an idea of the things you can do (my normal session is a cluttered mess so I tried to go for more of an out of the box experience). Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

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We’re doing some Unity testing this weekend.

Luckily we had Jason Smith handling user questions…

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Here’s my desktop when I’m working on stuff:

And here it is clean with my Launcher shrunk down, thanks to Andrea Azzarone’s contribution. This feels really great on my laptop:

Neil’s also landed a bunch of multimonitor fixes. Here’s some other goodies in Unity 3.6.4. Bitesize report on Tuesday, but I just had to share the love on this tiny-launcher.

I am now on the fence whether I should keep my bookmark toolbar or hide it to get even more content on my screen, but I do find it useful. 

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(Original Post)

Lots of updates today. First of all, by the time you read this or by the time your mirror updates (or when you get Alpha 3 on Thursday) you’ll have the latest drop of the Unity Dash:

Unity File Places

Unity 11.04 DashSearching through the Dash in Ubuntu 11.04Quick lists land in Unity

Other Contributors this Week

  • We have a new contributor this week, Marco Bisaro ?has fixed  Bug #713789 – Upper left Ubuntu logo has different background color than panel.
  • Olivier Sauder’s work on keybindings for the launcher has landed
  • Mathew Rasmus has made it so the launcher uses proper getter/setter for the Launcher’s member-var_launcher_action_state.
  • This could be you! See below!

General Unity Fixes and New Stuff

What a crazy week! Double dose of unity (Thursday and Tuesday)! We also got a new compiz with a full stack rebuild/update. That totalize more than 23 updates within the week. As you can see, we got a lot of fixes and enhancements:

Other Highlights

  • Most of known common crashers for unity have been tackled
  • Lot of accessility improvments
  • Lot of launchers fix and most of “false show” positive or “launcher being crazy” on intellihide mode fixed
  • Drag and drop from the application and file places to the launcher is now functional (but still in beta Funny :) )
  • New shortcuts with the Super key:
    • tap super open the dash
    • Keeping super press will get some shortcuts showing: Super + to get active window of an application or show the places/ws switcher/trash
    • if you add Shift to the dance, it will open a new instance of an application instead of getting an existing one
    • Key navigation to all elements of the launcher now, and quicklist! Alt + F1 showing the launcher when hidden.
  • Rework fade effect animation when hovering the bfb (the ubuntu logo) Still some known crasher on the unity window decorator. It’s tracked and under debugging right now. Hope we can get a fix after alpha3 on upgrade.

How to Get Involved

1. Get the Code

Follow the Step by Step Instructions and Wiki Page. This will get the code from Launchpad, set up your development environment, and getting you used to the Launchpad workflow.

2. Pick a bug

This week we want to focus on these bugs, pick one:

  • Bug 718889 -  Launcher does not hide/unhide on Expo
  • Bug 660010 – No ‘safely remove’ option is present in the unity menu when a usb disk is inserted
  • Bug 718885 – Launcher responds to click off from a quicklist
  • Bug 721121 – Icon in Launcher should be home folder icon
  • Bug 718885 – (NEW!) Launcher responds to click off from a quicklist
  • Bug 725529 – (NEW!) ?Double-click on panel to unmaximize only works in right half
  • Bug 724727 – (NEW!) Super key shortcut overlay not with umlauts, greek/cyrillic letters
Here’s the full list if you want to find more, feel free to just grab one, assign it to yourself, mark it in progress and get started. I’ll be picking a new selection for each blog post each week, but the list is always changing, so you can always just dive into the list and snag one.

3. Fix your bug and then get your code into Unity

Don’t worry we won’t leave you hanging, you can get a-hold of a Unity developer through many different ways:

  • #ayatana on freenode IRC during European and American workdays. Or you can post to the mailing list if you have a question.
  • We also have weekly IRC Q+A for any developer who wants to dive in and ask a Unity developer. 7pm-8pm UTC (That’s 2pm EST) every Friday!
  • Mention session in developer week.

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Here’s something I’ve been waiting for that I’m sure application authors will enjoy: 

We now have an API for applications to leave a progress meter and/or a number on their launcher. The wiki page is a bit sparse so expect more detail there over the coming week.

What we need to do

Well, the first thing I’m working on is getting the wiki page up to shape. We’re going to need examples for different languages, and basically make the page useful for application developers. I’m on that this week. I could use a hand here if someone wants to dig in.

Next, we need people to think about where this is useful. So right away, you’re thinking mail apps, Transmission and Deluge, USC, update-manager, etc. 

The library is called libunity, which is the same library you’ll use for Places and stuff, and you can use it in one of two ways:

  •  Directly in your application, just link up to libunity, you’ll notice the the API is similar to app indicators. This is on purpose, so if you’ve already got libindicator support in your app, this should just be additive and straightforward.

For example, right now your application might put a “new message” counter in the messaging menu, this is designed so that you can also just plop the same number right on the launcher icon too.

  • Or standalone, like the example on the wiki page - this is for you people who want to write little wrapper scripts to monitor something (like say, your mutt instance on a remote server, *hint hint*) (think of the things we could get from byobu running on your server!)

Application developers, we’re looking for feedback for libunity, feel free to file bugs.

How You Can Help

Feel free to start filing bugs in Launchpad for applications to support this. Make sure you tag em “bitesize”, as these will be easy for people to dig into and make work.

Got a favorite application? Link the up to our resources or they can contact us directly if they want help with linking these up.

Other Unity Improvements that Just Landed

Part 2 of the things that landed today are much more user visible, mainly, drag and drop for the Launcher:

  • Drag stuff into the trash
  • Being able to drag files onto apps, for example select 4 text files and drag all of them onto the text editor and it will open them all up at once.
  • Drag any .desktop files right into the launcher, but you can’t drag from the Dash yet, but you will be able to soon. For an example of this drag and drop applications from /usr/share/applications to get an idea.
  • Drag anything from a GNOME menu, GNOME Panel, and any dock that does xdnd into the launcher (for those of you with frankendesktops) - remember that we already import those launchers on first run.

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Because people only land cool stuff after my weekly report: 

First off, Marco Trevisan (Treviño) has readded the old autohide behavior to the launcher for those of you that are into that sort of thing. Here’s the video showing you how it works.

Secondly, power keyboard users might want to check out the keyboard shortcuts page. I recently discovered the power of Ctrl-Alt-numpad, I think you’ll dig it. 

And lastly, Jason’s made it so that when you drag a certain file type into the launcher the application that launches it stays lit, but the rest “shut off”. So assuming you have say, GIMP and Shotwell in your launcher dragging a .png close to the launcher will keep those lit and the ones that don’t support .png will not be lit. Small, but slick.

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Welcome to another edition of the Unity bitesize report!

New Stuff

Cando’s been working on two fixes (which are under review). The first is being able to middle click on a maximized window title in the panel and have that be pushed to the background.

In case you didn’t know, you can middle click on window titlebars and they get pushed behind other windows. This can be a very handy window management technique, but now that we’ve welded the title bar with the top panel when a window is maximized this was missing. So thanks to Cando for preserving this bit of “UNIX Law that this feature must exist” on our desktops.

The second bit he’s working on is making it so that when you click on the Trash Can it only opens one window (or focuses it if you have it open but lost it) instead of opening a bunch of trash cans.

The Big List

Here’s the list of bitesize bugs that can be snagged and fixed by anyone who wants to get involved.

Getting Involved

Want to tackle some of these? Instructions for getting started are available here.

For more information check out the wiki page:

If you have any questions feel free to pop by on #ayatana on Freenode.

Other Unity Tidbits

  • Chris Coulson has landed the application menu work in Thunderbird!
  • Mat Trudel is continuing his work on multimonitor support in Unity but is probably realizing that this wasn’t bitesize at all. Yum!
  • Jason’s landed the Launcher API bits, which will allow applications to interact with the launcher better. Things like new mail indicators with a little number, download progress for clients, etc. (More to follow on this in the future)
  • Mikkel’s been working on the Places API, so expect the wiki page to be updated this week. Once this lands we’ll finally be able to have people implementing some of the great ideas for Places we’ve been collecting. (I’ll have a seperate blogpost about this one later)

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One of the best resources we have (that people seemingly don’t use enough) is 

In the beginning we tried doing apt:// links, but that required websites and programs supporting it, so now we have a URL that you can just give to a person like, they clicky, and it fires up the Software Center and prompts them to install it. 

Try it:

Install Banshee

This is way handier than telling people “apt-get install blah …”, easier to use, and very handy for tweeting, etc. Well, is ugly, and doesn’t work on Chrome, which is a bummer for me.

Well, Marco Ceppi has been working on this, check it out:

As it ends up, mpt has an entire specification on how this is going to work, so Marco implemented it, here’s a demo:

Marco’s ready to take this to the next level, but he needs translations. Luckily, the project is in Launchpad, so any help you can lend a hand would be appreciated:

(Oh, feel free to snag the code, submit branches, etc.)

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I’ve started this page.

If you’re running 11.04, please start adding shortcuts to this page as you find them. Or if you have the time to go through CCSM and add them all to this page it would be quite useful.

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A new week, a new contributor! This week the team would like to welcome Marco Trevisan (Treviño) to the team. 

Marco has two feature improvements to the Unity desktop this week. The first is the notification when you mouse scroll to adjust the volume on the panel. This was covered by OMG!Ubuntu, which has a video if you want to see it in action. More importantly, Marco’s added scroll event support for the entire panel service.

…with Unity coming I consider it as a great chance for improving Ubuntu, making it something of really different that can be freely developed without being too much dependent from other platforms/projects; I’m always interested in knowing new platforms and to improve them (especially where they lack of something I’d need in my user-experience) so I firstly fixed some bugs in gwibber, plugins for synapse, adding markup support to improve indicator-datetime and indicator-sound (with the notify-osd patch).

The rest of Marco’s bio is here if you wanna check it out.

This week also marks the return of Stefano Candori, who has fixed Bug 688407, which was connecting the Trash can in the launcher to quick lists. (You’ll be able to now right click on the trash can in the launcher and empty it, etc.)

In hindsight the trash can bug was more of a full course meal with dessert than “bitesize”, so it took a while to sort it, so kudos to Cando for his tenacity.

The Big List

We’ve got some good turnover on bugs this week, so a good portion of these are fresh. This list marks the debut of Dash bitesizers and some requests for a little bling, mainly fade effects for the menu bar and window title.

I did a full podcast interview with Amber Graner if you want to listen in on how to get started with fixing these bitesize bugs. 

Here’s the full list.

Getting Involved

Want to tackle some of these? Instructions for getting started are available here.

For more information check out the wiki page:

If you have any questions feel free to pop by on #ayatana on Freenode.

Other Unity Tidbits

Two unity releases since last Tuesday! The alpha2 candidates brought good things (lot of bug fixes mainly) and bad as well (like freezes when you got the places installed). The full list is available here.

  • This release contains the first real Places implementation. Be warned, it’s a real first sketchup of it, quite unstable and not optimized at all. It has some bugs.
  • In addition to that, a lot of compiz uploads have been processed this week with a tremendous ABI break to handle, fixing finally the decoration sometimes disappearing, bringing other fixes to long standing bugs like the gnome-panel applets crashing, the menu stacking issue,
  • Some defaults were changed to avoid overlap of the launcher - Everyone needs to do a unity —reset!
  • The price for all this progress is a new bug where your mouse is grabbed and you can’t interact with anything with it anymore. Investigating it is the top priority after Alpha 2. From what we know, some window appears but is not mapped by compiz. Any info users can provide in that bug would be appreciated. This issue will be mentioned in the Alpha 2 release notes.
  • There seems to be some issue with LibreOffice as well & unity. Not reproducible for everyone though (unity freezes on the viewport you have LibreOffice opened, decoration doesn’t work, dnd as well…). Needs clarification and more investigation.

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I’m a day late due to being sick yesterday, now things are back on track. 

The team is now back from Dallas, Texas, and as OMG!Ubuntu! points out, much has landed after the sprint, a culmination of a week’s work of hacking. Neil talks about Unity in this interview. Nice work Joey and Benjamin for covering Unity updates whilst the team flew back home. 

Other Bits

  • A ton of updates to the indicator stack, mostly renaming a bunch of methods. Not complicated, but the equivalent of a 31,577 line diff had to be merged, the bulk of this work was done by Mike Terry, Ken Van Dine and Ted Gould.
  • Unity 2D has landed, thanks to the intense work of the Ubuntu ARM team to get this packaged and available despite the huge amount of work, great job guys!
  • Resizing windows will finally work! So instead of a 1 pixel target you now have the entire shaded area to resize the window. The theme needs to be updated by the design team, so not totally fixed yet, but … hallelujah!

Upcoming this week

  • Sam assures us that he’s finally been able to fix the menu problem (drawing BEHIND the desktop and generally just being the worst bug lately)
  • Cross your fingers for Dash/Places (yep, we know we said we’d land it last week)

The Hit List

The following bugs need a helping hand, feel free to dive in and fix em up!

Getting Involved

Instructions for getting started are available here.

For more information check out the wiki page:

If you have any questions feel free to pop by on #ayatana on Freenode.

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Chris Coulson has the Firefox application menu extension working and in PPA for Natty testers:

Instructions here.

Please note, this is fast moving, so if your going to blog or retweet it please link to those instructions as I will be updating it over the course of the next few weeks.

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Welcome to the Unity report! Greetings from Dallas, Texas, where the the Ubuntu Platform team is gathered to get work finished for Natty.

The Unity team would like to say hello! This week the team would like to welcome Connor Carney to the team:

I’m a biochemist and part-time programmer who has been been using Ubuntu since Jaunty. I decided to contribute because I’m impressed to see real innovation on the desktop in Unity, and I wanted to help that effort. That, and the sound menu bug was *really* bothering me…

Connor busted out Bug 681428 - scrolling does not work on the sound menu — which was an annoting regression introducted with the port to Compiz. Now that that’s sorted the Sound Menu can really come together.

Shout out to Bertrand Lorentz, who has been tirelessly fixing integration details with Conor Curran in upstream Banshee. Mike Terry has fixed quick lists showing up as transparent.

Expect a bunch of things landing in trunk this week and a Unity release on Thursday into Natty.

The Hit List

Getting Involved

Instructions for getting started are available here.

For more information check out the wiki page:

If you have any questions feel free to pop by on #ayatana on Freenode.

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A bunch of us are in Dallas, Texas for the Ubunt Platform Rally (aka. sprint). We’ve got a camera and are taking the time to get some video interviews done.

You’ll find them on the Ubuntu Developer Channel. The two for today are Ahmed Kamal talking about the Cloud, and David Barth talking about Unity.

I’ve got video of the Firefox Application Menu support, however the video didn’t turn out too well, so I will redo it. 

On the Unity front, expect a normal release on Thursday into Natty. This one should be a good one. :)

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aka. Holiday Leftovers

Time for another Unity status report. As you can expect due to holidays around the world not much progress was made other than expanding our waistlines.

Expect a flurry of activity this week as Unity developers spin up for the new year. Next week the Unity team will be sprinting in Dallas, Texas along with other members of the Canonical Platform team so expect a bunch of updates.

New to Unity but not Ubuntu is Shane Fagan, who adds a unity —replace command. Hey, it’s all about the little things. Matthew Rasmus returns with 2 fixes (both committed in trunk but not yet released, expect it on Thursday/Friday):

  • 691765 - When a menu is triggered from Alt+key, app name stays visible on panel 
  • 691812 - Window border doesn’t get restored
  • Stefano Candori has made progress on getting quick lists connected up to the Trash Can. 
  • Mathieu Trudel’s been looking at fixing the top panel’s multimonitor awareness

The Big List

Lots of repeats here due to work stoppage, now is the time to jump in if you want a piece!

  • 684193 - compiz crashed with SIGSEGV in g_source_unref()
  • 683547 - Bottom launchers hard to expand with filled launcher bar, need edge scrolling
  • 687956 - should display the launcher tooltips after a delay
  • 687958 - should provide an IsUnityRunning() dbus method
  • 688816 - Don’t create windows over the panel
  • 689929 - Update managers Apply Settings window doesn’t trigger unity’s smarthide
  • 691114 - Quicklists for icons at the bottom of the screen are clipped by screen edge
  • 677594 - Workspace switcher useless with one workspace
  • 681428 - scrolling does not work on the sound menu
  • 686182 - Unity launchers run multiple copies of program if clicked multiple times before the program loads
  • 688537 - Launcher icon tooltip not following system font update
  • 689010 - wrong icon for “blank cd-r disc” in launcher
  • 692967 - First-run of Unity should scan AWN, Docky and other popular launcher settings
  • 600875 - No documentation for using/configuring Unity
  • 692444 - clicking trash multiple times opens multiple instances of it.
  • 693792 - Launcher icon goes behind launcher if dialog pops up while dragging icon

Here’s the full list.

Other Unity Work

  • Mathieu Trudel continues to work on the nm-applet port to application indicators. He’s now got wireless icons in the dropdown. (This is a screenshot of it from his laptop, so this is just a tease, nothing landing yet) 

  • Conor Curran has sent along an update on what’s going on with the sound indicator
  • Auto/intellihide is now on by default in trunk and intial support for using the Super key to invoke the launcher has also landed.
  • The launcher now supports scroll events (like your mouse wheel).

Getting Involved

Instructions for getting started are available here.

For more information check out the wiki page:

If you have any questions feel free to pop by on #ayatana on Freenode.

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Here’s something I discovered yesterday as I was tooling around on my home server while using Unity. This is what happens when you maximize a terminal in Unity Alpha in Natty (Assuming you have autohide on, it’s not turned on by default yet but it will be, here’s how):

(Bigger pic)

If this was normal Ubuntu you’d have another panel AND the titlebar. This is all now fused into one out of the way thing, saving pixels and getting out of my way. 

I know what you’re thinking. Endless combinations of terminal tabs and/or Terminator splits and byobu. I might almost want to be a sysadmin. Here’s gedit:

(Bigger pic)

This is real useful when I’m working on something, I need my desktop to be out of the way. Obviously there’s a lot of work to be done in this area, but it’s coming together, stay tuned for a Unity progress report later today. 

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