Announcing my Contract with Purism for an Adaptive Fractal UI

Over the past year or so I have been a regular contributor to Fractal, a Matrix chat client for GNOME. My contributions have allowed me to take on a bigger role in the GNOME community, including the maintainership of a few apps. I am pleased to announce that over the next week I will be working to make Fractal’s UI adaptive for the Librem 5’s launch. This contract began last week, and I already have some results to show off.

The Main View

Fractal has used a split window pattern since it’s inception. With HdyLeaflet apps that use this pattern can adapt their size to fit different widths. Once !363 is merged, Fractal will use HdyLeaflet to adapt it’s main view.

The Dialogs

In combination with HdyLeaflet, HdyDialog allows us to have dialogs that grow to the full size of the window at smaller sizes. I changed most of the instances of GtkDialog into HdyDialog and made sure each one would fit into the Librem 5’s constraints.

The Room Details

The room details view was something started a long while ago by Julian Sparber, made before HdyColumn was a thing. HdyColumn allows widgets to expand up to a certain width, while still being able to size appropriately on smaller screens.

Login

Our on-boarding process is in need of a redesign in general, so while redesigning it we can design for mobile as well.

Mapping Clicks To Touches

Currently we have a context menu that is accessed by right clicking on a message. This will need to work for long press on the phone, since there’s no way to right click on a touchscreen.

The Image Viewer

The controls of the Image Viewer’s headerbar are too large for it to shrink to the Librem 5’s constraints. We’ll need to make sure these controls are re-arranged in order to allow the viewer to fit correctly.

The Room Directory

The room directory is another view with controls that will need to adapt to small sizes. It has a searchbar, a back button, the items in the list don’t shrink enough for the rest of the window.

Overall, I’m very excited that Purism accepted my proposal and that I get to work on this. I have been looking forward to the day where I can run Fractal on my phone, and I’m glad to be bringing that closer.

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