GNOME Content Apps Hackfest

From December the 2nd to the 4th, a dozen of GNOME Hackers and LibreOffice Hackers joined forces in Medialab Prado, Madrid, to hack on our content apps.

During these three days we had important discussions about the future of these apps. Topics such as: sharing resources between apps, planning how the Share of content is going to be done in the future, new designs and development plans for each app, and bugfixes.

Our hackfests are always awesome opportunities for learning, sharing, and improving the projects we love side by side with our fellow GNOME Hackers.

This was only possible with Medialab Prado letting us host the event in their space, my employee (Red Hat) allowing me to attend, and the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my trip. Thank you all! ;-)

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New Mouse & Touchpad Panel

New Mouse & Touchpad panel

GNOME Control Center is getting a new design in the near future, but firstly we need to port the panels to match the new concept. Thus I have been working on the new Mouse & Touchpad panel.

The Test Your Settings dialog is now presented within the control-center window.

What’s interesting about this concept — besides of the fresh and minimalist look & feel — is that it only shows relevant settings to you. So, for instance, it won’t have a Touchpad section if you don’t have a supported touchpad device, and so on…

Some of you might miss the double-click delay setting that used to belong to the Mouse & Touchpad panel. Don’t worry, it is now part of the Universal Access panel.

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This changes are already on master and will be included in our next release, GNOME 3.20.

After that I will be tackling the Keyboards panel. The goal is to have all panels ready for the new Control Center shell.

New printer Jobs Dialog

pp-jobs-dialog-screenshotIn my first week at Red Hat I started working on the Printers panel on GNOME Control Center. My first task was to rewrite the printer Jobs dialog to match the newest mockups at https://wiki.gnome.org/Design/SystemSettings/Printers

Talk is cheap, so look at the screencast below:

ps.: since it is a big UI change and we’re close to a release, this new design will probably feature gnome 3.20.

Development branch: https://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-control-center/log/?h=wip/feborges/new-printers-panel

Joining Red Hat

September the 1st will be my Day 1 at Red Hat. After being around the GNOME community for 6 years, participating in projects such as Google Summer of Code, and working at Parafernalia on gtk apps for the amazing Endless’ operating system, I’m embarking on my most challenging and exciting position to date.

Red Hat is a great company, leader in providing open source solutions for server, desktop, virtualization and so on. It’s the top corporate contributor to dozens of projects we love, and it has been recently ranked among Forbes’ top 10 best software companies to work for. Cool, isn’t it?

I have moved to the amazing Brno, Czech Republic. I’m super excited! I will be working on the desktop team, so keep locked for my blog reports.

Documents idea: rename documents right from the title bar

A nice feature Apple has is the ability of accessing a window-specific dialog right from their title bar.

 

I think that would be pretty useful in Documents’ context as well. So I’ve written this small patch.

I’ve been pointed out that it duplicates the access to the Properties dialog. We already have that on the hamburger menu. But still, I think that would be cool. What do you think?

Last.fm Scrobbler for Music

Music has been getting some love lately. It is one of the most interesting core apps we have in GNOME, and it is getting polished, stable, and resourceful everyday.

One of the new features we’ve been cooking up is Last.fm integration. As a music nerd myself, I love to keep track of the songs I listen to, make stats, analyze the evolution of my musical taste, how much love I give to a new album, and which tracks got me stuck.

As we tend to plan features like this by “thinking out of the box” and keeping security in mind, we’ve decided to let Goa handle the authentication part. In doing so, Music can get the Last.fm API credentials from Goa and other players could do it as well. So now we have a Last.fm Goa provider safely taking care of the authentication part. Music does the scrobbling.

Introducing News

update:

yep, you did not read it wrong. There are two implementations for News: I’ve proposed this app on our wiki more than an year ago. But I just started implementing it 10 days ago. Coincidentally, Igor Gnatenko and Vadim Rutkovsky have started to work in a different implementation of the same idea.

We’ve spent more and more time in big social network sites, which are somehow a smaller version of the world wide web outside, but It doesn’t mean that we want this websites to grow so large until they become the Web themselves. What we love the most about the Web is that it’s open and decentralized, so let’s keep it this way. It’s got ‘space’ for everyone. :)

RSS is the opposite of this centralized world of social networks. It’s got no owner, no privileges, no pricetag. Google — the biggest player on the Web — has been indirectly and maybe accidentally killing RSS. Google Reader was shut down two years ago and because of the death of the first biggest feed reader, websites have been disabling their syndication features. As a consequence, RSS is dying too.

We, the free software community, despite of using big social networks as a source of information, we still have individual blogs and aggregators. Since the death of Google Reader we’ve been on an widespread search for an equally great feed reader.

Introducing News

news_wire_1

News (gnome-news) is a GNOME 3 native feed reader. It follows a design-based approach for new features just like the core GNOME apps we love. It uses tracker as a datastore, and tracker-miner-rss for feed synchronization.

It is written in gjs, using a model-view-presenter/presenter-first design pattern. Using architectural design patterns for GNOME apps isn’t pretty common, but is something I’ve got used to, working for Parafernalia writing apps for the Endless OS. I guess that’s something I will elaborate more on later.

It is available on my Github page.

What’s next?

  • make sure distros have tracker-miner-rss enabled by default and ship libgrss
  • define a roadmap for new features

Two thousand and fourteen

As 2015 is approaching with new goals, promises, and changes, I am keeping my annual tradition of bragging about the past year in a blog post.

If I were to describe 2014 in a word, I would go with… challenging. I have finally graduated from my computer science bachelor’s degree. I am thankful for the amazing folks I met at the university and for all I have learned in the past 5 years. This past year has been tough: taking the last courses and writing my final thesis while working at the same time.

I have not had the free time I wanted to contribute to GNOME, to read, or to practice sports. But all in all, It was a great year. I had again the awesome opportunity of attending GUADEC, this year in the lovely Strasbourg, France. I also spoke about GNOME at some local conferences.

I had my first real job opportunity at Parafernalia, working as a contractor within the Endless Mobile apps team writing GNOME-based applications for a great operating system. I have leaved Parafernalia in the end months of 2014. Now I am looking for new challenges, without having to worry about being reallocated and having to drop off university because of it.

In my past year New Year’s Resolutions blog post I have set up that I’d like to read 50 books, find a first job, and graduate. I did not achieve the easiest one. In the past year I have read 32 of 50 books, failing my Goodreads 2014 reading challenge. I guess I will aim lower in 2015!

Patterned Wallpapers on GNOME Shell

Screenshot

2014 was a great year with its ups and downs. I have been pretty busy and stressed, but now that the end has come, I am finally on vacation after years without this much free time. In doing so, during the Christmas holiday I have started a new toy project: a GNOME Shell extension.

Patterned Wallpapers was inspired by Pattrn, an Android app created by our fellow oldschool GNOME hacker Lucas Rocha. It is a GNOME Shell extension which gets you a new patterned-wallpaper automatically every day/week, as specified in the metadata.json file. The patterned-wallpapers are downloaded from the COLOURLovers public API. COLOURLovers is a  community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes, and patterns.

gnome-shell-extension-patterns already has a preferences dialog which allows you to set the kind of patterns you want (popular or random), set the frequency of updates (daily or weekly), and clear the cached wallpapers. These settings are gsettings, which means that they can be changed using dconf-editor or manually with the gsetting command line tool. All pattern images are stored in the backgrounds/ folder inside the extension’s folder ($HOME/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/patterns@felipeborges.github.com/backgrounds/).

You can automatically install it on the GNOME Shell extensions website or unzip the source code into your gnome-shell/extensions folder.

In the future, I want users to be able to browse through patterns, mark them as favorite, search by keyword, and list their wallpaper history. These goals are issues in the project’s Github repository. Contributions are appreciated!

Help GNOME defend its trademark against Groupon

Recently Groupon announced a new tablet-based platform named “GNOME”. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that GNOME has been a big and popular free software project for the past 17 years, *and a registered trademark since 2006*.

It’s outrageous that a billion dollars company such as Groupon would not have heard of GNOME before. Even after the GNOME Foundation got in touch with them, they insisted and filed more trademark applications [1][2][3].

We have to file formal proceedings to oppose 10 of these trademark applications by December 3, 2014.  We will need 80k USD to oppose the registration of the first set of 10 applications. Thus, we need your help to raise these funds!

I already donated and hope you will too! Please, help us by donating today and spread the word through social media using the hashtag #defendGNOME!

GNOME can accept donations by paypal, check, bank/wire transfer, Flattr and Bitcoin.

UPDATE: After raising more than our 80k goal in less than 24 hours, Groupon announced that they’re now abandoning all of their 28 pending trademark applications. We did it!

Stay tuned for future updates in this matter.