Social Networking in Ubuntu 11.10

Today I hosted an Ubuntu Open Week session on social networking in Ubuntu 11.10.  I decided to convert my notes from the session into a blog post, enjoy!

Ubuntu includes a social networking desktop service, Gwibber. Gwibber isn’t new to Ubuntu, it has been included for quite a while now. The intent isn’t just to provide a twitter or facebook client, but it is to provide a means for you to interact with your favorite social networks.

Gwibber does include a client application that aggregates the social networking sites you love to use, into one convenient place as well as allow you to post to multiple accounts simultaneously.

For 11.10, the Gwibber client received a complete face lift, in fact a complete re-write. The previous version had many great features, but ended up being quite limiting when we wanted to improve the overall user experience.

With the new Gwibber client, there aren’t really many new “features” however it is important to note not all previous features made it in. The most notable missing feature is the multi-column view, we’ll work hard to make sure it returns in Gwibber 3.4 in Ubuntu 12.04.

Now lets talk a bit about other ways you can use your favorite social networking services from Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Integration

Messaging Menu

  • Displays unseen counts
  • Update Status

Unity Launcher

  • Displays total unseen count
  • Quick menus for:
    • Update Status
    • Refresh
    • Accounts
    • Preferences

Update Status Poster

  • Quick way to update your status without needing to have the Gwibber client running

Unity Lens

  • Display all posts including videos, photos, links, replies, etc

  • Search and filter results

Plans for Gwibber 3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04)

  • Multi-column view
  • Google +
  • Live search (filters)
  • Performance improvements
    • further reduce memory usage
    • speed up startup time
  • Improved account management
  • In-line viewing of more content (Videos, Images)
  • Photo/Video uploads
  • Smooth scrolling
  • User guide
  • Lens: improve filter selection (including filter by accounts) and categorization
  • Lens: clicking on a tile should raise the client and view the post
  • GNOME Shell integration, we would love someone to help improve the experience in GNOME Shell.

Do you want to help?

We need developers, designers, bug triage and documentation writers. For example we have a great user guide the Vancouver loco wrote, however it needs to be updated to match the current version of Gwibber and converted to a format we can include in the help viewer. We also want a new logo and some design help figuring out how Google + circles can best fit into Gwibber.

If you are interested in helping in any way, please join us in #gwibber on Freenode.

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