Desktop effects activation (compiz)

The discussion about how/where to put the activate-desktop-effects thing in the appearance capplet seems to not reach a good solution for all distros, at least for now, so, while waiting for a good solution for all upstream, and since in openSUSE desktop effects means compiz, I added a patch to the simple-ccsm openSUSE package to activate compiz directly from the same place where it is configured.

So, the ‘Desktop Effects’ icon in the GNOME control center:

starts now simple-ccsm, which contains a check box to activate/deactivate compiz.

The old ‘Desktop Effects’ capplet (aka gnome-xgl-settings) will soon die, since gnome-xgl-switch script has been moved to the XGL package, and the hardware database is already on a separate package.

Desktop effects activation

After having implemented the same functionality already available in Fedora and Ubuntu (different implementations of the Desktop Effects tab on the appearance control-center applet) for openSUSE, it is time to come to a common solution for all distros to remove their need to add this functionality. An initial patch is available here.

Still lots of things need to be discussed and clarified, so if you care about activating desktop effects in GNOME, GNOME Control Center mailing list.

Hack week II

Last week was Hacking week at openSUSE, so here’s a summary of what I did:

  • I moved all my OSM-related packages to the Application:Geo repository in openSUSE’s build service. And I added a couple of packages I needed to build maps for my GARMIN GPS unit: mkgmap and osmosis, which have helped me in making the first 100% free map of Spain for GARMIN GPS units :) Of course, the map is incomplete (compared to the P2P’ed maps GARMIN users in Spain use), but this should probably get more people to contribute to the maps. Here are some screenshots of the maps on a Que PDA (thanks to Miguel Blanco):
    que-osm-spain que-osm-barcelona que-osm-madrid que-osm-madrid-sol
  • I lost lots of time at the beginning of the week trying to make Mapper (a fork of maemo-mapper to provide more OpenStreetMap-oriented features) work, fixing some build problems (patches are upstream now) and packaging it. It still doesn’t work very well though, crashing a lot, but this will improve soon.
  • I started working on a GNOME client for the openSUSE build service. Most of the time was spent doing tests with Python in general and the OSC Python API in particular, so the result is not that fantastic, but at least I’ve got now a good base from where to continue the work. You can find the (clean) work in my git repository:
    git clone



After the success of the I GUADEMY, held in A Coruña last year, a 2nd one needed to be organized, with more international presence and, we’ll see if it succeeds in doing that, getting KDE and GNOME desktops to share much more than a few specs/standards. So, the II GUADEMY, thanks to PoLinuX, is going to be held in Valencia, on the East coast of Spain, nice city known for its good weather and the Fallas.

Most Spanish community members from both KDE and GNOME will attend, and this year the hope is to get much more international presence than last year. Also, the focus will be on technologies common to both desktops (rather than talks specific to one desktop, like there were last year), and, given that GUADEC and Akademy will be held later in the year, it is a good opportunity to get with some plans for further integration between the two free desktops. Are you gonna miss it???

More information here.

gnome-control-center/gnome-settings-daemon 2.21.5

Release 2.21.5 for gnome-control-center and gnome-settings-daemon are now ready for your testing pleasure. This is the first release of gnome-control-center depending on the standalone gnome-settings-daemon (which was previously part of gnome-control-center), which is also used by the new GDM.

Testing is largely needed, so please report bugs/suggestions/patches to either the gnomecc-list or Bugzilla.

PulseAudio for openSUSE 11.0

In the last few days, we have been working on packaging PulseAudio for openSUSE Factory (what will be openSUSE 11.0), and here are the first results. This page contains instructions on how to run and test it, and Cyberorg‘s blog contains more information and screenshots.

This starts to mark the end of our beloved esound, although GNOME still needs some work, which is one of our next steps, helping upstream GNOME in fixing all the issues.

GNOME Summit control-center summary

With the summit almost finished, here’s a quick summary of what we came up about control-center development for 2.22 and beyond.

  • There should be no distinction between a11y settings and others, a11y should just be part of the “normal” settings, like we did for the preferred applications capplet in 2.20.
  • libslab (the library from gnome-main-menu used for the control-center shell) might need to be, either part of control-center itself, or a desktop/platform library. For that, it would need an API review, as well as the removal of Bonobo (used for unique application).
  • Should keyboard shortcuts be part of the keyboard capplet?
  • A11y keyboard in keyboard capplet?
  • Proxy settings might be better placed as part of NetworkManager configuration, given NM allows now the distinction between system-wide and user-specific settings.
  • about-me, in its current form, seems quite useless, so it might be a good idea to use it as a configuration point for online desktop.
  • What to do with typing break? It might either be kept on the keyboard capplet, or moved to screensaver preferences, or enabled by default with a much friendlier 1st time configuration dialog.
  • We’re adding a localization capplet, which will contain settings for time/date, timezone, keyboard layouts and language.
  • New screen capplet containing screen resolution, screensaver and xrandr settings?
  • PulseAudio integration
  • Rename sound capplet to multimedia and add video device support?
  • Some of the settings in control-center might be very useful if available from GDM.

Related to the discussion, and seeing all the icons that are in the systray, it would probably a good idea, now that there’s a discussion about a new panel, to have, in the new panel, separate systrays, each of which would be for specific categories (hardware, normal applications, temporary status, etc).

If anyone’s interested in participating in the discussion, please join the control-center mailing list and help us make it better.

Hack week status (Wednesday)

Thanks to hack week, I’m being able to work on projects I’ve had for a long time on my TODO list. So, here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Started looking at implementing an Atlas application, similar to Google Earth, but combining maps and Wikipedia information to bring a complete Atlas-like application to your desktop, with extra features like routing and others. This is one of my favorites from the TODO, but it needs lots of thinking and lots of reading, so I’m using the hack week to get documented about all that is needed.
  • Atomato is back! This is where I’ve been hacking the most, and I hope to have something to show before the end of the week, although it also needs some thinking about the internal architecture. But it’s going quite quick, so I hope to have something to win one of the Hack Week prizes :-)
  • I’ve also started a long-awaited task, which is to package OpenStreetMap software using openSUSE’s build service. I just added successfully packages for JOSM, the offline editor, but others will follow. Packages are/will be available at my home project

And that’s all so far, nothing more to say apart from mentioning the little help I’ve been getting from the boys :-( Photos on what they did last night to come later, I first have to clean the mess.