Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Interface Animations Demoed for Ubuntu Touch

A video demonstrating a new set of animations for Ubuntu Touch has been posted online.

In the clip, Ubuntu designers showcase a range of visual effects for use in ‘core movements’ on Touch, including animations for switching between applications, unlocking the screen, and pressing buttons.

Ubuntu’s Designers are calling the motion theme ‘Paper’, with the visuals created around the idea of evoking ‘…the theme of paper wherever possible.’ Eschewing traditional papery-effects like curls and folds, the team have opted for a more ‘suggestive’ approach using layers and stacking.

The video also shows a number of application designs using the new ‘Suru’ UI.

Earlier in the week Ubuntu designers also demoed a video of their new RSS reader concept called ‘Shorts‘.

New Interface Animations Demoed for Ubuntu Touch OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Intel Demo GNOME-Powered Tizen OS Ultrabook

Tizen, the open-source Linux software platform aiming to power everything from smartphones to smart TVs, is seemingly coming to laptops.

Intel demoed a Tizen laptop experience at the Tizen Conference 2013 in San Francisco, USA, earlier this month. And it wasn’t demoed on any old heap of hardware, either: Intel were showing off the OS newcomer on an i7 Ivybridge Ultrabook.

The Tizen OS experience is powered by ‘Tizen Shell’ – a UI built upon GNOME-Shell.

While parts of the desktop are familiar Tizen developers have also made a number of modifications to it, including creating a set of moveable desktop widgets and introducing a HTML5 run-time for powering web-apps.

You can check out the full OS experience in the video below, taken by the folks over at Tizen Experts.

As Tizen is an open-source project all code will be published on the official website later in the year. Better yet, installable images for Ivy Bridge laptops may also be made available for download (with a suite of developer tools pre-installed) in an attempt to woo developers into using the OS for developing Tizen smartphone apps.

Tizen Time?

With Ubuntu-powered laptops beginning to increase in both availability and visibility; and with Google’s Chromebook enjoying phenomenal success, could an alternative OS find success on laptops? It just might.

Sporting industry backers like Intel and Samsung, both of whom are actively steering its development, Tizen certainly has enough clout behind it to carve a niche.

Laptops aside, this year certainly will see more of Tizen in the news as the first Tizen smartphone from Samsung is set to go on sale later this year.

Front page image credit: TizenExperts.com

Intel Demo GNOME-Powered Tizen OS Ultrabook OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

How To Add Extra Category Folders to the Gnome-Shell Dashboard

Gnome 3.8 introduced a bundle of nifty changes like new applications for Weather, Clock, Documents and Note Taking, improved search in the Activites, Privacy Settings and so on.

Amongst those was a changes was swapping the old Application Overview categories for Category folders.

In essence the new categories folders are no different than the old categories sidebar. They categorise applications by what they do, so apps like Calculator and File Archiver go to “Utilities”; music and movie players appear under “Sound & Video”; GIMP, Inkscape and Pinta show up in “Graphics”, etc.

What makes them different is that the old Categories were shown as sidebar right of the Applications grid, whereby the new folders are displayed right in the grid itself and clicking on them invokes a popover that shows the applications themselves.

Utilities Folder in GNOME 3.8

Utilities Folder in GNOME 3.8

It’s pretty swish.

But there’s only one problem: by default GNOME only provides two folders – Utilities and Sundry. Everything else is appears on the one screen, making hunting for apps by eye a little overwhelming.

Every app. Happy swimming.

Every app. Happy swimming.

The good news is that it’s relatively easy to add new folders to group applications into – and this is exactly what this article is about.

Getting your hands dirty

The first thing you need to do is fire up “dconf Editor”.

Don’t know how? Simply press the “Super key” (may have a Windows logo on it) and type “dc” into the search field. The app will pop out as you type so that you can click on it.

Search for Dconf Editor

Search for Dconf Editor

Once Dconf is open navigate to org > gnome > shell in the sidebar. In the right pane you will see an item heading reading: app-folder-categories followed by its contents: [‘Utilities’, ‘Sundry’]

Within Dconf itself

Dconf in Action

Double click on the contents field so that it becomes editable. Delete all of the text inside it and replace it with the following:

 ['Utilities', 'Sundry', 'Office', 'Network', 'Internet', 'Graphics', 'Multimedia', 'System', 'Development', 'Accessories', 'System Settings', 'Other']

This will automatically sort your applications into appropriate folders, like so:

Categorised Applications Overview

Categorised Applications Overview

Which looks a tad more organised then before:

Uncategorised applications overview

Uncategorised applications overview

Going Further

For those of you that want a wee bit more power and feel like playing a bit more you can remove some of those categories, just watch the semantic of the regular expression to be like this:

 ['Category1', 'Category2', 'Category3', ... 'CategoryN']

Regrettably creating custom category is not yet possible, so you are stuck with the built-in ones.

But what if I mess up?

Oh, don’t you worry about that. There is “Set to Default” button at the bottom right of DConf-Editor that will restore the selected setting to it’s default value:

"Set to Default" button in Dconf

“Set to Default” button in Dconf

How To Add Extra Category Folders to the Gnome-Shell Dashboard OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Handbrake 0.9.9 released and PPA installation instructions included

HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.
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Read the rest of Handbrake 0.9.9 released and PPA installation instructions included (335 words)


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Mark Shuttleworth Talks Mir, Ubuntu Touch & Mudslinging in the Community

MarkShuttleworth460x276

Mark Shuttleworth – Ubuntu founder, multitasker

He’s the founder of Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical, and serves as the creative force behind not only the Unity desktop but its expansion to phones, tablets and TVs. 

In short, Mark Shuttleworth is a very busy man.

But in the weeks following a new Ubuntu release he puts himself in from of the community for a Question & Answer session. Enthusiasts, developers, users, plucky bloggers, and even the odd troll, get the chance to ask mark quite literally anything.

You can find the IRC log of the Q&A at this link.

But since we value your eyes and your time we’ve picked out the best questions and typed them up in a more readable format, and grouped them by topic for your perusal below…

Unity 8 & Mir

Is it wise to use Unity 8 for the first time on a LTS release?

The current plan is to stretch for Unity 8 in 14.04 LTS, but we are confident we can have Unity 7 running there just fine. We already support Unity 7 and it’s getting faster and cleaner as we go,

I’ve heard that Unity 8 is just “a Qt frontend for GNOME.” How is Unity 8 supposed to function?

With the work that’s going into phone and mobile we’re rapidly building a great community around a new portfolio of apps. Those apps will all stretch from phone to desktop (and to TV).

We would like to attract developers from a wide range of backgrounds, including GNOME and KDE and make it easy for them to deliver amazing experiences on Unity. We’re not going to get into an ideological fight, and we think developers should choose.

We’ve built a lot of foundations to support that [and] we’re seeing amazing commitments from games companies and others who have done well on IOS and Android. But i’d like to bring as much of the FLOSS ecosystem along with us too. Everyone’s welcome.

What are the intentions from NVIDIA and AMD to support Mir? Have they expressed any informal views on that matter?

“I find it bizarre to be criticised for writing open source software…”

Too soon to tell, but history suggests that open source communities are prone to hystrionics up front and pragmatism in the long term – so the hystrionics (sic) were unsurprising and a pragmatic result would be equally unsurprising.

The decision making in Mir was solid: Wayland did not meet our needs or yours, we chose to invest in something, and we chose to do it in a very quality-driven way. I find it bizarre to be criticised for writing open source software, and writing it with quality and performance in mind from the start and much of the mud that was flung was unjustified. But that’s the hystrionics (sic) part, it will happen again I’m sure.

Mir is pretty fantastic already – crisp, clean, fast, focused.

How Will GNOME’s development decisions affect Unity 8?

We’ll work as closely with both GNOME and KDE as we can. We have both great relationships and terrible relationships in both cases. There are individuals in GNOME and in KDE that are, respectively, either fantastic or impossible to work with – so disregard any bland statements about how ‘KDE’ and ‘Canonical’ engage. because, as always, it boils down to figuring out who wants to work together, and who doesn’t.

We will do great stuff with both and hopefully act as a central anchor for common standards like we did with indicators, with KDE. It’s difficult to disregard mudslinging, but if you can’t, it becomes impossible to imagine getting anything done together.

Miscellaneous

Will the major PC manufacturers (Dell, Lenovo, HP) increase availability and model range of Ubuntu-preinstalled laptops in Europe?

In the last six months [there have been] a lot of new models from HP, Asus, Dell etc in Europe, and elsewhere. That will, I expect, continue.

How do I, as a K/L/Xubuntu user fit into Canonical’s long term plans?

I hope we continue to strengthen our relationships in the broader ubuntu tent, and add more options too. I love that all of those options exist and invest a good deal to make it possible.

There is work to be done – every cycle, meshing all these gears takes work but we certainly don’t take decisions to exclude elements of our own community. It’s often a nice headline -grabbing hypothesis for a blogger, but there’s no substance to it. At a bare minimum, you will always be able to run any X environment on Ubuntu. We’ve gone to a lot of effort to retain that.

Now, if a particular person or upstream wants to refuse the ability to engage, that would be weird, but it would be their brand of weird, not mine. So anyway, of all the options you listed, i see no reason why they would cease to exist.

What is Your opinion on Windows 8?

Bold choices, right vision, stumbled at the gate but the race is just beginning.

Change is hard. The vision of convergence is the right one so i respect Microsoft for seeing that and focusing on that, but they stumbled with the actual release.

I think they left their actual desktop too much in the past (Win 7.5) and the pushed their tablet too much to the foreground (tiles with a mouse). But they are smart and hungry and being an underdog is wonderfully motivating. For example they are doing a very impressive job on being an open cloud Azure has been transformed from PAAS into IAAS, and in many regards, damn-good-IAAS too.

Sorry to disappoint the prejudiced.

Ubuntu Touch

When will the chip supplier supporting Ubuntu Touch be revealed? It was promised after MWC.

We have a preference to announce things in the most impactful way possible and it isn’t the right time to announce that, here [in an IRC channel]. But well spotted, it’s an important step, and i’m very happy that we have made good progress on the silicon front.

When in the ongoing processes will you know “Ubuntu is going to make it on the phone”?

That’s straightforwardly a question of market adoption.

We have a nice % of PC shipments, and growing. can we achieve the same in the phone, in a year? I think so, based on conversations so far but we’ll know for sure in 2014.

What is very encouraging at the moment is the interest from top tier app developers; it is an easy port for them from Android / BB10 and a lot of their developers use Ubuntu so… why not!

Our Questions

Having choked on my own words when meeting Mssr Shuttleworth at the Ubuntu Phone unveiling back in January, I managed to seize this opportunity to put a few queries of my own out to put to the chap in charge…

Canonical will be Computex next month with Ubuntu Touch for phones and tablets. Will Ubuntu TV also feature? Is Ubuntu TV still ‘in active development’?

aspects of the TV are in active development, but the heart of our team is focused on the phone. We did enough of the TV to prove our design core, and then we’ve put in place a thread of investment on some background pieces that are needed, to do with TV standards. when we want to connect those pieces, or when someone else steps up, it will happen but being great on the phone is the most important thing. the volumes are there, and developers are there

Back in 2011 you announced the (since oft cited) goal of having 200 million Ubuntu users by 2015. Are your expectations wrt to Ubuntu Touch uptake part of this, or do you have a separate goal for Touch?

Yes, that is only achievable with mobile, hence the focus on the phone.

Some have suggested that Ubuntu Touch is Canonical’s ‘last roll of the dice’; the last chance to try and get profitable. The cutbacks on release support cycles and axing the physical UDS seemed to reinforce this idea for some. How committed in the long-term is Canonical to making Touch a success, and supporting its other projects (cloud, desktop, etc)?

Perfectly committed.

We have great design, great engineering, and are engaging with industry. We could do more, but at diminishing marginal returns. It is a stretch to do both. i would like ubuntu to be more than just a developer desktop but we will always be that, regardless to be more, we have to lead, and that’s hard.

Nevertheless, looking around the world, i don’t see others who could potentially do so, putting in nearly the same level of effort. So i would very much like to see that pay off, because this might be a once in a lifetime chance to break out of the cycle of platforms controlled by giants.

And i think it’s worth taking that gap, and appreciate all the support we get from likeminded, passionate, smart people. so, ubuntu is a success as a developer desktop which supports our needs on the cloud just fine.

To lead something like a convergent client worldwide is a project worth doing, dontcha’ think?

Finally quote of the session goes to this gem in response to a question on the ‘new’ virtual Ubuntu Developer Summits (vUDS):

“I really like the vUDS thing. What a great example of the sky NOT falling in after all. Much better the second time.

Sort of like… Unity”

Mark Shuttleworth Talks Mir, Ubuntu Touch & Mudslinging in the Community OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Latest Chrome Release Fixes Ubuntu 13.04 Install Issue

The latest stable release of Google Chrome fixes an issue that prevented it being installed on Ubuntu 13.04. 

A dependency change in last month’s release of Ubuntu 13.04 meant that anyone attempting to install Chrome using Google’s official installer was met with an error. The ‘libudev0′ package required by Chrome to run is no longer available from the Ubuntu repositories.

Ubuntu 12.10, 12.04 or earlier were unaffected.

The good news is that, with yesterday’s release of Google Chrome 27, this roadblock has been solved. Google Chrome, with all its Pepper-Flash and PDF-plugin glory, installs without hitch on Ubuntu 13.04 and, for those already using it, 13.10.

Hit the button below to download Google Chrome for Linux.

Download Google Chrome for Linux

Latest Chrome Release Fixes Ubuntu 13.04 Install Issue OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Skype for Linux 4.2 Released With Much Needed Bug Fixes

skype-liuxAn updated version of of Skype for Linux has been released.

“We rolled up our sleeves and reconsidered the heart of the Skype for Linux client,” the company say of the release, adding: “We’re very excited about the results and think that you will be too.”

‘Excited’ may be overstating it a little.

Skype 4,2 for Linux is largely a bug fix release aimed at improving the general stability of the application, its use with Microsoft Accounts (MSN merged into Skype a while back), and fixing a few well-documented faults introduced in the previous release.

These fixes range from the trivial: larger app icons; localizing prices in Skype WiFi prompts; to the much needed: crash fixes; navigation fixes; not showing features where they can’t be used.

Improvements to existing functionality also feature in the update:

  • Multi-monitor screen-sharing works better, with the workspace Skype is open on being shown by default
  • Microsoft Account users will see a ‘Messenger’ group listing their fellow MSA contacts
  • A button for initiating conference calls has been added to the conversations window
  • Voice messaging button available from Options

Download Skype 4.2

The latest release of Skype can be downloaded from the Skype website. Hit the link below to go there. Select the ‘Ubuntu 12.04 Multiarch’ option before downloading. Despite the ’12.04′ in the name this will also install just fine on Ubuntu 12.10.

Download Skype for Linux

Skype advise 64bit Ubuntu users suffering from audio issues to also install the libasound2-plugins:i386 package.

Skype for Linux 4.2 Released With Much Needed Bug Fixes OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Mixxx – The most advanced free DJ software

Mixxx is a DJ tool that allows for the playback and mixing of digital music (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and Wave).The basic requirements for Mixxx are a desktop computer or laptop with a reasonable amount of storage space on the hard drive for your music, at least 1 audio card for outputting the sound and a way of controlling the software either by mouse, keyboard or hardware DJ Controller.
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Read the rest of Mixxx – The most advanced free DJ software (188 words)


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Microsoft Office Clone Updates Interface, Improves File Support

wps

Kingsoft Office for Linux has been updated with an improved theme, new icons and improved file support.

The entire suite of applications are still in active development on Linux, but the makers, Chinese software outfit Kingsoft, are said to be pushing hard on development following the news that Ubuntu-based distro ‘Ubuntu Kylin’ was to become the ‘official OS of China’.

And this work is showing in the latest preview builds. The interface of each application has been refreshed, with a new look called ’Ongmani’ now default. Other themes are available, including the Windows Aero theme used by previous builds.

internfaces

The icons have also been changed, no-longer looking like they were lifted straight from the Windows desktop. This subtle ‘de-Windows-izing’ of each application extends to various parts of the ‘Ribbon’.

A language selection prompt has been added on first-run. This fixes the biggest issue many non-Chinese users had with previous builds which required a hacky workaround to enable English.

locale-seection

Elsewhere:

  • Sidebar has been reworked to offer more options
  • Additional file support for: TXT, CSV, PRN, XML
  • XLSX file encryption and decryption support

Download Kingsoft Office for Linux

You can download the latest development release of WPS Office below. Note that the .deb installer below is for 32bit Ubuntu but it can be installed on 64bit using ia32-libs.

Download WPS Office for Linux (32bit .Deb)

Microsoft Office Clone Updates Interface, Improves File Support OMG! Ubuntu! – Everything Ubuntu. Daily.

Libreoffice 4.0.3 released and PPA installation instructions included

LibreOffice is a comprehensive, professional-quality productivity suite that you can download and install for free. There is a large base of satisfied LibreOffice users worldwide, and it is available in more than 30 languages and for all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, …).
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Read the rest of Libreoffice 4.0.3 released and PPA installation instructions included (367 words)


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