Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bluetooth panel

Nearly implemented in one evening (Friday evening, before the UI freeze), and a day (well, a long day, it's 4:30 AM).

The only thing not implemented is the hardest part, the "active" button, which needs to take into account whether there are Bluetooth devices at all, if one is the default and powered, and handle hardware killswitches as well as software ones (software-based airplane modes for example).

Yay, I can wiggle my mouse

As per usual, refer to the design documents for more information on the changes made.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The screen panel

Following on from the region panel, we now have an updated “Screen” panel for the control-center. Richard worked on the initial version (which you can see in older revisions of the control-center for GNOME 3), and I finished hooking it up this week.

Not much to say about this, except that the lock screen timeout preference now changes the underlying preferences for both “on AC” and “on battery”, as well as the idle time (which is used by a number of desktop components like your IM application).

I'm also very glad that we managed to get rid of the brightness levels based on whether on battery or mains power. This usually worked exactly as you didn't want it to. Now, just use your keyboard shortcuts for those instead of hoping to gouge somebody's eyes out every time you changed power source.

See also the design page for more information about the changes made.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

GNOME 3 Test Day

On Wednesday evening, Fedora Desktop hackers were frantically building GNOME 2.91.6 into rawhide, including a number of rebuilds against newer versions of GTK+, and beta testing Live CD images to make sure they were usable.

On Thursday morning (European time), ISO images were being uploaded by the our favourite QA insomniac. Quite a few people came to test the Live CD, and many bugs were filed.

There were plenty of questions about GNOME Shell itself, and some about the design decisions. So if you did try out one of the many GNOME 3 live CDs, and asked yourself the following questions, we'll try and provide some answers.

Q: The dash is broken, I can't add more than 13 favourites to it!?
A: It's known problem, which also fits into the dash resizing when you drag'n'drop new items to it.

Q: I can't read the full name of certain applications when searching for them in overview mode. Can I haz tooltips?
A: Tooltips, maybe not, but a solution is being worked on. Follow the discussion in this bug.

Q: I can't change my font size, really?
A: You can change it for the applications, in the Universal Access settings. For the shell, it's currently not possible, but it will get fixed.

Q: I don't like how hard it is to create workspaces. Is this the final design?
A: It's not. Owen has been working on implementing Jakub's video mockups. See this bug for all the links.

Q: I use 2 monitors, and GNOME Shell is very difficult to use. Is it going to get fixed in time?
A: Hopefully yes. There are two bugs you can monitor. One is about a bug when using two monitors (or at least, more prominent when using two monitors), the other about the plans for even better multi-screen support.

Q: How do I restart my computer?
A: Type "reboot" in a terminal? Unfortunate, but how to present it needs a bit of design work. Just adding another menu item in the system menu just muddles it.

Q: This is way slick. But the NetworkManager applet looks really out-of-place. Can you make it look cool?
A: Yes! System status legend Giovanni is on the case.

Q: My machine can't run GNOME Shell. What about the fallback mode?
A: It looks pretty sad at the moment. There's plenty of room for improvements here. Feel free to jump in if you want to help those not fortunate enough to be able to run GNOME Shell.

Also notable is the fact that plenty of bugs were filed, and quite a few fixed, that we are exercising the graphics drivers and finding bugs, and that despite some complaints (some of them constructive, but not always), GNOME 3 is looking better and even more usable than GNOME 2 by the day.

PS: We even had KDE make GNOME crash. Or close enough.