Thursday 23 June 2011

Pretty, oh so pretty

There was a tiny problem with the Bluetooth panel has it was implemented in GNOME 3. There wasn't a way to rename the Bluetooth adapter. Well, there was a way, but it wasn't implemented, but it was there, in our minds.

We started by adding support to the Info panel to set a machine's pretty hostname, as implemented by systemd. Looks simple enough.

The next step was to make bluetoothd know about this file, and use it to name Bluetooth adapters, instead of crappy hostnames. And voila.

Implemented as it should be.

If you have applications where using a device's name (as opposed to the user's name) makes sense, please look into using the machine's pretty hostname.

If you want to test all this, packages will soon be trickling into Fedora 16 (aka Rawhide). All the patches are upstream, though the bluez patches are still pending.

Friday 17 June 2011

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, final day

Today was a shorter day, with many of the attendees taking their leave before the week-end (and a pizza lunch turning into kitchen discussions).

Today focused on brainstorming around a Conversation app, to eventually replace Empathy. There are still many problems to be solved before that jump can be made though, so don't expect it to happen for GNOME 3.2.

The other topic today was a reusable contact selector widget, to be used in applications that offer sharing to contacts, like Tiffany's on-going GSoC for document sharing in Evince.

No cats were harmed during the making of this hackfest.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, day four

Day four. People had bad dreams last night due to the huge amount of cheese ingested. Will need to seek counselling. Travis' knee doesn't hurt too much anymore.

Today we discussed the interaction of the “presence chooser” in the Shell's user menu with IM statuses, especially given that we soon hope to make it possible to answer chats without launching an “empathy” binary. A number of options were discussed, and the best one now lives in a bug. (Note that both reports are incredibly detailed, thanks to Will Thompson's amazing screenwriting skills).

Morten then presented his current plan for integration of contacts within the Shell. More details are available on the wiki, and most of the problems and potential solutions were discussed at a high-rate, given the well-known problem space.

We missed out on some interesting changes to account creation (as well as edition) in Empathy/Telepathy yesterday.

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, day three

Day three, and the walls are closing in.

Some of our hosts mention they have “work to do” and hide away from light, behind shades.

Alex Larsson showed up, bright and early in the Collabora offices, and most of the day has been spent working on a Folks hit list [1] with Travis and Philip as tech leads. Integration of GnuPG contacts metadata (can I encrypt e-mails for that person?), as well as more general IM integration in apps (slide-show sharing for example) was also mentioned, as we hope to share most of this infrastructure.

[1]: Travis' knee was on the hit list, got whacked against a table leg.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, day two

Day two, in the Collabora house, Rob Bradford graced us with his presence, on his birthday, and today started discussing integration of gnome-online-accounts into Empathy/Telepathy[1], libsocialweb and interactions with various accounts systems.

Most of the rest of the pre-lunch hacking was about setting ourselves up for hacking on the above. The afternoon was spent with much of the same, trying to get more documentation for things like Google's Chat authentication, including a draft patch to gnome-online-accounts, Empathy/Mission Control work for this support, and tons of related bug fixes.

The Telepathy hackers also discussed text handling in Telepathy (with the goal of making the specification clearer, avoid problems of "missed" messages, etc.).

[1]: and

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, the sponsors

Many thanks to Intel, Red Hat, and the GNOME Foundation for sponsoring participants at the hackfest, and heaps of thanks to Collabora who are contributing a lot of participants to this hackfest, their offices, their coffee machine, and getting us pizza and Nutella dough balls yesterday. Num Num!

Monday 13 June 2011

IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest, day one

In Cambridge (the proper one, in Cambridgeshire), at the Collabora offices, for the first day of our IM, Contacts and Social Hackfest.

Today, we:
  • discussed end-user problems with Telepathy and Empathy's gnome-shell integration (and started the specifications necessary to fixing some of those bugs) (everyone for the problems listing, Danni and Guillaume for the start of bug fixing)
  • started working on integrating gnome-keyring dialogues into the Shell (Stef Walter)
  • fixed libfolks bugs (Philip), and discussed a potential problem API problem in the folks to evolution-data-server synchronisation code (which will be used in the Contacts API) (Travis, Raul, Bastien)
  • packaged up gnome-online-accounts for Fedora (Bastien)
  • worked on better high-level tp-glib support for file transfers (Morten)
  • HMAC support in glib (Stef Walter)
Tomorrow we'll have Rob Bradford joining us, and probably start talking about GNOME Online Accounts integration with libsocialweb, as a way to kickstart its use all across the desktop.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Small tablet improvements

I recently added two new plugins to gnome-settings-daemon, which should make life a little bit better on tablet computers, such as the WeTab/ExoPC that most MeeGo developers seem to have lying around.

The first plugin is the orientation plugin, which will read the orientation from udev (which itself reads it from the accelerometer), and rotate the display and the input touchscreen as appropriate.

The second plugin is the cursor plugin, which will simply hide the mouse cursor when you don't have a mouse attached to a computer with a touchscreen.

Related to those are two gnome-shell bugs. Related to orientation is this bug about providing smoother XRandR transitions in gnome-shell, and related to cursor is a way to show activity in the shell panel when a busy cursor would be shown.

No screenshots, because a vertical desktop with no cursor isn't that interesting.

If you're interested in testing out this on a WeTab, you'll need the accelerometer driver in the kernel, udev git (or udev 172 when it's released) and gnome-settings-daemon master.

And if you want support for another tablet device, check out this discussion on the linux-input list, and drop me a mail if you need more guidance.