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GNOME

GNOME: Mutter, Shell, Fractal and More

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GNOME
  • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | May and June 2020

    The volunteers and contributors working on Mutter and GNOME Shell have been busy in the past couple of months — so much so that we didn’t have bandwidth to write the May development report!

    As a consequence, this development summary will have an above average number of changes to highlight.

  • Jonas Ådahl: Splitting up the Frame Clock

    Readers be advised, this is somewhat of a deep dive into the guts of Mutter. With that out in the open, lets start!

    Not too long ago mutter saw a merge request land, that has one major aim: split up the frame clock so that when using the Wayland session, each CRTC is driven by its own frame clock. In effect the goal here is that e.g. a 144 Hz monitor and a 60 Hz monitor being active in the same session will not have to wait for each other to update, and that the space they occupy on the screen will draw at their own pace. A window on the 144 Hz monitor will paint at 144 Hz, and mutter will composite to the monitor at 144 Hz, while a window on the 60 Hz monitor will paint at 60 Hz and Mutter will composite to the monitor at 60 Hz.

  • GNOME Shell + Mutter Off To A Good Start For Summer 2020

    The GNOME Shell and Mutter have seen a lot of work come together nicely over the past two months.

    The GNOME Shell blog is out with their recap of development work that landed over the months of May and June.

  • Important Patches Land To Improve GNOME's Multi-Monitor Experience With High Refresh Rates

    If you have say a 144Hz gaming monitor as well as a conventional 60Hz secondary display or any other multi-monitor configuration with different refresh rates, there is now another reason to get excited for GNOME 3.38.

    [...]

    This is very important for improving the multi-monitor experience with such configurations as up to now capping the refresh rate to match is a less than desirable experience. This work landed today in Mutter for September's release of GNOME 3.38. This next release is shaping up to be quite exciting with the plethora of optimizations to already land thus far. It is important to note that this multi-monitor improvement only benefits the GNOME Wayland session and not under X11.

  • Alejandro Domínguez: Refactoring Fractal: Remove Backend (II)

    So the time came for removing the Backend struct finally! The bits that were left in the previous patch have been removed, which were not just state but a ThreadPool and a cache for some info. Those were fitted in AppOp without too much thought on consistency of it.

    But what does this actually mean for the internal structure of the code?

    The result is that any state or utility that was needed for requests and modifying the UI is held only from a single place in the app. With it, the loop in Backend has been removed as well, and instead of sending messages to the receiver loop from the backend, those are sent from a spawned thread (to keep the UI thread unlocked) that sends the HTTP request directly and retrieves the response. Put in a simpler way, I replaced message passing to the backend loop with spawning threads, which was done anyways in the loop to be able to have multiple requests at the same time.

    I acknowledge that doing this kind parallelism with system threads in 2020 is a very crude way of doing the task, to say the least, but using coroutines requires a significant amount of work in other areas of the app right now.

  • GSoC 2020: the first milestone

    During the community bonding period, I had a video call with my absolutely amazing mentor Alberto, who told me about GNOME culture, and about his inspiring journey with GNOME as contributor. In the last month, I have been welcomed by the community and am very proud to be contributing to GNOME.
    Here’s a summary of the technical work that has been done in the last month.

  • Marcus Lundblad: Summer Maps

    Since it's been a while since the last post, I thought I should share a little update about some going ons with Maps.

Is GNOME or Unity the desktop for you?

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GNOME

I wrote about the fantastic new(ish) distribution Ubuntu Unity, and that post exposed serious division and opinions surrounding the Linux desktop. It wasn't so much an "I dislike Unity or GNOME," as it was more along the lines of full-blown hatred for one or the other. At least on one side of the spectrum--the other side was fandom.

It's clearly a love or hate relationship with these desktops.

I understand such an issue is a matter of taste. I prefer a modern take on the desktop that performs in a very efficient way, but many others prefer the old-school desktop metaphors, found in the likes of Cinnamon, Mate, and KDE.

Neither opinion is wrong--that's the beauty of opinion.

I'm taking another approach to the comparison between GNOME and the Unity desktop. I highlight the pros and cons of each and then suggest which users would be the best fit for either desktop. There is no scientific method going on here. I've been using and covering Linux for more than 20 years, so it's all about experience and knowing how the evolution of the Linux user has changed over the years. With that said, let's take a look at GNOME and Unity.

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Arc Menu 47, Popular Gnome Extension Released With New Layout

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GNOME

Arc Menu 47, Popular Gnome Extension Released With New Layout

Arc Menu v47 with a new menu layout called “Tognee” is now available for the download. Arc Menu is a Gnome shell extension designed to replace the standard menu found in Gnome 3.

“Flip Layout Horizontally” and “Searchbar Location” options is now available in traditional panel layouts.

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GNOME Shell Review: Minimal Desktop with Great Performance

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GNOME
Reviews

If I had to guess, I would probably say that a huge majority of Linux users have/had used GNOME Shell in one way or another. It’s the default Desktop Environment on a huge number of very popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, and Pop!_OS, and it’s an option for installation on even more. This GNOME Shell review will cover performance, user experience, and recommendations on who will find GNOME Shell to be a good fit.

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KDE and GNOME: Plasma 5.19 in Groovy Gorilla, GSoC and Fractal

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KDE
GNOME
  • Plasma 5.19 testing in Groovy Gorilla

    Are you running the development release of Kubuntu Groovy Gorilla 20.10, or wanting to try the daily live ISO?

    Plasma 5.19 has now landed in 20.10 and is available for testing. You can read about the new features and improvements in Plasma 5.19 in the official KDE release announcement.

  • GSoC Review 1 - Qt3D based backend for KStars

    In the fourth week of GSoC, I worked on adding support for Skybox which supports the projection modes implemented last week. I also added the grid implementation in KStars based on the prototype.

  • GSoC ’ 20 Progress: Week 3 and 4

    The past two weeks did not see as much progress as I would have liked because of my university exams and evaluations. Now, let’s focus on the work that I could do before I got swamped with the academic work and term exams.

    I started the third week by working on drafting a basic QML display of the subtitle model items, like the position of the subtitles in the timeline. I drafted a basic delegate QML model to display the start positions of each subtitle line. Then I began working on integrating the back-end part (which I had mentioned in the previous post) with the basic front-end part (displaying the position of the subtitles).

    In this process of integrating the subtitle model with the QML delegate model, I encountered a few logical errors with my code and some connections with the Subtitle Model which I had completely overlooked. It was also during this time that I realised I had missed out some key functions while writing the subtitle model class.

  • Google Summer of Code 2020 – week 4 and 5

    Hi, today I will talk about my week 4 and week 5 and bring some news!

    The last post was short but this one will make up for it, explaining some important bits, and changes, in the structure of mark that changed/improved during the first month of coding in GSoC.

    In week 4, I documented a huge part of the existing code, although there is still a need for some updates. Currently in week 5, I am fixing some bugs of the new logic and I will document the newly created Painter class (more information below), also start developing the logic for text annotation.

  • Fractal: Refactoring and the review process

    In this year GSoC, Alejandro is working on Fractal, moving code from the backend to the client, to try to simplify the code used to communicate with the matrix.org server and maybe in the future we can replace fractal-matrix-api with the matrix-rust-sdk. And then we'll have less code in our project to maintain.

    This is a great work, something needed in a project with a technological debt of several years. I created this project to learn Rust, and also I was learning about the matrix protocol during the project build. And other contributors do the same. So we've been building one thing on top another for a lot of years.

    In this kind of community driven projects it's the way to go. For some time we've people interested and developers think about the design and start change some parts or to write new functionality following a new design pattern. But voluntary developers motivation change in time and they left the project and the next one continues the work with a different vision.

Arc Menu 47 Released with New Layout, Other Improvements

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GNOME

A new version of Arc Menu, the popular app launcher extension for GNOME Shell, is now available to download.

Arc Menu v47 includes a new menu layout (called “Tognee”, and pictured above), adds the option to rank installed software in alphabetical order (very handy), and introduces a new (and entirely opt-in) “frequent apps” view.

Mouse scrolling and keyboard navigation is said to be improved in this release; application context menus and tooltips boast better contrast; and there are new preset themes.

The icon picker, which lets you set a different menu icon, boasts some UI tweaks to make sifting through and finding glyphs a touch faster and saner. A selection of new panel icons are also said to be available include an openSUSE icon.

Also look out for new “Flip Layout Horizontally” and “Searchbar Location” options available in traditional panel layouts.

Finally, Arc Menu 47 requires GNOME 3.36. You can continue to use older versions of the menu on GNOME 3.34 and earlier, you just won’t get all of the ‘new’ stuff mentioned in this roundup.

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GNOME Shell's Icon Grid Could See Almost Double The Performance

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GNOME

On top of an optimization to lower render times and reduce power usage and fixing window culling as another performance optimization, Canonical's Daniel van Vugt also came across another serious optimization for GNOME Shell's icon grid performance.

Due to hundreds of primitives being recopied from the CPU to GPU each frame, the icon grid performance was being slowed down dramatically. Daniel van Vugt has proposed a change to keep labels now pre-rendered on the GPU rather than having all these unnecessary copies made each frame.

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scikit-survival 0.13 Released

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Software
GNOME
Sci/Tech

Today, I released version 0.13.0 of scikit-survival. Most notably, this release adds sksurv.metrics.brier_score and sksurv.metrics.integrated_brier_score, an updated PEP 517/518 compatible build system, and support for scikit-learn 0.23.

For a full list of changes in scikit-survival 0.13.0, please see the release notes.

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Another Intel 4K + GNOME Optimization Yields 5% Faster Render Times, 10% Lower Power Use

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GNOME
Ubuntu

Daniel van Vugt of Canonical who has been responsible for many GNOME performance optimizations in recent years has another tantalizing improvement under review.

Recently the Canonical developer has been working on improving the Intel graphics experience on GNOME particularly at 4K after he upgraded his display and was unimpressed by the current level of performance for this default Ubuntu desktop environment.

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Advice for getting started with GNOME

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GNOME

GNOME is one of the most popular Linux desktops today. It started as a humble desktop called the GNU Network Object Model Environment (GNOME) and was built on top of the GIMP GTK libraries. Its 1.0 release was announced in 1999, just two years after the project got started.

Today, the most widely used Linux distributions provide GNOME 3 as their graphical desktop, and it's a great place to start learning Linux. As with any open source desktop, GNOME is extremely amenable to customization. You can alter and add to GNOME until it best suits your unique style of work.

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