Archive for the ‘Documents’ Category
I spent last weekend at the Core Apps Hackfest in Berlin. The agenda was to work on GNOME’s core applications: Documents, Files, Music, Photos, Videos, Usage, etc.; to raise their overall standard and to make them push beyond the limits of the framework. There were 19 of us and among us we covered a wide range of modules and areas of expertise.
I spent most of my time on the plumbing necessary for Documents and Photos to use GtkFlowBox and GtkListBox. The innards of Photos had already been overhauled to reduce its dependency on GtkTreeModel. Going into the hackfest we were sorely lacking a widget that had all the bells and whistles we need — the idiomatic GNOME 3 selection mode, and seamlessly switching between a list and grid view. So, this is where I decided to focus my energy. As a result, we now have a work-in-progress GdMainBox widget in libgd to replace the old GtkIconView/GtkTreeView-based GdMainView.
In fact, GtkListBox and GtkFlowBox was a recurring theme at the hackfest. Carlos Soriano and Georges were working on using them in Files, and whenever anybody uses them in a non-trivial manner there is the inevitable discussion about performance. Good thing that Benjamin was around. He spent the better part of a tram ride and more than an hour at the whiteboard, sketching out a strategy to make GtkListBox more efficient than it is today.
Like last year, Øyvind joined us. We talked about GEGL, and I finally saw the new GIMP in action. I rarely use GIMP, and I am not sure I have ever built it from source, but I have been reading its sources on a semi-regular basis for almost a year now. It was good to finally address this aberration. Øyvind had with him a cheap hand-held DLNA media renderer that was getting stuck when trying to render more than one image with dleyna-render and Photos. Zeeshan helped me poke at it, but unfortunately we didn’t get anywhere.
Other than that, Petr Stetka impressed everyone with his progress on the new Usage application. Georges refreshed his patches to implement the new Online Accounts Settings panel, Carlos Garnacho helped me with GtkGesture, and I reviewed various patches and branches that had been on my list for a while.
I spent most of the previous week attending the Content Apps Hackfest in Madrid. The agenda was to work on GNOME’s content applications: Documents, Files, Music, Photos and Videos; to identify missing features and sore points; and raise the standard of the overall content experience in GNOME. Of these, I focused mainly on Documents and Photos.
The first day was spent discussing high-level goals:
- Previews – should the content applications take over the role played traditionally by Evince and Eye of GNOME?
- Status and plans about sharing. We are still waiting for a platform-wide sharing framework, but since it is a crucial feature for some of the applications, it has become a case of perfection being the enemy of good.
- Porting away from GtkIconView to GtkFlowBox. GtkIconView has some very visible problems – it becomes terribly slow when the images are updated; the grid’s content doesn’t re-flow when the size of the widget changes leading to an awkward gutter appearing on the side; cannot pack any GTK+ widget into a GtkCellRenderer.
I set up a live Google Hangouts stream on my laptop to let those who couldn’t attend in person to join us remotely. With Andreas’ help, I fixed the HiDpi breakage in Photos’ cropping tool, Bastien fired some new LibreOffice builds, while the other Bastian revamped Documents’ wiki page.
The second day started with breakfast in Florian’s flat. It was less chatty with people quietly hacking away, presumably, to rest their tired throats. Bastien picked up Pranav’s patches to integrate LOKDocView widget in Documents. I worked a bit on polishing rough edges in Photos’ editing code, and tried to keep up with the endless stream of patches from Alessandro and Umang.
Discussions picked up a bit on the third and final day. Allan spent a lot of time talking to the developers of each application. UX reviews were done, new designs were made, and future plans were sketched out. I spent some time with him working on a roadmap for Photos. We are still cleaning up our rough notes and transferring them to the wiki, but I think it is good enough for others to take a look. Øyvind paid us a surprise visit, and we grabbed the opportunity for some impromptu chat.
GNOME 3.12 is out and it is time to look forward to the next release. Lots of new features to implement and bugs to fix. I spent some time with Allan Day preparing a list of bugs for Documents that are waiting for someone to attack them. The list is here. Pick one that interests you and attach your patch to the bug.
This is part of an experiment that Allan started. We will keep adding new bugs to the list as they come in, and other modules might join the experiment in future.
So, fire up your text editors and see you in bugzilla!
We have continued our work towards having a nice set of core applications for finding and selecting the user’s content. Documents, which is the eldest, received a round of thorough bug squashing for GNOME 3.12. It is a much more mature and well-behaved application now than it was six months ago, mainly due to the work of our QA teams – both upstream and downstream. Photos received a set of nice new features and is well on its way towards fulfilling the role it was designed for.
This was something that was sorely lacking in the previous releases. With the increase in the number of online sources, the inability to be able to filter the content based on some parameters was badly felt. But not any more.
The documentation team has paid a lot of attention to the end-user help for these two applications. Older pages have been refreshed and newer ones written, and I can easily say that GNOME 3.12 will be one of the best in terms of documentation coverage.
In the new GNOME 3.x series there has been a push to integrate the user’s online accounts into the desktop. At the same time we have been working on a new set of core applications for finding and selecting the user’s content. Documents is one such application. It lets you view and search your documents that are stored both locally and online.
GNOME 3.6, which will be released in September this year, will have lots of improvements and new features in this regard. One of them is the integration of Microsoft’s SkyDrive file hosting service. Go to the Online Accounts panel in System Settings (hit the super key or the Activities button and type “online”) to enable your Windows Live account, and you will be able to access your SkyDrive from Documents just as you are now able to do with your Google account.
Here, in these screenshots, you can see that I am viewing the PDFs of the famous Linux Device Drivers (3rd edition) book which are stored on my SkyDrive account.
The development of this new and exciting feature is being tracked here. You can either wait for GNOME 3.6 to come out in September, or you can get the latest copies of gnome-online-accounts, gnome-documents and libzapojit to try it out.