Dev Week -- Xubuntu -- Cody Somerville & The Xubuntu Team -- Fri, Jan 23
UTC -4 (EST)
(03:01:01 PM) cody-somerville: Hello Folks :) (03:01:56 PM) thiebaude: hi (03:02:48 PM) cody-somerville: A coworker of mine is just showing me Xubuntu running on some ARM hardware. :) Pretty neat. (03:03:22 PM) cody-somerville: Anyhow, today I'm here to chat about Xubuntu (03:03:34 PM) kahrn_ is now known as kahrn (03:04:21 PM) cody-somerville: I'm going to cover some of the upcoming changes in Jaunty, how you can take part in making those changes, and then I'm going to hand things off to charlie-tca (03:04:35 PM) ***charlie-tca waves (03:04:41 PM) cody-somerville: charlie-tca will talk to you about how to get involved in Xubuntu via testing and QA efforts (03:05:00 PM) cody-somerville: So, first, lets start off with what I'm sure most Xubuntu users would like to hear about... Xfce 4.6. (03:05:31 PM) cody-somerville: We currently have Xfce 4.4.3 uploaded to Jaunty and backported to Intrepid. We're currently working on preparing and uploading the third beta of Xfce 4.6. (03:05:55 PM) cody-somerville: Xfce 4.6 will be the next major release of the Xfce desktop (03:05:55 PM) cody-somerville: environment. The previous release was 4.4 with the last bugfix release (03:05:55 PM) cody-somerville: being 4.4.3. (03:06:31 PM) cody-somerville: Xfce 4.6 comes with a lot of new components, some of them replacing old (03:06:31 PM) cody-somerville: code and some of them being completely new. (03:06:31 PM) cody-somerville: (03:06:31 PM) cody-somerville: Replaced components: (03:06:31 PM) cody-somerville: * libxfce4mcs => xfconf (03:06:32 PM) cody-somerville: * xfce-mcs-manager => xfconf, xfce4-settings (03:06:34 PM) cody-somerville: * xfce-mcs-plugins => xfce4-settings (03:06:36 PM) cody-somerville: * xfce4-mixer => xfce4-mixer (rewrite) (03:06:38 PM) cody-somerville: * xfce4-appfinder => xfce4-appfinder (rewrite) (03:06:40 PM) cody-somerville: (03:06:42 PM) cody-somerville: New components: (03:06:44 PM) cody-somerville: * libxfce4menu (used by xfdesktop and xfce4-appfinder) (03:07:14 PM) cody-somerville: Lets take a quick look at some of the changes: (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: While Xfce 4.4 shipped a centralized settings storage system with (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: dynamically loaded plugins, 4.6 features a D-Bus based settings (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: daemon (xfconfd). All settings dialogs are just standalone (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: applications now which makes the whole platform more flexible. You (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: can now much easier write a settings dialog and remove/add (03:07:28 PM) cody-somerville: components from/to Xfce. (03:08:00 PM) cody-somerville: In addition to xfconf and the settings dialogs being ported to (03:08:00 PM) cody-somerville: xfconf, there will also be tools addressed to users who would you (03:08:00 PM) cody-somerville: like to have direct access to the settings. There is a shell (03:08:00 PM) cody-somerville: application xfconf-query which allows to list/get/set properties (03:08:00 PM) cody-somerville: and a graphical settings editor is in development and will most (03:08:01 PM) cody-somerville: likely be part of 4.6 as well. (03:08:24 PM) cody-somerville: So scripting your desktop will become super-duper easy in Xubuntu. (03:09:00 PM) cody-somerville: One major complaint I hear is about keyboard shortcuts in Xubuntu, luckily Xfce4 developers have addressed that too. Xfce4 developers have tried to make the keyboard shortcuts settings more (03:09:00 PM) cody-somerville: transparent to the user. Shortcut themes have been completely (03:09:00 PM) cody-somerville: dropped and there are dialogs now which help resolving conflicting (03:09:00 PM) cody-somerville: shortcuts between xfce4-settings (command shortcuts) and xfwm4 (03:09:00 PM) cody-somerville: (window manager shortcuts). (03:09:23 PM) cody-somerville: Any questions thus far? (03:09:52 PM) cody-somerville: Okay, awesome. (03:10:04 PM) cody-somerville: Another major complaint was the menu! (03:10:05 PM) cody-somerville: In 4.4 xfdesktop used a pseudo-fd.o-compliant menu system. In 4.6 (03:10:05 PM) cody-somerville: this is replaced by libxfce4menu which aims at implementing the (03:10:05 PM) cody-somerville: fd.o menu spec. It's still in development but covers enough of the (03:10:05 PM) cody-somerville: specification already to replace the old code. (03:10:52 PM) cody-somerville: The volume control (xfce4-mixer) has also been replaced with a (03:10:52 PM) cody-somerville: completely new mixer based on GStreamer 0.10. This removes the need (03:10:52 PM) cody-somerville: to maintain support code for different sound architectures and also (03:10:52 PM) cody-somerville: provides some new features. (03:12:29 PM) cody-somerville: QUESTION:will xubuntu continue to be supported by low machines (~192 RAM)even though applications are growing? (03:14:17 PM) cody-somerville: This is a difficult question to answer. I'd certainly like to see Xubuntu attempt to maintain a lightweight, responsive feeling. Unfortunately, performance degradation in Xubuntu often has to do with low-level components such as X and the kernel. (03:14:42 PM) cody-somerville: However, there has been changes made in Jaunty that will hopefully see a faster login to desktop time. (03:15:04 PM) cody-somerville: QUESTION: What "different sound architectures" did you have in mind? (03:15:34 PM) cody-somerville: bullgard4, since the new xfce4-mixer uses gstreamer, it no longer has to maintain code for different sound architectures like alsa, esd, etc. Gstreamer takes care of it. (03:16:03 PM) cody-somerville: Anyhow, if you'd like to see some videos of Xfce 4.6 in action, an Xfce4 Developer has posted some here:http://lunar-linux.org/~jannis/videos/xfce/ (03:16:19 PM) cody-somerville: Some other enhancements that we're making to Jaunty include: (03:16:39 PM) cody-somerville: * Samba browsing via Thunar (03:16:55 PM) cody-somerville: You can take a look at a screenshot here: http://cody.zapto.org/screenshots/xubuntu_delivers_samba.jpg (03:17:07 PM) cody-somerville: * GIO Mount Manager (03:17:39 PM) cody-somerville: * And other improvements to thunar such as a meta-data pane (03:18:03 PM) cody-somerville: You can take a look at a screenshot here:http://cody.zapto.org/screenshots/Screenshot%20-%20thunar4.png (03:18:09 PM) cody-somerville: * Search in Thunar (03:18:19 PM) cody-somerville: You can take a look at a screnshot here: http://cody.zapto.org/screenshots/Screenshot%20-%20thunar2.png (03:18:31 PM) cody-somerville: QUESTION: Will old plugins to Thunar and Panel work? (03:18:34 PM) cody-somerville: TheSheep, yes (03:19:32 PM) cody-somerville: The next item on my list of things to discuss with you guys today is getting involved. (03:19:41 PM) cody-somerville: Getting involved in Xubuntu is easy and fun! :) (03:19:59 PM) cody-somerville: To start, simply sign up on our xubuntu-devel mailing list and join #xubuntu-devel on Freenode (03:20:23 PM) cody-somerville: We're a friendly bunch and enjoy helping folks learn the ropes :) (03:20:39 PM) cody-somerville: There are tons of opportunity to take initiative and make your mark. (03:21:22 PM) cody-somerville: Packaging, artwork, evangelism, coding, web design, documentation writing, etc. you name it. (03:21:23 PM) cody-somerville: :) (03:21:37 PM) cody-somerville: Not to mention bug triage and testing! (03:21:44 PM) cody-somerville: charlie-tca, :) (03:21:58 PM) charlie-tca: Thank you, cody-somerville (03:22:18 PM) charlie-tca: I am the lead for Xubuntu QA, Testing and Bug Triage. (03:22:37 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu is an ideal candidate for old or low-end machines, thin-client networks, or those who would like to get more performance out of their hardware. (03:23:08 PM) charlie-tca: Also, Xubuntu is the Xfce-based distribution with a native 64-bit architecture. We produce both a 32-bit and 64-bit versions. (03:23:35 PM) charlie-tca: We also produce ports for the Mac PowerPC and Sony PlayStation 3. (03:23:53 PM) charlie-tca: Along with producing those versions comes testing to make sure the distribution actually works. (03:24:25 PM) charlie-tca: The goal is to have each image tested thoroughly before release. Being a small group, that becomes difficult at times. (03:24:39 PM) charlie-tca: To accomplish this testing, almost any hardware will work. I personnally favor a PIII myself. (03:25:22 PM) charlie-tca: I do not use any restricted drivers, and normally get 1400x900 resolution out of these machines. The cpu is only 866MHz. (03:25:40 PM) charlie-tca: We have information on the xubuntu developers wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/Testing/TestingInfo for testing Xubuntu. (03:25:56 PM) charlie-tca: Since it is Xfce-based, many of the tests are unique to Xubuntu. We also use Thunar for the file manager and Listen for music. (03:26:14 PM) charlie-tca: We maintain a short test case for daily images, to allow a quick test to be done. This test is also used for the liveCD testing and shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes to complete. (03:26:50 PM) charlie-tca: We also maintain a longer, more involved test for milestone releases. This allows more thorough testing before the users get the image. (03:27:27 PM) charlie-tca: When testing the images, results are reported on the qa tracker. This allows the Ubuntu QA team to know the images are good or bad, also. (03:28:54 PM) charlie-tca: Most of the bugs we find in Xfce are forwarded upstream to http://bugzilla.xfce.org/ (03:29:15 PM) charlie-tca: OpenOffice.org is not included as a default in Xubuntu, so we handle most of the Gnumeric and AbiWord bugs too, since those are the default applications. They are both very powerful for the user, yet lightweight. (03:29:47 PM) charlie-tca: We have provided procedures for forwarding Xfce and AbiWord bugs upstream. These procedures help to smooth the processes greatly. (03:30:41 PM) charlie-tca: We work very close with xfce, abiword and gnumeric bug teams to help resolve the bugs found. (03:31:23 PM) charlie-tca: We have some really exciting things happening, with Xfce 4.6 coming! We will be the first distribution running this, and will be doing extensive tests to make sure it works. (03:31:55 PM) charlie-tca: we welcome anyone who would like to assist in development, testing, and bug triage! (03:32:19 PM) charlie-tca: Any questions? (03:35:14 PM) charlie-tca: <cody-somerville> QUESTION: What do I do when I find a bug? (03:35:15 PM) charlie-tca: I did leave that out, didn't I. There is information on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu/Bugs for filing bugs found in Xubuntu testing. (03:35:40 PM) charlie-tca: We do report bugs found through launchpad. (03:36:06 PM) charlie-tca: We also try to make sure the bugs are forwarded upstream when needed. (03:36:21 PM) charlie-tca: <tictacaddict> QUESTION: Is XFCE 4.6 planned for Jaunty, then? (03:37:31 PM) charlie-tca: At this time, we are planning to include it in Jaunty. (03:38:14 PM) charlie-tca: The beta 3 is being packaged for us at this time. Hopefully, I get to test it before the Alpha4 release. (03:41:51 PM) charlie-tca: <bullgard4> charlie-tca: GNOME is there because many users like it.Why don't they choose to take XFCE instead? (03:42:32 PM) charlie-tca: Great question! I used Gnome and Ubuntu desktop in the past. I found that on my older equipment, Gnome would react much (03:43:00 PM) charlie-tca: too slow for my uses. I could firerox by itself, with at most 4-5 tabs. (03:43:27 PM) charlie-tca: I had to replace OpenOffice.org apps with AbiWord and Gnumeric. (03:44:01 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu comes ready for me to use on that same equipment. I can now use the system without replacing many of the applications. (03:45:08 PM) charlie-tca: Xubuntu's lower memory requirement and use of light weight applications fit the older hardware very well. (03:47:02 PM) charlie-tca: Any more questions? (03:47:48 PM) charlie-tca: I think that for anyone trying it, you will find that Xubuntu gives excellent performance with no loss of applications. (03:49:07 PM) charlie-tca: We maintain the same release schedule as Ubuntu, and did release Hardy Heron 8.04 as an LTS. (03:50:54 PM) charlie-tca: Since we are using the same repositories as Ubuntu, Xubuntu is as up to date as Ubuntu. (03:50:59 PM) charlie-tca: <ongolaBoy> QUESTION: when will be xubuntu 8.04.2 available ? (03:51:44 PM) charlie-tca: Due to the packaging requirements, Xubuntu will not be releases as .2 ; however, if you update your system, it is automatic. (03:52:20 PM) charlie-tca: The .2 release is simply Ubuntu 8.04 with the latest updates to the point of the .2 release. (03:53:19 PM) charlie-tca: <ongolaBoy> charlie-tca: ok. so the last spin was xubuntu 8.04.1 (03:53:36 PM) charlie-tca: Yes, the last 8.04 spin was .1 (03:55:12 PM) charlie-tca: And, it will probably stay as the 8.04.1 through it's lifetime. Our images are built by the same team, and do use most of the same software. (03:58:46 PM) charlie-tca: I would like to thank everyone for participating! Have a great day! (04:00:14 PM) iulian: Thank you cody-somerville, charlie-tca. That was very interesting.