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Sean Davis: Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 19:55

After six months of development, the latest version of Xubuntu has been released! Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” features the latest in Xfce development and is the first step towards the next Long Term Support release in 2016.

Here’s 10 new things to look for in the latest release.  For a more comprehensive list of changes and a list of download links, please see the official release announcement and release notes.

Appearance Updates
  1. The login screen received a minor visual refresh and greater customization options.

    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.

  2. The new wallpaper for this release adds a splash of pink to the Xfce mouse.

    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

  3. To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn”, pink highlights have been added.  These highlights can be reverted or easily changed to another color with the installed “Theme Configuration” utility.

    Using “Theme Configuration”, you can easily change Xubuntu’s colors to match your mood.

Xfce Updates
  1. Xfce Power Manager 1.4 sports several improvements over previous releases. Brightness controls have been extended to better support backlit keyboards and new laptop displays. The updated panel plugin shows device charge status, adds display brightness controls, and fixes “Presentation Mode” — letting you disable automatic screensavers.

    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10

  2. With the latest Xfce Display Settings, managing multiple monitors is no longer a hassle. Just drag and rearrange the displays to your liking.

    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.

  3. With the updated Xfce window manager, the Alt-Tab switcher has been updated with a refreshed appearance and the ability to select windows with your mouse or by touch.

    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.

  4. With the latest Whisker Menu and changes to the default configuration, applications in the Settings Manager are now searchable.

    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.

Application Updates
  1. With Catfish 1.2, previewing files has been greatly simplified. Easily switch between details and preview mode. When the search index becomes outdated, Catfish will also notify you to update.

    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.

  2. Parole 0.7 introduces a new Clutter-based backend and finally supports video playback in Virtualbox. The media controls are now contained in a slide-over overlay (with a configurable timeout).

    Parole’s interface is further refined with each new release.

  3. Light Locker Settings has been improved, further integrating with Xfce Power Manager to handle screensaver settings.

    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.

 
That’s it for this release, now to get ready for 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”!

Benjamin Kerensa: Such a Utopic Unicorn

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 19:42
I want to congratulate the Ubuntu Teams on releasing another solid release of Ubuntu. I would like to take a moment to encourage those installing and upgrading to Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn to enable Telemetry and Firefox Health Report on Firefox. If you are feeling adventurous, we can always use testers of Firefox Nightly not […]

Joe Liau: Thank You Ubuntu: 10 Years Towards Freedom

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 19:39

Outrageous Birthday Photo (Source)

I have just upgraded to Ubuntu 14.10 and the first thing that I wanted to do was thank Mark Shuttleworth, the Canonical team, and the rest of the Ubuntu community. You have turned my world on its head (and that’s a good thing).

10 years of Ubuntu is worth mentioning and celebrating. I have known and supported Ubuntu for 8 of those years (so far). To put things in context, outside of liking Star Wars and following my personal beliefs, there have been nearly no other things that I have participated in consecutively for that long.

Ubuntu has changed the way that I think about technology, and the way that I interact with people in my community. That’s right; Ubuntu is not just software. I learned this from one of my good friends that I met through Ubuntu. In addition to the new friendships that Ubuntu has fostered, it has also strengthened some of my older friendships.

Ubuntu is about learning, sharing, and growing together. And that’s why I look forward to the many more years to come. Congratulations, Ubuntu!

John Baer: 2014 Chromebook Survey Results

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 17:51

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the 2014 Chromebook survey. Certainly not exhaustive but the numbers do indicate what folks are evaluating when considering a Chromebook. Take a look to see if you agree or disagree.

Survey Synopsis

Design

  • Build Design: Clam Shell
  • Build Material: Polycarbonate Plastic
  • Build Finish: Faux Metal or Black

Performance

  • Preferred SoC Architecture: Intel x86
  • Acceptable Octane Score: 9000 to 10000
  • Minimum RAM: 4GB
  • Minimum Storage: 32GB
  • Smooth Performance: @ 5-10 open tabs

Visual Experience

  • Touch screen: Not required
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
  • Screen Panel: IPS
  • Screen Surface: Matte
  • Screen Size: 13.3″

Usability

  • Keyboard: Backlit
  • Touchpad: Enhanced with pinch to zoom
  • Battery: 8 HRS minimum typical operation
  • Battery: Full Charge in less than 2 HRS
  • Speakers: Enhanced upward facing
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Microphone: dual noise cancelling
  • Memory Card Reader: Standard SD

Connectivity

  • USB Ports: USB 2 & USB 3
  • Thunderbolt Ports: None
  • Bluetooth: Advanced v4
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/c/n & 802.11 ac
  • Video Out: HDMI

Value

  • Target Price: $400.00 US
Survey Details

 Design

I was surprised how few votes the hybrid design received (7%). Although heavily marketed in the Windows ecosystem a quick look at the best selling laptops on Amazon’s confirms the dominance of the clam shell design. The Lenovo Yoga design was voted as the next best alternative to the clamshell.

Although Apple prides itself on its metal designs many folks are saying polycarbonate is acceptable in the Chromebook ecosystem.

I will admit this question is entirely subjective and founded on personal tastes but it is a very important consideration when designing a product. Some designers would state black and white are conservative and colors more daring. A faux metal finish honed from polycarbonate is an interesting choice. The Toshiba Chromebooks are a good example of this and early reviews of the Chromebook 2 are generally favorable. The obvious middle ground to color is to offer covers/skins which cater to those who want something more.

 Performance

Intel’s dominance in the laptop space has to be respected. Although ARM is gaining in performance the real competitive advantage to ARM is price. The new Nexus 9 certainly speaks volumes about Google’s commitment to ARM but for this survey folks expressed a preference for Intel by a three to one margin.

Using Google Octane as the yardstick to measure acceptable performance, about half of the respondents stated a value of 9000 to 10000 would be acceptable. None of the current ARM SoCs meet this standard and only some of the Intel. My observation is folks with a Chromebook or a Chromebox powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U are satisfied with its performance. Some may argue with the right mix of features and price an Octane score of 8000 is sufficient.

Hands down folks want and will spend extra for 4GB of RAM.

Not typically offered in Chromebooks, but respondents voiced the desire for 32GB of local storage. The driver for this may be the ability to store off line content.

Where is all of this horse power going – 10 to 15 open tabs.

 Visual Experience

This was another surprise to me. Touch screen is heavily marketed but most folks said no thanks.

  • 1920×1080 Full HD

  • IPS Panel

  • Matte Finish

  • 13.3 Inches

 Usability

Back lighting is the most requested keyboard option. I believe what folks are really asking for is a keyboard which can be seen in low lighting. There may be other ways to achieve this result without back lighting.

A touchpad with pinch to zoom makes perfect sense without a touch screen. This may be a Chrome OS software enhancement.

  • Eight hours or more of battery performance is today’s standard.

One of the early complaints of Chromebooks was the amount of time required to recharge the battery. With today’s longer battery life this may not be much of an issue.

The Chromebook Pixel set the design standard for speakers and for best quality they need to face up.

  • HD webcam is today’s standard.

If you are going to hang out with your friends noise cancelling microphones are pretty much a requirement.

  • I agree, a standard SD card reader is very convenient.

 Connectivity

Another surprise for me. Folks want USB v2 & v3 ports. Maybe the real answer is USB v3 with backward compatibility to v2.

  • No thanks

Got to have bluetooth and make it v4.

As Chromebooks depend upon WiFi so heavily, leveraging the fastest possible WiFi makes perfect sense.

  • Without question, HDMI is the new standard for video out.

 Value

Here is the million dollar question – can a Chromebook be manufactured to these specs and sold for $400?

The post 2014 Chromebook Survey Results appeared first on john's journal.

Svetlana Belkin: Ubuntu 14.10

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 16:33

Today was the release day of Ubuntu 14.10, code-named “Utopic Unicorn” and my only thoughts are going to this gif from the movie, Despicable Me:

Really, I do think it’s fluffy and awesome!  The only  two features that I noticed that I was able to upgrade from 14.04 to 14.10 without any issues on both of my computers.  That is a first for me.  The other one is the updated icons for the folders of the videos and downloads.  Those do look better than the old ones.

The only thing that I don’t like is that the Unity notifications for new messages is too small.  I hope there is a way to tweak that.

P.S. I did go to the Online release party but I didn’t really enjoy my time since there was too much chatter but it was still fun nagging the bot with !isitout. ;)


Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is out!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:59
A new version of our operating system has been released. You won't notice many cosmetic changes, as this version is considered as a "bug fix release", preparing the way to meet LXQt. Here are some changes:

  • General bug fix release as we prepare for LXQt.
  • Many LXDE components have been updated with bug fix releases.
  • An update of the artwork (more icons, theme update, more compatibilities ...)
  • The Ubuntu 14.10 release v3.16 based kernel
  • Firefox is updated to version 33
  • Gtk updated to version 3.12
  • Xorg 1.16 has better support for non-pci devices

Please, be kind to read the Release Notes before install. Download it now while it's hot!

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S07E30 – The One at the Beach

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:30

We’re back with Season Seven, Episode Thirty of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Laura Cowen and Tony Whitmore bring you this episode whilst Mark Johnson is on a sun-lounger somewhere.

 Download OGG  Download MP3 Play in Popup

In this week’s show:

  • We discuss Mark’s blog post about diversity at OggCamp

  • We also discuss:

  • We share some Command Line Lurve which saves you valuable time and regret: rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh user@host:remote_file local_file
  • And we read your feedback. Thanks for sending it in!

We’ll be back next week, so please send your comments and suggestions to: podcast@ubuntu-uk.org
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: podcast@sip.ubuntu-uk.org and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow us on Twitter
Find our Facebook Fan Page
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The Fridge: Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) released

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:04

Codenamed "Utopic Unicorn", 14.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 3.16-based kernel, a new AppArmor with fine-grained socket control, and more.

Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and improvements to Unity, including improved High-DPI display support.

Ubuntu Server 14.10 includes the Juno release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications – whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes#Official_flavours

Maintenance updates will be provided for 9 months for all flavours releasing with 14.10.

To get Ubuntu 14.10

In order to download Ubuntu 14.10, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Users of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 14.10 if they have selected to be notified of all releases, rather than just LTS upgrades. For further information about upgrading, see:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/features

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/support

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

http://www.ubuntu.com

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:

http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-announce

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Oct 23 18:32:11 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) released

The Fridge - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:04

Codenamed "Utopic Unicorn", 14.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 3.16-based kernel, a new AppArmor with fine-grained socket control, and more.

Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and improvements to Unity, including improved High-DPI display support.

Ubuntu Server 14.10 includes the Juno release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications – whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes#Official_flavours

Maintenance updates will be provided for 9 months for all flavours releasing with 14.10.

To get Ubuntu 14.10

In order to download Ubuntu 14.10, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Users of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 14.10 if they have selected to be notified of all releases, rather than just LTS upgrades. For further information about upgrading, see:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/features

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/support

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

http://www.ubuntu.com

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:

http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-announce

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Oct 23 18:32:11 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

Zygmunt Krynicki: Update on python-glibc

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:09
My pure-python bindings to glibc are progressing at a nice rate. I've made some interesting changes today that I'd like to share.
  • First, there is a clear difference between the raw glibc functions (all in the glibc module) and anything else. You can use them directly just as you would have from C. There's no magic going on and it's all there.
  • Second, we now have a growing collection of python wrappers (in the new pyglibc package), that give low-level primitives nice, high-level, pythonic API. Some of those are straight out of Python 3.4 (but are not a code copy), those include selectors.EpollSelector and select.epoll, some are custom (there's nothing to based this on) like signalfd and pthread_sigmask. More are on the way.
  • Third, and this is pretty interesting. I've decided to build a PEP3156 compatible event loop API. This is paramount for how this code can be consumed. It should roughly work out of the box as a drop-in replacement for the Python 3.4 only asyncio module. Did I mention that it works on Python 2.7? A lot is still missing but I am making progress. This ultimately means that once my contraption makes it into plainbox it won't have to be supported forever (aka job security) and can be discarded once we can depend on Python 3.4. It also means there's a clear, well defined API, a reference implementation (and some others if you look hard enough.
All of that is coming in the 0.6 release that I plan to make later today. The API is stable as I don't like changing my examples over and over so if you want to give it a try, please do so.
My ultimate goal is to scratch my itch. I want to build a reliable test launcher that does monitoring and cleanup. My only constraint is support for Python 3.2 on Ubuntu 12.04 that I have to support. I'm doing a little bit more by supporting Python 2.7 (since it's not costing me anything) on anything that is running the recent enough glibc.

If you're interested in discussing this, using it, adding patches or the like, ping me please.

Randall Ross: Happy 10th Birthday Ubuntu!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 09:41

Ubuntu is 10 today! That's reason to celebrate.

I encourage everyone who's ever enjoyed or contributed to Ubuntu to find the most fun, outrageous, and outlandish birthday photo you can and show it to three people you know who have never heard of (or tried) Ubuntu. Then post it to Planet Ubuntu (or to your favourite place if you can't post here). (If you're not a Planet Ubuntu author, please link to your post in the comments so others can find it here.)

Here's my favourite birthday photo:

Put Orange Candles on Your Head and Celebrate Ubuntu!

10 years may seem like an eternity in the tech world, but I like to remind people that we're only part way along the journey to create technology that respects humans, doesn't treat them as "users", and gives them a voice in the decision-making process. Look around you. Is your technology serving you, or are you part of a predatory business model? Are your friends and family enjoying Ubuntu yet?

I once heard that the path to widespread Ubuntu adoption would be a 20-year journey. I can't remember who to attribute this to, but if you're reading, please chime in, and please accept my thanks for setting realistic expectations. This is a struggle that won't be over soon, but we're well on our way.

I am honoured to be part of the Ubuntu family, and I'm looking forward to the next 10 years. When we have our 20th, the world will be a *much* better place, thanks in part to the wonderful people who make Ubuntu.

And, finally, no Happy Birthday message for Ubuntu would be complete without thanking Mark "sabdl" Shuttleworth. Thank you Mark for being the change you want to see in the world and for inspiring so many (myself included) to work on something meaningful.

--

image by Bart
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa/

Ubuntu GNOME: Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 is released

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 08:38

The Ubuntu GNOME Team is proud and happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Two years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavour to Ubuntu – see the release notes of 12.10 – and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavour. So, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 LTS and today, this is our 5th version and the 4th official one. Let’s find out more about Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Release Notes

Please read the Release Notes before Downloading Ubuntu GNOME 14.10:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuGNOME

Get Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

There are important steps you need to be aware of before installing Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 so please read carefully: Download Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Support

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is supported for 9 months only. This is our Non-LTS Release. If you seek stability and long support, please consider Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS Release. If you seek the latest software/packages that we can offer, then go ahead and use Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Contact Us

Please, see the full list of our communications channels

Thank you everyone

To each and everyone who participated, helped, supported and contributed to Ubuntu GNOME this cycle; big thanks to all of you. Special thanks to our testers who did a unique great job to make Ubuntu GNOME better.

Thank you for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME.

Ali/amjjawad
Non-Technical Leader of Ubuntu GNOME

Xubuntu: Xubuntu 14.10 released!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 05:39

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.10!

The release is available for download by torrents and direct downloads from http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

As the main server will be very busy in the first days after the release, we recommend using the Torrents wherever possible.

For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Highlights and Known Issues

To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn” and to demonstrate the easy customisability of Xubuntu, highlight colors have been turned pink for this release. You can easily revert this change by using the theme configuration application (gtk-theme-config) under the Settings Manager; simply turn Custom Highlight Colors “Off” and click “Apply”. Of course, if you wish, you can change the highlight color to something you like better than the default blue!

Starting with Xubuntu 14.10, you should use pkexec instead of gksudo for running graphical applications with root access from the terminal for improved security. The Xubuntu team has prepared and shipped the necessary pkexec policy files for all default applications in the Xubuntu installation that we deemed necessary.

Please note that changes in the default configuration affect all users who haven’t changed the default configuration. Read more about the default configuration changes in the release notes.

Highlights

  • New Xfce Power Manager plugin is added to the panel
    Note: Upgraders from Trusty will not see the new xfce4-power-manager panel plugin by default, but instead stick to indicator-power. This can easily be resolved by uninstalling indicator-power and adding the “Power Manager Plugin” to the panel.
  • Items in the newly themed alt-tab dialog can now be clicked with the mouse
Known Issues
  • com32r error on boot with usb (1325801)
  • Virtualbox can start with a black screen (1378423)
  • Black background to Try/Install dialogue (1365815)
Workarounds for issue in virtual machines
  • Move to TTY1 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F1), then back to TTY7 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F7) and proceed

For a more complete changelog between Xubuntu 14.04 and 14.10, please refer to the release notes.

Nicholas Skaggs: Sprinting in DC: Wednesday

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 05:37
This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

To kick off the day, I led a session on something that has been wreaking havoc for application test writers within the core apps -- environment setup. In theory, setting up the environment to run your test should be easy. In practice, I've found it increasingly difficult. The music, calendar, clock, reminders, file manager and other teams have all been quite affected by this and the canonical QA team and myself have all pitched in to help, but struggled as well. In short, a test should be easy to launch, be well behaved and not delete any user data, and be easy to setup and feed test data into for the test process. I'm happy to report that the idea of a permanent solution has been reached. Now we must implement it of course, but the result should be drastically easier and more reliable test setup for you the test author.

I also had the chance to list some grievances for application developers with the QA team. We spoke about wanting to expand the documentation on testing and specifically targeted the need to create better templates in the ubuntu sdk for new projects. When you start a new project you should have well functioning tests, and we should teach you about how to run them too!



Just before lunch the community core app developers were able to discuss post-RTM plans and features. A review of the apps was undertaken and some desire for new designs or features were discussed. Terminal is being rebuilt to be more aligned with upstream. Music is currently undergoing a re-design which is coming along great. Calculator is anxious to get some design love. Reminders potential for offline notetaking as well as potential name changes were all discussed. Overall, an amazing accomplishment by all the developers!

After lunch, I spent time confirming the fix for a longstanding bug within autopilot. The merge proposal for fixing this bug has been simmering all summer and it's time to get it fixed. The current test suites for calendar and clock have been impacted by this and have already had regressions occur that could have been caught had tests been able to be written for this area. Having myself, the autopilot team, and the calendar developers in one place made fixing this possible.

To end the day, I spent some time attending sessions for changes to CI and learning more about the coming changes to CI within ubuntu. In summary the news is wonderful. CI will test using autopkgtest, and all of ubuntu will come under this umbrella -- phone, desktop, everything. If it's a package and it has tests, we will do all of the autopkgtest goodness currently being done for the distro.

The evening closed with a bit of fun provided by a game making hackathon using bacon2d and the hilariously horrible "Turkish Star Wars". We could always use more games in the ubuntu app store, and I hear there might even still be a pioneers t-shirt or two left if you get it in early!

Alessio Treglia: Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 04:30

This brief announcement was released yesterday to the debian-devel-announce mailing list.

 

Ciao!

The Debian Multimedia Maintainers have been quite active since the Wheezy release, and have some interesting news to share for the Jessie release. Here we give you a brief update on what work has been done and work that is still ongoing.

Let’s see what’s cooking for Jessie then.

 

Frameworks and libraries Support for many new media formats and codecs.

The codec library libavcodec, which is used by popular media playback applications including vlc, mpv, totem (using gstreamer1.0-libav), xine, and many more, has been updated to the latest upstream release version 11 provided by Libav. This provides Debian users with HEVC playback, a native Opus decoder, Matroska 3D support, Apple ProRes, and much more. Please see libav’s changelog for a full list of functionality additions and updates.

libebur128

libebur128 is a free implementation of the European Broadcasting Union Loudness Recommendation (EBU R128), which is essentially an alternative to ReplayGain. The library can be used to analyze audio perceived loudness and subsequentially normalize the volume during playback.

libltc

libltc provides functionalities to encode and decode Linear (or Longitudinal) Timecode (LTC) from/to SMPTE data timecode.

libva

libva and the driver for Intel GPUs has been updated to the 1.4.0 release. Support for new GPUs has been added. libva now also supports Wayland.

Pure Data

A number of new additional libraries (externals) will appear in Jessie, including (among others) Eric Lyon’s fftease and lyonpotpourrie, Thomas Musil’s iemlib, the pdstring library for string manipulation and pd-lua that allows to write Pd-objects in the popular lua scripting language.

 

JACK and LADI

LASH Audio Session Handler was abandoned upstream a long time ago in favor of the new session management system, called ladish (LADI Session Handler). ladish allows users to run many JACK applications at once and save/restore their configuration with few mouse clicks.

The current status of the integration between the session handler and JACK may be summarized as follows:

  • ladish provides the backend;
  • laditools contains a number of useful graphical tools to tune the session management system’s whole configuration (including JACK);
  • gladish provides a easy-to-use graphical interface for the session handler.

Note that ladish uses the D-Bus interface to the jack daemon, therefore only Jessie’s jackd2 provides support for and also cooperates fine with it.

 

Plugins: LV2 and LADSPA

Debian Jessie will bring the newest 1.10.0 version of the LV2 technology. Most changes affect the packaging of new plugins and extensions, a brief list of packaging guidelines is now available.
A number of new plugins and development tools too have been made available during the Jessie development cycle:

LV2 Toolkit

LVTK provides libraries that wrap the LV2 C API and extensions into easy to use C++ classes. The original work for this was mostly done by Lars Luthman in lv2-c++-tools.

Vee One Suite

The whole suite by Rui Nuno Capela is now available in Jessie, and consists of three components:

  • drumkv1: old-school drum-kit sampler synthesizer
  • samplv1: polyphonic sampler
  • synthv1: analog-style 4-oscillator substractive synthesizer

All three are provided in both forms of LV2 plugins and stand-alone JACK client. JACK session, JACK MIDI, and ALSA MIDI are supported too.

x42-plugins and zam-plugins

LV2 bundles containing many audio plugins for high quality processing.

Fomp

Fomp is an LV2 port of the MCP, VCO, FIL, and WAH plugins by Fons Adriaensen.

Some other components have been upgraded to more recent upstream versions:

  • ab2gate: 1.1.7
  • calf: 0.0.19+git20140915+5de5da28
  • eq10q: 2.0~beta5.1
  • NASPRO: 0.5.1

We’ve packaged ste-plugins, Fons Adriaensen’s new stereo LADSPA plugins bundle.

A major upgrade of frei0r, namely the standard collection for the minimalistic plugin API for video effects, will be available in Jessie.

 

New multimedia applications Advene

Advene (Annotate Digital Video, Exchange on the NEt) is a flexible video
annotation application.

Ardour3

The new generation of the popular digital audio workstation will make its very first appearance in Debian Jessie.

Cantata

Qt4 front-end for the MPD daemon.

Csound

Csound for jessie will feature the new major series 6, with the improved IDE CsoundQT. This new csound supports improved array data type handling, multi-core rendering and debugging features.

din

DIN Is Noise is a musical instrument and audio synthesizer that supports JACK audio output, MIDI, OSC, and IRC bot as input sources. It could be extended and customized with Tcl scripts too.

dvd-slideshow

dvd-slideshow consists of a suite of command line tools which come in handy to make slideshows from collections of pictures. Documentation is provided and available in `/usr/share/doc/dvd-slideshow/’.

dvdwizard

DVDwizard can fully automate the creation of DVD-Video filesystem. It supports graphical menus, chapters, multiple titlesets and multi-language streams. It supports both PAL and NTSC video modes too.

flowblade

Flowblade is a video editor – like the popular KDenlive based on the MLT engine, but more lightweight and with some difference in editing concepts.

forked-daapd

Forked-daapd switched to a new, active upstream again dropping Grand Central Dispatch in favor of libevent. The switch fixed several bugs and made forked-daapd available on all release architectures instead of shipping only on amd64 and i386. Now nothing prevents you from setting up a music streaming (DAAP/DACP) server on your favorite home server no matter if it is based on mips, arm or x86!

harvid

HTTP Ardour Video Daemon decodes still images from movie files and serves them via HTTP. It provides frame-accurate decoding and is main use-case is to act as backend and second level cache for rendering the
videotimeline in Ardour.

Groove Basin

Groove Basin is a music player server with a web-based user interface inspired by Amarok 1.4. It runs on a server optionally connected to speakers. Guests can control the music player by connecting with a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Further, users can stream their music libraries remotely.
It comes with a fast, responsive web interface that supports keyboard shortcuts and drag drop. It also provides the ability to upload songs, download songs, and import songs by URL, including YouTube URLs. Groove Basin supports Dynamic Mode which automatically queues random songs, favoring songs that have not been queued recently.
It automatically performs ReplayGain scanning on every song using the EBU R128 loudness standard, and automatically switches between track and album mode. Groove Basin supports the MPD protocol, which means it is compatible with MPD clients. There is also a more powerful Groove Basin protocol which you can use if the MPD protocol does not meet your needs.

HandBrake

HandBrake, a versatile video transcoder, is now available for Jessie. It could convert video from nearly any format to a wide range of commonly supported codecs.

jack-midi-clock

New jackd midiclock utility made by Robin Gareus.

laborejo

Laborejo, Esperanto for “Workshop”, is used to craft music through notation. It is a LilyPond GUI frontend, a MIDI creator and a tool collection to inspire and help music composers.

mpv

mpv is a movie player based on MPlayer and mplayer2. It supports a wide variety of video file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types. The project focuses mainly on modern systems and encourages developer activity. As such, large portions of outdated code originating from MPlayer have been removed, and many new features and improvements have been added. Note that, although there are still some similarities to its predecessors, mpv should be considered a completely different program (e.g. lacking compatibility with both mplayer and mplayer2 in terms of command-line arguments and configuration).

smtube

SMTube is a stand-alone graphical video browser and player, which makes YouTube’s videos browsing, playing, and download such a piece of cake.
It has so many features that, we are sure, will make YouTube lovers very, very happy.

sonic-visualiser

Sonic Visualiser Application for viewing and analysing the contents of music audio files.

SoundScapeRenderer

SoundScapeRenderer (aka SSR) is a (rather) easy to use render engine for spatial audio, that provides a number of different rendering algorithms, ranging from binaural (headphone) playback via wave field synthesis to higher-order ambisonics.

Videotrans

videotrans is a set of scripts that allow its user to reformat existing movies into the VOB format that is used on DVDs.

XBMC

XBMC has been partially rebranded as XBMC from Debian to make it clear that it is changed to conform to Debian’s Policy. The latest stable release, 13.2 Gotham will be part of Jessie making Debian a good choice for HTPC-s.

zita-bls1

Binaural stereo signals converter made by Fons Adriaensen

zita-mu1

Stereo monitoring organiser for jackd made by Fons Adriaensen

zita-njbridge

Jack clients to transmit multichannel audio over a local IP network made by Fons Adriaensen

radium-compressor

Radium Compressor is the system compressor of the Radium suite. It is provided in the form of stand-alone JACK application.

 

Multimedia Tasks

With Jessie we are shipping a set of multimedia related tasks.
They include package lists for doing several multimedia related tasks. If you are interested in defining new tasks, or tweaking the current, existing ones, we are very much interested in hearing from you.

 

Upgraded applications and libraries
  • Aeolus: 0.9.0
  • Aliki: 0.3.0
  • Ams: 2.1.1
  • amsynth: 1.4.2
  • Audacious: 3.5.2
  • Audacity: 2.0.5
  • Audio File Library: 0.3.6
  • Blender: 2.72b
  • Bristol: 0.60.11f
  • C* Audio Plugin Suite: 0.9.23
  • Cecilia: 5.0.9
  • cmus: 2.5.0
  • DeVeDe: 3.23.0-13-gbfd73f3
  • DRC: 3.2.1
  • EasyTag: 2.2.2
  • ebumeter: 0.2.0
  • faustworks: 0.5
  • ffDiaporama: 1.5
  • ffms: 2.20
  • gmusicbrowser: 1.1.13
  • Hydrogen: 0.9.6.1
  • IDJC: 0.8.14
  • jack-tools: 20131226
  • LiVES: 2.2.6
  • mhWaveEdit: 1.4.23
  • Mixxx: 1.11.0
  • mp3fs: 0.91
  • MusE: 2.1.2
  • Petri-Foo: 0.1.87
  • PHASEX: 0.14.97
  • QjackCtl: 0.3.12
  • Qtractor: 0.6.3
  • rtaudio: 4.1.1
  • Rosegarden: 14.02
  • rtmidi: 2.1.0
  • SoundTouch: 1.8.0
  • stk: 4.4.4
  • streamtuner2: 2.1.3
  • SuperCollider: 3.6.6
  • Synfig Studio: 0.64.1
  • TerminatorX: 3.90
  • tsdecrypt: 10.0
  • Vamp Plugins SDK: 2.5
  • VLC: Jessie will release with the 2.2.x series of VLC
  • XCFA: 4.3.8
  • xwax: 1.5
  • xjadeo: 0.8.0
  • x264: 0.142.2431+gita5831aa
  • zynaddsubfx: 2.4.3

 

What’s not going to be in Jessie

With the aim to improve the overall quality of the multimedia software available in Debian, we have dropped a number of packages which were abandoned upstream:

  • beast
  • flumotion
  • jack-rack
  • jokosher
  • lv2fil (suggested replacement for users is eq10q or calf eq)
  • phat
  • plotmm
  • specimen (suggested replacement for users is petri-foo – fork of specimen)
  • zynjacku (suggested replacement for users is jalv)

We’ve also dropped mplayer, presently nobody seems interested in maintaining it.
The suggested replacements for users are mplayer2 or mpv. Whilst the former is mostly compatible with mplayer in terms of command-line arguments and configuration (and adds a few new features too), the latter adds a lot of new features and improvements, and it is actively maintained upstream.

Please note that although the mencoder package is no longer available anymore, avconv and mpv do provide encoding functionality. For more information see avconv’s manual page and documentation, and mpv’s encoding documentation.

 

Broken functionalities

rtkit under systemd is broken at the moment.

 

Activity statistics

More information about team’s activity are available.

 

Where to reach us

The Debian Multimedia Maintainers can be reached at pkg-multimedia-maintainers AT lists.alioth.debian.org for packaging related topics, or at debian-multimedia AT lists.debian.org for user and more general discussion.
We would like to invite everyone interested in multimedia to join us there. Some of the team members are also in the #debian-multimedia channel on OFTC.

Cheers!

Alessio Treglia
on behalf of the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

 

Nicholas Skaggs: Sprinting in DC: Tuesday

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:13
This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

On Tuesday I was finally able to sit down with the team and plan our week. In addition I was able to plan some of the work I had in mind with the community folks working on the core apps. Being obsessed with testing, my primary goals this week are centered around quality. Namely I want to make it easier for developers to write tests. Asking them to write tests is much easier when it's easy to do so. Fortunately, I think (hope?) all of the community core apps developers recognize the benefits to tests and thus are motivated to drive maturity into the testing story.

I'm also keen to work on the manual testing story. The community is imperative in helping test images for not only ubuntu, but also all of it's flavors. Seriously, you should say thank you to those folks helping make sure your install of ubuntu works well. They are busy this week helping make sure utopic is as good as it can be. Rock on image testers! But the tools and process used weigh on my mind, and I'm keen to chat later in the week with the canonical QA team and get there feedback.

During the day I attended sessions regarding changes and tweaks to the CI process. For core apps developers, errors in jenkins should be easier to replicate after these changes. CI will be moving to utilizing adt-run (autopkgtest) for there test execution (and you should too!). They will also provide the exact commands used to run the test. That means you can easily duplicate the results on the dashboard locally and fix the issues found. No more works on my box excuses!

I also met the team responsible for the application store and gave them feedback on the application submission process. Submitting apps is already so simple, but even more cool things are happening on this front.

The end of the evening found us shuffling into cab's for a team dinner. We had a long table of folks eating Italian food and getting to know each other better.


After dinner, I pressured a few folks into having some dessert and ordered a sorbet for myself. After receiving no less than 4 fruit sorbets due to a misunderstanding, I began carving the fruits and sending plates of sorbet down the table. My testcase failed however when the plates all came back :-(



Nicholas Skaggs: Sprinting in DC: Monday

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:01
This week, my team and I are sprinting in Washington DC with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Sprints are always busy, but the work tends to be a mix of social and technical. I get to assign names (IRC nicknames mostly) to faces as well as get to know my co-workers and other community members better.

I thought it might be useful to give writeups each day of what's going on, at least from my perspective during the sprint. I won't yammer on too much about quality and instead bring you pictures of what you really want. And some of this too. Whoops, here's one.

Pictures of people taking pictures . . .Monday was the first day of the sprint, and also the day of my arrival! Personally I'm busy at home during this week, so it's tough to get away. That said, I can't imagine being anywhere else for the week. The sprints are a wonderful source of respite for everyone.

Monday itself consisted of making sure everything is ready for the week, planning events, and icebreakers. In typical fashion, an opening plenary set the bar for the week with notes about the progress being made on the phone as well as the future of the desktop. Lots of meetings and a few blurry jet lagged hours later, everyone was ready to sit for a bit and have some non-technical conversation!

Fortunately for us there was an event planned to meet both our social and hunger needs. After being split randomly into teams of bugs (love the play on quality), we played a bit of trivia. After each round teams were scored not only on the correct response, but also how quickly they responded. The questions varied from the obscure to fun bits about ubuntu. The final round centered around Canonical itself which was fun trip down memory lane to remember.

As I crawled into bed I still had the wonderfully cheesy announcer playing trivia questions in my head.


Kubuntu: Kubuntu 14.10

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:10

Kubuntu 14.10 is available for upgrade or install. It comes in two flavours, the stable Plasma 4 running the desktop we know from previous releases, and a tech preview of the next generation Plasma 5 for early adopters.

Zygmunt Krynicki: Launching a process to monitor stdout, stderr and exit code reliably

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 07:50
Recently I'm fixing a rather difficult bug that deals with doing one simple task reliably. Run a program and watch (i.e. intercept and process) stdout and stderr until the process terminates.
Doing this is surprisingly difficult and I was certainly caught in a few mistakes the first time I tried to do this. I recently posted a lengthy comment on the corresponding bug. It took me a few moments to carefully analyze and re-think the situation and how a reliable approach should work. Non the less I am only human and I certainly have made my set of mistakes.
Below is the reproduction for my current approach. The implementation is still in progress but it seems to work (I need to implement the termination phase of non-kill-able processes and switch to fully non-blocking I/O). So far I've used epoll(7) and signalfd(7). I'm still planning to use timerfd_create(2) for the timer, perhaps with CLOCK_RTC for hard wall-clock-time limit enforcement. I'll post the full, complete examples once I'm done with this but you can look at how it mostly looks like today in the python-glibc git tree's demos/ directory.
I'd like to ask everyone that has experience with this part of systems engineering to poke holes in my reasoning and show how this might fail and misbehave. Thanks.
The current approach, that so far works good on all the pathological cases is to do this.The general idea is that we're in a I/O loop, using non-blocking I/O and a select-like mechanism to wait for wait for:
 - timeout (optional, new feature)
 - read side of the stdout pipe data
 - read side of the stdout pipe being closed
 - read side of the stderr pipe data
 - read side of the stderr pipe being closed
 - SIGCHLD being delivered with the intent to say that the process is deadIn general we keep looping and terminate only when the set of waited things (stdout depleted, stderr depleted, process terminated) is empty. This is not always true so see below. The action that we do on each is event is obviously different:If the timeout has elapsed we proceed to send SIGTERM, reset the timer for shutdown period, followed by SIGQUIT and another timer reset. After that we send SIGKILL. This can fail as the process may have elevated itself beyond our capabilities. This is still undecided but perhaps, at this time, we should use an elevated process manager (see below). If we fail to terminate the process special provisions apply (see below).If we have data to read we just do and process that (send to log files, process, send to .record.gz). This is a point where we can optimize the process and improve reliability in event of sudden system crash. Using more modern facilities we can implement tee in kernel space which lowers processing burden on python and, in general, makes it more likely that the log files will see actual output the process made just prior to its death.We can also use pipes in O_DIRECT (aka packet mode) here to ensure that all writes() end up as individual records, which is the indented design of the I/O log record concept. This won't address the inherent buffering that is enabled in all programs that detect when they are redirected and no longer attached to a tty.Whenever one of the pipes is depleted (which may *never* happen, lesson learned) we just close our side.When the child dies, and this is the most important part and the actual bugfix, we do the following sequence of events:
 - if we still have stdout pipe open, read at most one PIPE_BUF. We cannot read more as the pipe may live on forever and we can just hang as we currently do. Reading one PIPE_BUF ensures that we catch the last moments of what the originally started process intended to tell us. Then we close the pipe. This will likely result in SIGPIPE in any processes that are still attached to it though we have no guarantee that it will rally kill them as that signal can be blocked.
 - if we still have stderr pipe open we follow the same logic as for stdout above.
 - we restore some signal handling that was blocked during the execution of the loop and terminate.There's one more trick up our sleeve and that is PR_SET_CHILD_SUBREAPER but I'll describe that in a separate bug report that deals with runaway processes. Think dbus-launch or anything that double-forks and demonizes
If you have any comments or ideas please post them here (wherever you are reading this), on the launchpad bug report page or via email. Thanks a lot!

Ubuntu LoCo Council: Regular LoCo Council Meeting for 21 October 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 05:45

Meeting information

#ubuntu-meeting: Regular LoCo Council Meeting for October 2014, 21 Oct at 20:00 — 21:33 UTC
Full logs at http://ubottu.com/meetingology/logs/ubuntu-meeting/2014/ubuntu-meeting.2014-10-21-20.00.log.html
Meeting summary

Opening Business

The discussion about “Opening Business” started at 20:00.

Listing of Sitting Members of LoCo Council (20:00)
For the avoidance of uncertainty and doubt, it is necessary to list the members of the council who are presently serving active terms.
Marcos Costales, term expiring 2015-04-16
Jose Antonio Rey, term expiring 2015-10-04
Pablo Rubianes, term expiring 2015-04-16
Sergio Meneses, term expiring 2015-10-04
Stephen Michael Kellat, term expiring 2015-10-04
There is currently one vacant seat on LoCo Council
Roll Call (20:00)
Vote: LoCo Council Roll Call (All Members Present To Vote In Favor To Register Attendance) (Carried)
Re-Verification: France

The discussion about “Re-Verification: France” started at 20:03.

Vote: That the re-verification application of France be approved and that the period of verification be extended for a period of two years from this date. (Carried)
Update on open cases before the LoCo Council

The discussion about “Update on open cases before the LoCo Council” started at 20:19.

LoCo Council presently has before it pending verification and re-verification proceedings for the following LoCo Teams: Mauritius, Finland, Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Serbia.
The loco-contacts thread “Our teams reject the new LoCo Council policy”

The discussion about “The loco-contacts thread ‘Our teams reject the new LoCo Council policy’” started at 20:20.

Requests from the Galician and Asturian teams

The discussion about “Requests from the Galician and Asturian teams” started at 20:59.

Vote: That the Galician Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo team notwithstanding representing less than a country. (Carried)
Vote: That the Asturian Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo Team notwithstanding representing less than a country. (Carried)
Marcos Costales, in his capacity as leader of Ubuntu Spain and as a member of LoCo Council, stood aside from both votes.
Any Other Business

The discussion about “Any Other Business” started at 21:13.

Those who have requests of the LoCo Council are advised to write to it at loco-council@lists.ubuntu.com for assistance.
Vote results

LoCo Council Roll Call (All Members Present To Vote In Favor To Register Attendance)

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 4/0/0)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, costales, SergioMeneses
That the re-verification application of France be approved and that the period of verification be extended for a period of two years from this date.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 4/0/0)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, costales, SergioMeneses
That the Galician Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo team notwithstanding representing less than a country.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 2/0/1)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, SergioMeneses
That the Asturian Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo Team notwithstanding representing less than a country.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 2/0/1)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, SergioMeneses

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