Archive for July, 2010

No, it’s not a bug in my site

I maintain a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record testing tool. If you happen to use it and it says your record isn’t valid, your first action should not be to email me and ask if it’s a bug in the tool. That is all.

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Menubar for Gtk and Qt/KDE apps on Kubuntu

Recently, I showed the new global menu bar in action on Maverick’s Kubuntu Netbook.  That post only covered getting the menubar widget to work with Qt/KDE applications.  I’ve now got it working for Gtk apps too.

Gimp using the menubar

This is a screenshot of me editing the last post’s screenshot with The Gimp on Kubuntu Netbook.

To get Gtk applications working with plasma-widget-menubar, you need to install appmenu-gtk using your favorite package management system.  Currently there is one special trick needed in addition.  You need to edit /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80appmenu and remove “export APPMENU_DISPLAY_BOTH=1”.  After you’ve installed the package and edited the file, you’ll need to restart your session.

Kubuntu Netbook Remix is Dead! Long Live Kubuntu Netbook Remix!

We aren’t releasing Kubuntu Netbook Remix for Maverick (10.10).

We will definitely have Kubuntu optimized for netbooks.

What we have done is added Plasma Netbook to the standard Kubuntu desktop ISO and added some detection magic to select Desktop or Netbook based on screen size for first run.  Once it’s running, you can change to your preferred Plasma workspace through systemsettings.

Why did we do this:
1.  Efficiency – Every ISO needs testing and that needs testers and there are only so many of us to go around.  Every ISO takes up space, has seeds to be maintained, etc.  It takes work.  One less is that much less work.
2.  ShipIt – Starting with 10.10, the Kubuntu CD you can get through ShipIt will also supports Netbooks
3.  Avoiding brand dilution – Now we’re back to “Kubuntu”, not which Kubuntu do you want (except for Kubuntu Mobile, but more about that later).

We tested this out for Maverick Alpha 2 and it seemed to work reasonably well, so we are pressing forward.  There are a few wrinkles yet to iron out, but we’ve got a lot of development time left for solving those.

Global menu in action in Kubuntu Maverick

Mark Shuttleworth already announced the Global Menu for Ubuntu Netbook Edition, 10.10.  The idea to minimize usage of vertical space is also a key design principle behind Plasma Netbook.  Fortunately, Aurélien Gâteau, part of Canonical’s Ayatana Project, has provided a Qt/KDE implementation (for those interested in such details, the related Qt patches will go upstream in Qt 4.8).

Kubuntu Global Menu in Action

If you want to experiment with this yourself on Maverick, you just have to install plasma-widget-menubar and then add the widget to your panel.  Once you restart your session, it should be working.  You can right click on the widget to configure it.  Aurélien loves bug reports, so give it a try and keep him busy.

We would like to include this in the default Kubuntu netbook interface for Maverick, 10.10 if it’s mature enough. It has a few rough edges yet, but it’s already advanced significantly from the prototype demo we saw at UDS.