Author Archive

Feb
19

Lumina Desktop 0.8.2 Released!

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2″ branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Changes from 0.8.1 -> 0.8.2:

New Utility: “lumina-info”
  • This utility provides basic information about the current version of the Lumina desktop as well as link to various information online (source repository, list of contributors, bug tracker, etc…).
Theming:
  • New Color Scheme: PCBSD10-Default (the default for new PC-BSD users)
  • Lumina-[Red/Green/Gold/Purple] color schemes updated.
  • “Lumina-Default” and “None” theme templates updated significantly.
  • Make it easier for a distributor to set a default theme/color by just supplying the name instead of the full path (since paths can be different on different OS’s)
  • Fix issue with some fonts not loading properly.
  • Distinguish between “Save” and “Apply” in the theme template editor (“Save” to update the file but keep the editor open, “Apply” to update the file and close the editor). This makes it much easier to test changes to the current theme template as you don’t need to close/re-open the editor to try it out.
  • Add the ability to distinguish between transparent/opaque desktop plugins in the theme template.
Configuration Utility Changes:
  • Add a new dialog for selecting plugins of all kinds. This makes it easier to browse through and read the descriptions of the plugins before actually selecting one.
  • Re-arrange the interface quite a bit. Now the general page arrangements make much more sense (Appearance [wallpaper/theme], Interface [desktop/panels], Applications [auto-start/file defaults], Shortcuts, Session [general options/window system] )
  • Add the ability to set your preferred time/date format(s) in the general session options.
  • Add the ability to reset your preferred file manager/terminal/web browser/email client back to defaults.
Insight File Manager Changes:
  • Make all the file operations happen in a separate thread (does not lock the UI any more).
  • Clean up the detection routine for Qt-editable files (for rotating images in the slideshow in particular).
  • When removing a file in the slideshow, make it simply go to the next/previous image instead of the beginning of the list.
  • Make the ZFS snapshot search functionality a lot faster if just refreshing the current directory.
Desktop Session Changes:
  • For vertical panels, have the clock plugin try to use vertical space instead of horizontal.
  • Clean up a few desktop plugin stability issues.
  • Streamline the session cleanup functionality.
  • Fix some issues with 2nd panel functionality.
  • Reduce the number of backend filesystem watchers (only one per session instead of one per screen now).
Lumina Search Changes:
  • When searching for files/directories, make the initial starting point user-configurable as well as add the ability to exclude directories from the search routine (also configurable by the user).
Jan
22

Lumina Desktop 0.8.1 Released

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment (0.8.1) has just been tagged in the source tree, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and pre-built packages will be available in the upcoming PC-BSD 10.1.1 release (or earlier if you are using the “Edge” package repository).

This version includes quite a number of quality-of-life improvements, new plugins, and the usual assortment of bugfixes. There is a full breakdown of the changes below, but for most of you a screenshot (or two) is worth a thousand words.

Enjoy!

Lumina0.8.1

 

New Features:

1) New Desktop Plugin: “Audio Player”

This plugin allows the user to play audio files directly from the desktop (with playlist randomization if desired).

2) New Panel Plugin: “Home Button”

This plugin will minimize all open windows so the desktop will be completely visible.

3) New Panel Plugin: “Start Menu”

This plugin is the classical alternative to the “User Button”, and provides a simple menu for quickly launching applications.

4) New Slideshow file interactions in the Insight File Manager

When viewing an image slideshow, the user now has the options to delete the current image file, or rotate that image file clockwise or counter-clockwise (automatically updating the image file as necessary).

5) New Backend distribution customization framework.

There is a new system file (<PREFIX>/etc/luminaDesktop.conf), that can be set by the distributor of the Lumina desktop or a system administrator to provide system-wide defaults. This allows full customization of the initial desktop experience for a new user (will not change existing settings), allowing the distributor of the desktop to easily create a customized experience for their users. Along with this comes the ability for a user to reset their desktop settings back to defaults should the need arise (either system defaults or the defaults set by the Lumina project itself). This can be performed through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).

 

Updated Features:

1) Allow a customized user icon for the user button (this same icon will also be utilized for the user in PCDM). This option is available through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).

2) Have panels follow the current desktop theme by default. A customized color may still be specified through through the desktop configuration utility (in the panel settings), and any previous color setting for the panel is still saved as the customized color for that panel.

3) Have desktop plugins now follow the current theme. This allows for a much more unified look and feel, with simple user modification through locally saved modifications to any theme templates.

4) Convert the “Note Pad” desktop plugin to a file-based utility. Now all notes are automatically created in the ~/Notes directory (with the .note extension), and a generic non-note text file may also be loaded into the plugin for editing/watching. All notes in the previous format will be auto-converted to the new format the first time the new version is used. Warning: if you currently have multiple notepad plugins on your desktop, only one of them will have all the notes successfully converted to the new format. Before updating to the new version, it is a good idea to move all your notes into a single plugin instance (and remove the others) to ensure a proper conversion to the new format.

Bug Fixes:

– Fix when auto-hidden panels are re-hidden. This fixes a Qt5 bug where moving the mouse over the system tray was re-hiding the panel, preventing access to the system tray applications.

– Make the userbutton open even faster than before (auto-updates the menu in the background if applications are added/removed from the system).

– Various stability fixes involving the removal of desktop plugins.

– Filenames with multiple “.”s in them will now be properly handled through lumina-open.

– Have the log-out window appear on the current screen (instead of always the left-most screen).

– Make sure the log-out window is closed at the start of the log out procedure.

– Various other small bugfixes

 

Jan
06

Lumina Desktop 0.8.0 Released

The first Qt5-based version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released!

The source code for this release is available in the Lumina repository on GitHub, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and the new package is getting pushed out to the PC-BSD “Edge” repository here in the next couple days. Version 0.8.0 is mainly just an update to all the backend systems, but there are a few notable changes:

Updates for version 0.8.0:

– Uses Qt5 (tested with 5.2) instead of Qt4. This also brings in a new dependency on the XCB libraries.

– Uses the new QMultimedia framework instead of Phonon for playing multimedia files. This has much better results when playing audio/video files through the Insight file manager.

– New built-in single application framework for the Lumina project (no more external dependency for this, and it works on all OS’s).

– New task manager mode (no groups). This reproduces the traditional task manager functionality of one button per window, and it lists the window title for each button. For ease-of-use, this mode is treated as a distinct/new panel plugin through the Lumina configuration utility.

– The task manager “action” menu (right-click) now has many more options that are auto-generated based on the current window state.

– The lumina-open crash reporter for applications now provides details about the crash from the application (if any are available).

 

Bugs Fixed:

– New windows will no longer appear with the titlebar underneath a Lumina panel.

– Command-line inputs with special localized characters are  now properly used.

– Large clean-up of recursive file operations in the file manager. (Better reporting and error detection, add ability to copy a directory into itself, make sure no files are missed during recursive operations).

– Detect when running in a VirtualBox VM (if OS is FreeBSD) and hide the screen brightness controls since these do not work in a VM.

– Clean up how the special “Exec=” field codes are handled for XDG desktop shortcuts (fixes the issues with starting various KDE applications like Okular).

– Various other small bugs fixed.

 

As always, please test it out and submit any bugs or feature requests through the PC-BSD bug tracker.

Nov
19

Lumina Version 0.7.2 Tagged

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been tagged in source! PC-BSD users on the “Edge” package repository should expect to see an updated package available in the next couple days. Please test it out and file bug reports or feature requests as necessary on the PC-BSD bug tracker.

What has changed in this version:

  • Streamline the startup process and Lumina utilities, with many of the utilities now being multi-threaded.
  • Enable login/logout chimes (can be disabled in the lumina-config session settings)
  • New Desktop Plugins:
    • Note Pad:  Take text notes on your desktop
    • Desktop View: Auto-generate icons for everything in the ~/Desktop folder
  • New Utility: “lumina-search”
    • Quickly search for and run applications/files/directories
    • Registered on the system applications menu under “Utilities -> Lumina Search”
    • For new Lumina users, this utility is set to automatically run with the “Alt-F2″ keyboard shortcut
  • New Color Schemes:
    • Lumina-[Green, Gold, Purple, Red, Glass] now available out of box (default: Glass)
  • New backend system for registering default applications:
    • Uses mime-types instead of extensions now
    • All lumina utilities have been updated to work with the new system
    • WARNING: Previously registered defaults might not be transferred to the new system, so you may need to re-set your default web browser/email client through lumina-config after updating to the new version.
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and minor improvements
Sep
04

New Lumina source repo and FreeBSD port

By popular demand, the source tree for the Lumina project has just been moved to its own repository within the main PC-BSD project tree on GitHub.

In addition to this, an official FreeBSD port for Lumina was just committed to the FreeBSD ports tree which uses the new repo.

 

By the way, here is a quick usage summary for those that are interested in how “light” Lumina 0.6.2 is on PC-BSD 10.0.3:

System: Netbook with a single 1.6GHz atom processor and 2GB of memory (Fresh installation of PC-BSD 10.0.3 with Lumina 0.6.2)

Usage: ~0.2-0.4% CPU and ~120MB active memory use (no apps running except an xterm with “top” after a couple minutes for the PC-BSD tray applications to start up and settle down)

 

Aug
28

BSDTalk Interview about Lumina DE

Will Backman has just posted his interview with Ken Moore about the new Lumina desktop environment on the bsdtalk website.  The podcast is only 28 minutes long and goes into some of the history/motivation/philosophy of the project.

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