As Berlin’s fireworks roar outside (for hours now!), I want to write my typical end of year post with some thoughts of 2016 and what’s coming.
We are leaving behind a year that many (most?) of us will not miss. I hope 2017 will be a better one but the global events that took place throughout 2016 do not make me very confident about that. With unusual political events affecting the lives of millions of people, an apparently acceptance of indecency, bigotry, and hate, together with the ongoing humanitarian crisis and senseless violence, this is surely not the world I had pictured for my children.
Still, I want to be positive and hope that by seeing what’s happening in some places, people can make good choices in 2017 (I am talking in broad terms but we got some important elections coming soon in Europe).
On a more positive note — because personally 2016 was actually a very good year –, this past year I also started working for Endless and moved from SwitzerFrance to Berlin, Germany. I love my job and I have been working very hard to do my share of Endless’ mission. The current direction of the world only validates our mission more, and motivates me to work harder. It’s difficult however to make time for everything, and again my pet projects took the hit, so no big updates in that subject this year.
The other big news is that Helena and I will be parents again soon! The joy of raising a child is something so special that it is hard for me to put into words so I can just say that we are of course extremely happy and curious (and scared too) about how life will be with two kids.
It was the first time I participated in a Core Apps hackfest and I must say I am really glad with how it all went. I felt like there was a perfect balance of planning, working, and just hanging out together. If you want to know more about the planned items, check out this very complete post by Carlos Soriano.
I focused on GNOME Software, leveraging the chance of having Allan Day and Jakub Steiner (from the GNOME Design team) nearby to get some long due ideas implemented upstream. They were restless in helping the different projects!
Here are the things I got done and are already integrated upstream:
— The way to show an installed app was by displaying a label “Installed” with a blue background on top of the app tiles, sometimes even covering important parts of them; now we use GNOME Software’s shopping bag icon with a check-mark, and a simpler “Installed” label when appropriate:
— The expander widget that reveals the secondary categories now remains visible when expanded, allowing to hide them back;
— Merged the Education and Science categories; they had so many apps in common that it just made sense to make them one:
Display sizes in the installed view
— For some users it is important to quickly see how much apps are occupying so they can decide to eventually remove them; as indicated by Jakub, this should be a temporary measure while we do not have this information in the Usage app which is the right place to display that:
Until the next!
In the end I am happy with the outcome but there were two main features I didn’t have time to implement: categories redesign, and a license agreement dialog.
I must also say that it was very nice to work along with Kalev and we both missed Richard who unfortunately could not make it. Cosimo also came all the way from SF for the hackfest which was great because we could tackle some Endless OS related tasks that were more complex to discuss over the interwebs.
It was great meeting everyone and I am looking forward to participating in the next one!
Special thanks to Kinvolk for sharing their space, their snacks, and their help in organizing everything. Also to Collabora for sponsoring the nice dinner on Friday.
So our latest and greatest Endless OS is out with the new 3.0 version series!
The shiny new things include the use of Flatpak to manage the applications; a new app center (GNOME Software); a new icon set; a new Windows installer that gives you the possibility of installing Endless OS in dual-boot; and many bug fixes.
Apps, apps, apps!
One of the big changes is the replacement of our old (and in-house) App Store by GNOME Software — the GNOME app center. Most of my time the past months has been spent in adapting this project to our needs. GNOME Software is surely a complex beast but I have been getting the invaluable help of its maintainer — Richard Hughes — who I now owe many Weißbiere.
Last week I gave a talk at the first edition of the Libre Application Summit in Portland about the work we’re doing regarding the applications story in the Endless OS: the evolution of the applications in the OS, the motivation behind some decisions, the changes we did to GNOME Sofware, etc. A video and slides should be up on the internetz soon if you want to know about that in more detail.
Join the future
The changes in this new 3.0 version may not seem such a big deal on the surface but everybody had to work really hard to make it happen and they open a lot of possibilities for our users and developers. We’re betting big on Flatpak and we want to see it succeed as not only Endless would benefit from it but pretty much every user of a Linux desktop. So if you’re an app developer, check it out and talk to the community if you need some help. We’re also still hiring, in case you are looking for new challenges.