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.
Taking advantage of the holidays, I have been dedicating some time to my side projects so today I am giving you OCRFeeder version 0.8.1!
The last OCRFeeder version had a very important change which was the port to GObject introspection and I was already expecting a few bugs to pop up here and there. That proved to be true and so this version is mainly about bug fixing.
Specifically there was an issue related to GDK’s threads which caused the application to abort. Besides that, exporting a document or saving/loading a project was not working correctly due to unicode issues (because Python is very nice but working with unicode is sometimes more annoying than it should be, at least in versions prior to Python 3).
Anyway, all that should be working correctly now!
Besides squashing bugs, I also made some long due changes: made the Preferences dialog smaller (by adding its contents to a scrolled window) and migrated the application and engines’ settings to the XDG user configuration folder as opposed to .ocrfeeder.
Yes, I know that I should be using GSettings for the application’s settings by now but there were more critical changes to be done.
Besides a small change in the widgets that set a box’s type (from a radio button style to a non-indicator, grouped pair of buttons), there are no other UI changes but I really like how much more polished OCRFeeder seems with the nice recent GTK+ styles.
I have a number of ideas to make the application better not only in terms of UI/UX but also in terms of features. The detection algorithm hasn’t been touched for years and I am sure it can be improved not only in terms of performance but also in terms of accuracy.
One cool feature I’d love to see implemented is to have a quick way of translating a document’s contents. This would be helpful e.g. to users living abroad who might need to translate letters to a language they speak.
Nonetheless, as mentioned in my previous post about OCRFeeder, it is indeed not easy to find the time and motivation to dedicate to the project these days with all the work, life and other side projects so I don’t know when I will have time for it again. In that regard, if you want to give me a hand, you’d make me very happy as there is a lot of work to be done.
After a long time without a new release, OCRFeeder 0.8 is out! The previous version was released in February 2013 from another continent 🙂 After that a lot of thingshappened in my life (very good ones) and I didn’t really have much time to devote to the project.
This version represents one big change: it was ported to GObject Introspection (and thus GTK+ 3)!
This is also related to the delay (because GooCanvas’s GI, a dependency, was not usable in the beginning). Also, after the port started, a few things were deprecated in GTK+ — like Stock items — but this will only be updated on a future release.
I didn’t want many new features in this version as I wanted it to be basically about the port to GI. This way, “eventual” bugs are likely to be about this change and not about unstable new features. I included a small novelty however: support for multi-page TIFF images.
There are, of course, some other small improvements that were developed, as well as a number of bugs that were fixed.
Work, life and other projects make it more and more difficult to find the time to work on OCRFeeder. I would nonetheless be happy to help anyone interested in contributing to it to give the first steps. I believe that OCRFeeder is a useful project and not only for accessibility purposes (although this is a great reason on its own!) so, if you like Python, GTK+, and want to help make this project better, drop me an email.
I need to thank one more time to the awesome GNOME i18n team for keeping OCRFeeder available in many languages and to my dear friend Berto for keeping the Debian package up to date and for the useful bug reports!