Unity Contributor Report for Beta 1: It’s peanut butter beta time.

Now that feature freeze is past the team has been concentrating on polishing up Unity for 11.10 Beta 1. While Jono has outlined the user-visible changes in 11.10, here are the meaty guts behind that work and some things that might not seem so obvious to the naked eye.

If you are interested in contributing to Unity then right around this time is the time to do it. The major plumbing has been laid down and it’s all polish from now on, so if you have something that is niggling you then jump on in, instructions at the bottom of this post. Alright, let’s get started:

Unity Contributor Activity This Week

  • Marco Trevisan made it so applications not on the current viewport get a hollow arrow rather than a solid one on the launcher. (Bug #690143)
  • Marco’s also added two new icon backlight options:
    • Edge illumination toggle: illuminate only the edge of the icons linked to running applications.
    • Backlight and Edge Illumination Toggles: illuminate the background of the icons linked to running applications; if the windows of this application are all in a non viewable workspace, then only the edge of the icon is illuminated.
  • Andrea Azzarone fixes it so we do not show the application menu when the launcher is a little to the left/bottom/top in relation to the window-buttons. Fixes LP: #820293
  • Andrea’s also fixed it so Nautilus prompts you before emptying our your trash can (Whoops!) LP: #808162
  • Andrea’s also made it so the launcher detects the contents before the mouse enters the launcher X window. #727901). Fixes also bug #724986 (Launcher reveals when dragging a window widget), and bug #72790 (Launcher icon highlighting should not switch off as soon the cursor moves after the app spread appears) and bug #77302 (any text drag causes bar to show up).
  • Doesn’t show an empty menu when coursor reaches the title in the panel. It refers just to maximized windows, since the case is already fixed for non-maximized ones. Fixes LP: #734900.
  • He’s not done yet folks! Fixes for bug #824831 “Window buttons don’t respect Ambiance Radiance themes”

Other branches for incoming fixes are in the review queue. Thanks to all the contributors who’ve spent time making Unity better. Want to dive in? Check out the big list below and dive in!

Things going on in Oneiric

Today is Beta 1 so there’s been a bunch of polish work. Here is a tour of some of the work in this release of Unity 4.12.0:

  • The Dash has seen a bunch of work this week. Shortcut icons now work, and the “blank” dash showing up us also fixed, drag and drop to the launcher, a horizontal renderer for lenses that need it, nicer blur for the buttons, copy and paste and sizing fixes.
  • A bunch of window management fixes in Unity: various placement issues fixed, offscreen dialogs with Qt apps, fixed the paint system.
  • The blur color has been darkened and should fit more wallpapers (Better color handling and grayscale images now get assigned one color)
  • The panel gets RGBA support, and positioning and resizing fixes.
  • The blur and alt-tab are now much faster.
  • Support for ibus and some other input methods.
  • Tons o’ memory leaks fixed all over the place. (Too many to mention).
  • Alt-tab now has a companion Alt-`, which is window switching for the current application. On english keyboards it’s Alt-`, but it’s actually whatever key is above your tab key depending on your keyboard. Jason explains this in more detail here. here. You can also invoke the per-application switching without using alt-tab first, so if you’re in an application with many windows you can just hit alt-` and you can cycle between the current application windows, then hit alt tab to “go up” to all the applications, alt-tab to the one you want, then alt-` to the individual windows. (This is hard to explain, you’ll have to just try it.)

And here are the bits from last week’s desktop team report (though these are out of date by now, but still interesting):

  • Compiz and Unity upload with a lot of backports last week to get a functional beta1.
  • Compiz stacking bugs (mumble, alt + tab) under investigation and priority for next release with minor gnome integration
  • Next small unity release due to holidays and bank holidays for Thursday (dash and panel fixes mostly)
  • Unity-2d release as well. Seems there is a crash at loading for beta1. It’s fixed in trunk right now (bug #834001)

You can check out the rest of the progress on the desktop from the desktop team’s report for the week.

The Big List

Here’s a list of targeted bugs that would make Unity better to use. Here’s the full list if you want to dig in.

  • 709461 – Application windows can sometimes fail to display and will mask regions of the screen.
  • 700757 – Unity aborts when you plug in an external monitor
  • 732727 – When hiding the clock indicator, a gap appears
  • 792201 – Launcher leaves focus nowhere after Alt+F1, Esc
  • 795065 – Scrolling on top of a close animation switches viewports
  • 816692 – Widget textures are loaded even though they may not be used

How to Get Involved

1. Get the Code

Follow the Step by Step Instructions and Wiki Page. This will get the code from Launchpad, set up your development environment, and getting you used to the Launchpad workflow.

2. Pick a Bug

Here’s the full list, or you can just join the team and watch them roll in and pick what you’d like.

3. Fix your bug and then get your code into Unity

Don’t worry we won’t leave you hanging, you can get a-hold of a Unity developer through many different ways:

  • Join the ~unity-community-hackers team and start digging in.
  • We now have a Weekly Meeting at 1800UTC Wednesdays on #ayatana on Freenode IRC if you feel like hanging with us and getting organized and ask questions
  • #ayatana on freenode IRC during European and American workdays. Or you can post to the mailing list if you have a question.
  • We also have weekly IRC Q+A for any developer who wants to dive in and ask a Unity developer. 7pm-8pm UTC (That’s 2pm EST) every Friday!
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