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Run Ocelot, Run! (Unity Report for 13 July)

This is a guest post from Ahmed Kamal and Jorge O. Castro, who will be posting Unity updates over the coming weeks (Original Post)

Welcome to another installment of the Unity progress report. Many Unity team members are recovering from the Dublin sprint, however the polish is still is still trickling in. Thanks for the great fixes Rafa?, Andrea, Daniel and Oliver! Also a reminder that we have an IRC meeting today at 1800UTC on #ayatana on Freenode if you’d like to get started hacking on Unity.

Unity Contributor Activity This Week

  • Rafa? Cie?lak shows his appreciation to detail by adjusting the distance between application indicators (not applications menus) since they were too apart from each other. The spacing was decreased as a fix to bug #684114 but now has been increased by 1px for a more consistent look.
  • Rafa? also fixes an annoyance where the window title switches to the menu, when hovering over the window buttons in the top panel. This can be a bit distracting indeed, since you would like to act on the window, and not with its menu. Luckily this is no longer the case.
  • Andrea Azzarone does some pretty rocking work as well! Andrea’s commit unmounts/ejects an USB-stick by dragging it to the trash-icon on the launcher. This also spawns a notification to inform the use of the succeeded operation. I really like this one, thanks Andrea!.
  • Andrea also fixes another bug that eliminates unneeded disk-I/O while dragging a launcher-icon to a new position. Less disk I/O is always welcome!
  • Andrea also blows away 5 memory leaks as uncovered by valgrind and fixes a memory leak in the panel indicator. This improves the stability of the panel as well as memory consumption.
  • Daniel van Vugt works on some fit and finish where on mouse-over the highlight background square is now correctly aligned even for smaller icons such as Thunderbird.
  • Oliver Sauder improves the run dialog (the alt+f2) dialog, such that it always opens up showing the most used commands, and not start up blank the first time after reboot. This helps provide a more consistent experience, thanks Oliver for the fix.

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

A pretty nasty bug was squashed which could lock a user out of the system. Apparently this bug is due to the recently uploaded base-files which now creates a /run directory, which might get partially populated during runtime. This confuses udev, causing the keyboard and mouse not work in X ew! Luckily the bug has been squashed, all the juicy details are in 807306

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 the design team has picked out as a result of user testing and feedback that would make Unity nicer to use. Here’s the full list if you want to dig in.

  • 727902 Launcher icon highlighting should not switch off as soon the cursor moves after the app spread appears
  • 676453 Launcher – Add ‘installing’ animation for when app is installed via drag & drop
  • 616866 Installation of apps by dragging them to the launcher
  • 750375 Dash – Cursor navigation allows the user to keep scrolling down indefinitely
  • 765715 Launcher – When a app icon de-couples from the Launcher a small shadow should appear on the bottom and right sides of the icon
  • 767272 Top bar menus – there should be a very quick and subtle fade out/in effect when a user shifts from one menu to another or closes a menu

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 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!