This is a guest post from Jorge O. Castro, External Developer Relations Liaison, who will be posting Unity updates over the coming weeks.

Welcome to this week’s Unity report. Due to the holiday in the US this is a day later than normal, but we’ve got good stuff this week. First off is a new contributor, Jamie Rowe’s grabbed Bug 718880. The text label in the trashcan was off my 20 pixels, so he just fixed it. Basically, it wasn’t centered on the trash icon, here’s the before and after:

Don’t worry, these are from two different computers, we won’t turn your labels into French! Jamie adds along:

I’m currently studying for a Bachelor of Computing at the University of Tasmania. I have used Ubuntu for around 4 years and would like to begin to give back to the community now that I feel that I have the knowledge to do so.

Thanks for your work Jamie!

Other Contributors this Week

Pending fixes – Olivier Sauder’s started on Bug 717125, Andrea Azzarone has submitted a tweak for the workspace switcher, and Stefano Candori also returns with a solution to fix dodging active windows. Mathew Rasmus has a fix in hand for Bug 718886. These were all bitesize bugs on the list from last week, so thanks guys for grabbing them and knocking them out. We’ll highlight some of these contributions next week when they’ve landed in trunk.

Other Unity Tidbits

  • Lots of enhancements in the places speedup (with unfortunatly some crashes in some cases)
  • We can now define static quicklists in .desktop files. This is something we can just add to launchers for things like “Open a new window”, or “Create a new document”, even if the application doesn’t explicitly support quicklists.  A proposal has been made on the xdg-list for an OnlyShowIn=unity property. Here’s an example with gnome-screenshot.

  • More A11Y work (API, Thanks Rodrigo Moya!)
  • Unity panel is now themeable (for Radiance and Ambiance)! Waiting on some design acknowledgement for the launcher though.
  • Some navigation and bug fixes
  • A new behavior on the ubuntu logo has landed with proximity fading. We got some feedback and we changed the animation for next release. Crossing fingers that the “lock” state will be more obvious for most of people :)
  • Keyboard shortcuts (phase 1) has landed on the panel, like F10. There is a full list of keyboard shortcuts that you can contribute to.
  • For the full changelog:

Following Progress

Following people’s progress in Unity is pretty straightfoward, I’m going to take a minute to translate some of the jargon for you so you can follow along. People who submit code to Unity do so by bzr pushing to a Launchpad branch. You can see the list of branches for Unity at There you can see trunk, and all the branches people are submitting. Clicking on a branch takes you to it, and shows you all the relevant information. Let’s look at Olivier Sauder’s proposal for show_launcher_in_nav_mode, specifically this part:

This tells us some goodies about what he’s working on. At some point last week Olivier submitted his fix for Bug 717125 into Unity. All submitted branches are code reviewed by members of the Unity or Desktop team. In this case Didier found a problem and tagged the branch as “Needs Fixing”. Olivier will now go back and fix the code and then submit it again. This is how the Unity team works, which is why you’ll often see people asking each other for reviews. All submitted branches need a review before they are merged in. Don’t worry we don’t pick on new people, everybody has to have a review before the code is merged.

So I encourage you to check out branches at, it’s a good place to learn. Here’s the merge proposal for Jamie’s trash can centered label fix. You can click on the diff to see exactly how he fixed it.

Now that you have a better idea, let’s get you started …

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

This week we want to focus on these bugs, pick one:

  • Bug 718889 –  Launcher does not hide/unhide on Expo
  • Bug 660010 – No ‘safely remove’ option is present in the unity menu when a usb disk is inserted
  • Bug 651398 – [dash] scrollbar’s clickable zone should extend to the right border of the dash border
  • Bug 718185 – Dodge active window – launcher should not show when model dialog is opened
  • Bug 703067 – (NEW!) Running/active indicators point to space between launcher icons for folded icons
  • Bug 718885 –  (NEW!) Launcher responds to click off from a quicklist
  • Bug 721121 – (NEW!) Icon in Launcher should be home folder icon
Here’s the full list if you want to find more, feel free to just grab one, assign it to yourself, mark it in progress and get started. I’ll be picking a new selection for each blog post each week, but the list is always changing, so you can always just dive into the list and snag one.

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:

  • #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!
  • Mention session in developer week.
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