Unity Progress Report – Alt-Tab style

Welcome to another installment of the Unity report. This week sees the new alt-tab landing (which is currently bound to ctrl-tab), here’s what it looks like:

Unity Contributor Activity This Week

  • Andrea Azzarone just pushed tons of work for improving launcher device management. Andrea has added a ccsm option to show/hide external devices on launcher, ccsm options enable you to choose to display all devices, only mounted devices or none! Improvements also include a “Keep in launcher” quicklist item also for external devices. Apart from that, Andrea also committed some unity performance improvements to avoid uncessassry X round trips
  • Marco Trevisan fixes window title fade effects, which was broken on Oneiric, yaay!
  • Treviño also improves openGL detection code for locales that use a comma to represent numerical versions. Treviño also contributed some indicator related updates to use new apis
  • Daniel van Vugt cleans up some unity code which was redundant. Daniel also optimizes drawing of panel menus, this removes white flashes seen in the panel menus, by avoiding to call unneccassry low level gtk/X11 functions

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

  • Last week saw the new compiz ( out. We noticed some performance regressions with it. There is currently a workaround in light-themes to minimize the added boot latency and the slowdown during it’s running. Seeing the results of the unity dialogs, there is both code issues and design issues, we decided to revert the feature for now.
    • Unity:
      • new unity release (unity-place-applications, nux, unity).
      • Bring some initial new Alt + Tab support. This one doens’t support multiple instances of applications for now. This will come soon. Once feature complete, it will become the new Alt + Tab (but depends on the above compiz feature). For now we’ve mapped this to Ctrl-Tab so you need a working Alt-Tab you can still use that but still play with Ctrl-Tab. When this is complete it will be the new Alt-Tab.
      • We noticed misc breakage in keyboard and mouse handling (dash navigation, super key, mouse middle click). Some parts are due to the new compiz, others by the new unity.
      • New release normally this week
    • Unity-2d:
      • imminent release (today or tomorrow). This one will bring indicator-gtk3 panel! (no more indicator gtk2 stack on the CD). Better navigation on the dash and full a11y support. dconf support for settings (and shared settings for launchers between unity 3D and 2D), enabling gnome3 integration.
      • dconf-qt packaged, some fixes, pushed in oneiric and MIR acked. Just wait on the new unity-2d to actually promote it
      • work on making kubuntu people life easier, but still having the appmenu gtk support without bringing gtk on the CD for them (will be brought by first gtk app there)
  • 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!


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2 Responses to “Unity Progress Report – Alt-Tab style”

  1. David Says:

    Ctrl+tab? Won’t that break flipping through application tabs (eg Firefox tabs)?

  2. MaTachi Says:

    Looks really good!

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