GNOME Summit Wrap Up: openSUSE perspective

Owen Taylor of gtk (and these days mugshot) fame wrote up a nice summary of the GNOME summit for days 1, 2, 3

A few things I want to highlight from an openSUSE perspective:

1) Pulseaudio

Takashi has had it packaged for a while now, but its not being used by default in 10.3. It provides an esound compat layer, so the adventurous amongst you might try to install it on 10.3/Factory and replace esound. Other desktop and sound system setup info is also available. There are some older screenshots. You may be wondering user wise what you get, the highlights: you get better PnP audio (plug in your USB headphones and the sound output switches), per app volume control, network transparency (stream it to bonjour devices), and you get to never have to wonder about the difference between “Master” and “Master Mono” and cryptically named alsa and oss devices.

This is also me poking Lennart to get a 0.9.7 release out and pointing you to his blog for more info.

2) PolicyKit (and the clock applet)

The guys at RedHat have taken the international clock applet from SLED (which is also in 10.3) and used PolicyKit to enable user to set the time (the UI is more polished already). The authentication for the privilege is done by talking to PolicyKit which is configured by a simple xml file (‘man PolicyKit.conf’ on 10.3). Authentication requirements can range from biometric authorizations, root password, user password (ala OS X), no additional auth needed etc and can be per user/group. PolicyKit exists in 10.3, but its not leveraged very much. In the future however PackageKit and NetworkManager will use it and there are a whole raft of other things we could tie it too to simplify administration in the desktop such as printing, bluetooth, scanners, sound, network configuration with NetworkManager, etc. The latest and greatest requires a new dbus that Timo should be checking in shortly to Factory.

This is me prodding Timo to start blogging again.

3) PackageKit

Very nice demo of PackageKit. Definitely worth exploring in the openSUSE 11.0 time frame. The dream of installing a package by swiping your finger on the finger print reader is nearly a reality. This could save us the trouble of maintaining our own opensuse-updater applets. Need to explore how much effort it would be to write a libzypp backend, Josh and Justin were looking into it, not sure how far they got.

This is me prodding Josh to start blogging again.

4) Accessibility

Sat with the a11y guys for a few hours to determine exactly how broken our a11y support is in 10.3. Its broken, which is a shame because with GNOME and the yast-gtk module you should be able to do everything on an installed desktop, including administering it, with accessbility support. HPJ and I are tracking down the bugs to hopefully ship some updates for 10.3. We are not experts on this subject however, so if you are interesting in helping out, please join the #opensuse-gnome irc channels and the mailing list. Long term I’d like to see if we can turn a11y on at the gdm login screen by default at least for 11.0.

Just of the few potential tasty bits for 11.0.

Boyd was also kind enough to record my winning shot in the Novell vs RedHat Desktop Managers pool competition. jrb did put up good fight though.

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3 Responses to GNOME Summit Wrap Up: openSUSE perspective

  1. Frej Soya says:

    Looks great with the distro takeup for pulseaudo

    Isn’t there a bit of overlap of functionality between pulseaudio/gstreamer?
    Or maybe functionality that really belongs in gstreamer instead?

    Not that it matters really… I just don’t quite get it yet 🙂

  2. Pingback: Justin's Blog

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