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#1 2015-07-30 01:50:20

g7
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The Semplice 8 development thread

So it's time to think about the next release! The Semplice 8 development has officially started.

From now on, no more features will be pushed to Semplice 7 and Semplice for Workstations 2015.

How to upgrade?

You should enable the "semplice-devel" channel. You can do so by enabling the "Enable development updates" checkbox in Settings → Updates or by issuing

sudo channels enable semplice-devel

in a terminal.

Then, a regular dist-upgrade will upgrade your system to Semplice 8-devel. Note that, obviously, you need to run

sudo apt-get update

first to update the package list cache.

What to expect

As always, Semplice 8 development will follow the "what-Eugenio-likes™" development model.
Every item in the list below will start with a proof-of-concept, but only those which got more love by the end of the year will be included in the final Semplice 8 release.

A final release is expected for early next year.

The things I'd like to work on in this cycle are:

  • PackageKit integration

  • Better Software/OS update management*

  • Packages pattern support (will replace metapackages)*

  • New panel

  • New notification daemon

  • New login greeter

  • Improved multi-monitor support*

  • Openbox configuration exported and handled by vera-plugin-openbox*

  • vera-control-center as a DBus service*

  • Launcher separated by the rest of the desktop*

The items marked with * are more likely to ship in time for Semplice 8.

I'm of course open to suggestions. You can post your thoughts here!


The last Semplice 7 updates lowered the barrier for upgrading to the development release. I hope that this will result in more feedback (and will avoid the release of a preview ISO image).


Happy hacking!
Eugenio


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#2 2015-07-30 02:02:52

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Openbox configuration exported and handled by vera-plugin-openbox

This is already working if you upgrade today:

CLAxfvhWsAAcVtn.png

You are now able to:

  • Change the Openbox theme (Settings -> Appearance -> Theme)

  • Choose to show the window icon or not(Settings -> Appearance -> Theme)

  • Change the font used in the window title, root menu and on-screen-display (Settings -> Appearance -> Fonts)

  • Permanently change the number of virtual desktops (Settings -> Desktop)

  • Change the openbox configuration file, by changing the config-path key in org.semplicelinux.vera.openbox

You'll need vera-desktop version 1.10.1, vera-plugin-openbox version 1.10.1 and vera-control-center version 1.0.18.

Relevant commits

Please note that due to the ongoing issues with SourceForge, some mirrors may not be fully updated and don't carry the new packages.

Enjoy!
Eugenio


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#3 2015-07-30 05:03:37

Maro
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

g7 wrote:

Please note that due to the ongoing issues with SourceForge, some mirrors may not be fully updated and don't carry the new packages.

right. my mirror doesn't work (Hash Sum mismatch)

W: Failed to fetch http://heanet.dl.sourceforge.net/project/semplice-linux/archive/dists/changes-unstable/main/binary-i386/Packages  Hash Sum mismatch
W: Failed to fetch http://heanet.dl.sourceforge.net/project/semplice-linux/archive/dists/unstable/main/binary-i386/Packages  Hash Sum mismatch

can anyone give working one? thx in advance.

cheers,


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#4 2015-08-01 01:12:09

truscellino
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

I have got the same hash sum mismatch... we'll try again later I think... when apt is not cooperative, I generally end up cleaning things up with rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* and apt-get clean...

As regards the evolution of Semplice, I personally like that the configuration & management are becoming very neat, with less and less reliance on various old tools (obconf etc.), scripts and config files all over the place, progressively replaced by proper linux modern technologies like dBus, PackageKit + vera as the grandmaster on top of all these things.
The Packages Pattern idea is fantastic too, as each user will be able to tailor the system to suit his/her needs.

All of this without falling into the trap of developing a super fat, unmaintainable monster or re-inventing the wheel. Superb!

To go even further in that direction, my wish would be to have the possibility to define in the vera "settings" some user "profiles", that would group together some config parameters. As an example, I would have a "home" profile where everything is enabled for comfort (say, network, bluetooth, printing etc.),  a "live performing" profile that is very lean and targeted at system responsiveness (i.e. no network, no bluetooth, no printing, no power management...), a "travelling" profile that would be also lean and used to enhance battery life, etc.
There are workarounds today, but - again - involving manual fiddling...

That was my wish.

Anyway, I am looking forward to discovering Semplice 8 features  smile

Last question: There is no "donate" page for semplice? I know that there is a "shop" where we can get T-shirts etc. but I would rather simply give money to the project...

Marc

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#5 2015-08-01 08:30:02

wongs
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

There is no "donate" page for semplice? I know that there is a "shop" where we can get T-shirts etc. but I would rather simply give money to the project...

Ha! I asked Eugenio a few times about this, and finally just got meself a T-shirt.   :-D

I didn't like the standard text for the shirts, so I made my own.  I would however have preferred to just donate.

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#6 2015-08-02 00:18:15

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Maro wrote:

can anyone give working one? thx in advance.

truscellino wrote:

I have got the same hash sum mismatch... we'll try again later I think...

SourceForge should have been returned to normality now, so everything should be fine. A new package is in the build queue, and as that will regenerate the 'Packages' file probably the issue should go away in a few hours.

Anyway, you may use archive.semplice-linux.org, which is not in SF's network and gets syncronized directly from the master buildd server. The url to put in the sources.list is http://archive.semplice-linux.org/semplice/archive/.

truscellino wrote:

To go even further in that direction, my wish would be to have the possibility to define in the vera "settings" some user "profiles", that would group together some config parameters. As an example, I would have a "home" profile where everything is enabled for comfort (say, network, bluetooth, printing etc.),  a "live performing" profile that is very lean and targeted at system responsiveness (i.e. no network, no bluetooth, no printing, no power management...), a "travelling" profile that would be also lean and used to enhance battery life, etc.
There are workarounds today, but - again - involving manual fiddling...

That was my wish.

That's a great idea. Thank you for the suggestion. My Jolla phone does something similar: system settings (currently that is unfortunately limited to ringtones and system volume) are changed when a specific back cover is attached or a special wallpaper has been selected.

The next SW upgrade should bring more features there, like time, bluetooth and WiFi based activation of profiles (the phone connects to the Home WiFi network: the Home profile is activated) and that may be shamelessly ripped off in Semplice wink

dconf can manage multiple settings databases. I should document myself more on the topic smile


truscellino wrote:

Last question: There is no "donate" page for semplice? I know that there is a "shop" where we can get T-shirts etc. but I would rather simply give money to the project...

wongs wrote:

Ha! I asked Eugenio a few times about this, and finally just got meself a T-shirt.   :-D

I now have a PayPal account (that is not mine, as i still don't own a credit card hehe). I may put a donation link somewhere.
Thank you both for even having thought at that smile It's really appreciated.


Eugenio


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#7 2015-08-02 15:42:46

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

If dconf can manage multiple settings databases there could well be one profile for when a laptop is docked and another for when it is undocked. Or even when a machine is moved from one network type to another (from home network to a corporate network for example).


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#8 2015-08-03 15:50:10

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

I have documented myself a bit on dconf profiles but they can only be specified at the start of the session, so it's not practical for a feature like the one we are discussing here.

So another way to do this is to use a DBus daemon that changes the settings on-the-fly when the user changes the profile.


Eugenio


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#9 2015-08-04 16:25:02

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

g7 wrote:

I have documented myself a bit on dconf profiles but they can only be specified at the start of the session, so it's not practical for a feature like the one we are discussing here.

So another way to do this is to use a DBus daemon that changes the settings on-the-fly when the user changes the profile.


Eugenio

That could well be the best way to go about it in implementing the use of multiple profiles. For a laptop you should have an Undock option on the menu to safely undock the laptop and notify the daemon and then switch to the Undocked profile for example

Last edited by DeepDayze (2015-08-04 16:25:30)


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#10 2015-08-05 18:00:35

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Ideally, the daemon should do so automatically: every profile would have a set of "triggers" (time of the day, wi-fi, bluetooth, power) and when one of those is met (user undocks the laptop -> UPower sends the notification to listeners via D-Bus (including the daemon) -> the daemon switches the profile) the profile is enabled.


Eugenio


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#11 2015-08-10 03:12:48

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

g7 wrote:

Ideally, the daemon should do so automatically: every profile would have a set of "triggers" (time of the day, wi-fi, bluetooth, power) and when one of those is met (user undocks the laptop -> UPower sends the notification to listeners via D-Bus (including the daemon) -> the daemon switches the profile) the profile is enabled.


Eugenio

That should be the ideal way to do it in my opinion as for laptops, the hardware generally changes when user places a laptop into a dock.


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#12 2015-08-10 23:25:26

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

What do you mean with "the hardware generally changes"?


Eugenio


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#13 2015-08-21 02:19:34

Liberto
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Hi Eugenio!

Have you thought at some slight browser? (Midori, Epiphany...)

Iceweasel are very heavy..., more and more.

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#14 2015-08-21 13:26:20

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Iceweasel is going to remain the default browser. But in Semplice 8 removing it and installing another will be easier! smile


Eugenio


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#15 2015-09-19 15:36:34

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

So things have been a bit silent here lately, but that doesn't mean that development stalled! smile

As I shared some weeks ago on Twitter, the new upgrade framework on Semplice 8 is taking shape:

CN-4htyWwAAmRTr.png

It doesn't use PackageKit, but plain APT (via the python-apt bindings). This way I have more control on the upgrade process.
The functionality is implemented in directly in (lib)channels, the "Updates" control center item is only a front-end to it.
They talk via DBus and this means that even when the Control Center is closed the upgrade process will continue.

Unfortunately everything it's still local as it needs polishing (and actually the upgrade installation process doesn't still work yet) but I hope to at least push the changes in the libchannels/channels/vera-control-center-module-updates repositories on GitHub soon.


Eugenio


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#16 2015-09-19 17:07:25

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

g7 wrote:

So things have been a bit silent here lately, but that doesn't mean that development stalled! smile

As I shared some weeks ago on Twitter, the new upgrade framework on Semplice 8 is taking shape:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CN-4htyWwAAmRTr.png

It doesn't use PackageKit, but plain APT (via the python-apt bindings). This way I have more control on the upgrade process.
The functionality is implemented in directly in (lib)channels, the "Updates" control center item is only a front-end to it.
They talk via DBus and this means that even when the Control Center is closed the upgrade process will continue.

Unfortunately everything it's still local as it needs polishing (and actually the upgrade installation process doesn't still work yet) but I hope to at least push the changes in the libchannels/channels/vera-control-center-module-updates repositories on GitHub soon.


Eugenio

Looks good and this is much like how Windows Update works. If this becomes better than Synaptic then I'd definitely look forward to this.


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#17 2015-09-20 17:04:40

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

I'll try my best smile It should at least warn the user if the upgrade process is going to remove some "core" packages.


Eugenio


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#18 2016-09-19 11:53:42

riesermauf
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Hallo
one year later, is Semplice 8 dead ???

Greetings

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#19 2016-09-20 03:30:35

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

riesermauf wrote:

Hallo
one year later, is Semplice 8 dead ???

Greetings


I surely hope not. I do realize that Eugenio has been real busy with a new job and all that, but he should at least pop in now and then to keep us updated as to what's going on.


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#20 2016-09-21 11:41:56

blaze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Sometimes life takes over and forces us to commit all we got to it. Be patient and let us hope for the best.
He is active on Twitter so just give him some time to organize his life and we will see. smile


...just another openbox lover...

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#21 2016-09-30 01:02:20

g7
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Hello, sorry again for my late reply. Unfortunately this past month I have been very busy, at work and elsewhere and when I was at home in front of my personal computer I haven't had the energy to actually do something productive.

I thank (and admire) you for your patience in these quiet months and I'll try to be more active here.

As said before, I still have plans to at least release Semplice 8 and a matching Workstations release once Debian stretch is released. And, to whom it may concern, I still obviously use Semplice daily.

On the status of Semplice 8 development, while this thread hasn't been updated since September 2015, things, albeit slowly, moved. For example, the update framework is in semplice-devel since ~December (still not complete, and I have to update it to fix some quirkynesses with the latest GTK+).

Things are now somewhat blocked by an infrastructure migration that I want to do. The buildd server is currently located in my parents' home and I want to migrate it on a remote server (which is the same one that currently hosts the repository and cdimages).
Unfortunately, as the codebase is pretty old I have to finish upgrading it in order to make it work with Debian jessie [1].

There is also a kernel upgrade in the pipeline (4.1.30, soon to be 4.1.33), which is still blocked by the above. I may try to push it regardless though, so watch out.
The next major kernel upgrade will be with the next LTS, so 4.9. That will be the kernel version Semplice 8 will ship with.

Also, the installer got improved support for Macs (with 64-bit UEFI).

So, what is missing for Semplice 8?

- Pattern support, which is partially implemented
- Better multi monitor support
- The obligatory bug fixes smile
- Separated launcher

I'll try in the coming weeks to build up-to-date snapshots, but before as mentioned I have to complete the buildd migration.


As I said many times this year, I thank you for your patience. Returning here and still seeing activity is heartwarming, and a testament to the fact that I actually made something good in the past 7 (!!) years smile


Ciao,
Eugenio

[1] I have in mind a complete rewrite of the buildd infrastructure, but that is something for the after-Semplice 8


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#22 2016-09-30 01:52:11

DeepDayze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Welcome back (even for a bit), Eugenio. Good to see you are still alive!

Yes work and life in general will take away from time spent on Semplice but at least try to pop in once in a while to keep us updated smile


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#23 2016-09-30 05:58:49

wongs
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Welcome back, Eugenio.  I'm still using Semplice but it's not my main distro.

I haven't done a full dist-upgrade for some time - just selectively updating in Synaptic certain apps and groups of packages  - because every time I log on, there appear to be certain serious to grave bugs that affect quite a lot of other things.

And one bug seems longstanding - keyboard-configuration.  The bug report for this package has not gone away for close to 2 months.  I'm beginning to think I should just update it anyway. 

If this weekend the bug is still there when I try to update again, I'll post the bug message from apt-listbugs.

Last edited by wongs (2016-09-30 06:02:11)

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#24 2016-09-30 20:09:14

blaze
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

Hey, nice to see you again g7. Many thanks for the update. Take care smile


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#25 2016-10-01 04:40:39

Dan
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Re: The Semplice 8 development thread

g7,

Great to hear from you, and yes...I still blame you for turning me into an Openbox fiend! LOL!

While I would absolutely love to see Semplice continue indefinitely, I certainly understand the priorities that life puts on a person. Where Semplice goes in the future, I don't know...but know this...you've made an impact on my life...and I thank you for it. I'm looking forward to Semplice 8.

Take care my friend...


...and I thought I was ready for Sid...

Sid = Someone instigated disorder! smile

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