Saturday, 26 September 2009

Ubuntu Netbook Remix Karmic

As Karmic hit beta freeze this week, and the artwork began to freeze, I thought it would be a good time to introduce the latest version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR):

As you can probably tell, the largest change from the previous version is a new design and layout. This is thanks to the awesome work of the design team. In addition to the new UI, there has been a fair amount of work in the architecture of the various UNR components. Apart from the users ( :) ), the largest beneficiaries of this are the launcher and window-picker-applet.

The launcher has been updated to use the latest version of Clutter, and benefits from the performance improvements that the Clutter 1.0 release carries. In addition to that, the launcher now has a framework for plugins, which allow extending the home screen and adding new categories on the left (and example is the Files & Folders category). There's not too much documentation at the moment, but I'll follow this post up in the coming weeks with some examples.

Window Picker Applet has had a major overhaul thanks to Jason Smith of Docky fame. In addition to making the code more sane, he's transformed the look and feel of the applet and fixed a bunch of annoying bugs. Coupled with the new Gtk and icon theme (Dust and Humanity), Jason's work makes the panel look much, much nicer than before:

In addition to these bits, there are a couple of things I'd like to highlight:

UNR Karmic contains both the excellent Messaging and Session Indicators. The message indicator allows you to quickly see how many unread emails/IM messages/Twitter replies you have. The session indicator allows you to easily set your IM presence and also lets you switch users (if you hardware supports it) and log out easily.

We've also got the very latest Notify OSD and the Ubuntu Software Store, for a nice and easy way to expand your netbook's usefulness :).

That's it for now, you can grab the latest UNR image from the daily builds here, and I've posted links to a few more screenshots below.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Android applications on UNR Jaunty - Part Deux

Mike uploaded a video of Android applications running natively on Jaunty UNR:

(didn't realize pgo cuts videos, click here to see it)

The applications are very responsive thanks to the accelerated Android drawing engine (and that means they aren't a burden on the CPU either).

The video shows the Android browser working like normal, which points to the next challenge in getting everything working great: piping the services and the filesystem on the host computer through to the Android runtime so apps can take advantage (and be more useful :).

If you have any questions or just want to bug Mike about getting his packaging finished, you can leave a comment on his blog post.

Update: Added link to video

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Android Applications Running on Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Wow, it's been quite some time since I've last blogged. However, this drought isn't due to lack of awesome work or news, it's just that I'm pretty lazy :).

I'm working to remedy this with more frequent blogging about my work at Canonical, but I thought I'd start off with highlighting something which I think is really cool: Android applications running natively on Ubuntu Netbook Remix:

The work has been done by Michael Frey and his team in the OEM services group in Canonical. I think this is cool because I've seen a bunch of pictures and videos of Android running as the OS on a netbook, but it's the first time I've Android mixing with other apps on a Linux desktop. It means you can get the best of both worlds :).

If you want to see more pics, or want to find out how it was achieved, Mike's doing a series of posts about the work on his blog or you can follow him on twitter.