While it has been a little while since the last release of the Lumina desktop, we have not been idle in any way. I wanted to take this time to update you on some of the things we have been working on, as well as update you on where we are going in the near future:

  • Website Migration and updates

We have recently migrated the website over to a new full-featured web server (thanks to PC-BSD and iXsystems), so we no longer need to worry about the site crashing on the next release announcement. Along with this, Joshua Smith of the PC-BSD project has stepped up to manage the Lumina website, and has also implemented a number of nice updates to the site as well, such as the new ability to have the site automatically get translated into other languages! The new translation system does allow for custom fixes/overrides to the automatic translations, so if you see any errors in the translation, please contact Josh via the PC-BSD translations mailing list and he can give you access to update the translations directly through the website.

  • Updated OS build infrastructure

We have recently overhauled the qmake build system for Lumina so that OS-specific settings/paths can be automatically loaded – greatly simplifying the process for anyone to compile Lumina directly from source. This is a fairly significant change, so if you are a package/port maintainer, please look over the new OS-detect file and send in any updates/improvements for your particular OS so that the next version of Lumina can be available for your OS without any delay! Similarly, if your OS/Distro is not yet explicitly supported within the Lumina library, now is a great time to make a copy of the template file for the LuminaOS class, and send it in (with appropriate modifications) so your OS is fully supported!

  • The new window manager (WM)

The key feature for the upcoming version 0.9.0 of Lumina is a brand-new window manager. We have been making a lot of progress on this new tool (and were hoping for a usable version this month), but it is still not quite ready for public use yet. Here is a quick summary of our current progress though:

  1. Window Management – 50%: Backend library/functions written, basic window frame/embedding finished, and event system implemented. Still tying all the pieces together right now.
  2. Screen Saver – 90%: The entire screensaver system is complete, including a modular screensaver plugin system. The only thing missing is to write some more plugins (only a sample plugin or “none” is available right now).
  3. Screen Locker – 90%: The entire screen lock/unlock system is finished and appropriately tied into the WM/Screensaver subsystems. The only thing it might still need done is adding some more theming options/capabilities.

This one utility will basically replace both Fluxbox and xscreensaver with a single utility written in “pure” Qt5 (with some XCB as well – just like the desktop uses).

We were hoping to release the new window manager (version 0.9.0) in early Jan 2016 – but I think we are going to have to push that back a little bit. Instead, I am looking at pushing out a maintenance release (0.8.8) here at the end of January. This will give us additional time to keep working on the new WM, as well as time to test/fix the OS distribution system before the major 0.9.0 release is ready.

 

Additional Note about Fedora/Debian package distribution:

We currently host a few packages/files for distributing Lumina on Fedora/Debian systems on the Lumina website itself. We are getting ready to remove that side of the website completely, and as such we need Fedora and Debian developers to step up and start hosting official packages for Lumina here soon – otherwise Debian/Fedora users will have to rely on compiling Lumina directly from sources. If you need any help with this (or questions about various build options for Lumina), please contact us ASAP.

 

~ Ken Moore ~

Lumina Desktop Founder/Developer