Version 1.2.0 Released 25


Happy New Year! 2016 was a really big year for Lumina with the release of version 1.0.0, TrueOS adopting Lumina as it’s only supported desktop environment, the newfound availability of Lumina in many Linux distributions, and so much more. By the same token, 2017 is already shaping up to be another big year for Lumina with things like the new window manager on the horizon. So let’s start this year on the right foot with another release!

 

This release is primarily an enhancement to the current desktop systems with some new plugins, a new utility, and lots of updates for various things. However, in keeping with the focus on minimalism, this version also reduces or eliminates many things. First, the LuminaUtils library has been completely dismantled and is no longer installed or required as part of the Lumina infrastructure. Instead, the files within the library are broken into small, nearly standalone modules within the source tree so each tool can build or incorporate just the necessary class(es) directly into the utility itself. This results in faster and more stable binaries without the need to load any additional libraries on the system.  Second, we are putting a lot more work into depreciating external utilities and moving toward using the same libraries that Qt itself requires or uses (such as the XCB libraries on X11 systems). This phase is not yet finished, but we are making significant progress and expect to announce a large reduction in runtime dependencies later this year.

 

The one enhancement I want to highlight for this release is actually pretty minor within a developer’s mindset but ends up being significant from a user’s perspective: pre-defined profiles for system interface configurations. I have often mentioned that Lumina could be reconfigured to reproduce the interface from most other desktop environments, but now users can literally turn Lumina into a reasonable facsimile of Windows, Mac OSX, GNOME2/MATE, and the default XFCE interface with just a couple clicks of the mouse. While not an exact copy of these other systems (and I doubt it ever will be), it places all the normal buttons and functionality in the same places so users of these other systems can feel “right at home” with Lumina. For examples of these profiles, take a look at the version 1.2.0 screenshots on the Lumina website.

 

~~ Ken Moore ~~

 


Changelog from 1.1.0 to 1.2.0


Notable Changes:

  • Dismantle the Lumina library (libLuminaUtils.so) completely – no longer needed/installed
  • Disable the internal Lumina Theme engine from all utilities. Now it is only used by the desktop itself while all applications will use the global Qt5 theme engine.
  • New Panel Plugins:
    • “audioplayer” (panel version of the desktop plugin with the same name): Allows the user to load/play audio files directly through the desktop itself.
    • “jsonmenu” (panel version of the menu plugin with the same name): Allows an external utility/script to be used to generate a menu/contents on demand.
  • New Menu Plugins:
    • “lockdesktop”: Menu option for instantly locking the desktop session.
  • New Utilities:
    • `lumina-archiver`: This is a pure Qt5 front-end to the “tar” utility for managing/creating archives. This can also use the `dd` utility to burn a “*.img” file to a USB device for booting.

Individual Binaries:

lumina-calculator:

  • Clean up precision of reported results and how they are re-used for later calculations
  • Ability to clear/save history
  • Tag each result with “#X” and allow that shortcut to be used in an equation to recall the result of that calculation.
  • Add tons of scientific functionality to the calculator without making the interface bloated.

lumina-config:

  • Clean up the main page considerably: 2 columns, auto-expanded items, etc
  • In the main page, add the ability to set/change the current Qt5 theme engine for external applications.
  • Add entries for newer desktop backend systems (compositor start/skip detection, new plugins, etc)
  • Add a new page for managing Xorg input device properties (requires `xinput`).
  • Add pre-defined “profiles” to the interface/panels page. Current profiles: “No panels”, “Windows”, “GNOME2/MATE”, “XFCE”, and “Mac OSX”
  • Add the ability to “import” panel configuration settings from one monitor to another (even if the original monitor is not currently enabled/active).

lumina-desktop:

  • Fix up some wallpaper update issues with monitor resizes and Fluxbox eccentricity.
  • Add right-click passthrough to many desktop plugins so the overall “plugin” menu no matter where the click happens on the plugin.
  • Fix up the panel “autohide” functionality to it will work on screen edges *between* monitors as well.
  • Speed up the initial start of the desktop, but delay the auto-started applications by 1/2 second.
  • Clean up some mimetype detection routines.
  • Clean up some more systems to ensure they use the monitor ID for loading/saving desktop settings.
  • Clean up the boot splash when starting the desktop. Now it displays the version of the desktop and some random “message of the day” in addition to the normal loading indicators.
    NOTE: The “message of the day” may be overwritten/changed by creating a “lumina-motd” file/executable and placing it into the /etc directory alongside the luminaDesktop.conf file. If it is executable, it will run the file and print any text that is output, otherwise it will read the contents of the file as plaintext and show that (Example: a blank file will disable the motd).
  • Add a green background to the battery notifiers if the battery is fully charged but still plugged in.
  • Make the start menu open faster by only re-loading the favorites when the favorites change.
  • Make the “applauncher” panel plugin able to auto-complete the path to “*.desktop” files.
  • Make the “clock” panel plugin auto-adjust the number of lines of text to show depending on the panel size/orientation.
  • Adjust the margins in the menus to work better on 4K monitors.
  • Clean up some vertical-panel plugin behavior.

lumina-fm:

  • Fix up some issues with directory modifications through the right column of a split view.
  • Fix up the re-loading of the “show hidden files” option when starting new viewers
  • Re-enable drag and drop functionality (missed that with the latest overhaul to the viewers)
  • Fix an issue with symlinks in the path preventing the ZFS snapshot finder from working properly.

lumina-open:

  • Update the crash monitor to only trigger when the process actually crashes – disable the return code checking (some apps intentionally return non-zero and were getting flagged as crashes).

lumina-screenshot:

  • Add better error reporting when a screenshot can not get saved for some reason.
  • Cleanup the scaling rules for the zoom functionality.

lumina-search:

  • Apply more limits to the background search process handling.
  • Avoid trawling through the “proc” directory heirarchy at all costs.
  • Bump the time to start the live search from 1/3 to 1/2 second.

start-lumina-desktop:

  • Modify the Qt5/dbus crash workaround to avoid starting up a dbus session if at all possible.
  • Check/cleanup any lumina-desktop lockfiles

FreeBSD:

  • Add PulseAudio support for TrueOS PICO sessions.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

25 thoughts on “Version 1.2.0 Released

  • Suvro

    Happy New Year, Ken

    One thing about Lumina: some of the choices of keystrokes. Normally, when I browse websites in Windows, be it in Firefox or Chrome, I use Alt-left or Alt-right to navigate b/w pages I’ve just visited. But here, Lumia uses these same keys to shrink the window to half its width and move it left, or move it right. Which is somewhat disruptive given that I’m used to using those keystrokes to navigate b/w sites. Can’t some other key be used to do what you want?

    One more suggestion – for the calculator, can you add conversion units, like from metric to imperial and back? Also, maybe a currency lookup at some point – like US$ to Euros and other currencies

    • Ken Moore Post author

      We are holding off on disruptive changes to default key bindings until the new WM is completed (since Fluxbox handles the key shortcuts now – we will need to change to an entirely new system anyway).
      In the meantime, just open up your keyboard shortcuts in the lumina-config utility and you can disable/change those two bindings really easily.

      As for the calculator: unit conversions and such are already on the roadmap for the next “extension” to the utility. Just waiting on some development cycles so I can work on that, otherwise somebody who wants to contribute back to the project could add that functionality… 🙂

    • Ken Moore Post author

      If your OS does not have pre-built packages of 1.2.0 yet, you can always follow the build instructions on the Lumina GitHub repository to build directly from source. Talk to the package maintainer for your OS about availability – but I have noticed it usually takes a week or so before the pre-built packages for a new version start appearing the the various OS package repositories.

      In the case of a “quarterly” package set, I would assume you will have to wait for the next quarter’s update to the repository before you will see updates to your pre-built packages.

  • Josélton Pirocudo

    Happy new year Ken, i would like to make a question, since i’m more of a linux guy.

    How is the actual situation of wayland in relation to bsd and lumina?

    • Ken Moore Post author

      That would be something to ask about on the (Free/Other)BSD mailing lists.
      As far as I understand Wayland support is coming along quickly, but is still not committed to any of the official ports trees yet (still in a separate development branch). Once it hits the TrueOS ports tree (which will probably be sooner rather than later), I will start playing with it and see what it takes to convert Lumina over to Wayland (should be fairly small – I segregated all the XLib/XCB usage into only a couple files in anticipation of this very conversion).

      My “big picture” concerns about Wayland though:
      1) Stability: For all it’s eccentricities, X11 is very stable/tested/reliable. Wayland is still highly “crashy” from what I hear and mostly untested technology.
      2) Documentation: While X11/XCB docs are terrible, there are tons of usage examples since everyone has been using it for a decade+. If the documentation for wayland is just as bad, it will be a ton harder to find out *how* to use it since there are almost no real-world examples.
      3) OS integration: X11 is a completely generic, cross-OS standard for graphics, but with Wayland I am very worried that Linux technologies and/or kernel interfaces are going to be start getting quietly added into the Wayland framework itself just as they have done with so many other technologies which are developed in the Linux-space. This will effectively render Wayland on non-Linux systems a no-go, and waste the time of all the BSD developers (myself included).

    • Petr

      I think Ken is quite right in terms of wasting time.

      Linux-focused devs are investing lot of time to make their new “stuff” fundamentally incompatible posix non-compliant and therefore almost non portable to other platforms. I think they are hacking their way to bright windows-like future, therefore any “stuff” which is going to hard depend on linux+systemd is not worthy to implement into BSD.

  • David Locklear

    I am a novice. I started tinkering with Linux in early May of 2016. I use a computer about 2 hours a day for novice task: simple repository games, Gmail, web-surfing. I have been using TrueOS as my only operating system on my computer that I assembled myself ( ASUS mini-ITX, Intel i7, integrated graphics, DDR4, SSD ). It has been a week, and about 12 hours total, using 12-27-2016 build iso. Things were great at first and I only had Lumina 1.1.2. But Lumina stopped launches only with FluxBox settings. ( I am in that right now ). So I installed all other desktops. None of them were usable. I do not yet know any FreeBSD commands, but not willing to throw in the towel just yet. I do want to try the new
    Lumina 1.2. One thing I have noticed is that if one uses “pkg remove Lumina” and “pkg install Lumina” that the message provided has several grammatical errors such as “for for” and
    “with” instead of “which” I am impressed all Linux software runs smoothly in Lumina. Aisleriot Solitaire does not run in KDE4. I am about to join the anti-systemd club. And I totally agree Lumina is a great idea. My computer can handle heavy DE’s, but I have had good luck with Budgie and LXQt. Plasma in Linux was buggy the last time I used it 2 months ago ( 5.8.4 ) My kid and I love to play the game “Puzzle Moppet.” Any chance TrueOS could put that in the repository ? Mageia has it in theirs.

    • Ken Moore Post author

      On TrueOS the Lumina version numbers are (nearly) irrelevant – since TrueOS always has the latest/greatest updates directly from the source tree. I only tag the “*.0” releases and publish these announcements for other operating systems to know that it is a good time to update their packages as well.. 😉
      By the same token, the port for Lumina on FreeBSD will need to be updated to fix those pkg-message typos. Send in a bug ticket or pull request to the port maintainer and he can get that fixed fairly easily… 😉
      As for other applications, ask about that on the FreeBSD ports mailing lists – there might be people already working on that application, or somebody might take up the challenge and port that app over for you – it never hurts to ask!

  • Gj

    Hello,

    Is there an easy way to add/change keyboard layouts in Lumina? Maybe some plugin in system tray?
    If not, are there any plans on implementing that?

    • Ken Moore Post author

      That is definitely possible, but there is nothing written up for that yet.
      On TrueOS the login manager (PCDM) provides an option to set the keyboard layout, and within the session there is the “fcitx” utility for changing your locale/keyboard on the fly.