Banshee and openSUSE 11

I had the privilege this morning of being the guest “speaker” for the multimedia-themed openSUSE GNOME community meeting where I discussed some of the high level plans for the future of Banshee and what that may mean for openSUSE 11.

I discussed the incredible performance and memory usage improvements, the new model/view, the album/artist browser, the playback queue, our fantastic new Xesam-based search and smart playlist infrastructure, and so on.

As a result of feedback from the meeting, I wrote a guide for building Banshee from trunk on openSUSE 10.3+.

And here are some related links:

And of course, if you’re interested in making your voice count in openSUSE, please join the meetings!

Nightly Inkscape Packages

I am building nightly, or semi-nightly, packages from the inkscape-current tarballs in the openSUSE Build Service. If you follow Inkscape and are running openSUSE 10.3, you may wish to subscribe to my home project repository and update your inkscape package from there:

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/aaronbockover/openSUSE_10.3

Enjoy! The latest builds have been very awesome, I’m loving the new dockable tool windows, though they do need a lot of UI work still.

Superhero Gabriel Burt joins Novell

Gabriel Burt

Community member extraordinaire Gabriel Burt (“gabaug”), of Banshee, F-Spot, and many other fames, has joined the desktop team at Novell to help work on Banshee and general multimedia support in openSUSE and SLED!

Gabriel has been an active and enthusiastic developer on Banshee for the last couple of years, contributing very notable components to the project, including Smart Playlists, Generic USB mass storage audio player support, and the Bookmarks plugin along with lots of general bug fixing, feature enhancement, and community support.

He also helps maintain F-Spot and has done a lot of work on the tag view and contributed the very innovative drag-and-drop tag searching.

Our first joint task on Banshee will be to construct a new road map for the project, so stay tuned, Banshee enthusiasts — many exciting new things are in the pipeline!

Welcome to the team Gabriel!

openSUSE 10.3 almost ready

We’ve been hard at work on openSUSE 10.3, to be released in a couple of weeks. RC1 marked the “transition point” for me. I’ve moved my main machines over to 10.3 RC1 from 10.2. It’s very nice to be running the latest GNOME again. Some major things I was involved in for the 10.3 cycle:

  • Lots of Banshee work, of course. The latest release (0.13.1) is in openSUSE 10.3, and we will be pushing major updates into the proper channels when they are ready. We plan to deliver support for the new disgusting iPods in the coming weeks, probably just after the final release of 10.3.
  • The new codecs installation web application. We have hooked into the proper places in GStreamer to handle “codec missing” problems in Totem and Banshee.

    If you are missing a codec, you will be taken to the new codecs web application. Depending on what codecs you are missing, what’s displayed on the web page will change. For instance, if you installed from only the OSS media and tried to play an MP3 through a GStreamer application, you will be given a 1-Click Install option for the Fluendo MP3 decoder (which is now shipped and installed by default through the non-OSS patterns, like the DVD).

    What we are able to offer for our users through this web application will likely change for the better in the future, but we have a wonderful solid starting place for the release.

  • Shipping Brasero. This is a new all-singing-all-dancing CD/DVD burning application for GNOME with a lot of potential and very active development.

    Because Brasero is so new, this decision was initially a bit daunting, especially when coupled with the bad experiences some of our users had with previous versions on openSUSE 10.2, but it has been rock solid in all testing so far. Kudos Brasero developers! In openSUSE 11 we will investigate making Brasero the default burning application for GNOME (currently it is still Nautilus, but Brasero is installed by default).

openSUSE 10.3
openSUSE 10.3 RC1 – Click for Full Screenshot

One of the first things I did after switching my primary machine to 10.3 was some theme work. I am a big fan of Gilouche — great color scheme and it has some wonderful custom theme polish for the new GNOME Main Menu, Application Browser, Control Center shell, and the new International Clock. However, I really like the Clearlooks Gummy theme that is new in GNOME 2.20. So naturally I had to combine the two. Garrett will investigate making it official, but I am going to link to my version right now for anyone interested in using it now.

Anyway, here is Gummy Gilouche! It’s featured in the screenshot above, so click it for a better preview. I disabled the gradients that are drawn on the tabs. If you want to enable or disable certain things in Clearlooks or this Gilouche derivative, see Marco Barisione’s post for details.

I highly recommend everyone check out openSUSE 10.3 – the RC1 is solid, and the final release will be out soon. Keep it on your radar!