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Adventures in primary display land

  • November 12, 2018
  • Simon Steinbeiß

As some may have noticed I have lately patched “Primary Display” support into a few of our components. It all started with the display settings dialog… But let me start right at the beginning.

“Primary” is a setting of X11’s RandR extension that “is expected to be used by desktop environments to mark the screen that should hold the primary menu bar or panel” (quoted from the specification). So in short: the “Primary Display” should hold your panels, your desktop icons, your notifications, potentially your presenter’s screen (if you use LibreOffice) etc. in a multi-display setup.

In 2016 I started by introducing a hidden setting in xfce4-notifyd. This meant your notifications wouldn’t pop up during presentations on external displays anymore (because the default setting before was to follow the mouse pointer’s location). I personally needed/wanted this and it felt like an easy fix.

In 2017 I added the feature to xfce4-panel. Before that you had to either hard-code the location of the panels or use the “Automatic” setting, which always puts your panels at the left top part of the screen (x=0, y=0). In combination with the display settings option this provided an easy way of moving the panel around and keeping it on certain displays even when connecting new additional ones.

In late 2018 I started working on the big missing piece of the puzzle, which is xfdesktop. At the time of writing, my patches are still in review in this bugreport (testing welcome!), but things work ok or at least well enough to give me hope that we will see this in the next development release.

Display Settings Primary information

In parallel to the xfdesktop patch I also picked up the display settings dialog again after gathering some input from friends at work and decided to pull in all the information about the usage and configuration of the “Primary Display”, as its settings are spread across several components and dialogs. The point of this popover is to show the current configuration status as well as adding a shorthand for accessing all those settings dialogs.

I also went with a new way of highlighting which display is configured as “Primary Display” that is hopefully more easily understandable than the panel I added in the 4.13.5 release. The star is shown both in the displays widget as well as in the properties list of each display, so users can easily visually match which display is primary and what that means.

Enjoy!

Xubuntu Development Update November 2018

  • November 1, 2018
  • Sean Davis

Aaaaaaaaaaaand, we’re back! After skipping last month’s development update, there’s a lot of new developments to unpack for the previous 2 months. Let’s get right to it.

Xubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic Cuttlefish”

We wrapped up development on Xubuntu 18.10 throughout September and October, landing the following changes in the last month and a half of work.

This release includes 6 new GTK+ 3 Xfce components, giving users a snapshot of the Xfce 4.14 development. More information about the release can be found in the release notes.

Upcoming Fixes

Since the 18.10 release, we’ve identified fixes for two of our documented bugs. We’ll be pushing these fixes to our users via the stable release updates.

  • Panel: Window buttons are not clickable at the top pixel of the screen (LP: #1795135)
    • Resolution: Export GDK_CORE_DEVICE_EVENTS = 1 (Xfce Git)
  • Settings Manager: Mouse fails to scroll embedded panels (LP: #1653448)
    • Resolution: Export GDK_CORE_DEVICE_EVENTS = 1 (Xfce Git)

Xfce

September New Releases

October New Releases

4.14 Roadmap Updates

The Xfce development team has worked on tidying up the Xfce 4.14 roadmap over the last few days. Statuses have been updated, pending work has been moved to the top of each section, and completion percents have been adjusted to better reflect each project’s progress. With these updates, we can now see that…

Xfce 4.14 is now approximately 83% complete.

Of course, we need all the help we can get to get this milestone out the door. Check out the Xfce Contribute page to find out how you can help.

What’s Next?

With the 18.10 release now behind us, and the 19.04 cycle starting today, it’s time to get back to work! No release goals have been determined yet, so stay tuned to the Xubuntu Development mailing list for updates about Xubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” development.

Xfce Screensaver 0.1.1 Released

  • November 1, 2018
  • Sean Davis

The second release of Xfce Screensaver is now available! Featuring a number of bug fixes, translations, and general improvements, this release is a big step forward for the newest Xfce application.

What’s New?

General

  • Added support for color settings from Xfdesktop 4.12 and 4.13
  • The black fallback color has been replaced with the Xfdesktop default
    • #152233 or super dark blue
  • The interface files for the preferences dialog and lock screen are now compiled and included in the binaries
  • The warning displayed as the root user is now an InfoBar to make it more visible
  • Screensaver Preferences can now be embedded in the Xfce Settings Manager

Bug Fixes

  • Fix crash when no background placement is configured (Xfce #14769)
  • Redraw the screensaver on monitor configuration events (Xfce #14796)
  • Automate detection of PAM configuration, add a new flag to override (Xfce #14779)
    --with-pam-auth-type=<common|system>
  • Notify the user when Xfce Power Manager has an incompatible configuration and include a button to resolve it (Xfce #14782)
  • The unlock dialog is now correctly drawn with the Adwaita GTK theme
  • Fix builds on OpenBSD, build status can now be tracked on the Xfce Build Bot

Translations (All NEW!)

Albanian, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Packaging

With just a single release, packaging for the new screensaver is starting to appear all over the place! If you know of any other places it’s been packaged, drop me a line. 🙂

Screenshots

Downloads

Please be aware that this is alpha-quality software. It is not currently recommended for use in production machines. Please continue to test it, report bugs, provide feedback, and submit patches so we can make the best screensaver and locker possible for Xfce.

Source tarball (md5sha1sha256)