Ubuntu Budgie – Annual Financial Statement 2017 – 2018

Summary As part of our commitment to be transparent with the community, the team is pleased to present a short statement of our financial position covering 2017 to 2018. History
  • Budgie Remix had launched in April 2016
  • In Nov 2016 Ubuntu Budgie was granted the status as an official community flavour with Ubuntu/Canonical.
  • 17.04 was our first release "official" release as a flavour.
Goals As we close off our fiscal year for 2018 (Apr 2017 - Mar 31, 2018), the financial position of the project is very healthy. We have met several goals this year and including our stretch goal:
  • LTS Fiscal Goal - ensure that the costs to support a three-year LTS were in place.
  • Contribute on behalf of the Ubuntu Budgie community - a financial contribution for 2017 was donated to the Solus community since Solus provides much of the development behind the Budgie Desktop.
  • Stretch Goal - ensure we have reserves to meet five years of costs (2018 - 2022).
Operating Costs
  • Infrastructure costs relating to the website, test build servers, domain registrations
  • Reserves are in place as a contingency to account for unexpected expenses.
Donations Patreon For 2017-2018 we did have a sizable number of Patreon donors - but due to Patreon changing their financial model in Dec 2017 we, unfortunately, lost many donors. Patreon has since rescinded this change, and our previous donors may want to reconsider becoming a Patreon since this gives Ubuntu Budgie a regular income. PayPal We have had many individuals who donate via Paypal, and we thank you all! Sponsorship Digital Ocean We have had a significant vote of confidence by DigitalOcean paying for all of our 2017 hosting and infrastructure fees and have committed to continuing this through to 2018-2019 fiscal year as well. https://www.digitalocean.com Discourse As some of you may know, we recently moved our community over to a discourse forum which was generously provided through sponsorship as well. https://www.discourse.org/ Status.io While this is yet to be implemented on our part, Status.io has provided a sponsorship that will help us keep our community up to date with system interruptions in our infrastructure. https://status.io Partnerships Briefly, we had begun to offer Ubuntu Budgie preinstalled on systems from Nimbusoft. Unfortunately, due to the founder deciding to move in an alternative strategic direction, that association had to end. We do thank Chris Harvey (owner of Nimbusoft) for the very sizeable donation he has given to Ubuntu Budgie. https://nimbusoft.com Future Goals We have set our sights this year to meet two very sizable cost goals; looking to fund equipment with HiDPI capability and with multiple HiDPI monitors. We recognise that more and more of our community use multi monitors and increasingly with HiDPI type resolutions. Unfortunately, we do not have such equipment to provide both development and support activities. Contributions
  • This year our community has contributed £2460.
  • We have a nominal £953.86 in the bank, with set-aside costs for 2018 to 2022 + reserves.
Our confidence level for our financial viability is as close to 100% as you can get. As a comparison for 2016-2017, our community contributed £248.90 with no set-aside costs and no reserves
With your help, we look forward to making more donations to developers and organisations who have helped Ubuntu Budgie.
The Team All Ubuntu Budgie team members including myself are volunteers. At this point we the team do not benefit financially in anyway from your generosity. If we had one or more full-time developers, then the speed of development and improvement would be exponentially higher. For this to become fiscally possible, the project would need to grow to approx 20x the current contribution rate to achieve that. Canonical Support Although we are now an official flavour of the Ubuntu Family, we do not receive any financial help from Canonical. Canonical supports Ubuntu Budgie through their launchpad build systems and ISO distribution costs.
Thank You All donors are displayed on our website unless you specifically request not to be presented. Donations If you would like to support Ubuntu Budgie , please feel free to donate to the project through either Paypal or Patreon. Thank you to all who have chosen to join our community. David (project lead)

Welcome to Discourse

Hi everyone, We would like to announce that starting with the release of 18.04 LTS; our community support will be moving to Discourse. Currently, most of our support activities are spread across several social media platforms - Facebook, G+, Twitter, Reddit, IRC and our Gitter community room. What this means for you is that we will move most of our support to the forum. One of the reasons for moving to Discourse is making content more accessible and easier to find. Case and point, if you have a problem you would usually ask the question in our chatroom and wait for someone from our team or community to answer. However, due to the nature of the instant messaging platform, the answer is lost, and any new user-facing the same problem needs to ask the question again. With Discourse any question is easily searchable due to its static nature. It will help us to foster the community even further making it even more significant, especially with the upcoming release that will attract a lot of new users. You can use your social accounts for easier registration or go for the proper old manual account registration. Among new feature is also the feature to receive a digest of essential threads to your email as well the notification when you get a response to your thread or post. We will monitor the Gitter chat room for next three months and redirect new users to discourse. There will be a message explaining the transition when you join Gitter channel for any new or existing user in the meantime so that we can be sure everyone can move to Discourse. The intent, however, is that if we cannot answer the question immediately - we suggest moving the item into the forum directly. Overall this move will allow us to have a better communication hub similarly to AskUbuntu or UbuntuForums which will make it easier to answer any questions related to Ubuntu Budgie, gather further feedback and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Our discourse forum is not a replacement for AskUbuntu and UbuntuForums - these are naturally the critical support platforms for all things Ubuntu. Discourse is an added extra with a focus on all things Ubuntu Budgie (and not general Ubuntu issues). For more information feel free to ask us in the comments to this post or via Gitter. You can visit the forum at the following URL https://discourse.ubuntubudgie.org
One small (well not really small) note - Our beta 1 ISO is about to become available, and we could REALLY use your help in testing things out. We have attempted to make the testing process more approachable to new people by creating a guide located at https://ubuntubudgie.org/testing. Please have a read through if you are interested in being a rockstar! The testing will assist us in ensuring a quality product ships out the door when 18.04 hits GA.

18.04 Release Notes

Version

Ubuntu Budgie v18.04 (bionic beaver) Release: Apr 26th, 2018 final release notes In these release notes the areas covered are:
  • New features and enhancements
  • Issues Resolved
  • Upgrading from 17.10 Ubuntu Budgie
  • Upgrading from 16.04.4 budgie-remix
  • Known Issues when upgrading
  • Where to download Ubuntu Budgie
  • Our new support site https://discourse.ubuntubudgie.org

New features and enhancements

  • Add support for openvnc connections via the network-manager applet
  • Better font handling for our Chinese and Korean users
  • Add color emoji support for GNOME Characters
  • Better key shortcuts
    • Print Screen button now works as does <Shift><Ctrl>Print - Copy a screenshot of an area to clipboard, <Shift>Print - Save a screenshot of an area to Pictures, <Ctrl>Print - Copy a screenshot of a window to clipboard, <Alt>Print - Save a screenshot of a window to Pictures,
    • Super+D now toggles the desktop
    • Super+E to show a new Files window
    • Alt+Q or F12 shows Tilix Quake mode
  • Default Budgie Applets
    • Quick Note - quickest way to make short notes
      Quicknote
    • DropBy applet (Media savvy applet pops up when USB based devices/phones connected to open, copy files etc)
      DropBy
    • ShowTime - desktop clock with customizable colors
      Time
  • New applets, available via Budgie Settings
    • Hot Corners - options include a number of preset actions, custom commands and using pressure
    Hotcorners
    • Window Previews - available via Budgie Settings Alt + Tab to browse through all windows, Alt + ` (grave, above Tab) to browse through the active application's windows. Furthermore: browse through workspaces, Hot Corners integration
    Windowpreviews
    • Rotation Lock - available via Budgie Settings - increasingly many more people have laptops that support screen-rotation
  • More new applets, available from Budgie Welcome
    • Clockworks - Keep track on different time zones
      Clockworks
    • CountDown - A simple countdown applet with several options
      Countdown
    • Keyboard Autoswitch - Applet to work together with the Keyboard Layout applet, set a different language per application
      Autoswitch
    • Wallpaper Switcher - Set a different wallpaper per workspace
    • Window Mover - Move windows quickly across workspaces by dragging and click the targeted workspace
    • Workspace Overview - Quickly move to any window on any workspace from a menu
    • Weather applet
  • We are also pleased to show-case many more indie developer applets - to just pick a few:
    • Budgie Calendar Applet
    • Global Menu
    • Pixel Saver
  • keyboard and GUI friendly window-shuffler capability. This short video explains all - enjoy!
  • New exciting GTK+ theme by default called Pocillo
    • Dynamic panel colouring - semi-transparent turns to transparent for maximised windows
    • Ripple effect buttons
    • Coloring takes Arc styling; this allows seamless integration with Budgie System Theming if required
    • Dark, Light and Standard variants
    • All themes also have Slim equivalents - these themes are recommended for lower resolution laptops & desktops
    • Theming of Slick-Greeter and lock-screen
  • Arc-Theme now being co-maintained with Ubuntu Budgie & Arch Linux - exciting collaboration and the latest fixes for all DE's is now in 18.04
  • We maintain a Vimix theme debian package is now installable via our backports PPA since the third-party we originally linked to is not actively maintaining its package
  • Support for Dynamic Workspaces
    • Visual splashscreen shows when changing workspaces - CTRL+ALT Left/Right
      Dynaspace
    • Pressing CTRL+ALT Right will create more workspaces on the fly. Pressing CTRL+ALT Left will remove unused workspaces that may have been created.
  • Menu has Logout, Shutdown, Suspend and Restart action entries
  • Snap version of Budgie Welcome:
    • We can be much more dynamic now for the LTS period. As an when new software, themes and applets are developed by the community we can now showcase these instantly via Budgie Welcome
    • Our discourse support site is now displayed on the home-page. The social media icons have moved to the right of the screen and Gitter has now been removed (since discourse is our new support site)
    • Community page has been revamped
    • Lots of translation updates
    • In-line with Ubuntu Policy, third-party repo installs now displays a prompt. Accepting that prompt continues with the installation and adds the third-party repo e.g. Chrome, Vivaldi, Ubuntu Budgie backports PPA
  • We maintain the Slick Greeter package on behalf of both Debian and Ubuntu - latest version has been included with better multimonitor support
  • We develop and maintain the Alternative Toolbar for Rhythmbox. It gains an easy to use toggle to show menu options for each music source. Also lots of important fixes for various crashes reported since 17.10
  • Budgie Indicator Applet - our appindicator supports Vertical Panels!
  • Super Community Wallpapers for 18.04 - exciting range of the best wallpapers from the Budgie Community wallpaper contest held last year
  • Budgie Welcome
    • Translation team has been very busy - many more languages now available
    • Pop GTK Theme makeover
    • Ant GTK Theme makeover
    • Fixed live session booting instructions
    • Re-done Adapta GTK Theme makeover with Papirus icons theme, better panel look and feel
    • All applets now can show a much larger image when clicking (lightbox view)
    • Replace Flat-Plat with Materia GTK Theme makeover
    • Add important upstream support links for all Budgie Applets
  • Minimal Installation option - a stripped back install with just Chromium and a few key utilities to start you on your way
Minimal%2018.04%20installation

Key features available to UB from Ubuntu

  • spice-vdagent added - we now work much better in VMs such as GNOME Boxes, QEMU
  • GNOME 3.28 applications
  • Nautilus 3.26 is retained - this is to ensure desktop icons support is maintained throughout the LTS period
  • Linux Kernel 4.15
  • A shed-load of fixes throughout the Ubuntu stack - congrats on all Canonical, Ubuntu devs, Debian devs and literally all devs in the free software community for all of their hard-work which everyone should be very happy about 🙂

Issues Resolved:

  • removed the obsolete xdiagnose application
  • IBus Keyboard switcher now correctly cycles through layouts
  • We no longer interfere when KDE is installed at the same time as Budgie
  • Snapping of windows now longer causes lock-ups in a small number of use-cases; snapping animation has been removed
  • The text version of the Plymouth theme now correctly displays 18.04 in the text
  • The logo version of the Plymouth theme now has the progress bars centered with the logo
  • Skippy-XD has now been removed from the recommendations page - the software is unmaintained for a few years now. It is still installable via command-line through our backports PPA on a "try if it works" basis.
  • Vivaldi is no longer shown on the 32bit ISO - there is no 32bit packages available

Known Issues:

  • LightDM changes have resulted in the greeter not showing at selected users wallpaper. We ship the "Login Window" application to configure Slick-Greeter
  • If you find that after the upgrade clicking the menu button crashes the panel, then CTRL+ALT+T to open a terminal then run:
nohup budgie-panel --reset --replace &

Upgrading

How to upgrade from 17.10 to 18.04

IMPORTANT: remember to double-check you have the following vital package before you upgrade:
sudo apt install ubuntu-budgie-desktop
After the release of 18.04, you will be offered to upgrade when you run Software & Updates. Alternatively, from a command line run:
update-manager
IMPORTANT We do not recommend running do-release-upgrade from a Tilix terminal since this will hang during the upgrade. If you want to use do-release-upgrade switch to a TTY and login before running the command. Some of the packages that were installed as part of the Ubuntu Budgie backports PPA (ppa:ubuntubudgie/backports) will be uninstalled as part of the upgrade. Use budgie-welcome to reinstall anything that is removed. POST UPGRADE From the menu run Budgie Complete Installation to install snap version of budgie-welcome. We also recommend you reset the panel to benefit from the revised Pocillo theme and applets:
nohup budgie-panel --reset --replace &

How to upgrade from 16.04 budgie-remix to 18.04

16.04 users are not automatically offered an upgrade until the first point release i.e. 18.04.1 which is released in July 2018. Alternatively - to force an upgrade from 16.04.4 from a command line run:
update-manager -d
Some of the packages that were installed as part of the budgie-remix backports PPA will be uninstalled as part of the upgrade. Use budgie-welcome to reinstall anything that is removed. From the menu run Budgie Complete Installation to install snap version of budgie-welcome and to remove the budgie-remix meta package correctly. We also recommend you reset the panel to benefit from the revised Pocillo theme and applets:
nohup budgie-panel --reset --replace &

Please refer to the community wiki for more help: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Upgrades Also, Ask Ubuntu has an excellent guide to help you upgrade: http://askubuntu.com/questions/110477/how-do-i-upgrade-to-a-newer-version-of-ubuntu

Download

To download the ISO, head on over to: https://ubuntubudgie.org/downloads

Introducing our new support site

Also - we now have introduced our new support site. Thanks to the generosity of discourse.org, our new discourse based website is now up and running. One to book-mark https://discourse.ubuntubudgie.org More information can be found here .
Discourse

Libreoffice feedback

We need to get some feedback for 18.04 - Libreoffice Snap
Libreoffice released
For 18.04 we will ship the latest version of libreoffice - v6. That version will receive stability fixes throughout the next three years of the LTS period - but the actual version will remain at v6. We have a choice - we could instead ship the snap version of libreoffice - that version will be updated always to the latest version i.e. v7 v8 etc etc over the next three years. The downside is that libreoffice snap currently doesnt use the icon and GTK theme you are using. This may change in the next few months - developers are working on it but we don't know if or when this work will be backported to 18.04. So what do you think? Stick with nicely integrated and stable v6 of libreoffice for 18.04 - or ship with the snap version? Please let us know. Test out the latest v6 libreoffice snap by running:
sudo snap install libreoffice --candidate
Remove the snap:
sudo snap remove libreoffice

Developer Diary – November

Showcase

Development

A new release of the applet budgie-brightness-control was made available by its developer. A few bug fixes was made, and the orientation of the slider was made horizontal. This is now available in backports to be installed. I have created a git release of budgie-pixel-saver-applet from the same developer as budgie-brightness-control. This fixes the window button theming as well as respecting left/right window control settings from Budgie Settings. A bug fix release has been uploaded to both Debian Buster and Ubuntu Bionic. This allows the software to actually build against the latest software in Bionic (meson). Ubuntu packagers have updated Bionic with the version latest Tilix software. Two more applets were added to the series of applets. A total of nine additional applets were developed since last summer. All applets are available in Budgie Welcome. The two latest additions are: Keyboard AutoSwitch
Keyboardautoswitch
Together with the existing Keyboard Layout Indicator as a companion (available in Budgie Desktop Settings), Keyboard AutoSwitch is a flexible and easy way to set exceptions (applications) to the default keyboard layout. Simply set a different layout with the application's window in front, and the layout is remembered for that specific application. CountDown
Countdown
CountDown is a desktop timer, with a number of options to be notified when the countdown is finished. Optionally, the applet can temporarily overrule suspend, to prevent the computer from stop counting. Update of HotCorners Hotcorners saw its first major changes last week. A dropdown list with predefined, often used options was added to the menu, for convenient usage. Clicking the checkbox will now clear the entry to be able to set customized commands.
Menu
Coming soon: ClockWorks Nearly finished, available soon, is the ClockWorks Applet, a world clock applet. User can add, remove or rename clocks instantly.
ClockWorks

Making Ubuntu Budgie accessible to all

We all use our desktop in our own unique way to suit our preferred workflow. We also know some people need additional changes to help use their desktop more effectively. For example visual impairment may mean there is a need for additional tweaks to contrast/sizing etc, whereas some degree of hearing loss may need some visual notifications for certain events. So please help the Ubuntu Budgie team to make the desktop more accessible to everyone. If you have a tip or trick we would like to know - for example
  • additional software that you may install,
  • how do you configure it,
  • do you have any special bash scripts and/or configuration set-to-work to enable you or your friends & colleagues to use the desktop more effectively
Contact the team via our community channel or send us a short note via our contact us link.
Contact the team 

Developer Diary – October

Showcase
This month's activities have been dominated by the final push and release of our second release  as an official member of the Ubuntu family. It has been an interesting six months - and this month was no exception; more on that later. We are very grateful to our small yet growing band of Patreons and Paypal contributors this month . Everyone who does help out this well makes this project viable for now and the long-term. So much so, we have met another of our goals, and it is our pleasure to make a sizeable donation to our friends at the Solus Project. Without their stewardship of the budgie desktop, we just wouldn't have this distro.

New Default look

Nikola is spending the time to research a possible revised out-of-the-box-experience for Ubuntu Budgie 18.04. A revised GTK-theme and looking closely at the various software centres as well. If you have any experience with developing and maintaining themes and would like to get involved please raise your handand get in touch. Our default desktop artwork that we use for media, login screen, desktop and lock-screen is also being assessed. You can directly change our outward look - enter our faces competition 

Development

The seven additional applets which were developed by team member Jacob in the past few months have come to the point of their first release. Without exception, they are technically "ready to see the world". We are currently polishing integration in the Budgie desktop. Time for a short introduction.
  1. ShowTime - a digital clock on your desktop*Options include setting position, colours of both date & time.
    Clock
  2. WindowPreviewsPressing Alt + Tab will call an expose-like overview of windows on the current workspace. Pressing Super + Tab will show an overview of windows of the currently active application. At the bottom of the previews window, small bullet-buttons show the number of windows on all workspaces. Clicking either one will bring up an overview of the referring workspace.
    Prv
  3. HotCornersHot corners are available from the applet's menu. No need to restart the applet just set your commands and activate the corner. If none of the corners is enabled, the applet automatically hibernates.
    Hotcorners
  4. WallpaperSwitcherAutomatically Switch wallpaper on switching workspaces. Just set the wallpaper like you are used to, and the wallpaper will be remembered for that workspace.
    Wswitcher
  5. QuickNoteThe most straightforward way to make a quick note. Comes with a ten-step undo/redo option.
    Quicknote
  6. WindowMoverAdding this applet will add the following functionality to your desktop:
    • Drag a window to the bottom of your screen, and a quick "move to" -bar appears. Click any of the buttons or press the corresponding key on your keyboard, and the window will move to the targeted workspace.
    • Press Ctrl + Alt + w will call the bar, acting on the currently active window.
    • Press Ctrl + Alt + s calls a similar bar (now with small arrows) to make the desktop jump to any of the other workspaces.
    Mover
  7. WorkspaceOverviewAccess all of your windows, spread over all workspaces, from one single applet. Select any of the windows to move to the corresponding workspace and raise the window. To turn the applet into a simple workspace applet, just make your choice from the applet's Mode menu.
    Workspaceoverview
So how where can I install these you may be thinking. Well we will be asking for intrepid testers through our gitter community channel . So come on in a join the fun 🙂 Thanks to community member Zbigniew Stępniewski for helping out with some changes to budgie welcome.

Random

Both Jacob and myself spent an exhausting weekend at the beginning of the month to investigate various instability issues due to multiple non-budgie updates released after beta 2. These issues were eventually traced by the Linux community to one tiny bit of code released as part of the GNOME 3.26 point release. Phew! A big shout out and thanks to Jane Atkinson (irihapeti) for helping out and most importantly adding results to the QA ISO website as part of the 17.10 release candidate testing. Dustin has been looking at how the team who are from all over the world can best keep in touch with you - our community - and each other. Part of this has been evaluating different chat solutions as well as bridging options. Things are still up in the air due to nothign feelign quite "right". One of our previous bridging issues has been solved by a bug we filed upstream, so that may change our direction. Dustin has also been evaluating how snaps will fit into 18.04 (and beyond), researching potential things such as applets as snaps, and most likely the welcome app being snapped up!
David (project lead)

Competition – changing faces

t not often you get to change the face of a distro - so here is your chance. Our default desktop, much of our website artwork has used this picture.
Budgie desk
As we approach 18.04 (Bionic Beaver), we are offering up for you to change our default artwork. Can you do better? Competition time - the contest closes at the end of November 2017. We are looking for inspirational artwork - something that gives an immediate visual impact. Abstract is best - it must be recognisable when:
  1. cropped as a horizontal banner,
  2. scaled to a small image size 256x256
  3. has application windows covering most of the picture
Xplo header
Entry is via email - send entries to ubuntubudgiecompetition@gmail.com  Here is a great incentive. For the winner, you can select as many of our spectacular Ubuntu Budgie shop goodies up-to-the value of $60  
Gifts
Enter Zazzle's Ubuntu Budgie Shop 
Rules: all images submitted must conform with one of the following licenses:
CC-BY-SA-4.0 or CC0
You must be the author. Images shouldn’t be too busy and filled with too many shapes and colors; a similar tone throughout is a good rule of thumb.
  • Try your image at different aspect ratios to make sure something important isn’t cropped out on smaller/ larger screens at different resolutions.
  • Our target resolution is 3840 x 2400 (4K).
  • No brand names or trademarks of any kind.
  • No illustrations some may consider inappropriate, offensive, hateful, tortuous, defamatory, slanderous or libellous.
  • No sexually explicit or provocative images.
  • No images of weapons or violence.
  • No alcohol, tobacco, or drug use imagery.
  • No designs which promote bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against groups or individuals; or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • No religious, political, or nationalist imagery.
  • Use GIMP layers if possible, or PNG & JPG formats

17.10 Ubuntu Budgie Released!

We are pleased to announce the release of the next version of our distro - and the second as an official flavor of the Ubuntufamily. Based on 17.04 experiences, feedback and suggestions we have received from our users, the new release comes with a lot of new featuresfixes and optimizations:
  • More customisation options via budgie welcome
    • Complete desktop look and feel changes - more options
    • Lots more Budgie Applets available from brilliant independent developers
  • the best from the GNOME family as well as the fantastic Tilix terminal emulator with Quake mode enabled
  • Stylish new login screen
  • Latest upstream Budgie Desktop v10.4
  • Nightlight and Caffeine applets as standard
You can and should read more about what we have been upto via our release notes . Download links  and installation guide are provided. As always - do check the md5sum hash value of the downloaded ISO - this really does help you get on with a flying start for your install. Finally - a couple of fantastic short videos for you to enjoy. Thank you all for your continued support - spread the news! David, Ubuntu Budgie Project Leader.

Developer Diary – September

Our fabulous community

Thank-you to everyone who has donated this month. We now have raised enough to cover:
  • URL renewal costs for budgie-remix.org and ubuntubudgie.org for the next three years
  • Put aside server costs for the next three years if our sponsorship with DigitalOcean is not renewed.
Our donation page  has been revamped with additional goals to enable the team to help you the community. Please check it out.

17.10 Beta 2

Drawing
Again - many thanks to those who have helped testing our final beta release for 17.10. Have a look at a nice beta 2 video  to see 17.10 in all its glory 🙂

Bug-Fixing Galore

Ubuntu 17.10 entered its "freeze" phase at the beginning of September. What this means is that new features are discouraged, and developers instead are encouraged to concentrate on bug-fixing.
  1. The ISO installer was missing budgie wallpaper. I fixed that... and at the same time, the installer dialog became Arc themed. Simply Gorgeous
  2. At beta 1 I had put in a workaround to enable budgie-welcome to work without crashing due to a new WebKit library. Shortly after, upstream had advised what the real fix should be and the fix was applied as required. The budgie-welcome package now operates much more smoothly. The new WebKit library is also due to be backported to 17.04 to fix additional security issues. Extra time was spent backporting the Artful fixes to the Zesty version of budgie-welcome to ensure it does not crash.
  3. More fixes were added to our desktop settings package budgie-desktop-environment. Tilix no longer throws the irritating VTE error if launched quickly after login. Also, I managed to squeeze in a Dark theming for Tilix (looks much better now!) and when highlighting terminal text, the text is now automatically copied to the clipboard.
  4. Our translators for budgie-welcome have been very busy. So these updated translations have been pulled in and updated in the repositories. Budgie-welcome is now truly multilingual!
Drawing
  1. Caught a very irritating issue with Slick Greeter for those that use multiple desktop environments - slick greeter insisted in showing every desktop environment with a budgie logo. I pushed a pull-request to Linux Mint to get this fixed.
  2. In budgie-desktop 10.4 the budgie-desktop-settings application and the Plank application were not playing ball - there was a "budgie panel" icon that could not be removed from Plank. A simple fix was pushed to the upstream budgie-desktop project, and then uploaded to Ubuntu. This will also be backported to 17.04 and 16.04 in due course.
  3. gthumb was displaying a rather irritating menu addition to the headerbar breaking the look and feel to the app. Luckily the great gthumb devs upstream had fixed this, so I backported this fix for all Ubuntu users.
  4. Finally I have managed to track down why some app indicators were displaying huge icons. Bad bad apps - so we have basically ignored the sizing they wanted and sized it per the appindicator specification.

New Development

In the past weeks, Jacob has been working hard on a collection of Budgie-extras; a new set of handy applets to add to the default desktop. A sneak preview of two of the most recent developments includes the upcoming Window Previews:
Wpreviews
and a small, extremely easy and simple note applet; Quick Note:
Quicknote
Other applets that were mentioned before, the Hot Corners, the Window Mover (move windows quickly among workspaces), the Workspace Overview (menu) and the Wallpaper Switcher are nearly finished. To be continued!

Communications Infrastructure

While we are busy with the upcoming 17.10 release, we have a few background things brewing that Dustin is working on. One of these such things has been how we would like to interact with the community in our real-time chat, as well as our internal communications. Today, the Ubuntu Budgie project leverages the Gitter platform for both internal and community communications. While the platform as a whole is quite decent, one reoccurring issue our team members are having is related to notifications. Gitter (with good intentions) intercepts all mobile notifications when you have a desktop client running. While this at its heart is appealing on some level, if you are in the scenario where you have multiple computers (any of which could have the Gitter client running) - at times this can be bad. We are a distributed team (as nearly all OSS projects are), working from multiple time zones. Communication can happen at all hours of the day. Compound that with community members potentially needing assistance - missing notifications at times can be undesired. So with that transpiring, we are evaluating moving to a new platform. While we do not have many requirements, every bullet point is important to us.

Requirements

  • Must have a reliable method for our community members to join without issue.
  • Would prefer a web client to be available for the community members to keep the barrier to entry low.
  • Must support integrations - specifically GitHub, and Trello. But would like extensibility for future projects we are working on (bots, etc.).
  • Mobile and Desktop applications
  • Excellent notification system!!!!

Considerations

In no particular order, we have been looking at:
  • Discord
  • Slack
  • Mattermost
  • Hipchat
  • Riot
  • Rocketchat
  • Telegram
  • IRC
Since Gitter is OSS, one may ask why we don't submit a PR, etc. The reason is due to other initiatives, having a smaller team and time constraints. We are trying to stay focused on the project at hand (Ubuntu Budgie).

Feedback

What would you as the community like to see? Do you feel like we have overlooked any potential solutions? While we cannot please everyone, we are curious to see what your feedback would reflect.
David (project lead)