GTK 4 to be Released Next Fall

Among other things, the team has decided that before the final release, it is necessary to bring to the end 5 planned functional changes
02 September 2019   1350

A plan for the formation of the GTK 4 release has been outlined. It is noted that it will take about another year to bring GTK 4 to its proper form (GTK 4 has been developing since summer 2016). Until the end of 2019, it is planned to prepare another experimental release of the GTK 3.9x series, then in the spring of 2020 the final test release of GTK 3.99 will be offered, which includes all the intended functionality. The release of GTK 4 is expected in early fall 2020, simultaneously with GNOME 3.38.

Before the final release, it is necessary to bring to the end five planned functional changes, including the work of replacing fixed widgets with scalable views, a new API for animating and translating effects and indicators of progress on it, completing the processing of the pop-up menu system (developing ideas related to nested submenus and drop-down menus), replacing the old hotkey system with event handlers, finalizing the new API for Drag & Drop operations.

Among the optional features that team would like to add before the release of GTK 4, the "UI designer" widget, improved means for splitting the upper panels and the widget repository through which experimental widgets can be delivered without integration into the main structure of GTK stand out. The development of tools for porting applications to GTK4 is also mentioned, for example, the preparation of the corresponding versions of the GtkSourceView, vte and webkitgtk libraries, as well as the provision of platform support. For example, the OpenGL-based rendering system works well on Linux, but the Vulkan-based rendering system still needs to be improved. On Windows, the Cairo library is used for rendering, but an alternative implementation based on ANGLE (a layer for translating OpenGL ES calls to OpenGL, Direct3D 9/11, Desktop GL and Vulkan) is under development. For macOS, a fully functional rendering backend is not yet available.

Solus 4.1 to be Released

The new version of this Linux distribution brings a lot of changes and improvements
27 January 2020   155

Solus 4.1 Linux distribution, which is not based on packages of other distributions and develops its own Budgie desktop, installer, package manager and configurator, was released. The code of the project’s achievements is distributed under the GPLv2 license; the C and Vala languages ​​are used for development. Additionally, assemblies with GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE desktops are provided. The size of the iso-images is 1.7 GB (x86_64).

The distribution adheres to the hybrid development model, in accordance with which significant releases are periodically issued, which offer new technologies and significant improvements, and in the interval between significant releases, the distribution is developed using the rolling model of package updates.

To manage packages, the eopkg package manager (PiSi fork from Pardus Linux) is used, which provides the usual tools for installing / removing packages, searching the repository and managing repositories. Packages can be distinguished into thematic components, which in turn form categories and subcategories. For example, Firefox is assigned to the network.web.browser component, which is included in the category of network applications and a subcategory of applications for the Web. More than 2000 packages are offered for installation from the repository.

The Budgie desktop is based on GNOME technologies, but uses its own implementations of the GNOME Shell, panels, applets, and notification systems. Budgie uses the Budgie Window Manager (BWM), which is an extended modification of the base Mutter plugin, to manage windows. The basis of Budgie is a panel similar in organization of work to the classic panels of the desktop. All panel elements are applets, which allows you to flexibly configure the composition, change the placement and replace the implementation of the main panel elements to your taste. Among the available applets, one can note the classic application menu, task switching system, an area with a list of open windows, viewing virtual desktops, a power management indicator, a volume control applet, a system status indicator and a clock.

Major improvements:

  • In iso-images, the zstd (Zstandard) algorithm is used to compress the contents of SquashFS, which compared to the "xz" algorithm allowed to accelerate unpacking operations 3-4 times, at the cost of a slight increase in size;
  • To play music in editions with the Budgie, GNOME and MATE desktops, the Rhythmbox player with the Alternate Toolbar extension is proposed, offering an interface with a compact panel implemented using window decoration on the client side (CSD). For video playback in the editions of Budgie and GNOME comes GNOME MPV, and in MATE - VLC. In the KDE edition, Elisa is available for playing music, and SMPlayer for video;
  • The distribution settings are optimized (the limit on the number of file descriptors has been increased) to use the "esync" (Eventfd Synchronization) mechanism in Wine, which allows to increase the performance of multi-threaded Windows games and applications;

Get more at the official website