Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday – Gnome 76

Debian 8.8 is out! Fuchsia gets a GUI, System76 Pops GNOME, and the investigations on Thunderbird’s future home have concluded.

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Colour key – Venn Pedro Mathieu Jordan


Snowball fight

  • They are still discussing which encoder to ship but I bet it will be LAME
  • Now, let’s go through the list of all distros that have been sued for distributing binaries of mp3 codecs: …
    • There’s a reason they haven’t been sued and it’s because they’ve paid for the license.
    • Which is also why even Ubuntu still includes the “Extra codecs” tick box in the installer.
  • I wouldn’t want to be in the position of the person responsible for re-compiling and packaging MP3 enabled SDL/SDL2, and the lot.
  • Now we’re down to 18 forbidden items.
    • Aka 18 reasons not to use Fedora


Debian 8.8

  • There are still a few release critical bugs that have yet to be fixed then we should see Debian 9 right away.
  • It’s a point release for people coming in being able to download and install an up-to-date system without to have to wait on the updates after it’s installed.
  • If you have the latest security updates installed you don’t need to do anything.


Google is about to learn how much it costs to develop and support a widely used kernel

  • Because microkernel.
  • Because Java, also.
  • I’m ok with that, it should lead to some very interesting stuff, especially regarding the use of Dart and Vulkan
  • Last year Google showed the TPU processor, then they mentioned a new OS which no one gave a damn about because it was just the base framework.
  • Now there’s a GUI and people are actually paying attention.
  • Remains to be seen how long this will survive after it hits the market in any significant numbers.
  • Google already does a horrendous job supporting an OS on which they don’t have to worry about the kernel 90% of the time.
  • How are they expecting people to buy into the idea that they, and their track record, will be in charge of the whole thing?
    • Awww Pedro thinks people will have a choice, that’s cute.
  • Now I get the whole wanting to get away from the bloatfest that is that glorified JVM we call Android.
  • But I can’t help but feel like this is them looking at throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
  • Considering Android was built to run on a 320 x 480 screen with a 528 MHz CPU and 192 MB RAM? (HTC Dream)
  • Yeah, I think it’s about time to… start again.  


Gnome 76

  • The Pop theme is amazing, I’ve been using it since I heard about it
  • But there are still some issues with GTK2 apps, I will probably send a few pull requests regarding that
    • That explains why it looks like ass on MATE 16.04.
  • I’m happy they have finally released the list of suggested fonts, they had previously mentioned that fonts were an important part of their design but they didn’t say which ones exactly!
  • Perfect KDE connect integration is also a very cool decision
    • Here’s to hoping that trickles down to MATE and other DEs.
    • If not by S76, then someone else, just make it happen.
  • Also very nice, they’ll send patches to the PPA management system so supported ones won’t be disabled between upgrades
  • Unless something better comes along (and I seriously doubt it), I’m rooting for System 76’s version of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Gnome 17.04 + System 76’s theme is currently the best looking OS ever made.
  • They are focused on the initial experience.
  • Aiming for something like a Android, importing contacts and setting up sync and email etc.
  • GNOME has this built in but it need some work and they plan to help tighten that up.



  • Did the Mozilla Foundation just tell the Thunderbird Council to pull a Summer?
  • The only thing to remember: Thunderbird isn’t going away any time soon.
  • Brass tax:
    • Thunderbird Council has to play nice nice with the Mozilla Foundation executive team.
    • The Thunderbird Council has to gain operational and technical independence with a quickness.
    • Ya got 6 months to do both or we invoke C.
  • You can look at this one of two ways.
    • 1. The Mozilla Foundation just put the Thunderbird Council on final notice hoping a gentle nudge will help assist in getting things going.
    • 2. The Mozilla Foundation knows full well the Thunderbird Council will not be able to pull this off but didn’t want to come across as the “bad guys” by outright kicking them out of the house.



  • You don’t cut a third of a large company for no reason
  • Ubuntu, the desktop OS, has never been profitable, this has never kept the project from going on.
  • But making the company public is a whole different story, the company has to be attractive to potential investors.
  • I just hope this doesn’t have negative effects on the desktop, and to be honest, it’d be pretty hard to mess that up, they just have to keep delivering the enhanced version of Debian they’ve been shipping for more than 10 years.
  • Also, this may put an end to Canonical NIH’s syndrome. Yes, Canonical, you can keep Snaps but use them on IoT and cloud services, use Flatpak for desktop applications!
  • Who knows… Maybe if they’d gone public earlier they could saved a ton of R&D money because at least one of those investors would have told them to “Drop it, or my money is gone!”.



  • “I wish I could sort my downloads by other criteria than reverse chronological order” said no one ever.
  • The only feature you need for your download manager is “Clear all”
  • Really, since they already have a search box I don’t really know what else I’d need in a Download manager.
  • Download manager?
  • I wonder if the team at Vivaldi know the first step after installation is to disable all the whiz bang features?
  • At least they updated to the latest Chromium branch.

Slice of Pi

Kill The Prime Minister Of Malaysia

  • That’s a cool way to get a Mycroft assistant for cheap!


Pi swag

  • It serves no purpose but I like it! Nice work!
  • The heatsink was a nice touch.



  • Good old ConnectBot, I’ve fixed production servers with it!

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