Desktop Team Updates - Monday 14th November 2022

Hi everyone, below you will find the updates from the Desktop team from the last week. If you’re interested in discussing a topic please start a thread in the Desktop area of Discourse.







Desktop Installer




Very short week for me

Steam Snap

  • Tweaks for gaming-graphics content snap
  • Game triage

Short week for me as well, thanks to the awesome Ubuntu Summit :slight_smile:


  • added support for MATE session manager


  • simplified release page UI #123

Back from Engineering Sprint and Ubuntu Summit 2022 in Prague, so this update is for 3 weeks (saying here that one had a short work week due to the Summit is not actually true).

  • cups-filters: The (tedious work of the) code clean-up is finally finished and the license information in the file headers and text files (COPYING, LICENSE, NOTICE) is switched to Apache 2.0 with (L)GPL exception (same license as CUPS, for best compatibility). The source repository documentation files,, INSTALL, … are updated to be ready for the separation and documentation about contributing and coding style are added (,, overtaken from CUPS, with slight modifications). Studied how to best do the separation, conserving commit histories and avoiding clutter, finding this method on GitHub and the git-filter-repo. Next step is the actual separation.
  • Getting Cute - New UI for the Qt print dialog: In a hallway session on the Ubuntu Summit I talked with Harald Sitter from KDE about my GUI GSoC work for OpenPrinting, especially of Gaurav Guleria’s project of switching both GNOME/GTK and KDE/Qt print dialogs to the Common Print Dialog Backends and also about that this does not change the GUI of the dialogs and the GUI of the Qt dialog is still of the early 2000s when the switchover to CUPS happened. Harald told that he wants to improve/modify the GUI and we agreed on getting at least a design similar to the GTK dialog. After being back from the Summit I sent him my OpenPrinting onboarding materials.
  • OpenPrinting Snaps: On the Engineering Sprint learnt from @kenvandine how to manage the versioning of the Snaps in the Snap Store, especially for the frequent security updates of the Snap’s dependencies and a future inclusion of the Snaps in Ubuntu.
  • OpenPrinting vs. Flutter: During the Engineering Sprint I had a meeting with our Flutter sub-team, @osomon, @jpnurmi, and @dloose, about printing support with Flutter, comming to the conclusion that no actual changes/action are required here. Update: Michael Sweet (author of CUPS) is implementing a full-feature IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) interface for Dart in close cooperation with Google, so for printing with Dart/Flutter is taken care of.
  • snapd: Meeting with @mvo on the Engineering Sprint about snapd and dependencies between Snaps, especially to make @mvo aware of that snapd should implicitly dependency-install the CUPS Snap when a Snap about to get installed plugs cups and do away with the pseudo content provider interface. Furthermore, and independent of this the bug with default-provider: in a seeded Snap needs to get fixed, and also Snap should have “real” package dependencies. The latter means that if you install for example Thunderbird, GNOME is dependency-installed and if you uninstall GNOME after that, you end up with non-working Thunderbird, GNOME should not be uninstallable here (this Heinrich Schuchardt reported to me on cross-team dinner). Needs a further meeting as I was only able to bring this up 15 min before the very end of the Sprint.
  • OpenPrinting look-up service: Had a quick chat with @local-optimum whether the Printer Application look-up service should get moved/mirrored into the (Canonical) cloud due to 23.04 (and further Ubuntu distros) using the service by default via the GNOME Control Center, but we concluded that it is not that urgent.
  • Documentation: Attended the Diataxis workshop of @danieleprocida during the Engineering Sprint. Learnt a lot about the different types of documentation, but it did not cover the technical creation (apps, tools, …) of documentation.
  • Ubuntu Desktop Team Indaba about Ubuntu Release Process: This month’s Indaba was done with all participants sitting together at one table in one room on the Engineering Sprint. I provided an external webcam and did the stage setup for the Indaba with having all the 5 participants in one frame.
  • Snap Tutorial Series “Your app everywhere, just in a Snap!” on Ubuntu Summit 2022: Pre-meeting with @hellsworth, master of the Indabas, about flow of the intro panel session, two more pre-meetings (all in-person plus remote attendees on the Sprint), one with the panelists of the intro panel session and one with the speakers and co-speakers of the 5 workshops, to coordinate everything, especially that the beginner’s workshops (“Snapping like Hell(sworth)” and “ROS Deployment Workshop”) provide the needed pre-knowledge for the workshops about the advanced topics. Also prepared the slides and exercises for the “Daemon Snapper’s Workshop” (Sergio Cazzolato, thanks a lot for implementing the exercises). On the Summit the series was successful. On the Indaba-like panel there were not only me as the host and Heather Ellsworth, Ken Vandine, Sergio Schvezov, Dani Llewellyn, and Graham Morrison as the invited guests, but Gustavo Niemeyer and Zygmunt Krynicki entered the panel as surprise guests. Then the conversation was going by itself and I did not need to ask much any more. Intro and tutorial rooms where full during the sessions. Unfortunately, in some tutorials attendees had problems setting up their systems (we should better have used Workshops for the workshops), but otherwise all was working fine.
  • OpenPrinting Community Panel on Ubuntu Summit 2022: Completed preparations on the Engeineering Sprint and the first days of the Summit, pre-interviewed the guests by e-mail (to know what they will say more or less), pre-meeting in-person on the Summit with Zdenek Dohnal from Red Hat and last-minute guest Deepak Patankar (GSoC mentor). The session itself, an Indaba-like panel with me as the host and Zdenek Dohnal (Red Hat/OpenPrinting), Johannes Meixner (SUSE), and Deepak Patankar (OpenPrinting) as in-person guests and Aveek Basu (OpenPrinting) as remote guest, had only low attendance (Snap is simply much more attractive than printing) but people liked it, especially @local-optimum and also Liam Proven from The Register.
  • Save Legacy Printers under Windows with WSL and Printer Applications on Ubuntu Summit 2022: My lightning talk about Carlos Nihelton’s OpenPrinting HOWTO to save legacy printers was a great success. Many people came up to me praising this idea and it also got an article in The Register by Liam Proven! Also Craig Loewen from Microsoft attended it and liked the idea a lot! At the end of the talk I called Carlos Nihelton and Dani Llewellyn onto the stage to express my special thanks to them. Yes, we are sustainable!
  • I have built a working plotter from parts worth 12.50 EUR: On the Summit I attended the workshop “Let’s build a pen-plotter” by @danieleprocida and the plotter actually worked in the end! Unfortunately, I cannot post pictures on this platform, but I will give more details in my November News Post at OpenPrinting by the end of this week. There is also an article on The Register. @danieleprocida, now you only need to create a Printer Application for it (I will mentor you).
  • Ubuntu Summit 2022: The Summit was a real success! See especially my reports about the sessions (and hallway sessions) above. Met a lot of people from the community, often old friends and colleagues, attended many great sessions, from @ogra about Ubuntu Core and Snap, from Craig Loewen from Microsoft about WSL, the production of a podcast by the Linux Lads (like an Indaba but without video, they also took my e-mail address for a possible OpenPrinting episode), playing with Mini Pupper, the little four-legged robot, …
  • Open Source Summit 2022 in Dublin: Remember that I wrote in an earlier update that I had won a BeagleBone AI-64 on the closing plenary of the embedded Linux track? Now when coming back from Prague the shiny little device had finally made it to my home!
  • Google Summer of Code 2022: The final results of the all OpenPrinting GSoC projects for this year got public and of the 8 contributors who have started, 6 passed, 1 failed on mid-term, and 1 failed on the finals. And as already on the mid-term evaluations, all contributors who submitted a final evaluation (6) praised my work as a mentor and also working for OpenPrinting in general.
  • Google Summer of Code 2023: The program will take place again next year! Also the timeline is already published. And I will participate again with the Linux Foundation and OpenPrinting, there is enough on our roadmap. Also started already with the selection/onboarding of the first contributor candidates.
  • Bugs.

firefox24 firefox

  • validated 106.0.5 builds, now published
  • prepared and validated 107.0 builds and handed over to the security team

thunderbird24 thunderbird

  • validated 102.4.2 update and handed over to security team
  • preparing 102.5.0 update

cof24 Ubuntu Summit

  • discussed the WebExtensions portal PR with the portal maintainers, good progress made towards merging
  • met with Mozilla’s Alexandre Lissy who we’ve been working with on the firefox snap in the past few months, and discussed priorities
  • delivered two talks:
  • enjoyed a lot meeting old and new faces in Prague