Desktop Team Updates - Monday 16th March 2020

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.
We also have our weekly meeting on IRC. We meet on Tuesday at 13:30 UTC in #ubuntu-desktop on Freenode. There will be an “Any Other Business” section at the end where you are welcome to raise topics. These topics might be discussed during the meeting, or afterwards depending on the time, depth of conversation, topic and so on.

Last week’s notes are here: Desktop Team Updates - Monday 9th March 2020

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  • Submitted patch to firefox to cleanup duplicated files in the snap

Snap Store:

  • Enabled packagekit_autoremove to fix bug
  • Make gstreamer1.0-packagekit recommend packagekit-installer
  • Make ubuntu-desktop provide packagekit-installer

GNOME Build Snap:

  • Reviewed MR adding gtkmm to the build and platform snaps. Approved and published to the store.

USN Refreshes

:flight_arrival: Getting back up to speed after the engineering sprint and days off…

:desktop_computer: Gnome Shell:

:house: House keeping:

  • Caught up on 100+ bugs.
  • More laptop testing with focal.

:chart_with_downwards_trend: Backlog tracking

  • zsys
    • Revisited the garbage collector.
    • Partially fixed CI in github.
    • More tests and dead code removal.
    • Testing, testing, testing…
  • Daily ISOs review and testing.
  • Fixed python2 -> python3 errors in UTAH.

4 Days work


  • Revisited the garbage collector.
  • Partially fixed CI in github.
  • More tests and dead code removal.
  • Testing, testing, testing…
  • Prepare next release
  • Fix in go-libzfs some perf issues and switch to our vendored version


firefox24 firefox

  • 74.0+build3 published to all supported releases
  • prepared nodejs-mozilla backports of Node.js 12.16.1 for xenial, bionic and eoan (because firefox 75 requires a newer version)

chromium22 chromium

package24 other

Took Monday off as a swap day.

  • Snapcraft: Regarding the interface through which snapped apps can print via the CUPS snap suggested a meeting between me, @ijohnson, and @jdstrand. Waiting for answer from @jdstrand.
  • Printer Applications: Michael Sweet (author of CUPS) started the PAPPL project, a framework for printer applications (which is not in working state yet). Studied the Lprint Printer Application for label printers, the first released Printer Application ever, also from Michael Sweet, to learn more about Michael’s idea of Printer Applications. Started discussion with Michael about the architecture of Printer Applications and user experience requirements and settled on some architecture guidelines.
  • Printer Application Framework: The Printer Application Framework project on OpenPrinting got mainly obsolete after the discussion with Michael. Probably some code snippets will still get used in the future Printer Applications.
  • Printer Drivers: Further thoughts about retro-fitting classic printer drivers with PPD files into Printer Applications, also considered wrapping a feature-reduced CUPS into a Snap to work as a retro-fit Printer Application, due to current CUPS’ excellent PPD support which is not easy to resemble, but finally discarded this idea as Printer Applications need a consistent web admin interface. We will need to wait for PAPPL to reach a first working state to base a retro-fit framework on that.
  • cups-filters: Planning for the further development for a Printer Application world: Make all filters also working without PPD, but with IPP options; Add build options for no-PPD-supporting CUPS, raster-only Printer Applications, no cups-browsed, for fitting needs of Snaps; Move filter’s functionality into libcupsfilters library, to reduce external executable calls in Printer Applications.
  • cups-filters: Merged several bug fixes from contributors, partially also of student candidates for this year’s GSoC, especially also finally fixed the problems with the foomatic-rip filter. I will release 1.27.3 soon before starting development in the direction of Printer Applications.
  • HPLIP: HP has released 3.20.3 and withdrawn 3.20.2 because of a severe regression. This finally gave way for me to post a hardware enablement FFe request for Focal.
  • sane-airscan: Author Alexander Pevzner is willing to code the IPP Scan part in his SANE backend saving us one student. He will also mentor a student on the IPP Scan server (Scanner Application).
  • Google Summer of Code 2020: Google’s student application time window has started (closes on March 31). Assigned projects to the students who have passed the assignments (fixing OpenPrinting bugs) in the last weeks and started to prepare them to do their proposals. Also continued mentoring students on assignments.
  • Bugs.

Locked-down in Spain :confused:

Shell stack

  • Lots of refactories and fixes for the appindicator-extension, and primarely
    • Fixed HiDPI icons issues for good (if good icons are provided)
    • All moved to use async Gio.Icon loading via upstream St.Icons
    • Icons are now all using upstream style and sizing (so 16px*scale everywhere)
    • Reduce icons rebuilding on non-changes or close events
    • Lots of bugs fixed: #1723827, #1817073, #1832793, #1825623, #1866042 (and some more reported upstream only)
    • Prepared a debian release [MR, merged and uploaded to experimental]
  • Dash to dock, woring to get it working in gnome-shell 3.36:
    • Spent quite a lot of time to debug an infinite-loop e/o crash we were getting as per an upstream mutter change [fixed]
      • However… To get the proper fix we should actually get this gjs fix in.
    • Properly replace the stock dash in both dummy and normal shell modes (as per some upstream changes I did in the past the things were a bit more complicated to extend :)), includes fix for #1865865
    • Make sure we never get the stock dash back #1795703
    • Fixed various random errors
    • Few upstream reviews
  • Gjs
    • As mentioned, while working on the DashToDock loop-fix I noticed gjs was badly handling virtual functions with inout parameters, which unfortunately I needed, so ended up to fix this in gjs [MR] (and gobject-introspection branch needed only for testing).
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  • GNOME 3.36 updates
  • some Debian syncs
  • Reworked the disabling of wpe in webkitgtk and upstreamed to Debian
  • some other desktop updates
  • proposed updated translations for snap-store
  • added removable-device to the evince snap so it can use usb devices
  • debugged some plymouth flickering issues
  • Review/sponsoring
    • version mozjs68 adding from Marco
    • unity/usd/ucc updates
    • inluded yaru spinner from Frederik in Yaru
    • ubiquity slideshow updates from the flavors
    • vala bionic SRU
    • hud build fix
    • gnome documentation updates from Gunnar
  • Started looking at using the new snap of appstream-generator to get a refreshed version running on, but this is annoying because it’s currently classic and the store won’t accept that, so more work required. :slightly_frowning_face:
  • Various updates in Debian and Ubuntu
  • Helped apw with some ideas, deployment & testing of a new way to install the requested kernel for autopkgtest; it’s more complex than for a regular package so needed a bit of thought
  • A bit of massaging to get gjs / mozjs / friends in a migratable state (i386 builds & test failures), should be good to go behind ICU now
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