Friday, December 30, 2011

Bodhi Linux Release Schedule

With the recent release of Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 I've had a few questions as to what our release cycle is exactly. I'd like to take a short moment today to clarify what exactly on current release schedule looks like. Our version numbering looks something like this:


Where x represents a major release, y represents an update (or point) release and z represents a bug fix release.

We have a two year major release cycle. These releases will be centered around each new Ubuntu long term support (LTS) release. Our goal is to release our new major version in the July following the release of an Ubuntu LTS. Because we have such a long major release cycle, we will be releasing our "update" releases every three months. The goal of update releases is to keep the software on the LiveCD current and continue making small improvements to the default look of the system. Finally our bug fix releases will happen as needed when an issue is discovered with the default configuration.

And because people like time lines, this is what our release cycle for the next couple years looks like:

1.4.0 March 2012
1.5.0 June 2012 – Last Update release to our 10.04 base
2.0.0 July 2012 – First Stable release to our 12.04 base
2.1.0 September 2012 – First Update release to our 12.04 base
2.2.0 December 2012
2.3.0 March 2013
2.4.0 June 2013
2.5.0 September 2013
2.6.0 December 2013
2.7.0 March 2014
2.8.0 June 2014 - Last Update release to our 12.04 base
3.0.0 July 2014 - First Stable release to our 14.04 base

Pretty straight forward and obviously the only deviation from this list would be bug fix releases that may or may not be needed. Have any questions feel free to drop a comment below.

~Jeff Hoogland

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dear Open Source Free Loaders

This is an open letter to all the open source free loaders out there - you know who you are.

One day you heard about this awesome thing called free software. You didn't know about the difference between free as in freedom and free as in beer - nor did you care. You came here simply because you heard you could get something for nothing.

As soon as you have your something, you are content - for the moment. Then something does not behave as expected, you can't figure something out or a true issue occurs.

You don't ask for help. 

You don't report there is an issue.

You don't help fix the problem at hand.

You know what you do. We all know what you do. You proclaim loudly for all to hear that the thing you got for free doesn't work properly. You call it garbage. You call it trash. You walk away from the product, leaving it worse for wear. You won't be missed.

In fact, check your Paypal - there is a full refund sitting in your account. Don't come back.

Today, I implore you - don't be an open source free loader. Free and Open Source Software is software written by a community, for a community. Without give an take on both ends (developers and users) things will never improve. The developers have given you software to use, the least you can do is give valid feedback. Remember - if you aren't part of a solution, then you are part of the problem.

A short rant from a sometimes tired developer,
~Jeff Hoogland

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HOWTO: Setup Comp-Scale under Enlightenment

What is Comp-Scale?

Comp-Scale is an Enlightenment module that uses compositing features to allow you to switch between active windows and your current virtual workspace in a fancy method.

Installing Comp-Scale:

If you are using Bodhi Linux comp-scale is installed by default on your system. If you are using a different base system I advise building the latest comp-scale module from the E SVN.

Loading Comp-Scale:

If you installed the module correctly you can now go to Settings->Modules->Look and load Comp-Scale:

Setting Up Comp-Scale:

There are two different methods of settings up Comp-Scale. First you can simply add click-able gadgets (Settings->Gadgets) to your desktop or shelf:

Or you can setup key bindings:

What does Comp-Scale Look Like?

The first gadget - Scale Windows - gives you a composited view of all the windows on your active work space:

The second gadget - Scale all Windows - displays all open applications running across all your work spaces:

Finally, the third gadget - Scale Pager - triggers an overview of all your virtual work spaces:


Short Enlightenment tutorials are something I hope to start doing on a regular basis. The Enlightenment desktop is extremely flexible and there are a great number of things you can do with it. Personally I learned everything I did about the desktop largely by following the IT flow chart and I advise everyone else interested in learning the desktop to do the same. The Bodhi Guide to Enlightenment is also a great resource for learning the E17 desktop.

If there is something you are interested in learning how to do, drop a comment below and hopefully I can address it in a future post

~Jeff Hoogland

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 Releases

All of our Bodhi users have been good little boys and girls this year it seems! So good in fact we are giving you your present a day early. The Bodhi team and I are happy to announce our next update release - Bodhi 1.3.0. While you will not find any earth shattering new features in this release there are many minor improvements.

Most notably you will find the use of the new "itask" module in three of our profiles, it is far more flexible than our old taskbar module. Also worth noting is that our installer slide show has gotten a much needed make over, along with further updates to our on disc documentation and a pretty new installer icon:

Software wise you will find a fresh Enlightenment desktop built from SVN this week and the Midori 0.4.2 web browser. In terms of themes this release features Agust, BlingBlack, PinkBodhi and Sunshine.

You can find our high speed torrent download here or the slower direct download here. As this is just a minor release current Bodhi users can easily update their systems to these packages following the directions here (it is recommend you do a full reboot or at least X restart after these updates).

In other Bodhi related news I have been hacking happily away at Bodhi for ARM. Beyond our Genesi partner hardware I have been working at getting file systems prepared for the Nokia N900 and the HP TouchPad running Bodhi's enlightenment desktop. These file systems will be based on Debian Wheezy (The current squeeze release lacks enough ARM support to be used).

Finally have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Great New Year Linux folks. Oh - and don't forget to vote on your favorite Christmas themed desktop this weekend!

Ho, ho, ho - Hoogland over and out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Application Spotlight: Qalculate!

Today's application is my favorite calculator on a desktop computer (and my N900). It is called Qalculate!:

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Qalculate! has all the features you expect from a calculator and has a fairly straight forward layout:

I like Qalculate! because in addition to being fairly simplistic in appearance it is also a powerful tool. Qalculate! supports creating your own functions and by default it comes with a slew of it's own:

As you may note from the menu Qalculate! also comes pre-programmed with a variety of scientific variables and various unit conversions (because the US is silly and still doesn't use the metric system!).

Beyond the functionality of Qalculate! it is also a well written tool because the calculations/tasks it performs are completed separated from the GUI front end. This means Qalculate! comes with more than one front end, currently it has both GTK and QT options (and I hope to see an EFL front end some day). If you have not yet tried Qalculate! out before I highly recommend it. You should be able to easily find and install it from your distribution's repositories (Bodhi users can also find it in the appcenter).

~Jeff Hoogland

Saturday, December 10, 2011

HOWTO: Force Skype to use Alsa on Linux

Like it or not Skype is a popular piece of software. In fact it is so popular it is the only piece of voice communication software a number of my friends will use. Because of this I have an account an use it on my Bodhi system every now and then (at least it has a native - if poor - Linux client and I don't have to run it via Wine). In case you didn't know - Bodhi ships with just the Alsa sound server by default (there are a number of reasons for this - none of which I am going to get into here) and luckily Skype installs and works perfectly fine with Alsa - until pulse audio shows up that is.

It seems something I installed recently drug pulse audio in with it as a dependency - this would be fine and dandy except for the fact that my Skype audio (input and output) 100% stopped with the addition of pulse audio to my system. Apparently the authors of Skype (in their infinite wisdom) made it so that if Skype is launched while pulse audio is installed Skype will use pulse (and only pulse) without the option to change back to Alsa. As I mentioned above my Skype audio was non-functional under pulse (for whatever reason) so I sought out a method for forcing Skype to use Alsa without having to remove pulse audio from my system.

The Solution -
To start, you need to close Skype and then kill the pulse audio server. To do this in one swift command open a terminal and run

killall skype && killall pulseaudio

Next you need to tell your pulse audio server not to auto launch itself (which it does by default). To do this we simply need to add one configuration setting to a file. To do this run the command:

nano ~/.pulse/client.conf

In the text file that is opened paste the following line:

autospawn = no

Save and close the file (ctrl+x when using nano), launch Skype and you should be good to go.

Hope this saves someone the 20 minutes I spent crawling around Google to track down this information.

~Jeff Hoogland