Category Archives: Development

LXMusic – Minimalist xmms2-based music player

Everyone loves screenshots!

lxmusic.png

LXMusic – The minimalist music player for LXDE. This is based on xmms2, which is lightweight and has server/client design. The user interface is quite simple, clean, and intuitive. At first glance, it looks similar to my favorite player on Windows – foobar 2000. LXMusic only has very few features, and it can do nothing more than just playing a list of music files. However, this is what’s lacking today, a player which doesn’t try to teach you how to listen your own music files. It just plays! That’s all.

It’s still under development and is still in alpha stage, but it’s enough for everyday use. Please grab the tarball or download the hotest code from LXDE svn repo to get it tested!

LXDE Translation Project

We are starting the LXDE translation project. Please join the LXDE translation team now! Help translating LXDE into different languages. Join us improving the documentation and resources around LXDE.

It is the aim of the LXDE team and community to give access to information to people with less powerful hardware. Many did not have the chance to learn English or another second language. Let us make LXDE available in their language, so everyone can profit from the speed and easy to use features of LXDE!

LXDE is under constant development and recently more new components have been added. More components and updates means more opportunities for people to participate.

More ideas how to join the LXDE Community here: join.lxde.org

Recent Status of LXDE

Actually, the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) project had rested for some time. Though we’re getting more and more people to join us since Linux World Expo 2008, LXDE have no much improvements since July this year. It’s happened due to our main developers didn’t have time to write new code, PCMan took time to focuses on his physician jobs, Jserv has worked for a new project which is confidential. About me, I was burdened with my family, so I also need to focus on my current jobs and my school to earn more money.

Recently, we’re planning to release a new version and new stuffs of some LXDE components for Merry Christmas. :D It is a great news that LXDE has a new project – “menu-cache”, which is a library creating and utilizing caches to speed up the manipulation for freedesktop.org defined application menus, and also it can be used as a replacement of libgnome-menu of gnome-menus. It means the menu-cache will speed up our LXLauncher and LXPanel menu, they will be getting faster. for supporting the menu-cache, PCMan is working hard on LXPanel right now, you can see logs of SVN everyday.

Besides, we hope to release a lxpanel-dev package for development of lxpanel plugin next version. Currently, it is difficult to write a new plugin for lxpanel, if you wanna write a new one, you have to download the LXPanel sourcecode and inject your code into the LXPanel and then copy the .so file to the system folder after compile it successful. It doesn’t make sense that is too complicated for developing a plugin. So we are tring to export header files and pkgconfig for making easy for development of plugin. Additionally, LXPanel has been reformed, lxpanel-core and lxpanel-plugin be separated. It will be helpful to maintain LXPanel sourcecode for us.

Well, I wanna make an apology for all of patch provider right now, because you guys’ patches which wasn’t applied for a long time. We are reviewing those patches currently, it will be applied as soon as possible, I hope so.

LXDE team members believe that LXDE has a great future, even if we don’t have much time to do that. Hope you guys can join us to help LXDE keeps going. :-)

LXPanel 0.4.0 beta! Testers are needed!

We haven’t have new releases of LXPanel for quite a long time, but the development is still ongoing.

Major Changes:
* Greatly rewrite application menu with our new menu-cache library. Now it’s complete and more user-friendly
* Improved “Run” dialog
* Improved OSS volume plugin
* Image showed on application menu button can be changed with GUI.
* Add new temperature monitor plugin by Daniel Kesler
* Size of icons now can automatically be automatically adjusted according to the height of the panel.
* Numerous bug fixes and more…

Please get it tested since lxpanel 0.4 will be released very soon.

Note that to make the whole new menu work correctly, now menu-cache and lxmenu-data are needed.
LXPanel source tarball

menu-cache library tarball (lightweight library used to generate standard compliant menus)

lxmenu-data tarball (data files used to build the menu)

LXSession Edit – Configure what’s automatically started in LXDE.

It’s well known and well documented that our session manager LXSession Lite suppport the autostart freedesktop.org specs. However, autostart spec is a term for developers and it’s meaningless for our end users. Basically, it provides a way to automatically start some applications after login.

Now this can (partially) be configured through a simple GUI – LXSession Edit.

You can turn on some disabled gnome applications in LXDE with this handy tool.

Also, window manager used in LXDE can be changed with this tool, too (Only lxsession lite is supported, not the deprecated lxsession).

Currently adding and removing application from this startup list is not yet available, but it will be support in the next release.

The package is available here for testing: https://sourceforge.net/project/showfil…
Testers and packagers are wanted!!

Community First!

The current release of MySQL shows the problems free and open source software projects face that put business first and community second. Michael “Monty” Widenius critizes in his Blog the current developement model of MySQL and recommends not to use the current release 5.1 of the database system.

The reason I am asking you to be very cautious about MySQL 5.1 is that there are still many known and unknown fatal bugs in the new features that are still not addressed.

Monty gives a some reasons why the MySQL development department again got a quality problem with the release. Some of them are:

  • MySQL 5.1 was declared beta and RC way too early. The reason MySQL 5.1 was declared RC was not because we thought it was close to being GA, but because the MySQL manager in charge *wanted to get more people testing MySQL 5.1*. This didn’t however help much, …
  • We have changed the release model so that instead of focusing on quality and features our release is now defined by timeliness and features…
  • The MySQL core developers have been split into too many teams and only a small part of the core developers have been working on MySQL 5.1 to get the bugs fixed. Some of the core developers have also recently left the MySQL organization which is a serious issue as there is not many of of them.
  • Too many new developers without a thorough knowledge of the server have been put on the product trying to fix bugs…
  • Bug fixing and development processes are not systematic and not persistent.
  • We have not been giving the MySQL community enough opportunities to test MySQL 5.1 (too few releases). … the MySQL current development model doesn’t in practice allow the MySQL community to participate in the development of the MySQL server …
  • Internal QA on the MySQL server was started very late in the process. Now when the process have started to show results, the found bugs have largely being ignored as fixing these they would delayed the MySQL 5.1 GA date.
  • The MySQL server team have a bug fixing policy where a bug that has existed a long time has a lower priority ‘because people know about them’. This is supposedly one of the reasons why the Bug#989 mentioned above has not been fixed.

As I said in my talk at the MySQL users conference, I think it’s time to seriously review how the MySQL server is being developed and change the development model to be more like Drizzle and PostgreSQL where the community has a driving role in what gets done! (http://monty-says.blogspot.com/2008/11/oops-we-did-it-again-mysql-51-released.html)

What can we learn for the LXDE project here? The consequences are clear. During recent months we have already worked hard to improve the tools and infrastructure for the growing LXDE community and we will continue to do it. The community must take a leading role in development of software systems in order to keep the system on the bleeding edge.

Companies are always welcome to join development and focus on their business models. Projects like LXDE have a roadmap that is following long term goals instead of short term profitability. We are inviting more people to join the LXDE development, test LXDE and support and contribute – for faster and more energy efficient software. Please check out our contribution page at http://join.lxde.org.

System benchmark tests of LXDE with lmbench suite.

Penk from the LXDE core team in Taiwan has done a lxde system benchmark test using the lmbench suite.

lmbench is a suite of simple, portable ANSI/C microbenchmarks for UNIX/POSIX. In general, it measures two key features: latency and bandwidth. It is intended to give system developers insight into basic costs of key operations. (http://freshmeat.net/projects/lmbench/)

The results can be seen in the test file here: lxde-benchmark

More benchmark tests can be done with tools from the Linux Benchmark Suite: http://lbs.sourceforge.net

LXDE with 3D desktop effects

Thomas Kross aka captagon from the LXDE Sid Edition has posted some nice screenshots of LXDE with Compiz and 3D effects. Even though this makes LXDE a bit slower, it is a proof that these effects can work well on low end computers. I hope the LXDE developers find a way to speed up compiz in the future too.