LXDE in CentOS

Avelino from the CentOS Community in Brazil and Chris Wickert had an interesting talk on the LXDE IRC (irc.oftc.net #lxde), how to make LXDE run in CentOS.

There are no LXDE rpms for CentOS yet, but it is possible to rebuild the srpms from Fedora.

You can grab the latest packages from https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates, use the search box to search for a package and then install as described in http://wiki.lxde.org/en/Fedora.

If you download and install the CentOS RPM it should work fine (https://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/search/lxde).

You will also need menu-cache if you install latest lxpanel 0.4.0 or a later version.

LXPanel 0.4 and menu-cache 0.2.4 released

Hi all, here comes the latest release of LXPanel – version 0.4.

LXPanel 0.4 screenshot
LXPanel 0.4 screenshot

First I’d like to say sorry because this is not a bug-free release.
Some existing problems are not completely solved yet, but most of the bugs causing crashes were fixed. However, we feel it’s right time to have a new release. The menu-cache library is now stable enough for extensive use in LXDE. This will give us a enhanced and faster application menu and lxlauncher. Later, the lib will be used by pcmanfm, too.

The new features and some important bug fixes really deserves a new release of lxpanel.
So here comes version 0.4.

https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=180858

To use LXPanel 0.4, you’ll also need following packages:
* menu-cache (lib used to parse freedesktop.org menu file and generate menu)
* lxmenu-data (data files used to generate application menu)

What’s new:
* A whole new application menu generated according to freedesktop.org menu spec.
(faster and more standard-compliant. has tooltips for menu items)
* Enhanced “Run” dialog.
* Auto-resize of application launcher buttons when panel size gets changed.
* Some important critical bug fixes.
* The problematic netstat plugin is now turned off by default. It will be moved to a separate project later.
* Building dynamic panel plugins outside the source tree of lxpanel is now possible.
* and more…

Some bugs are not yet fixed and we know that. We’ll do our best to fixed them later.

LXNM Will Bring Back to Life

So far LXNM(Network Manager of LXDE) was in prototype, LXDE team was just trying to implement a usable network utility. In the beginning, it was expected be enough to work instead of Network Manager of GNOME. But even today, most of people still uses LXDE desktop environment without LXNM due to it is so buggy and poor. Also LXNM has no more improvements in the past, it seems to die for a long time.

It is the truth that LXNM will bring back to life, LXDE team have tried to restart this project and plan on working to implement new architecture of LXNM. Here is a diagram of new structure for next version of LXNM:

LXNM Structure

In principle LXNM will keep original features and most of architecture, but for more requirements of networking device operations, it will be modified or re-designed some parts of that, For communication of Client/Server, LXNM protocol will be re-defined to support more features that something’s just like response of networking status, it means that in the future user can get more complete informations of networking in a moment, and also fixed a critical bug that netstat plugin of LXPanele cannot found out any wireless Access Point as non-root.

For easy to migrate to other platform which is other linux distribution or other Unix-like operating system, LXNM still keep script-based method to handle network device control. Considering that efficiency issue, LXNM will provide a new way to implement that direct call system call to operate network device for each operating system in C language without any scripts, this feature needs more time to be done due to it’s harder and more complicated than script-based method.

With the Google Summer of Code 2009, LXNM is restarting right now. We expect that LXNM will have a great usable version after three month in the future.

LXDE now accessible in local languages for 685 million people

As of yesterday the LXDE and PCManFM repositories are updated and all translations synchronized with there sources. It was a huge task to complete and lasted for almost 5 straight hours but here are the numbers!

LXDE is truly a international project with complete or started translations for most continents (Africa is laking but we are trying to fill that gap too!), as of now we have 35 languages in “official” support (including English). Of these 35 only three are 100% complet at the component level – big ups to Polish, Spanish (Castilian) and Swedish. Together with English these translations make LXDE accessible for about 685 million people (that’s a low count not including those who know and can use English as a second language).
In close range of reaching 100% complete we find Danish, French, Slovenian and Ukrainian at over 90% (adding 120 million speakers to the total).

Since the last update a month ago we have seen two new languages sky rocketing, Slovenian and Lithuanian, a huge effort by the Lithuanian translator and now only LXPanel is left out. For Slovenian we have a sole translator doing a huge work just the last week and I am confident it will be complete soon. At the Pootle server I have added PCManFM as a translateable component for the LXDE project, it is hooked with write access to the SVN server for that project The LXPanel Plugins have been added as a seperate “project” in Pootle too and hooked using the usual mechanisms to the SVN server for LXDE this to maximize the translatable content in the Pootle server.

Allowing translations via Transifex has been started and might be popping up during the spring for those wihing to use that platform instead, subscribe to the translation mailing list for more information about that or hang out at the IRC channel #lxde at irc.oftc.org. In the mean time use Pootle or download PO files from SVN/Pootle and submit to the tracker. One string translated is one string closer to the goal of being 100% translated. We really need some effort in some languages and I am really keen in adding new languages to the project if you are willing to give it a try.

I would like to see progress in the following languages (when they are complete we add another 430 million speakers!)
Russian
Korean
Vietnamese
Malayalam
Norweigan (both Bokmål and Nynorsk)
Dutch
Persian
Pashto/Pushto
Galician

For a quick start in translating LXDE components in Pootle read the illustrated crash course in the wiki.

With regards to the subject then, we are a highly translated DE and the numbers above shows that, the on going development of the LXDEcomponents have changed strings to the extent that while we had six languages completed a month ago we only have four left. And Indonesian and Slovak don’t even pass the 60% marker (mainly due to the addition of PCManFM but still, that’s one of the core pieces of software we have). We have decreased the overall degree of completeness but on the other hand progress have been made in many areas. Keep the good work up!

Summer of Code slots available for LXDE through Debian

There are still opportunities for people interested in working on LXDE as a summer of code project. We are in touch for example with the Debian project, who offered to give spots to students from the LXDE project for example for a better integration. Also, new student projects are welcome. The summer of code program offers student stipends of 4500,- USD for studying and development work on specific free and open source projects.

Please check it out and apply as soon as possible. Also get in touch with us, so we can support your application.

The Debian program is at:
http://socghop.appspot.com/org/show/google/gsoc2009/debian and http://wiki.debian.org/gsoc and on #debian-soc on irg.debian.org.

The application deadline is approaching soon. It is important to apply before 19:00 UTC April 3rd. Applications can still be adapted and specified with mentors after that date. You might regard your first application as a version 0.1 maybe. So, please, dont be shy. Good luck!

Links:

http://socghop.appspot.com/document/show/program/google/gsoc2009/timeline

LXDE Summer of Code Projects – Apply now

The Google Summer of Code is now accepting applications from students for projects. There are a number of projects, that could accept LXDE related works. If you have an idea we are open to support you and discuss it. Please join us in the LXDE channel on irc.oftc.net. I would also like to support you and endorse any applications by talking to projects directly. Just let me know, please.

Here is a list of projects related to LXDE.

For a full list look here: http://socghop.appspot.com/program/accepted_orgs/google/gsoc2009

Did I forget any relevant project? Please leave a comment then.

As a side note, I am also the administrator of the Freifunk project in GSoC, which is an OpenWrt based firmware. Generally we are looking for any good ideas related to mesh networks. So get in touch with me if you have any ideas: Freifunk http://socghop.appspot.com/org/show/google/gsoc2009/ffopenwrt

LXDE on OpenSolaris

Alfred Peng from Wuhan, China started to port LXDE to OpenSolaris. I met him in Singapore and could see how it is running already pretty smoothly.

Opensolaris with LXDE

Since it’s a GTK based desktop environment, some of the applications (pcmanfm, lxpanel, lxappearance, lxlauncher etc.) can be easily built and installed. But some still don’t work. The network manager lxnm is one of them, also lxtask and lxterminal. Good news is that the OpenSolaris nwam manager works great with small memory footprint :) The app lxmusic, which is the media player for LXDE, depends on xmms libraries. This could be a limitation for the distribution as xmms links against a lot of patented codecs. Maybe GStreamer framework could be a better choice from a distribution’s point of view. Anyway, I can still use Songbird/Rhythmbox/Totem.

To compare with my personal experience of Xfce, LXDE runs better on OpenSolaris. Xfce is a little bit sluggish on my box (configuration issue?). LXDE’s performance and memory footprint are really impressive to me. It provides a nice alternative for the resource-limited desktop users (Eee PC users for example). On the other hand, the desktop layout of LXDE is pretty similar with Windoz. I guess this is because a big bunch of the developers are from Taiwan :) This helps easier migration for users from the Windoz land. As the LXDE applications are still in the 0.x stage, please feel free to get in touch with the community (mailing list or IRC) for any problems you find.

The first set of spec files have been checked in to the SFE reporitory (SFElx*, SFEgpicview, SFEgtknetcat, SFEopenbox and SFEpcmanfm). If you’re familiar with CBE, it’ll be very easy for you to build and install LXDE on OpenSolaris. Those who are interested can also refer to the CBE instructions.

Actually the porting initiative comes from Mario Behling‘s introduction of LXDE on the Singapore Linux meetup group event in January. The frozen-bubble porting was also after the event :) It’s nice to talk with him face to face and get to know a lot of community people behind: pcman, jserv and many more in the Asia region. Stay tune, I believe there will be more to come from LXDE community. (http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/entry/lxde_lightweight_x11_desktop_environment)

lxde-opensolaris-alfred-peng
LXDE on OpenSolaris with Alfred Peng from Wuhan, China

Links

* Alfred Peng – Blog http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/
* LXDE on Opensolaris http://blogs.sun.com/pengyang/entry/lxde_lightweight_x11_desktop_environment
* Opensolaris LXDE desktop community http://opensolaris.org/os/community/desktop/communities/lxde/
* Opensolaris in the LXDE Wiki http://wiki.lxde.org/en/OpenSolaris

LXDE at Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2009

The feedback on LXDE at the Chemnitzer Linuxtage in Germany has been fantastic. Klaus Knopper presented LXDE as a default on Knoppix. Christoph Wickert showed how to install LXDE on different systems and Marcus Schulderisnky introduced people to ways to translate LXDE. Here are voices from the blogosphere.

Making USB Sticks with LXDE at the Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2009

LXDE was a very important topic. We created USB-Sticks of Christoph Wickert’s LiveCD with LXDE on the visitors USB-Sticks.
Simon Wesp (Cassmodiah auf #lxde), http://cassmodiah.de/2009-03-16/clt-resume/

Ein kleines Highlight für mich war: Christoph Wickert schult Klaus Knopper in einer Knoppix-Vorlesung über LXDE! :-p
http://cassmodiah.de/2009-03-15/chemnitzer-catering-tage-inkl-linux/

Jörg Simon (unser verantwortlicher Ambassador für den CLT> LXDE on Fedora was the Superstar this year – and what could be better
> than have the maintainer and a another LXDE upstream developer of this
> project at the Fedora Booth! We created Live-USB’s all the time, all
> Fedora Live CD’s are out since the first day, …
http://kitall.blogspot.com/2009/03/chemnitzer-linuxtage-day2-interview.html

> Our booth was constantly visited, but after Klaus Knopper’s LXDE Talk,
> where Christoph raised the Fedora Flag for “the most complete
> implementation of LXDE”, Chritstoph had to bear with quite a bunch of
> people at the same time ;)
http://kitall.blogspot.com/2009/03/chemnitzer-linuxtage-2009-day-1.html

Max Spevack:
> We have a projector at the booth, which has been really great for
> showing people different Fedora web pages, [...]
>
> Christoph Wickert has probably been the busiest Fedora person today,
> because he is giving a talk about LXDE, as well as a workshop. Klaus
> Knopper mentioned LXDE & Fedora during his talk about Knoppix, and
> this triggered a rush of people to the Fedora booth who wanted demos.
> We even switched the window manager on the computer hooked up to our
> projector to LXDE, and the computer (which was quite old) started
> running much faster than it was previously, with KDE 4.x. I’m really
> pleased (both for Fedora and for Christoph personally) to see his hard
> work with the rest of the LXDE upstream paying off.

Und noch ein paar andere Reaktionen, die ich gefunden habe:

> Als besonderer Schlager erwies sich dabei das Referat von Klaus
> Knopper zum schlanken Desktop-System LXDE, bei dem über 400
> interessierte Zuhörer den Saal bis in die letzte Ecke füllten.
http://www.linux-magazin.de/meldung/35421

> Die vielen interessanten Vorträge machten es schwer, eine Auswahl zu
> treffen. Da habe ich mir gewünscht, das ich “Viele” wäre. Ich habe mir
> die Vorträge von Klaus Knopper (LXDE – ein schlanker Desktop), J.
> Lichdi (Online-Durchsuchung und Vorratsdatenspeicherung), Dr.
> Klostermann (Daten im Netz aus rechtlicher Sicht) und K.U. Lockhoff
> (*BSD-Alternativen zu Linux) angehört.
http://www.manpath.de/2009/03/16/das-waren-die-chemnitzer-linux-tage-2009/

Twitter:
> Jetzt LXDE vortrag. #clt09
http://twitter.com/v1nzorg/statuses/1330885154

> Lxde-vortrag: browserempfehlung midori? Sehr gut! Der ist noch viel zu
> unbekannt! #clt09 #lxde
http://twitter.com/v1nzorg/statuses/1330932992

> Freundin findet vortrag spannend. #clt09 #lxde
http://twitter.com/v1nzorg/statuses/1330956396

Und zum Abschluss natürlich einige Fotos:
http://jsimon.fedorapeople.org/clt09g

Links

http://wiki.lxde.org/de/Chemnitzer_Linuxtage_2009

Translation update!

New week and time for an update regarding the translations for LXDE. During the last week some more users have started the translations in Pootle and by all means have delivered. Significant changes are noted in Danish that are 100% complete by now, good work!

If you are new to Pootle and/or translation in general take a look at the crash course at the LXDE wiki and then go grab some strings. Just some spare minutes are needed to make some languages 100% complete, others could benefit a great deal from just some minutes of work and that coul add up to a complete translation. Start with the low hanging fruit, skip LXPanel if you are not too familiar with doing translations.

By now the following languages are complete:
– Danish
– Indonesian
– Polish
– Portugese (Brazilian)
– Slovak
– Swedish

And in close range of 100% is the following:
– Arabic (one string marked fuzzy in LXPanel)
– Ukrainian (one string marked fuzzy in LXLauncher, in fact it is untranslated!)
– Czech is at 87% (only LXPanel left, over two thirds are already done)
– German at 84% (missing strings in LXPanel, LXLauncher and LXMusic. The last two is small and pretty easy to finish I guess)

For the other represented languages more actions are needed to make them complete, some are close to 80% with others only done in LXMenu-data that we have imported from GNOME.