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Adam Bieńkowski
I write weird lines of text.
I write weird lines of text.

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I've been working lately on some improvements to the AppCenter for app developers as well as normal users and felt that I could give you some update on what features are coming soon.

The first and most noticable one is support for changelogs. This one has been postponed for quite a long time because the old version of AppStream in Loki parses release nodes incorrectly, thanks to +Cody Garver and +Matthias Klumpp we now have the latest version backported to Loki. This allows us to properly display changelogs in AppCenter and their metadata. The app info view will show the difference between your installed version and the one available (all versions between them, it can show maximum of 5 versions). The updates tab will show one, newest release of the app you can update. The app info part is already in master while the UI in the updates tab is a work in progress:

In the already released version of AppCenter developers can now see how their local AppStream metadata file looks like using the "--load-local" command line argument. Executing "appcenter --load-local path-to-xml-file" will display your application in the main homepage banner so that you can preview how your app looks in AppCenter. The metadata loaded this way will be searchable and you can preview it's main app info page as well.
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After a few days of fixing some bugs for my Picture In Picture plugin for Gala, it was finally merged into Gala's master branch! ( This means that it's functionality will be available to all elementary OS users when a new release of Gala is made.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch how it works and get more details here in my previous post:

In result the branch isn't developed anymore if anyone is wondering, the development will now happen in Gala itself.

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Here's what I've been working for the past couple of days: a Picture In Picture plugin for Gala, the elementary's window manager. With it you can choose a particular window that will show a smaller preview on your desktop. The plugin is it's early days, but most of the basic stuff like resizing / repositioning the window works, and is already really useful for me when I code.

The window doesn't have to be a video though, you are allowed to choose whatever window you like and have them as many as you want. You can choose a specific area of a window, or just click to capture it's entire area.

More info and source code here:

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So I wanted to let you know about some updates to Eddy, the Debian package installer I'm writing for elementary OS.

The app itself is pretty much in a stable state now and it received many new improvements since the initial release. Probably the biggest one is that Eddy is now able to install other types of packages other than .deb files. It is now possible for someone to get it running on e.g: Fedora, and install / uninstall .rpm files thanks to it's PackageKit backend (although the primary focus is still supporting .deb's). Aside from that, the app gained ability to open all the files from your Dowloads folder directly from the Welcome view, which is very helpful on fresh OS installs when you downloaded some .deb files and want to install them right away.

There's also some little improvements like sending notifications on task completion or opening files in Eddy directly from your file manager. One feature I would also like to have in the next release is showing the progress bar on the dock so you don't have to look on the window to know how much progress is left.

Check it out here, if you haven't yet:, or if you're running elementary OS, wait for the AppCenter update coming soon to install it ;)

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Recently a lot of people are reporting a weird issue where after installation AppCenter doesn't display anything in the updates tab and cannot perform any operation in general. The temporary fix is to execute in your terminal: sudo killall packagekitd, and relaunch AppCenter. Just saying it out loud here so anyone that has this problem can fix it themselves. We're still investigating the issue, but it looks like it's some patch that makes PackageKit hang, you can find more information and discussion here:

EDIT: Issue resolved, make sure to run sudo apt upgrade.

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A little project, perhaps for publishing in AppCenter in the future.

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On drivers:

Lately a lot of people are wondering where is the option to install drivers in Loki. Now, this was available in Freya, but due to removal of software properties package we lost this feature.

TLDR: drivers installing will be implemented in AppCenter in "updates" page and is awaiting proper implementation rather than a non-portable one.

(This post gets into details, so if you don't care, just stop reading here)

First, I've already done a little bit of work on this matter, submitting 3 branches to AppCenter's trunk, 2 of them were rejected, the last one is on hold:

The problem with all these 3 is that they use a utility called "ubuntu-drivers" to retrieve what drivers can be installed on your system. This works well in elementary OS since it's Ubuntu based, but isn't really portable in anyway for other distros and after some discussion with AppStream developers we've decided to not introduce unportable code. Instead we will get drivers directly from AppStream's data which will be both faster and will provide better info you see on the driver page. (The driver metadata also needs to be written by someone because it currently doesn't exist, so it cannot be tested).

In this screenshot you can see that this feature is already working, though as I said it's not an elegant solution. You can also try it out yourself (the drivers-2 branch) if you know how to compile AppCenter's code. You can also read some of the comments by the devs on the merge itself to get into even more detail.

I hope you enjoyed this little post from me and understand the decision :)
(If you have any questions regarding this, feel free to ask, I'll try to respond)

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Check it out :)
We just published our crowdfunding campaign on +Indiegogo! Check it out :D

Also feel free to AMA :)

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