Ubuntu GNOME Shell in Artful: Day 14

The Ubuntu desktop team and a lot other people from the Ubuntu community are gathering for the week in New York for the Ubuntu Rally. It’s time to get the final touch and bug fixes for Ubuntu artful which is turning itself soon into Ubuntu 17.10. As you probably know if you follow this blog series, it will feature GNOME Shell by default, with slight modifications to ease and adapt to our audience for this new user experience. For more background on our current transition to GNOME Shell in artful, you can refer back to our decisions regarding our default session experience as discussed in my blog post.

Day 14: Badges and progress bar on Ubuntu Dock

One of the latest thing we wanted to work on as we highlighted on our previous posts is the notification for new emails or download experience on the Shell. We already do ship the KStatusNotifier extension for application indicator, but need a way to signal the user (even if you are not looking at the screen when this happens) for new emails, IM or download/copy progress.

Andrea stepped up on this and worked with Dash to Dock upstream to implement the unity API for this. Working with them, as usual, was pleasing and we got the green flag that it’s going to merge to master, with possibly some tweaks, which will make this work available to every Dash to Dock users! It means that after this update, Thunderbird is handily showing the number of unread emails you have in your inbox, thanks to thunderbird-gnome-support that we seeded back with SĂ©bastien.

Ubuntu Dock with number of unread emails

Similarly, we now have progress bar support on Nautilus, Firefox downloads and every applications using that API to get updated on transactional actions.

Ubuntu Dock with progress bar during a download with Firefox

And we are all done on our changes to adapt GNOME Shell to our targeted audience! Meanwhile Marco is working on HDPI (and sim cards…) to deliver a fantastic fractional scaling experience.

As usual, if you are eager to experiment with these changes before they migrate to the artful release pocket, you can head over to our official Ubuntu desktop team transitions ppa to get a taste of what’s cooking!

Let’s see how many bugs we can squash. We will of course update you on the slight readjustment we are planning to do during this week at the Ubuntu rally and for the release. Let’s target first the incoming beta which will enable you to test all of this.

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