GNOME, Systemd, Node Packages and a comment – Snippets

GNOME 3.12: And so GNOME 3.12 has arrived with updates all around. Over here at Codescaling, we’re looking forward to the improvements to HiDPI display support . We had been spoiled by Apple’s fairly smooth switch to HiDPI support but on Linux and Windows its all, surprisingly, a work in progress. Our GNOME desktop on a HiDPI dispay brings a range of font sizes to the screen, only some of which are appropriate. (Google Chrome has its own special mix of tiny tabs, chunky (too chunky) bookmark bar and microscopic (mostly) main window so its not just GNOME that has issues). Thats why we’re using HiDPI as our new proxy for up-to-date-ness. Back at GNOME 3.12, there’s also some nice additions like the popover menus for a flatter UI and more work on making Applications more managable entities. Unfortunately, all this won’t be making it into Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS because it feature froze just over a month ago in what could be described as un-cadence. For the curious, there’s already a FreeBSD with GNOME 3.12 VM available. There is also a more traditional Fedora based GNOME 3.12 live image available to download as an ISO.

Systemd 212: An update of bugfixes for the future dominant ‘init’ system in systemd 212. My favourite feature is at the top of the list… make sure that the screen has minimal brightness when restoring settings to stop people rebooting into a black screen. There’s also been work done on timers including the ability to persist timers to disk so they can be used to start processes over a longer span of time and through reboots.

Comment: Steady improvements with GNOME, systemd and Wayland make me hopeful that there will emerge a good end user Linux distro with a solid desktop designed for a general population but configurable for power users – GNOME 3 is well on the way there, but there’s no distro that seems ready to host such a combo as its primary environment beyond Fedora and that’s not aimed at the general populous. Agree/Disagree? Why not try our comments section below?

Node package popularity: It’s the little things that count, and one little enhancement just made to the Node package manager site sets out to make package searching easier by ordering results by popularity – though on testing here at Codescaling, the algorithm will need a bit more work as it seems packages with no ratings and no downloads rise to the top of the list. Still, its good to see work being done on the NPM site, that isn’t security fixes, after the somewhat contraversial creation of NPM Inc . The backend was already getting attention

Systemd dominates and Debian, Ubuntu, Git updates – Linux Snippets


Systemd – the d is for dominates: The Debian Technical Committee decided that, after quite a bumpy process, that it would follow Fedora, Arch Linux, Mageia and openSUSE in planning to switch to systemd in the next release. The Debian change rippled down to Ubuntu where, probably sooner than anyone anticipated, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu would switch too.

Upstart, Canonical’s own init, will continue to be supported, especially as the forthcoming 14.04 LTS edition will ship with it. The Debian systemd decision was also applauded by Scott James Remnant, creator of Upstart. Systemd seems to be worthy of its elevation though I fully expect forks of distros to “maintain SysV init purity” while other noise to at least begins to die down.

Debian 6.0.9: As is their way, the Debian crew also released Debian 6.0.9, the latest roll up of all the bug and security fixes that have already gone into Debian systems. If you install Debian a lot, you may want to update your install media, but old Debian media will update to this version anyway.

Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS: Meanwhile, the most recent LTS edition of Ubuntu has had an update release too. With Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, there’s a fresher kernel and X stack. If you are a regular installer, you’ll want to update your install media for this, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu or Ubuntu Studio, all of which were updated at the same time. Remember to check the release notes and then download.

Git updated: The Git source code management system was updated. Git 1.9.0 has a number of changes in preparation from Git 2.0.0, improvements in HTTP transport, support from fetching from shallowly-cloned repositories, defaults for the lv pager, improved performance and a shed load of fixes. Expect the latest release to turn up in your package repository or download from