|Joe Marcus Clarke||Jun 8, 2008 8:25 pm|
|Michael Johnson||Jun 9, 2008 2:35 am|
|Alexander Leidinger||Jun 9, 2008 10:10 am|
|Sam Fourman Jr.||Jun 9, 2008 8:50 pm|
|Joe Marcus Clarke||Jun 9, 2008 10:06 pm|
|Joe Marcus Clarke||Jun 10, 2008 12:15 am|
|Joe Marcus Clarke||Jun 10, 2008 12:17 am|
|Alexander Leidinger||Jun 10, 2008 10:02 am|
|Kris Moore||Jun 10, 2008 11:49 am|
|Joe Marcus Clarke||Jun 10, 2008 8:11 pm|
|Subject:||Helping to put FreeBSD GNOME onto more desktops|
|From:||Michael Johnson (ah...@freebsd.org)|
|Date:||Jun 9, 2008 2:35:16 am|
On Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 3:26 PM, Joe Marcus Clarke <mar...@freebsd.org> wrote:
I attended BSDCan this year, and held a BoF discussing FreeBSD on the desktop. Some of the points raised by users were:
* FreeBSD needs a GUI network configurator (e.g. NetworkManager).
* There should be a port which creates an instant desktop (like instant-workstation, but more modern and offering choices like GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc.).
* We need a native Flash Plug-in.
* FreeBSD GNOME needs to be easier to setup.
All of these are good ideas ranging from very easy to do to next to impossible. One of the attendees was Kris Moore from the PC-BSD group. He mentioned that PC-BSD already has a FreeBSD network configurator tool, and it might be easier to port that to FreeBSD [GNOME] than to port (or rewrite) NetworkManager. He also gave me my first real look at PC-BSD. I was impressed. I thought it would be very doable to port their network configurator to GNOME.
But then he suggested something for point four above. A lot of his users have commented that PC-BSD should have a GNOME frontend. Kris said, while the PC-BSD organization has no desire to maintain such a frontend, it should be easy to build one using their PBI (PC-BSD Installer) framework. If such a PBI existed, it could leverage all the existing tools in PC-BSD (including the network configurator).
So I decided to start there, by building a GNOME PBI for PC-BSD. I have just completed my first working version. Screenshots can be found at http://www.marcuscom.com/pcbsd/ . On top of this, I have committed a new port, x11-fm/pbi-thumbnailer, which makes the PBI experience within Nautilus much nicer. I will be making the PBI downloadable soon (from the same URL) for PC-BSD to try out.
As you can see from the desktop screenshot, thanks to the Qt-GTK+ theme engine, tools like the PC-BSD network manager tray just work in GNOME. This brings us much closer to more usable FreeBSD GNOME desktop, especially for those users transitioning from Windows.
As to the point about Flash, Kris also mentioned that he has the ear of someone at Adobe who was hinting that a capable developer willing to sign an NDA could be given code to work on a native Flash plug-in port. This could bode well for PC-BSD and FreeBSD should someone step up to do this work.
Regarding the instant desktop port(s), if anyone wants to offer some suggestions, or code, to make these happen, that would be great. These ports should be more than simple meta-ports. They should also do some post-install work to make setting up the desktop easier.
I guess we should come up with a list of things we want in the 'easy GNOME setup port'. I suggest we start a wiki/todo page so others can add their ideas/plans.
I am all for making life easier in GNOME setup for end users and I am willing to dedicate a good bit of time towards this.
Also, keep in mind we have some project ideas at http://www.freebsd.org/gnome/docs/volunteer.html for those that want to do even more to help get FreeBSD GNOME onto more desktops.