giovedì 2 giugno 2016

UT Tweak Tool 0.3 - Changelog

A new release of UT Tweak Tool is going to be available in the following days.

List of changes:
  • New settings for Unity8
  • Fixed an issue with the navigation bar in the header. Now the "System" section is easily accessible in the wait for an improvement in the Ubuntu UI Toolkit.
  • The available settings are now filtered according to the device capabilities (e.g. has battery, is an Android device) and the software version.
  • Properly filter Ubuntu Touch apps in the "Applications" scope settings.
  • Install click packages is back again! \o/
  • Web Browser, External Devices (Ciborium), Dialer, Media Player, Messaging, and System Settings are now shown in the list of installed packages.
  • "System Information" page has been refactored, using a C++ backend
  • Updated translations

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venerdì 12 febbraio 2016

Ubuntu Document Viewer 2.1 - What's new

We are glad to announce that the first minor release of Document Viewer 2.x is finally available in the Ubuntu Store.

As a "minor release" we haven't introduced new features but we've focused mainly in polishing the UI, in order to get ready for the major changes we're planning for the next versions (keep reading this post if you want to know more :P).

I'm happy with the work done and I hope you'll like the improvements as I do!

Here's the changelog:

LibreOffice Viewer

LibreOfficeKit - Presentation viewer

We've introduced two new zoom behaviours ("Fit to height" and "Automatic") in order to ensure that slides stay fully visible on a phone screen.

New automatic zoom mode (1)

New automatic zoom mode (2)

Also, we've made some minor change in order to improve the overall look and feel of the UI.

LibreOfficeKit - Spreadsheet viewer

Document Viewer now supports documents with multiple sheets. For a couple of reasons, we haven't been able to add this in time for the previous release.

We've also changed the default zoom behaviour: automatic zoom modes are no longer available and spreadsheets are always loaded with a 1.0x zoom.


  • Document Viewer now uses the same scaling strategy used by the Ubuntu UI Toolkit. As you can see in the screenshots below, the difference is remarkable.

Document Viewer 2.0 (old) on Nexus 5 - zoom 1.0x
Document Viewer 2.1 (new) on Nexus 5 - zoom 1.0x

  • Added a double-tap-to-zoom gesture
  • Improvements and bugfixes for the pinch-to-zoom gesture
  • The content of text documents and presentations is now shown at the center of the window.

PDF Viewer

We are about to start working on a new PDF plugin which should finally resolve some of the long-standing problems.

It will re-use some of the components we've written for the LibreOffice viewer, so it will be much easier for us to maintain and add new features.

We already have an early prototype of the new viewer and it seems to work nicely on desktop.

Hopefully, it will be ready for the next minor release (ver. 2.2).

Full-screen presentation mode for PDFs

This is one of the most requested features, and now you can run your presentation directly from your Ubuntu Phone! \o/

If you were in Pasadena, CA or you followed the streaming of the UbuCon, you probably already knew that. ;-)

Other fixes

  • Resolved a content-hub issue that prevents users to export a document to another app (
  • Resolved an issue occurring when the user tries to delete a document stored in a external media (
  • Fixed some layout issues in the document browser
  • New shader for the night mode.

On the left: Document Viewer 2.0 (old) - On the right: Document Viewer 2.1 (new)
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martedì 11 agosto 2015

Ubuntu Document Viewer update - 10th August 2015

During the last few weeks, Roman Shchekin and I did some further progress with the integration of LibreOfficeKit APIs into the Ubuntu DocViewer.

The target is to have a first prototype of the tiled rendering viewer ready in a couple of weeks.

We've successfully implemented the cache buffer, so that the viewer gains the ability to "preload" the content that an user will want to see, granting more smoothness.


We're also finalizing the current work on zooming, which includes two modes:
  • Automatic: when the window gets resized, the content will automatically fit the width of the window itself
  • Manual: the user is able to set a custom zoom factor (between 50% and 400%) through the zoom selector in the bottom panel.

Here's a video showing these improvements:

Presentation support

Moreover, we're also improving the support for specific documents type (i.e. presentations).
This is a still (more than) early WIP, but IMHO it looks already impressive.

Sadly, the method used for getting the list of slides in a presentation doesn't work for detecting page breaks in a text document. IIRC the support for this will come with LibreOffice 5.1: an idea we had, in order to workaround this, was to use LibreOfficeKit APIs to convert the document into a PDF, and then load it through our Poppler plugin, but we're still evaluating whether it's worth or not.

Going mobile

At the moment our current focus is the desktop, since we don't have yet a LibreOffice 5.0 build running on a Ubuntu smartphone. Björn Michaelsen is helping us with this so that we will be able to distribute LibreOffice though a Click package.
This should happen at a certain point this month: as soon as it is ready, we'll certainly release further informations on how to test DocViewer on a mobile device.

Clarifying some recent news

You may have heard about LibreOffice 5.0 being "the cornerstone of the mobile clients on Android and Ubuntu Touch".
I want to clarify the meaning of this line, saying that there's no known plan to port the standard (full) LibreOffice on Ubuntu Touch. That statement refers to the fact that there's (or will be) a LibreOffice Viewer for both Ubuntu Touch and Android, both based on the same LibreOfficeKit APIs.

We may decide at a certain point to expand the features of Ubuntu DocViewer, adding the ability of editing an existent document (or creating a new one), but this is a long-term task which we're currently not considering.

A further note

Since a couple of weeks, the trunk branch of Document Viewer has entered in maintainance mode. That basically means that there won't be any update for the application until the work on the LibreOffice viewer is completed. Only exception are critical bugs, which may receive a faster fix if that will be considered convenient.

All the development is focused on the LibreOffice implementation now. If you're curious and want to try the ongoing work, or would like to contribute, you can give it a try. All the informations you'll need are included in the README file. The main "reboot" branch does not include yet some of the features currently in progress (e.g. zoom): you may also want to have a look at the reboot-tagged branches.

In conclusion, kudos to the LibreOffice guys: the APIs they offer with LibreOffice 5.0 are really impressive and powerful, and it's pretty nice to see a new LO client getting better so fast!
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