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Etikett: Development

Music App update – Sep 8th. 100th rev and v 0.6!

Happy 100th revision! For me this is truly a milestone. I mean, 100 revisions since Music was just a basic UI concept. Now look at it. It plays music, sorts tracks by artist, album, has playlist support, shows cover art, seeks and starts to look pretty darn good.

We celebrate by giving you Music 0.6!



  • HUD support (Daniel Holm)

  • New app icon (Sam Hewitt)

  • New album view (Victor Thompson)

  • New artist view (Victor Thompson)

  • New first page with last played and genres (Victor Thompson)

  • New Add to playlist page (Daniel Holm)

  • Playlists now shows number of tracks (Daniel Holm)

  • Currently played track is highlighted all over the app. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Animation when jump to next track. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Clicking on a track bring the user to the queue. (Victor Thompson)

  • Merged together Queue with Now Playing, which has become the central part of the app (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Swipe to delete (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Adding apparmor manifest for when running confined. (Sergio Schvezov)

  • Updated Autopilot to (Victor Thompson):

    • Test Next song.

    • Test Use Oggs.


Bugs fixed:

  • Fix when adding item to queue from album page that album data does not
    appear in the play queue. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Playlist Null property (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Play Queue cache (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Add to queue album page (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Fix location of added music content (Victor Thompson)

  • Debian fix common folder (Andrew Hayzen)


New Queue - Now Playing

Victor has made a lot of progress with integrating the new Mediascanner (which will be system wide in Ubuntu) into Music. Packages for using it – together with Grilo QML bindings – are landing in the Core Apps PPA. This is one of the most heavy (important) things that will have to be done by the time of 1.0 release.

The UI/UX is undergoing a real facelift to look like Lisette Ledgers design: http://design.canonical.com/2013/08/music-app-focus-on-the-content/

The focus is on the content with the Queue now playing a central role. The new design are coming a long nicely with both large and small fixes coming in continuously.

The main theme of the discussion me, Victor and Andrew right now is the Toolbar and the expanded listitems, which will make a lot of change.

We are also awaiting the API to make the app stay awake (keep playing music) after screen off.

So there you have it. The changes to and the release of Music 0.6.

There’s still a lot that needs to be done for 1.0 in October, but we’ll get there.

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First Ubuntu App Showdown submission: Quiz

Quiz is a quiz game, simply. But not really as simple as a simple quiz game.The idea is quite large, which actually makes me wounder if I should just make it simple now, and to make it bigger later on.

The idea is that you can use Quiz for two main reasons:

1. To learn: You can add any kind of question you like, and then use it to learn my answering your own questions. I’m currently reading a book about pretty much everything, and I add thinks like years, scientists, definitions and elements.

2. Game: Challenge your friends either by your own quiz, or by already submitted. That brings be to the much bigger thing: infrastructure. I will have to write a web back-end for users to authenticate and submit questions – and most importantly: make it safe.

So this first update is just to bring you up to speed: You can add your own questions, and you can answer them.

Next step will be to add a function do add alternative answers and returning these as buttons for the users, instead of a text field, which will have to be answered exactly.

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How to create a simple web app for Ubuntu Touch.

DEPRECATED – It is now far easier to create a web app using the Ubuntu SDK.

So I’ve started to create some really simple applications for Ubuntu Touch by using already existing web pages that are optimized for touch devices and smart phones, and then open them in the default web browser, but as separate windows.

This guide will go through creating a simple launcher and package it for your device.

What you need before we start is a working development and package environment, so read this:

  • Some knowledge of the terminal.

  • If you later want to upload to Launchpad for a PPA, read and follow this:

    • http://developer.ubuntu.com/packaging/html/getting-set-up.html

  • You then also need a PPA, of course. I’m using ppa:danielholm/touch-apps for this.

We are going to use a simple desktop file that launches and points a URL that Ubuntu Touch’s

browser opens as it’s own application. You get one of your favorite web sites as an app and you get HUD support for free.

Then we add the package stuff, and download an icon to use; build and then done!

And if you also upload your app to a PPA, others will enjoy it as well.

Later, I will stop using Debian packages for these kind of apps, since I figure that the new Click packages is being developed just to be used for applications like these.

Alright, so let’s get going. I’m going to use Wikipedia as an example for this.

If you already know the URL of the mobile adapted web site, use that.

For example, Wikipedia has: http://m.wikipedia.com

1. Download the archive, which contains a template and packaging files: http://ubuntuone.com/4cP0vdGTMd8LsWjru4cTya
If you already know that you don’t want to create a package and upload to an PPA, use the .desktop template: http://ubuntuone.com/2EeECluBvimv1KkcDCDoQv

2. Edit wikipedia.desktop and change the values of ”Name”, ”Icon”, and the URL in ”Command”.
Name: The one that will show in Unity. I’ll use “Wikipedia”
Icon: Path of the icon you want to use.
Command: Replace only the URL. The browser handles the rest.

3. Save it, and change the filename to your new app’s name. I’ll use wikipedia.desktop
(be sure that this file is executable! (chmod +x))

4. Open the Debian directory and open postinst. This file will be run after initial install of the package files, and will here be used to download the icon that will be used. I’m using it this way so that I can redistribute the launcher without any copyright infringement. You simple take the URL of an icon/image you want to use, and replace the one in the file. Then change the filename that the downloaded file is saved as, as well as the app directory. I’ll use the Wikipedia icon from Play Store: https://lh6.ggpht.com/-Eq7SGa8CVtZCQPXmnux59sebPPU04j1gak4ppkMVboUMQ_ucceGCHrC1wtqfqyByg=w78-h78

5. Each of these files has to be edited (in debian/). Replace all Wikipedia stuff with your own app name and info.

  • changelog

  • control

  • copyright

  • install

6. When all the files [that needs to] has been edited, it’s time to imitate some version control in your working dir, using bzr:

$ bzr init

7. Then add the files in the dir:

$ bzr add

8. Lastly create a commit with a appropriate message:

$ bzr commit -m ”Initial commit.”

9. Time to get building! In your working dir, run:

$ bzr builddeb -S

This creates the needed files to upload and create packages in the PPA, which we’ll upload:
(this is to my PPA. You have to use your own)

dput ppa:danielholm/touch-apps wikipedia_0.1_source.changes

10. After a while you package will be ready to apt-get (after you’ve added your PPA, of course).

Enjoy your app, and to please share it.

I set up a recipe to build my packages automagically (yes, magic) every night – if there is a change – in launchpad. If you use this, you don’t have to upload your own packages, and you just need to upload your code to Launchpad.

Since my apps aren’t from anywhere else, I removed the upstream version in my recipe, and replaced it with my own version number, in this case “0.1”. There’s probably a better way of doing that, but I leave that for others to resolve.

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