Hack Week wrap-up!

Another Hack Week @ Novell / SUSE has come to an end. I think I’ve been pretty productive, as I took on and accomplished three pretty successful mini–projects.

Redesign the one-click installer

I walked through the current one, taking screenshots and notes. My goals were simple: make it simpler, and reduce the number of clicks (at least 6, depending on what happens) down to 1, as the name implies.

When I had a mockup ready–to–go, I showed it to Benjiman Weber, who happened to be visiting the SUSE office for hack week. He thought it was good overall, but suggested a few changes. I iterated over it a few times and came up something much simpler than the current design, and got it down to 1 click if the repository is already trusted, and an additional click if the repository needs to be trusted.

Here’s the final (for now, at least) design:

If you’re interested, also check all of the mockups, including the previous two as well.

WallaWalla, a from-scratch font (which looks quite a bit like the SUSE font)

Jakub had a great idea; initially I wanted to help out, but I basically wound up making my own SUSE derivative font. Most of it was done on Monday. I spent today (Friday) tidying i up and redoing a lot of the glyphs, as well as quickly adjusting the space between letters (kerning).

Download version 0.1 of the WallaWalla OTF (OpenType File) …or if you want to play around in FontForge, you can download the SFD also.

Ubiquity command for quickly performing a software search

This week, Ubiquity was all the rage. It’s a quick launcher for the Web, served up as a Firefox extension. I decided, on a whim, to whip up an extension for the extension—basically make a new command for it called “software-search”.

Basically, it lets you search the openSUSE software search engine all from a selection on a page (or whatever you type, optionally). It displays the results of how many hits there are (if there are), which provides a quick glance to see if you can do a one-click install from the software search to install whatever software you want, without even needing to visit the page (until you know there’s something available of course). To see the results, just hit enter, and it will open up a new tab with the software you’re seeking.

(It’s great for all of those pages that lists random software for Linux, or whenever you feel like quickly searching to see what is available in the software search.)

Here’s a demo screenshot:

Interested in trying it out? First install Ubuiquity in Firefox, then visit my page for the software-search command.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Responses to “Hack Week wrap-up!”

  1. Roman says:

    Actually I wonder what the hackweek is about. As a participant, are you allowed to implement whatever idea you have or does the idea has something to do what can be useful for SuSE/Novell?

  2. Livio says:

    If we’re talking about ideas, people around Novell and SUSE always had best 🙂 .

  3. Adam Schreiber says:

    I worry slightly about your use of the word “trust”. Is the user in the position to make an informed choice or will they just be conditioned to press trust? Is the GPG key in the repository just for verifing sigs or has it been authenticated by the web of trust at all?

  4. Rob Adams says:

    I really like the firefox UI for adding trusted CAs. The UI will block everything unless you actively know what you’re doing and trust the CA certificate.

    Having an easy “Trust” button is, I think, too easy to add a CA. I would recommend having the box say “This software cannot be installed because the source could not be verified” along with a convenient “Don’t install button”. Next to it would be a “Add certificate” link like in Firefox that would take you to a separate dialog where you could add the certificate.

  5. Benjamin Otte says:

    Question: Why this whole UI? It’s just like a download, why not show a progressbar (if at all) and a notification bubble when it’s done?

  6. Michael says:

    @Garrett: Very nice work!

    @Adam: I don’t think there is a web of trust so what the mockup shows is probably as good as it can be made without deeper changes in the backend (e.g. software repo and package infrastructure)

    @Rob: hehe… see http://osnews.com/story/20230/Firefox_3_0_s_SSL_Certificate_Interface_Meets_Resistence
    Well, I like the new UI too… but many don’t.

    @Benjamin: just downloading and installing directly after the click is no great idea imho. For webdownloads “always dl to desktop” is fine because it can’t really hurt your system but package installation potentially can. Also note that dependency resolution has to be shown somehow (if a package pulls in 200mb of dependencies the user would probably want to thing twice!) and this is all very nice and simple in the mockup.

  7. foo says:

    What is the license for your font? As it stands no Linux distro can include it because there is no license.

  8. Nermal says:

    Nice – one small thing though – the last dialog says “Success! – 2 packages were installed successfully” when one has failed

  9. jordi says:

    Garret, it’s Ubiquity, not Ubuiquity. Sadly, it’s the same name as the Ubuntu installer.

  10. yosch says:

    @foo: if you look at them closely, the .otf and .sfd sources actually have the corresponding fields for copyright notices, license and license URL filled in by Garett. (And many open fonts with the OFL are already included in the distros).

  11. James says:

    Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp.com/listofwordpressblogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

  12. Livio says:

    Tell us how do you draw the mockups, please 🙂 .

Leave a Reply