One-click, part 2

You may remember when I originally redesigned the one-click installer for hackweek in 2008. Well, for this recent Novell/SUSE hackweek, I spent some time to slightly redesign  and expanded on how the one-click installer should work. Will Stephenson also started working on an implementation, too.

Here’s my new one-click mockup (click on the picture to view at full size):

The text on the page should be pretty self-explanatory. Ideally, this would be implemented in a simple graphical client using PackageKit (and PolicyKit).

I believe the openSUSE Build Service (think of it as the “Open Build Service”, since it can produce packages for all the popular distros) even supports multiple repositories in one YMP (but I may be mistaken here), so using it with the OBS would be a fantastic way to easily build your software for multiple distributions (which you can do right now) and make it a snap click for everyone to install your software. Something like this could turn the entire web into an “app store” for Linux, and software could be easier to install than on any other platform, if implemented correctly.

Thoughts? Comments?

Oh, and you can also download the SVG source (to be edited in Inkscape). It uses the Droid Sans font — be sure to have it installed.

Muinshee, for you… thanks to Twitter and the Banshee devs.

Quick background: Muinshee is a special UI (user interface) for Banshee, an open source music player, in the style of Muine, another open source music player. It’s really neat (if you’re a minimalistic Muine fan) because Muinshee is a mashup of Muine’s simple interface backed by Banshee-power.

How it happened: I recently sparked off a nice little tweetversation (a conversation on Twitter) about the old Muinshee teaser blog post. In a few 140-character-max back-and-forths, it went from an “oh yeah, rember that!?” moment… to getting a tip from Gabriel Burt (the guy who made the Muine UI for Banshee) himself… to me quickly tweaking Banshee’s starter script (and crudly adding 64-bit support today, btw)… and then releasing the tiny hack of a script on github‘s gist (which is the paste-and-create git repo service).

Muinshee: it's like a baby Banshee!

Like what you see? Download the Muinshee script (updated: fixed a bug. oops!) and place it in your path somewhere (the bin subdirectory in your home directory should work nicely). After that, just run “muinshee” and you’ll be in minimalistic UI play queue heaven.

Then, of course: Thank Aaron, Gabriel, and hordes of other rockstar developers for their awesomely great music player! (With the best sync’ing support around, excellent Last.fm integration, podcasts, library management, etc.… you may just want to stick with the full-blown Banshee, though! *smile*)

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.

Hack Week video

Teams from around the world have been posting video on the Idea Pool website.

Here’s a video filmed and edited by Nat Friedman, and I’m featured at 1:46 into the video (at the end).

Yes, I was very, very tired making sure that the site was ready to launch and also traveling back to Europe. Shortly after arriving in Nuremberg, we were on Digg for several hours, so instead of taking a nap, I drank a lot of Red Bull and Afri-Cola so I could watch the website withstand “the Digg effect” (which used to be called “the Slashdot effect”, but we haven’t been on Slashdot yet. *hint*) and also take a lot of pictures.

Nat did a great job filming and editing the “from-the-trenches” Hack Week video; it’s quite funny.