Saturday, April 25, 2009

Setting up 9.04 (Jaunty); Affinity Coolness

Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) is finally here. Being the person that I am, I need to set up my desktop exactly how I like it. Doing so takes a while, but I think I have it just about right. I did the following in the order I remembered to do:

* Choose the best apt mirror. (System->Administration->Software Sources) For me it's
* Apt update & upgrade
* Add system monitor to top panel (CPU & RAM)
* Revert to 8.10's Intel driver
* Add the new tab button to Firefox, between home and the location bar (should be defualt, IMO)
* Install some apps:
  • Awn/Awn Extras (duh)
  • Affinity (also duh)
  • Bazaar (PPA)
  • Geany
  • Terminator (PPA)
  • XChat
  • Banshee
  • Gwibber (PPA)
  • Chromium (PPA)
  • Shutter
  • Ubuntu Tweak
  • Vuze
  • HandBrake
  • VLC
* Install the keys for each PPA
* Set up Awn and applets, using my saved theme
* Do bzr launchpad-login & whoami
* Set up an SSH key and configure Launchpad for it
* Disable the annoying system beep
* Install codecs, flash, etc. (ubuntu-restricted-extras)
* Install Android fonts (ttf-droid)
* Restore saved Firefox bookmarks
* Restore backed up Music, Pictures, etc. dirs
* Further tweak the theme
-Change #996B5C to #5C6B99 in Dust Burnt (brown to blue)
-Change window border to use blue prelight
-Change icon theme to GNOME-Colors (Brave)

This is the finished product:

Now for the Affinity coolness:

Right-click Affinity or its status icon, and you'll be presented with an easy-to-use dialog asking you for a plugin and a location. The chosen plugin appears instantly. You can also move or remove each plugin through its menu. Also, with GTK+ 2.16 and newer, (included in 9.04) you can add icons to text entries without using a separate library. Affinity uses this feature for the recent searches/clear button (see screenshot).

Lastly, and probably most exciting-ly, Affinity now has a PPA! The PPA allows Ubuntu (and Ubuntu-based) users to install and get updates of Affinity automatically and without compiling from source. In-depth instructions are available on the installation page on the wiki. gilir created all the debian files and patches, and malept helped with the PPA stuff (including AutoPPA).

Note: As of writing, you must install affinity-preferences for the plugins to load. This should be fixed by the next time the PPA is updated.

The PPA will be updated whenever there are significant changes in Affinity. It makes Affinity much easier to install and update and will hopefully attract new users.