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Semplice 7 "Comfortably Numb"

It's our pleasure to announce the final release of Semplice 7, codenamed "Comfortably Numb".

After almost a year and an half of intense development, we now feel pretty confident to release Semplice 7 to everyone.

This release ships with the latest sid at the moment of build (2015-04-05) and with Linux kernel 3.19.3.

On the 14th of April 2015, a bugfix release, 7.0.1, has been made available to the public.
This release ships with the latest sid at the moment of build (2015-04-11) and with Linux kernel 3.19.3.

Known issues

We have worked hard to squash as many bugs as possible, but given the huge under-the-hood changes that this cycle had you should watch out for eventual bugs.

Additionally, please keep in mind the following notes about this release:

  • It's possible to shoot only one Screenshot when running into Virtualbox.
    This is probably due to some incompatibilities with the emulated graphic card of Virtualbox and vera.
    Shooting Screenshots in real machines should work as expected.

    This has been fixed in vera-desktop 1.0.2.

Upgrading from Semplice 6 or older Semplice releases

To upgrade, you should follow the standard update practices:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then you should ensure to update the meta-openbox package which was skipped during the dist-upgrade:

sudo apt-get install aptitude
sudo aptitude install meta-openbox

If you are running a release older than Semplice 4, refer to the Semplice 4 upgrade document.

Upgrading from Semplice 7-preview

Semplice 7-preview was built with the development channel enabled.
This means that in the future you may get updates meant for development and not fully tested.

Should you wish to disable the development channel, thus switching to a standard Semplice release, you need to execute the following commands:

rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/devel.list
rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/changes_devel.list

Then, to upgrade, you just need to follow the standard update practices:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Changes since the preview release

These changes have been made since the preview release:

  • An user interface to add, modify and remove users and groups has been added to the control center.
    This user interface is supported by a DBus-activatable service, usersd.
  • An user interface to manage power management settings has been added to the control center.
    This user interface is supported by a DBus-activatable service, vera-power-manager.
  • tlp is now shipping with the standard distribution.
  • Reliability fixes through the whole of vera and its plugins.
  • Multi-monitor support has been implemented on the "Desktop" control center module.
  • An user interface to configure the applications to autostart has been added to the control center.
  • The "vera-color" feature is now supported also by GTK+2 applications and by Openbox itself.
  • Vera and its components now properly support translations.
    Check Transifex if you want to help with them.
  • pidgin has been removed from the standard distribution.
  • Various bug fixes through the whole system.

What's new?

This release brings many changes since Semplice 6, most notably the new vera desktop environment.

There are also many minor chnages that haven't been listed here.

vera

This is probably the biggest feature of this cycle.

vera is a new, plugin-oriented GTK+3 Desktop Environment. The current implementation is of course a bit rough and does not embrace our vision fully.
We are commited to make vera the central part of the upcoming Semplice releases.

Pulseaudio now enabled by default

Pulseaudio is now enabled by default. This also means that users with multiple audio cards will not have to manually set the right audio card as the default.

Note that Pulseaudio can be disabled during installation by flipping the relevant switch and at any time by going to Settings -> Features.

PCManFM compiled against GTK+3

Semplice 7 ships a custom PCManFM version in the package pcmanfm-semplice.
This version is compiled against GTK+3 and also re-introduces the "Open as administrator" menu option.

New power management indicator

xfce4-power-manager has been replaced with vera-plugin-power, an upower-based vera plugin that keeps track of the current battery level of connected devices.

New screenshooter

xfce4-screenshooter has been removed as the Screenshot capability is built-in in vera.

Chromium replaced by Iceweasel

Chromium has been replaced by Iceweasel.
It's our plan to ship "vanilla" Mozilla-branded Firefox releases in the future.

Desktop launcher

The Desktop Environment, via the vera-plugin-desktop plugin, provides a keyboard-driven launcher, that permits to easily launch applications.

Interactive tutorial

New users can enjoy a new, interactive, tutorial about the basics of Semplice.

"Web application support" removed

The "Web application support" feature, introduced in Semplice 5, has been removed from the standard system.
It's still available for existing users and after the installation of the meta-openbox-feature-oneslip package.

Exaile replaced by Pragha

Exaile has been replaced by Pragha Music Player.

Menu module for MPRIS2 media players

The Exaile menu module has been replaced by a generic extension that supports every media player compilant with the MPRIS2 specification. This include Pragha and Spotify.

Under-the-hood changes

Our menu generator and framework, alan2 has been ported to GTK+3 and GMenu3.

The quickstart library has been ported to Python 3.
In addition, more features have been implemented, most notably support for Scenes.

Keeptalking has been ported to Python 3 and systemd, and the new version is named keeptalking2.
Keeptalking2 can still work without systemd by using the fallback mode.

Control center

Thanks to the vera effort, we are happy to roll-out a new control center.

Old configuration tools have been removed as most of the things are integrated in the control center.

New artwork

Semplice 7 has an entire new artwork, sporting a modified Zukitre theme and the Moka icon theme.

Additionally, the theme adapts to the current wallpaper.