Muon Suite 1.2 Beta Released

I meant to do this a month ago, but with school and finals and UDS things sort of slipped away. :) There’s been a lot of work in that month though, so it’s not a total loss. ;-)

The Muon Package Management Suite is a collection of package management applications that make package management easy on Debian-based systems, whether or not you know what “package management” means. Packages for Kubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” are available in the QApt Experimental PPA. I’m working on packages for maverick which should be available soon.

At the recent Ubuntu Developers Summit I sat down with Aurélien Gateau, mastermind behind the “Common user interface mistakes in KDE applications” blog series, for an hour to go over the Muon Package Manager and Software Center UIs. It was  a very productive sprint, and I have managed to make most of the improvements that we discussed.

The other big bit of UDS news is that the Muon Suite has been chosen to be the default package manager for Kubuntu 11.10, the Oneiric Ocelot. By the time Kubuntu 11.10 is released the Muon Suite will have had its first birthday. In this year I believe that the Muon Suite has vetted itself, proving to be a robust package manager as well as a stable set of applications. With my Kubuntu developer hat on, I believe that it was a good move to wait a bit before jumping on the “latest and greatest” for its shininess value, though I can’t deny that it would have been neat to have the Muon Suite included a bit sooner. :P (Everybody seemed impressed with my impromptu presentation at UDS, so I think the shininess still stands. :))

Here are the highlights of this release:

Muon Package Manager

  • General status bar layouting improvements. These improvements allowed me to remove the frames around the status bar labels.
  • Space-saving improvements were made to the package detail tab widget. The sides and bottom of the tab widget frame were removed, leaving less borders around the edges. The marking buttons were moved to the line with the package short description, and the “screenshot” button was removed since most packages don’t have a screenshot, and the Muon Software Center handles this functionality much better. The support label was also moved to the package description view. The end result gives much more space to actual detail content, wasting less on chrome.

Muon Software Center

The big feature here is the replacement of the old application launcher dialog that appears when you install new software. With 1.2, instead of a dialog popping up when you install a new application, a notification message within the Software Center window appears, giving you the chance to either run the single application you installed, or to open up the “classic” dialog if there was more than one piece of software installed at once. All-in-all it is a much less intrusive and much more elegant way to do the notification.

For those a bit more “in the know”, this is the new KMessageWidget class written largely by Aurélien that is to be included in KDE 4.7. Muon ships a copy of the trunk version of KMessageWidget for systems without KDE 4.7, but when built against KDE 4.7 the system version is used.

Eratta:

It is currently known that review loading inside the Software Center is broken. The move of the Ubuntu Review and Ratings server from staging to production broke a few things, and need to figure out exactly what changed to get the feature working again. I got ratings working again, but reviews still need a bit of massaging.

Changelogs

The 1.1.80 release also brings various bugfixes, some of which will also be included in this month’s bugfix release for the 1.1 series of the Muon Suite. Detailed logs of what has changed since 1.1.65 can be found here and here, for LibQApt and Muon respectively.

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17 Responses to Muon Suite 1.2 Beta Released

  1. Helder says:

    Congratulations Jonathan about the Moun come to be the official package manager of Kubuntu.

  2. Geoff says:

    Just so you know, dedication to this level of detail is appreciated by at least one user out here. I’ve used too many other package manager GUIs which stopped caring at “good enough” and that always diminished my confidence in what they were doing *under* the hood.

    One minor nitpick: In Muon Software Center’s “Get Software” page, could you force the “System & Settings” icon label to display in full? In the screenshot above you seem to be using the system default Ubuntu 9 font and it still cuts off with “System & Sett…”. I use DejaVu 9 and it cuts off with “System & Setti…”. (For some reason the “Science & Engineering” label doesn’t get cut off at all.)

  3. [...] Se sustituirá por fin a a KPackageKit por Muon (con seguridad su versión 1.2, cuya beta acaba de ser anunciada) [...]

  4. LUMKS says:

    wow, i dont even know that something like that exist. its really cool. thanks a lot! one request: is it ok for you wen i copy your packages to our http://launchpad.net/~kubsoup repo?

  5. uetsah says:

    Why not show the screenshot (if there is one) floating *inside* the “Details” text box?

    Also, in the package list, the package name and short description could use some more visual distinction from each other. Maybe by making the package names bold or italic?
    (Currently, it’s difficult to quickly skim over just the package names – even with the short description being slightly indented.)

  6. wyuka says:

    any plans on supporting other package management system like rpm?

    • casual_reader says:

      I believe that is posibile even now. Some rpm-based distributions use apt-rpm (PCLinuxOS for exemple). Muon uses Qaptbatch as it’s backend. APT-RPM is a version of the APT modified to work with the RPM insted of dpkg.

  7. Jan says:

    Great Work! I must say that muon starts to be a serious alternative to synaptic for me.

    But here are a couple of things I noted:
    The history window has an awfully small default size. A new user will have to resize it if he opens it the first time. The main window could also use a slightly larger default size, imho.

    The upgrade/install progress could use some rework: The progress bar and status label look very ridiculous as the only widgets in the main window. I would consider giving installation feedback in a dialog as synaptic does.

    The filtering is completely unintuitive. In synaptic when selecting one filter on the left it becomes the only one active. In muon every selected filter is logically ANDed. So when selecting “Installed” in the category “By Status” and then select a random origin in “By Origin” you only see installed packages from that origin. This is unexpected for a user because the “By Status” filter is still in use without the user knowing since it isn’t visible anymore (out of sight, out of mind). I suggest only using the selected filter from the currently visible category or changing the filter widget entirely.

    I seriously miss the manually installed filter from synaptic which lists all installed packages the user wants. This allows me to quickly see all installed packages that I once installed but now may want to remove (This is extremely useful to remove packages pulled in by “aptitude build-dep”). Added to that should be the possibility mark/unmark a package as automatically installed.

    What I also miss is the ability to trigger a dpkg-reconfigure on an installed package.

  8. Mark says:

    Do you have plans on integrating the purchasing side of the Ubuntu Software Centre into Muon?

  9. [...] pleased I was able to work with Jonathan Thomas on some UI polish for Muon. You may have read about it on Jonathan blog. And Muon is now using KMessageWidget too, how awesome is [...]

  10. [...] though a small review suggested that it was combined when we attempted out a latest recover of Muon Suite (The overwhelming Package installer that should reinstate kpackagekit on a subsequent chronicle of [...]

  11. Antonio says:

    Is there any possibility of having pre-compiled packages for Debian?

  12. darthanubis says:

    Still waiting to be able to purge residual configurations.

  13. Bas Heijmann says:

    Have tried muon in 11.04 and it was great…
    Now back to 10.04, added ur ppa, and the backports bu when i install muon i only get the packetmanager and not the software center.
    Any ideas how i can get it in 10.04 too?

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