Muon Suite 1.2 alpha released

It’s time once again!

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. The alpha releases of both the Muon Suite and the QApt library Muon is built on are available for immediate release. Packages for Kubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” are available in the QApt Experimental PPA rather than the regular QApt PPA, due to the pre-release nature of this… uh… release. Packages of interest are the “muon” and “muon-installer” packages for the Muon Package Manager and Muon Software Center.

Here are the highlights for 1.2 alpha:

Muon Package Manager

  • The History view as seen in the Muon Software Center can now be accessed from the Muon Package Manager, either through the “View” menu or the “crtl + h” keyboard shortcut.
  • Added an option to the configuration dialog to make APT treat a package’s “Suggests” as dependencies. For those who don’t care about disk space.😉
  • Make changes in the configuration dialog that require root authorization turn the apply button to a key when changed, like in other KDE applications.
  • Added an option the the configuration dialog to totally disallow the installation of untrusted packages entirely.
  • A package in the package view can now be de-selected, hiding the details widget, by ctrl-clicking on the package.
  • Multiple packages can be marked at once via a right-click menu.
  • Packages can be locked at their current version via the right-click menu.

Locked packages have a little lock emblem on the package graphic. Additionally, a “Locked” filter has been added to the status filter box.

Ever been in a situation when you’ve needed to install packages on a computer without internet access? In version 1.2, the Muon Package Manager makes it easy to do this. First, mark the packages that you wish to install as normal. Go the “File” menu and select “Save Package Download List”. Next, take this file over to another computer with Muon and select “Download Packages From List” from the file menu. After pointing it to your USB stick, Muon will happily download your packages and place them on your USB stick. Lastly, take your USB drive back to your internet-less computer and go to “File -> Add Downloaded Packages”. Once this is done, you can hit “apply” and install your packages as normal.

 

Muon Software Center

Minor features:

  • Installed packages now have a checkmark emblem, as shown here.
  • Minor speed optimizations dealing with entering software categories.

Major features:

Application usage counter:

A usage counter utilizing the Zeitgeist event logging framework has been added to application pages. MSC can show usage statistics for any application that supports sending events to the Zeitgeist daemon, such as Kate with its Zeitgeist plugin. Support within KDE applications is as of yet limited, but with work on Zeitgeist integration in other high-profile KDE software such as Phonon, this feature will become more and more useful as time goes by and more KDE technology adopts Zeitgeist support. In the near future I plan to add a “Recommendations” view based on most frequently used mimetypes as reported by Zeitgeist. (Zeitgeist support is optional, and preventing Zeitgeist support from building can be achieved by either not installing libqzeitgeist or passing “-DENABLE_QZEITGEIST=0” to CMake, not that you’d want to😉 )

Reviews and Ratings:

Arguably the biggest feature for the Muon Software Center in 1.2 is support for the Ubuntu Ratings and Reviews API. Previously, PopCon usage statistics were used to determine ratings given to all applications in the MSC. This was really a bit unfair, though, since it could mean that a perfectly good application that wasn’t widely used would get a seemingly low amount of stars. Using the ratings from the Ubuntu application ratings server means that ratings from normal people determine how many stars an application gets.

Read-only support for full application reviews has also been implemented. Support for submitting reviews is a big project that will probably not get done in time for the release of Muon 1.2. A lot of this is due to the fact that there is as of now not really a suitable way for C++ Qt/KDE applications to interface with the Ubuntu Single Sign On service, which is necessary to submit reviews. Work on an SSO interface was started by the unstoppable Harald Sitter during his Ubuntu One GSoC project last year, but the SSO API has since changed and the KDE SSO stuff will need a fair bit of work before it is useful again. If all goes well, I hope to help remedy this via a GSoC project of my own through Ubuntu come this summer. Working SSO bits would also help pave the way for commercial app support like the Ubuntu Software Center has. Until Ubuntu SSO has been sorted I’m afraid you’ll have to use the Ubuntu Software Center for review/rating submittal, but for now we can still enjoy the reviews and ratings of others in Muon.🙂

Another small feature that you can see from the above screenshot is that the Addons and Reviews widgets can both be hidden.

QApt Utils

Due to being busy with school I never got a chance to finish the rest of my QApt Utils blogs. The astute can explore the packages on my PPA, but for the rest of you who don’t care to go poking around in PPAs I’ll blog tomorrow about all the new QApt utilities that I never got around to blogging about.

Detailed changelogs for Muon and QApt can be found below for those so inclined:

Changelogs

Detailed changelogs for LibQApt and Muon can be found here and here, respectively.

22 Responses to Muon Suite 1.2 alpha released

  1. OMG, THANK YOU!

    The offline software feature is one of the most exciting features for me.

    I’m really happy you’re making a wonderful modern package manager for Kubuntu.

    Any idea about official adoption, 11.10 maybe?

  2. Nooooooooo, “more info” in the moun software center looks terrible with a dark theme!

    Theme: http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Midnight+Runner?content=115741

    Screenshot: http://i54.tinypic.com/33z4co0.jpg

    • Hmm, yeah. That’s bad. This bit was experimental anyways. This will definitely change.

      • The white background bit? it happens on all info pages. Just a simple matter of specifying black text color, right?

      • g says:

        @Samuel: the background shouldn’t be white, because it is obviously ugly. It is better to specify the background color using QPalette (http://doc.qt.nokia.com/4.7/qpalette.html#ColorRole-enum). You can also manipulate the palette colors using QColor::lighter(int factor) and QColor::darker(int factor) (maybe depending on QColor::lightness()). Note however that the doc for QWidget::palette() says that certain styles such as GTK style ignore the palette; in this case I don’t know how to figure out the correct color to be used. I guess the easiest way will be not to specify any background color and let the background of the widget be transparent (so it inherits the window background).

  3. CTown says:

    Nice work on the feature that lets us download packages on a different computer. Is that feature only part of the original Muon or is it in the Software Center too? Anyways, great job on both interfaces, I’m sure the entire APT-using world appreciates this project!

  4. Yes says:

    >>> A package in the package view can now be de-selected, hiding the details widget, by ctrl-clicking on the package. <<<

    Thank you, I have been waiting for this. But why do it´s necessarily to press CTRL+? It should also work if you just click again on the packet (without ctrl), this would be better !?!

  5. […] tegnapi napon jelentette be Jonathan Thomas a Muon csomag 1.2-es kiadásának első alpha verzióját. A Muon csomag egy, a […]

  6. […] informazioni @ jontheechidna.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/muon-suite-1-2-alpha-released/ Tag:kde, moun, softwarecentre Ti è piaciuto l'articolo? […]

  7. Alejandro Nova says:

    It’s a shame that Ubuntu doesn’t invest resources in making the SSO service work in KDE. It’s the way it is: you shouldn’t need to file a GSOC project for something Ubuntu should do with its own resources.

    OTOH… KFilebox and Dolphin Dropbox VCS plugin keep working… Ubuntu One… where are you?

  8. Karthik says:

    Nice work for KDE. One small question:
    Do you plans to add some filter to remove(purge) extra packages installed after one uninstalls the main package. See here:

    http://www.vitavonni.de/blog/201103/2011031502-finding-packages-for-deinstallation.html#

    !?reverse-depends(~i) ~M
    Many thanks for your great work.

  9. IAnjo says:

    Could I ask for a little feature? I miss having a bit more choices when searching for packages, for example to only match their name.

    Right now for example if you know that there was some package with the kernel sources and don’t really remember its exact name you start searching for lin and when you type “linux” all packages disappear, and you only get the linux metapackage. You then continue typing linux-so and you still get lots of unnecessary packages, and when you fully type linux-source you still have lots of other packages. I think this is kinda confusing, for example when you have an exact match on the metapackage all others stop matching, and then show up again, but don’t disappear when you have an exact match on a package. Having the option for searching for name only would help a lot.

    Anyway, thanks for all your hard work. I currently run a a lot of desktops with opensuse (for servers and my mediacenter I already use ubuntu), but due to muon and other recent kubuntu niceties am probably going to migrate them to 11.04.

  10. […] Muon, la nuova suite di gestione di pacchetti Debian (.deb) per KDE, è un progetto giovane, molto attivo, apprezzatissimo (finalmente un simil-Synaptic anche per noi amici di KDE!) e può sicuramente […]

  11. Raul says:

    Hi Jonathan.
    I think that Muon should be the default package manager on Kubuntu.
    I do not understand as Kubuntu Natty will not be included by default the following components:

    * Muon (as I already said)
    * UFW KControl Module
    * Quick Usb Formatter
    * Grub2 Kcm

    I think they all are in a stable state and in time to be included.

    Thanks for all your work and time spent.

  12. […] to a heavy workload at school I’ve not been able to put out the next prerelease of Muon 1.2. I do plan on putting a beta out soon, […]

  13. Svein says:

    I am looking forward to test this on Kubuntu in a VM.

    For me, KpackageKit has not been too troublesome, but there are some things I have been missing:

    – A complete history of installation with all things that has been installed, not only main packages.

    – A way to make a list of all installed programs, then use this list as a basis when installing a new system or when doing a clean install of my own computer. Just did and missed it a lot!

    – Better repository management where I can sort the repositories, add comments to them so I know why I installed them.

    – When listing packages: Show what repository they come from

    I am sure there is more, but will add that later!

    Congratulations on a very interesting program! Downloading while I am typing this🙂

  14. Svein says:

    Just remembered one more feature I would like to see:

    – Block upgrading of packages by marking/tagging them.

    This is useful when you know that a certain package is not compatible with your hardware etc.

    I miss the program icons from Kpackagekit and I much prefer to get a cleaner screen at first until I have chosen a particular category.

    Muon also has the same problem as KPackageKit in that it lists everything under the sun. I would love to be able to flip a switch so I only see the main packages, not every library etc. that exist in a particular category. I don’t want to take it to the extreme as with a software manager for people that have not seen a computer before, but offering a few buttons like you have in Dolphin to switch between icons and detailed view you could offer 2-3 different views and detail levels.

    The design looks a little bit too close to Synaptic for my taste, but then again – I am one of those that do not like the KDE3 design at all🙂 I have no problem navigating the program.

    I could not get it to run an update of the system, it failed to download some of the repository information. Will try later and see if I get any different result.

  15. Svein says:

    Just found the part about the software center. It covers a lot of the things I have been looking for, and the whole package is just growing on me🙂 With these two applications together, I guess all bases are covered!

    I would still love to be able to add comments to the ppa’s – even block some packages there – or maybe even do the reverse – block all packages in this ppa except….

  16. […] To find out more about Muon please have a look at Jonathan Thomas’ blog about Muon 1.2. […]

  17. Hey Jon, I’ve been using your excellent Muon for most of this last cycle. I’ve loving it more all the time, BUT. I ran into a big problem last week while trying to uninstall phonon-gstreamer to insure that my system was using phonon-gst-built-from-git.

    Wrong thing to do, and Muon proceeded to uninstall my kubuntu-desktop! Without warning. Since Muon always switches to a separate screen warning me of addition packages which will be installed, I foolishly expected that it would do the same for packages it intended to UNinstall. However, that never happened.

    Retracing my steps later, I see that I was notified that kub-desktop would be removed, however, it is in small lettering, and is not highlighted in any way. Does it make sense that one has to OK adding more packages, but NOT the same for packages which will be removed?

    • Romoving kubuntu-desktop doesn’t remove any of the packages it depends (being a “meta” package it’s a package of ONLY dependencies).

      Removing any default kubuntu software causes this package to be removed, but will not remove or prevent anything else from being upgraded.

  18. Gerry Mander says:

    Argh,
    yet another package manager? Why can’t you contribute to an existing one?

    This NIH is a disease that’s running rampant.

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