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Ubuntu Tweak 0.6.0 released!

After more than two years’ cycle of design and development, Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 finally comes!

Back to two years ago, we made the mock-up of the future Ubuntu Tweak and told the concepts behind the new design.  Later we improved the design and started coding. Although the progress was slow, and I had to maintain the 0.5 version at the same time. At the year of 2011, many things happened, the development of Ubuntu Tweak stopped and started once and again. But finally, it is released.

Let’s get started with the brand new Ubuntu Tweak!

First, please allow me to introduce the concepts of the new Ubuntu Tweak.

The concepts of Ubuntu Tweak 0.6.0

As a “tweak” application, Ubuntu Tweak provided a lot of options to let you change the default system settings.

While developing Ubuntu Tweak, I added a lot of features, E.G. App Center, Source Center in Ubuntu Tweak 0.5. Soon I realized that Ubuntu Tweak is not a “Tweak” application any more, although the feature like App & Source Center are liked by a lot of users, it also caused a lot of problems.

Finally, I decided to remove the feature of App & Source Center, to make it focus on “Tweak” again. This time, Ubuntu Tweak is fully plug-able, this means everyone can write extension (or plugin) for Ubuntu Tweak.

Release notes of Ubuntu Tweak 0.6.0

Here’s the noteworthy highlights of Ubuntu Tweak 0.6.0:

  • Brand new UI and interaction focus on better looking and easy to use
  • Supports the latest Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and well integrated with system
  • Every part of Ubuntu Tweak is plug-able, this make Ubuntu Tweak more powerful then ever before
  • Janitor keeps your system clean
  • Overview makes you know your system better

Now let’s start with the Overview

The first screen after you start Ubuntu Tweak is Overview, from this screen, you can get many useful information about your hardware, software and others. It can be fully configured, if you don’t want to see the hardware information, or you want to re-sort the items, you can do it at the “Preferences”.

Every small piece is called “Clip”, and it will provide some useful information.

As I said before, it is plug-able too. So you can write or download the “Clip” that written by other people. Think about a clip to show “Everyday tips of Ubuntu”, it might be very useful to the newbie. Right?

And there’s another useful thing in the Overview, the “Recently Used” items in the right side. There must be some features you access frequently, then you can find the most recently used items here, click and access to what you want.

Tweaks & Admins

Now let’s come to the “Tweaks” page, here are the features that you can tweak the system. Currently there’re 12 major features to help you tweak. Most of them inherited from the Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.x, but there’re also many new features:

Unity Settings is introduced by Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 for the first time, it will only be used under Unity desktop (both 2D and 3D). With Unity Settings, you can change the behavior of Launcher, the size of Launcher, the size of Dash, even the blur type of Dash. You won’t be lost in the CCSM (Compiz Config Settings Manager).

And with Theme Settings, you can easily change the default theme of Ubuntu. All of this can be done by just a few clicks.

The fonts settings, if you want a larger or smaller size of font.

Miscellaneous, notes the “Natural Scrolling”, if you are also a Mac OS X Lion user, you will like it.

Here’s the “Admins”, some useful features you can manage your system. I think you’ve met most of them in the previous versions. Due to some technical reasons, the “Templates” and “Scripts” have been removed in this version. Maybe in the future release I will add them again.

There are also something new in Source Editor, this time Source Editor introduced the “Backup” feature. Now you can backup and recover the sources lists easily, the backup feature is also enabled by default.

Janitor

This is Ubuntu Tweak’s killer-feature: Janitor. It is like the old “Computer Janitor”, but with a more easy to use interface and powerful clean feature.

You will never learn how to use it, just select the items you want to clean, then Janitor will scan the cruft, after you double check the items you don’t need, select and click the “Clean”. Everything will get out of your system.

If your system is clean, a cool face will tell you the good news.

And don’t forget the Janitor is also plug-able, try to write the extension for Janitor, such as clean the “Recently Used Items”, this is the extension that I’m currently writing.

This extension is not finished yet, maybe it will be integrated into the next version of Ubuntu Tweak. And I will also release it as a standalone extension.

Oh, and there is one more thing: Ubuntu Tweak is very well integrated with the Ubuntu Unity desktop.

This means you can start to the Janitor directly even Ubuntu Tweak hasn’t started yet, just right-click the icon on the Launcher and choose what you want to enter.

Downloads & Update

I think you can’t wait to use it now, Ubuntu Tweak is ready to download from the official website: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-tweak/+download

And it is also ready in the Stable PPA: https://launchpad.net/~tualatrix/+archive/ppa

Download and try it, it’s hot!

What’s the next?

At the end, let’s see another picture: This is a mock-up which designed by Jeonkwan Chan at May, 2010. At that moment, we discussed a lot about how the future Ubuntu Tweak would be like, later he finished this design draft, and I started coding at the beginning of 2011.

When I look back on this, I’m feeling very very very excited! We designed this two years ago, and I spent almost one year to finish the final version. Even some features are still missing, but we finally done the work!

So what’s the next? I don’t know.

I may not have so many times to coding as before, but I’d like to write some documents and help people get involved with the development of Ubuntu Tweak, to make it a community product. Of course, I’m still the project manager, I will keep driving and maintaining this project, hope next version won’t take a whole year to release :)

Happy Christmas! Don’t forget to tell your friends if you like Ubuntu Tweak!

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