Say hello to the new Wi-Fi panel

The new Wi-Fi panel

Hello my GNOME friends πŸ™‚

Y’all know that we’re taking big steps to move Settings (a.k.a Control Center) to a brand-new, super shiny layout. As a courtesy of our beloved designer, Allan Day, we have mockups of a new Settings layout that is both modern and preserves (most of) the functionality we already have. He blogged about it in the past.

I found those mockups quite nice, so I decided to work on them!

As YouTube people say nowadays: I’m a simple man. I see a good mockup, I implement it.

Before switching to the new layout, though, we needed to get rid of the panels with a sidebar. Namely: Online Accounts, Keyboard, Network, Printers and User Accounts. Thanks to Felipe Borges, who reimplemented a few panels himself, we were able to progress faster than expected!

This time, I added the new Wi-Fi panel. Check this out:

The new Wi-Fi panel
The new Wi-Fi panel


Compare this with the current Network panel, which still has a sidebar:

The current Network panel
The current Network panel. Notice that the panel sidebar looks bad with the new Settings shell (that already contains a sidebar).


With the new Wi-Fi panel, we’re close to making the new Settings shell the default one; the biggest blocker now is the Network panel, which I’m already working on. And finally, after more than a year working on the new Settings layout – and with the help of many super awsome contributors! – we’re almost there πŸ™‚

And our traditional sequence of pictures:


Oh, and did you notice? The connection editor dialog was also redesigned! It’s much simpler and saner now, do try it out and let me know what you think.

The new Wi-Fi panel has a few advantages:

  • It’s beautiful πŸ™‚
  • It handles multiple Wi-Fi adapters slightly better
  • It’s just easier to use
  • (Future) When the host doesn’t have a Wi-Fi adapter, the panel won’t be visible


I’d like to say a big and warm thank you to all contributors that made this possible, and specially to Bastien Nocera and Rui Matos for reviewing all this work and many other patches.

There’s still quite a lot of work to do, and it won’t be easy, but we’ll eventually make it πŸ™‚


The new Online Accounts & Printer panels (and other related news!)

Greetings, GNOMErs!

If you’re watching closely the GNOME Control Center iterations, you probably noticed it already has a bunch of new panels: Keyboard, Mouse & Touchpad, and other panels like Sharing, Privacy and Search that don’t need to be ported.

I’m pleased to announce that the Online Accounts panel joined this family.

Check this out:

Captura de tela de 2017-02-23 10-27-19.png
The new Online Accounts panel

This panel was easier to be ported since the codebase was already somewhat recent. It now features a single-column layout, which fits perfectly the next shell of GNOME Control Center.

Editing and creating accounts are now handled in a separate dialog:

Editing an account
Adding a new online account

But that’s not all!

The new Printers panel

Thanks to the always awsome Felipe Borges, we have a brand new, super shiny Printers panel. Most importantly, it has colored ink indicators! Dude, what else could you ask for?

I’ll let Felipe himself write this one in details, but why not tease the audience? πŸ™‚

Captura de tela de 2017-02-23 10-45-52.png
Super beautiful Printers panel (uh… no printers here)

Lets shout a big thanks to this great GNOME contributor!

m(_ _)m

What’s left?

In order to permanently switch to the new shell (the one in the screenshots), there are three major panels to be reworked:

  • Sounds: required to switch to the new shell, the Sounds panel will probably be very time consuming.
  • Networks: another required and hard panel. This panel will be split into Wi-Fi, Mobile Broadband, and Networks, and it’ll probably require a lot of work too.
  • Details: each tab in the Details panel will be split into a separate panel. It’ll be mostly manual work, and it’s easy (anyone interested in picking this one up? πŸ™‚ )

This work can be tracked here. Excited? Join us in creating the next generation Settings application – contributions are so appreciated!

The new Keyboard panel

After implementing the new redesigned Shell of GNOME Control Center, it’s now time to move the panels to a bright new future. And the Keyboard panel just walked this step.

After Allan give his usual show with new mockups (didn’t you see? Check it here), . Check this out:

Captura de tela de 2016-07-21 20-45-22
The new Keyboard panel

Working on this panel had me take a few conclusions:

  • The new programming tools and facilities that Gtk+ and GLib landed make a huge difference in code legibility and code quality.
  • GObject is awsome. Really.
  • Since GObject is awsome, lets use all the functionality it gives us for free πŸ™‚
  • I tend to overdocument my code.

And our beloved set of sequential pictures and music:


Excited? This is still unders heavy development, and we just started the reviews. You can check the current state here, or test the wip/gbsneto/new-keyboard-panel branch. As always, share your comments, ideas and suggestions!

An update on the Control Center

Following my previous post about the GNOME Control Center, here’s a quick n’ dirty update on the current status:

  • As many of you requested, it now uses symbolic icons (and looks very neat!)
  • The panels are now grouped, following the discussion we had and based on Allan’s mockup
  • The old UI still works just as expected.

As tradition dictates, a video:


This work is yet to be reviewed and will land on master when it’s ready. All the action is happening at Bugzilla right now.

Excited? Drop a comment, share your ideas and contribute!

The Future of GNOME Control Center

Hello, GNOMErs! As some of you may be aware, I’m working on porting our beloved GNOME Control Center to match the latest mockups. Not alone, however; we’re a Team.

The Porting Team

We’re short on human resources here, but we’re doing our best to make the new Control Center for 3.22 release. Meet the Team:

  • Bastien Nocera (the maintainer), an amazing long-term contributor who is doing a quite huge work on porting it to Network Manager 1.2, and reviewing all the patches that goes in. Thanks to his reviews, the code quality is always top-notch.
  • Felipe Borges, who ported the Mouse & Touchpad and now is working on porting the Printer and theΒ Users panels. He’s the leading force of porting the panels, and an awsome guy.
  • Georges Basile (I), who’s working on the new Shell with a sidelist and will port some panels as well.

Feel free to contact any one of us and get in-depth details abot The Plan.

The Plan

We’ve been attending secret meetings (in plain open #gnome-hackers room :P) and we came up with a plan on how we’ll work on moving things forward. Here are the outlines:

  1. A new non-installed binary gnome-control-center-alt will be introduced.
  2. The panels that must be ported are: Online Accounts, Networks, Sound, Users, Printers, Details and Keyboard.
  3. We’ll port as much panels as we can, obviously prioritizing the panels above.
  4. As we port the panels, we test them both with the current icon grid and the new sidelist.
  5. The old icon grid will be removed and this binary will be the official Control Center after all the required panels are ported.
  6. Everyone will be happy πŸ™‚

The reason we’re doing it this way is safety. We’re absolutely not releasing a half-backed feature in such an important component. Worst case scenario, we’ll release the current GNOME Control Center with properly tested ported panels.

The Benefits

The work on these features have a real, concrete impact. This is not coming out of nowhere. Out of my head, some of the benefits we gain are:

  • The Control Center will be able to work on really small screens AND big screens, out of the box. This would probably won’t affect the current regular GNOME user, but there are millions out there who can only afford a Tube TV with 720×480 resolution (and yes, my employer Endless opened my eyes to this reality).
  • Much improved interaction. Thanks Allan for working on that.
  • Easier to find panels.
  • Much more GNOMEish.

Excited? Read below.

How To Be Part of It

There are plenty of ways to contribute with this monumental task. Don’t like coding? You can test, update the documentation and spread the word. Every single contribution is absolutely appreciated.

Some relevant links:

These patches need testing, love and work. Are you new to GNOME? No problem, there is a page crafted for you: Newcomers. Feel free to ping us to get some directions, join the #newcomers IRC room and, as always, you’re very welcomed to be part of this community!


This work wouldn’t be possible without the support of my employer Endless, and also Red Hat for allowing Bastien and Felipe to work on that.

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