Packaging Unity (part 1)

Ubuntu recently announced Unity, an attempt at creating a new user experience for netbooks.

Some concepts made me think about Gnome-Shell. Being a huge fan of the latter, I wanted to give a try to Unity, and so I started to package it for Fedora 13.

Didier Roche, one of the Canonical desktop team developers, gave me some hints about this. Unity is composed of several packages, mainly:

  • wncksync: A library and dbus daemon that matches .desktop files to window xid's and the reverse.
  • liblauncher: A library to build launchers
  • dbusmodel: No idea what that is yet, as the description is rather terse
  • Unity: The netbook specialized user experience

However, I'll probably have to build most of the packages in the Unity PPA, as well as some needed libraries that might not be included in Fedora yet.

Figuring out in which order to build those took some trial and error, and the first bad news came when trying to build wncksync: it requires a patched GLib. Then came the happy time of DSO linking failures for both wncksync and liblauncher.

Because of the GLib patch, I'll probably not be able to push those packages to the Fedora repositories, so I'll be uploading them into a (hopefully temporary) Fedorapeople repository.

A lot is still missing, but I have the first 3 components: GLib, wncksync and liblauncher (only available as source and x86_64 RPMs, i386 will follow).

No repository configuration yet, as there's nothing to test anyway. I'll post more updates as I get to build other packages.

Feedback is welcome on the quality of the packages though, so that any future review is made easier. ;-)