So what is actually new in Ubuntu Accomplishments 0.3?

Ubuntu Accomplishments system had a new release this week, which sums up our efforts from last 4 months. What were we doing all that time? What’s new, what’s worth trying out? If you don’t like reading changelogs, this post will present some highlights of most important changes that were introduced in Ubuntu Accomplishments 0.3.

User-side goodies

  • A brand new feature is social portals integration. This allows one to show off the trophy they got, by instantly posting such information on Twitter, Facebook, and whatever else your Gwibber is connected to. When you have accomplished something, just go to trophies details view, and use the big SHARE button. You will be able to edit the default message, and in a single click you can publish it to your friends – show them who has the coolest Ubuntu Trophies! Kudos to SilverFox for her awesome work on this feature!
  • Publishing your trophies online. This allows you to easily share your achievements with the online service http://trophies.ubuntu.com, which should be deployed soon. Once published there, you can browse your trophies online, make your friends jealous of your collection, and use links to single trophies, which can work as the proof that you actually deserve the trophy. This feature is implemented in 0.3, but temporarily disabled, because it requires trophies.ubuntu.com to be live… we’ll enable it in 0.3.1 as soon as the web service will be ready.
  • A slightly more sophisticated MyTrophies view. It now groups your trophies by collections, and allows you to browse sort them by the time of when you have acquired them – helpful when looking for what you’ve just accomplished!
  • Ubuntu Accomplishments now successfully works on other distros and Ubuntu Flavors! That includes Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Lubuntu, Fedora and many more!
  • Helpful welcome screen that appears in the viewer, when one has no accomplishment collections installed. It instructs how to install accomplishments collections, instead of being confusingly blank.
  • More efficient scripts. By using wise caching tricks, we managed to decrease the time all scripts need to run by up to 60%! That means faster scanning for trophies, and less resource usage.
  • An elegant daemon launcher. Up till now starting/stopping the daemon required a complicated command to be run in terminal, now it’s just simple accomplishments-daemon –start! The launcher now also takes care about the pidfile and proper logging – which fixes many bugs some of you have been experiencing.
  • Ability to reload accomplishment collections from Viewer’s menu. This is really helpful if you are writing your own accomplishment; instead restarting the daemon, just choose “Reload…” in the Viewer, and your new accomplishment will be refreshed!

Changes in accomplishments collections

  • New accomplishments. Thanks to everyone who contributed them!
    • Ubuntu Power Users
    • Gwibber – Added Identi.ca
    • Gwibber – Added Twitter
    • Gwibber – Facebook
    • Ubuntu Youth
    • Change Wallpaper
    • AskUbuntu Organizer
    • AskUbuntu Outspoken
    • AskUbuntu Scholar
    • AskUbuntu Supporter
  • A great number of grammar and typo fixes. Thanks to all contributors who found them!
  • Several accomplishment scripts were fixed.

Technical changes

These are probably the ones most exciting for us, as for this release we’ve focused on getting the API really stable, and improving the general quality of code. I do know average user will not notice them, but they are important to keep whatever’s behind the curtain in good shape.

At this moment, we’ve done lots of cleaning up, and haven’t yet messed up the code with 0.4 features. If you are interested in getting involved and contributing some code, this is probably the best moment to do so, as the code is now shining! In such case, get in touch with us on #ubuntu-accomplishments, or e-mail me directly.

  • Unit tests. All API functions are now automatically tested, this reduces the chances of regressions and unwillingly broken interface. We have now a good collection of tests, that cover pretty much everything that is needed to ensure that on bugs will suddenly emerge in daemon’s API.
  • Refactored API. Many things got renamed to use a common naming theme, we took care to use underscore prefixes correctly. There was also some PEP8 refactoring going on, which makes the code a pleasure to read :)
  • Improved the way we use twistd framework. Lots of things were fixed in this matter, we no longer use tricky workarounds. That increases stability, and solves some bugs we’ve had with U1 and accomplishment notifications.
  • Documentation. Huge amount of work was committed here – all API calls are fully documented, as you can see in daemon’s source or on these pages.

Plus a lot of general bug fixes.

That is pretty much it. Thanks again to everyone who made this release happen!

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