GSoC Update of the Week: Testdrive PyGTK Front-end

This weeks update for the Testdrive PyGTK Front-end GSoC2010 project brings two new things. The first thing is that the UI presented last week has changed and now Testdrive PyGTK Front-End looks like this:

The second thing is a new feature, which is that now Testdrive (and Testdrive PyGTK Front-end) has now support for various Ubuntu Flavors!! YaY!! This means that now Kubuntu/Xubuntu/UbuntuStudio/Mythbuntu/Edubuntu users will be able to testdrive their daily ISO’s from both Testdrive and Testdrive PyGTK Front-end. However, some final touches are still necessary. A new version of Testdrive will be released soon (by the end of the week) in both maverick archives and Testdrive PPA. Furthermore, Testdrive PyGTK Front-end will also be packaged and released soon for testing.

If you have any suggestions/comments/appreciations please feel free to drop a comment, or send us an e-mail (Both my mentor Dustin Kirkland and me).

If you would like to see other sketches and keep track of the project, please refer to the following:

You can also find me (RoAkSoAx) and my mentor (Dustin Kirkland – kirkland) on IRC at:

  • IRC Channel: #testdrive
Posted in Planet, Ubuntu. . 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “GSoC Update of the Week: Testdrive PyGTK Front-end”

  1. Tweets that mention RoAkSoAx’s Weblog » GSoC Update of the Week: Testdrive PyGTK Front-end -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Planet Ubuntu, Zuissi. Zuissi said: Ubuntu: Andres Rodriguez: GSoC Update of the Week: Testdrive PyGTK Front-end: This weeks update for the Testdrive … [...]

  2. Severin Says:

    First of all, let me tell you that I really look forward to the test drive GUI as it will allow people to give upcoming releases of Ubuntu and its derivates a spin in a way that has never been easier!

    I’m not sure whether it’s the best approach to present the user will all possible combinations of flavors, architectures and distribution types. I quickly created a mock-up using glade, which looks as follows:

    - Main window:
    - Add dialog:

    The interface contains significantly less elements. Of course, there’s lots of room for improvements. For instance:

    - If the user is running Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop (32-bit), the application could by default add “Ubuntu Desktop (32-bit)” to the list of test drives without downloading the ISO. The download could start as soon as the user hits “Run” (or “Launch”).
    - For manually added test drives, the download could start immediately. – May be the GUI could ask the user whether an updated ISO should be downloaded when he/she attempts to run an outdated ISO.
    - Also, instead of the icons I put into the tree view, the Ubuntu, Kubuntu logos etc. could be used.

    I really hope that some of my thoughts and suggestions might prove useful to you!


  3. roaksoax Says:

    @Severin: Thank you for your suggestions. They are very much appreciated.

    I do agree with you in some way that it is not the best approach to present the user with all possible combinations of flavors, and actually it is not gonna be like that at all. The user will be able to select which flavors he/she would like to testdrive as well as which architectures. However, this will be handled via the Preferences Dialog that will be added down the road.

    Now, on the side of having an ‘add dialog’, it is a good idea, and already discussed that in the UDS, and it is gonna be used for “Others”. Which would be indeed having support for other ISO’s, such as ISO’s of other distributions and stuff. We actually discussed having a similar approach of yours during the session held at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, and we decided to only go for it in the ‘Others’ tab. The reason is that we want to provide the users as much simplicity as possible to be able to testdrive Ubuntu ISOs, as well as other ISOs, and was decided that keeping the current mockups. We also have various other ideas on how to handle the updates of ISO’s and stuff like that. Please take a look at:, which list a few features that will be implemented.

    Now, further along the road (past GSoC) we can get together and create a better UI approach for testdrive and make all the improvements since there are many features for it that I’m not gonna implement for the GSoc.

    Anyways, I appreciate your suggestions and they are taken into consideration :) Thank you.

  4. Severin Says:

    @roaksoax: Thanks for your elaborate answer! I should have taken a look at all the mockups and todo lists before creating a mock-up on my own. It looks like you and other Ubuntu developers have already been quite busy planning the future of this application.

    I agree that your current main window mock-up can definitely be used as a starting point and the UI can be evolved from there. The planned capability of test driving ISOs of other distributions is also highly appreciated. If properly executed in terms of UI design, giving the user immediate access to different ISOs could indeed be an advantage.

    As for the visual presentation of the available ISOs, instead of making extensive use of boxes, I’d probably opt for (or at least evaluate) the usage of a TreeView, where 32-bit and 64-bit architectures are represented using expanders (or simply bold-face parents). This would result in a look that is both clean and consistent with other common Ubuntu applications. The problem is that it’s non-trivial to render buttons in a TreeView, but it has been done as one can see in the Software Center. Right now, the checkboxes suggest that one can select multiple ISOs at the same time.

    May be the list of distributions could be turned into a TreeView side-pane (again as seen in the Software Center), which would ensure that one doesn’t run out of space if many distributions are selected. Also, it would be possible to add a distribution logo to each entry, allowing the user to select the desired distribution faster. But of course, it works just as well using tabs at the top.

    Well, these are just a couple of random thoughts and they probably suggest that I’m a TreeView-addict. :-P Also, instead of writing this comment, I should have spent the time preparing for the exam that will take place tomorrow. ;-)

  5. A TestDrive PyGTK Front-end on the way | Kabatology ~ Open Source, Linux Says:

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