This is part 1 of a series. Come back next week to find out more about the changes in Tracker 3.0.
We wanted to port all the core GNOME apps in a single release, and we almost achieved this ambitious goal. Nautilus, Boxes, Music, Rygel and Totem all now use Tracker 3. Photos will require 2.x until the next release. Outside of GNOME core, some apps are ported and some are not, so we are currently in a transitional period.
The important thing is only Tracker Miner FS 3 needs to run by default. Tracker Miner FS is the filesystem indexer which allows apps to do instant search and content discovery.
Since Photos 3.38 still uses Tracker 2.x we have modified it to start Tracker Miner FS 2 along with the app. This means the filesystem index in the central Tracker 2 database is kept up-to-date while Photos is running. This will increase resource usage, but only while you are using Photos. Other apps which are not yet ported may want to use the same method while they finish porting to Tracker 3 — see Photos merge request 142 to see how it’s done.
Flatpak apps can safely use Tracker Miner FS 3 on the host, via Tracker’s new portal which guards access to your data based on the type of content. It’s up to the app developer whether they use the system Tracker Miner service, or whether they run another instance inside the sandbox. There are upsides and downsides to both approaches.
We published some guidance for distributors in this thread on discourse.gnome.org.
I also want to thank all the maintainers who collaborated with us. Marinus and Jean were early adopters in GNOME Music and gave valuable feedback including coming to the regular meetings, along with Jens who also ported Rygel early in the cycle. Bastien dug into reviewing the tracker3 grilo plugin, and made some big improvements for building Tracker Miners inside a Flatpak. In Nautilus, Ondrej and Antonio did some heroic last minute review of my branch and together we reworked the Starred Files feature to fix some long standing issues.
The new GNOME VM images were really useful for testing and catching issues early. The chat room is very responsive and friendly, Abderrahim, Jordan and Valentin all helped me a lot to get a working VM with Tracker 3.
GNOME’s release team were also responsive and helpful, right up to the last minute freeze break request which was crucial to avoiding a “Tracker Miner FS 2 and 3 running in parallel” scenario.
Thanks also to GNOME’s translation teams for keeping up with all the string changes in the CLI tool, and to distro packagers who are now working to make Tracker 3 available
Coming soon to your distro.
It takes time for a new GNOME release to reach users, because most distros have their own testing phase.
Let’s see both:
I have a lot more to write about following the Tracker 3.0 release. I’ll be publishing a series of blog posts over the next month. Make sure you subscribe to my blog or to Planet GNOME to see them all!