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Yes, a pretty good one, faster, better memory performance, a worthy release.
Why it's "faster" and has "better memory performance"? Not that I doubt it, the gnome guys have been improving that fields for a while and could very well have done the same in this release. But....
...but this time I can't see any performance/memory related items in the release notes! Are there any? Maybe 2.18 focused in features... Edited 2007-03-14 23:06
"""faster, better memory performance, a worthy release."""
Now that they have a solid base, its nice to see a focus on efficiency. "Make it work... and then make it fast" and all that sort of rot.
I remember listening to a webcast in which a RedHat official mentioned that they expected Gnome to have a 1.0 release in "about a year".
It has been very gratifying to watch this project mature. Oh, they've stumbled and made a few mistakes. When they decided to be completely WM agnostic I cringed. When they decided to make Enlightenment's WM the standard I cringed even more. (Enlightenments WM wanted to be a DE in itself... and it showed.)
Then came Sawmill. Errm, excuse me, Sawfish (gotta love that one!).
And then the great simplification effort. Controversial, I know. But I think that it was a good move. It does make things easier for new users, and those who prefer to be confronted with more switches and dials have KDE, Ion, or whatever catches their fancy.
We've even been treated to Linus Torvalds displaying an all too human side... trolling the Gnome mailing lists... eventually even submitting patches, some of which were accepted, I think. Funny thing it was: Linus asking that his patches be accepted, and not any too politely. I'm in Oklahoma and he was in Oregon. But I swear I heard him grit his teeth! ;-)
I don't mean to detract from KDE, XFCE, or the WM/DE of your choice, here.
But I think that we can agree that the landscape is richer for the existence of this project.