Today, the GNOME team has released GNOME 2.28. It builds on the solid foundation laid out by all the previous releases, and adds in a number of new features and improvements, on top of all the bug fixes and performance improvements, of course.
The single biggest improvement in GNOME 2.28 is probably the inclusion of the GNOME BlueTooth module, which should finally make managing all your Bluetooth-capable devices a whole lot easier on the GNOME desktop. “GNOME Bluetooth supports hundreds of Bluetooth devices, including mice, keyboards and headsets. GNOME Bluetooth includes PulseAudio integration for Bluetooth headsets and headphones,” the release notes elaborate, “GNOME Bluetooth also includes support for Internet access through your mobile phone. After pairing your mobile phone with GNOME Bluetooth, NetworkManager will include an entry to use your mobile phone for Internet access.”
Empathy, GNOME’s instant messaging framework, has also seen lots of love. Managing your contact list should now be easier thanks to proper drag/drop organising and a view menu with quick sorting options. The messaging window now supports AdiumX styles too. Support for GNOME’s remote desktop viewer, Vino, has been integrated into Empathy, so you can share your desktop with your Empathy contacts.
Another big thing is that Epiphany, the GNOME browser, has ditched the Gecko rendering engine in favour of WebKit. The change should be transparent to users, but it will solve a number of long-standing Epiphany bugs.
Other changes include no more icons on buttons and menus, Evince supports PDF annotation, Cheese has seen UI love, and Terminal will use less memory – among other things, of course.
The new release will find its way to a distribution near you soon enough.
Congrats to Gnome on the release.
Something’s up with the fonts on the first screenshot that makes it look pretty awful. Either it’s been resized or the hinting is broken.. Not sure but it doesn’t make a good first impression.
The tech behind empathy (telepathy) is coming along nicely. It’s very quickly becoming the way to create connectivity applications, and we’re looking at using it at work for some projects. Very cool stuff.
One bug users may experience in Epiphany, due to the change to WebKit, is not being able to save logins and passwords in forms. This bug will be fixed during the 2.30 development cycle.
Yikes. That’s a pretty significant regression. Why was this not a showstopper for the release? I’m sure users could have dealt with gecko for another 6 months. Not being able to save passwords would make me ditch a browser for sure.
Otherwise some nice tweaks. Special kudos for the accessibility work, this is an area that is sorely lacking in most other open source projects.