GNOME 3.16 brings a brand new notification system and updated calendar design, which helps you to easily keep track of what’s happened, and includes useful information like world times and event reminders. Other features include overlaid scrollbars, updated visuals, improved content views in Files, and a redesigned image viewer.
Major additions have also been made to the GNOME developer experience: GTK+ support for OpenGL now allows GTK+ apps to support 3D natively, a new GLib reference counting feature will help with debugging, and GTK+ Inspector has also had a major update.
Also released: GNOME Builder, an IDE for GNOME.
Since it’s so quiet on this one, I’ll try to give everyone a few things to correct me on. 🙂
First off, I think this is pretty cool news. When gnome shell first debuted, it was judged harshly, and rightly so. However, since 3.6 (give or take a release), it has been a very solid, very usable desktop with 3.10 being a real standout to me at least. Unfortunately, a lot of people (or at least a lot of very vocal people) seem to have made up their mind and never looked back. Such a shame.
I know it makes a lot of people grumble, but I like seeing all the new ideas getting thrown around in the desktop space over the past 5 years or so, especially in the free desktop space. Unity, for example, does a lot of things right. For example, the keyboard shortcut support is excellent. Good visual cues, discoverable, good multi-monitor support, etc. If only they would get the performance issues ironed out. I swear, I get the same underwhelming performance on a core solo netbook as I do on a core i5 desktop with a discrete nVidia card. It’s passable, don’t misunderstand me, but it does seem really weird to me that performance is so similar on such dissimilar machines. But I digress.
Let it be said, the Gnome folks seem to have hit on a few really good ideas with gnome shell. If you use Gnome but haven’t spent time on extensions.gnome.org, you’re missing out big time. It makes it very easy to test out new configurations and workflows. If something doesn’t work, just uncheck it. And before anyone bemoans the need for extensions to make things workable, just take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Everything is going to be fine. Turns out, Gnome is usable without extensions. Regardless of the stock configuration, most distros customize things to make it better/distinguish themselves from the field. Finally, the user has the option to make it optimal using an extension system that just works. See? Everything is fine. The system works!
And since I’m doing a modern desktop round up, if you haven’t tried KDE5 yet, opensuse 13.2 has a nice version of 5.2 available. Just switched off 4.14 and no regrets yet. I’ll admit I’m willing to live with a few paper cuts but so far I haven’t needed any bandaids. It’s been a very smooth transition and the polish that’s been put on plasma is really starting to shine.
It’s good times, I tell ya. Good times.