If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that a team has been working on updated designs for the Activities Overview. (Previous posts on this topic covered our initial motivations and design goals, as well as the results from some early exploratory research that we conducted.) This initiative has been the subject of significant activity over recent months, and we’re now at a point where we can share more details about what we’ve been doing. My feelings on GNOME are very double. On the one hand, I love the fact that the GNOME team really seems to have a solid plan of what it wants, and it sticks to this plan to a fault. On the other hand, I just do not like this plan. It doesn’t mesh with what I want from a desktop computing experience. The fact I have to mess around with shaky extensions through a web interface to make GNOME halfway usable to me just isn’t a great user experience. But that’s fine – this isn’t the Windows or macOS world where we have to take it or leave it. We have tons of other options to choose from (Cinnamon for me), exactly so the developers and users of GNOME can build what they want.
If you’re looking for a fancy new way to launch your favourite apps in GNOME Shell the awesomely innovative GNOME extension featured below should appeal! It’s called Fly-Pie and despite being at an early stage in its development (i.e. expect bugs, missing features, possible death, etc) it’s already looking pretty functional as this YouTube video ably demonstrates. Neat. Not sure if it’s for me – the mouse movements seem slow, and not as fast as simply using something like uLauncher – but at least it’s a little bit different.
GNOME OS has traditionally been a virtual machine image for testing, but with the work done by Codethink and other GNOME developers it’s becoming possible to run GNOME OS on bare metal hardware. Additionally, thanks to the likes of Flatpak and OSTree, it’s becoming more like a working Linux distribution in terms of package availability. GNOME OS is part of the project’s continual testing investment and can be booted on real systems with UEFI via systemd-boot, systemd is leveraged throughout, Flatpak is available for a broad application base, Wayland and XWayland are utilized, the latest Mesa drivers are present, and OSTree provides atomic updates. GNOME OS seems similar to KDE Neon, and I think it’s a great idea. It allows GNOME developers and users to easily test the latest and great versions of their software, without being dependent on distributions.
The lock screen work that we landed in 3.36 was the outcome of a long-running programme of UX work, which we first put together at the GNOME UX hackfest in London, back in 2017. There are still some outstanding pieces of the login/unlock experience that need to be filled in, and this is something that we hope to work on over the coming development cycle. However, we are also turning our attention to other aspects of the shell, which we have wanted to update for some time. In the rest of this post, I’ll describe some of the areas that we’re hoping to improve, before going on to talk about how we’re going to do it. An overview of what to expect from upcoming GNOME releases.
A work-in-progress patch series was posted over the weekend for adding variable refresh rate support into Mutter for X.Org and Wayland. This includes checking for VRR support from connected monitors using the DRM properties, support for activating VRR, and the ability to toggle the VRR support via a DBus API. The VRR support isn’t advertised to Wayland clients at the moment for the lack of an upstream Wayland protocol around VRR. I can’t wait for Mutter and Kwin to adopt and integrate support for variable refresh rates, so seeing these first patches is good news.
We are pleased to announce the official release of GNOME 3.36: “Gresik”. Version 3.36 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance enhancements, and new features. Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications and interfaces, particularly noteworthy being the login and unlock interfaces. The release notes provide a more detailed overview of the changes.
The latest version of GNOME 3 has been released today. Version 3.34 contains six months of work by the GNOME community and includes many improvements, performance improvements and new features. Highlights from this release include visual refreshes for a number of applications, including the desktop itself. The background selection settings also received a redesign, making it easier to select custom backgrounds. They have a video highlighting the changes too.
We are developers and designers making apps for the GNOME platform. We take pride in our craft and work hard to make sure our applications are a great experience for people. Unfortunately, all our efforts designing, developing, and testing our apps are made futile by theming in many cases. This is insanity – even if they claim it only applies to distribution makers. Their argument basically comes down to certain themes making certain applications look bad, and that theming removes branding from applications. First, theming making applications look bad is either an issue with the theme that needs to be fixed or an issue with Gtk+/GNOME being bad at theming, and second, your branding is irrelevant on my computer, or on my distribution. I use KDE, and one of the main reasons I do so is to ensure I can make my desktop and its applications look exactly the way I want them to look.
GNOME 3.32 is the latest release of the most popular Linux Desktop Environment (Interface+Apps) that is used by Ubuntu, Fedora and many other Linux distributions as their default experience (with or without changes). GNOME 3.32 packs itself with new niceties such as a refreshed theme and icon set, many much-needed performance fixes, updated apps, etc. However, GNOME continues to have key areas that stick out like a sore thumb in terms of intuitiveness or convenience. I have laid them down below with links to bug reports, please treat my feedback as constructive criticism of a project that I respect, but find confusing. As a former heavy user of GNOME 2.x, I find GNOME 3 wholly unpleasant – unlike its predecessor, it seems to want to force a certain way of working on me that I just can’t wrap my head around. Add to that the numerous problems – many of which are highlighted in this article – and I just don’t see myself ever returning to the world of GNOME any time soon. KDE all the way for me.
But I'll be honest: GNOME is huge and kind of bloated, and it's hard to disable various unwanted components. GNOME Shell is amazing, but a lot of the other components of GNOME are simply unwanted. This is what turns a lot of power users away from GNOME, which I think is a shame given all of the other amazing things about GNOME. While you won't find these instructions in the GNOME manuals, if you know what you're doing modern GNOME releases make it very easy to lobotomize a lot of the unneeded and unwanted features.
Daniel Aleksandersen writes:
Jonas Ã…dahl from Red Hat has been busy adding new D-Bus APIs to libmutter. Mutter is the GNOME window manager and Wayland compositor. The two new APIs, org.gnome.Mutter.RemoteDesktop and org.gnome.Mutter.ScreenCast, expose a PipeWire stream containing the contents of the system's screens. The new APIs can create full-screen streams, or streams for individual windows. Only the former has been implemented.
These new APIs finally allows for services such as RDP and VNC servers and screen recording under Wayland. Once again, Mr. Ã…hdahl delivers! He has also created GNOME Remote Desktop, a new user-level systemd service daemon that is built on the new RemoteDesktop API in libmutter, plus VNC support from libvncserver. The new service can be used to connect up a remote VNC client to your local screen’s session. GNOME Remote Desktop appears to be a drop-in replacement for Vino server.
GNOME has been without its own Remote Desktop option since the switch to Wayland, and this work fills that gap.
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.
Submitted by Wes
Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon's product is a tablet based point of sale "operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.
Groupon acting scummy. Say it ain't so.
Update: Groupon has decided to abandon the trademark applications. Situation resolved!
Remember back when GNOME and KDE dominated Linux desktops? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Yet it was only three years ago, in April 2011, that GNOME 3
was released. Its
radically redesigned interface shook up everyone. Some eagerly adopted it. Others left GNOME.
In this brief review I take a fresh look at GNOME today, as it's currently distributed in several popular Linux distributions.
Major new features for this release include a significant update to the experience for finding and installing applications, as well as major facelifts for the Videos and gedit applications. Those who have high resolution displays will benefit from greater support, and users will experience better start up times as well as more efficient resource usage. They will also be able to quickly organize their applications with the new application folders feature.
I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past.
"At the Tizen conference this week in San Francisco, Intel showed off
an Intel Ultrabook running their next-generation Tizen 3.0 platform that's using a shell/desktop derived from GNOME 3.x."
"The team is proud to announce the release of MATE Desktop 1.6
. This release is a giant step forward from the 1.4 release. In this release, we have replaced many deprecated packages and libraries with new technologies available in GLib. We have also added a lot of new features to MATE." Look at those screenshots. This is what GNOME is supposed to be: elegant, understated, to-the-point. I should try this.
"The GNOME Project has officially released GNOME 3.8
today. This latest version of GNOME 3 delivers major new features, a brand new application and a host of smaller bug fixes and enhancements."
Submitted by Anonymous
"Some GNOME developers are planning to implement an app format that allows developers to provide their Linux programs in distribution-independent files that can be installed as easily as smartphone apps. A sandbox model is supposed to isolate the apps from each other
"At the GNOME Developer Experience Hackfest in Brussels, the GNOME developer community has tackled the problem of specifying a canonical development language for writing applications for the GNOME desktop. According to a blog post
while still recommending C as the language to write system libraries in." Discuss.