A common complaint about GNOME is that it has a certain fetish for icons. Menu entries, buttons - everything has an icon attached to it which often wastes space needlessly by making buttons larger than they need to be, as well as menus wider than they need to be. The good news (for me, at least) is that the next GNOME release will have all these icons removed.
This morning Intel has announced the release of Clutter 1.0.0, the graphics library that is gaining speed within the GNOME development community (it is used by Gnome Shell). "This toolkit provides a library/API for creating rich user interfaces in a relatively easy to use way that conceals much of the challenges of programming your application to directly use OpenGL or OpenGL ES. Clutter is already being used within Moblin V2 and its user interface is very impressive."
Quite a little interesting tidbit on Planet GNOME today. As we all know, the default file manager for the GNOME desktop is Nautilus. While there's nothing inherently wrong with it, it does have this odd interface where actually more screen space is dedicated to controls and buttons than to the actual part that matters: your files. As part of Ubuntu's Papercuts project, a fix has been worked on.
Only a few days ago, we ran an article on the future of KDE and GNOME, and which of the two had the brighter future based on their developmental processes. Barely has that discussion ended, or the GNOME engineering team comes with a pretty daunting plan to introduce a fairly massive reworking of the GNOME interface for GNOME 3.0 (2.30). Read on for the details.
Git has increasingly become the standard distributed source code management tool for free and open source software projects with the likes of Xorg, Samba, WINE, Perl and Ruby on Rails using it already. GNOME has now joined the Git bandwagon. A survey among GNOME contributors showed Git to be by far the most popular choice. Developers Behdad Esfahbod, Kristian HÃ¸gsberg, Owen Taylor, and Federico MenaQuintero and a number of volunteers formed a team and have helped migrate all the GNOME projects to Git. They have published the details of the migration.
The GNOME team has released GNOME 2.26, the latest release in the 2.x release branch. As everyone knows, GNOME is a multi-platform open source desktop environment. The 2.26 release continues GNOME's policy of incremental updates to a stable base, and as such, it comes packed with a boatload of new features.
A very, very long time ago I personally advocated the inclusion of a certain feature into GNOME. We set up a poll at OSNews, which resulted in a very, very resounding "yes!" from the OSNews community - many of which are GNOME users. The feature in question was the global application menubar, which allowed the GNOME desktop to have a menu bar atop the screen similar to that of Mac OS X. The poll is long gone, the debate thread in the Bugzilla has died out, and no decision has yet been made. I wanted to know where this feature stands, and how much the developers have improved it, and I was in for a surprise.
Phoronix has a overview of the new volume control interface for GNOME currently in development. "One of the items being worked on by Red Hat for Fedora 11 is making the GNOME volume control and sound preferences area more intuitive and easier to use. With Fedora and most other distributions now using PulseAudio, they are beginning to take advantage of some of the features available through this sound server. Some of this work involves reworking the user interface for controlling GNOME Sound Preferences, which we are providing a glimpse of in this article. Among other benefits, there is finally the ability to adjust the volume level on a per-application basis."
Seems that both Motorola and Google have interest in seeing the Linux mobile footprint evolve. With a combined contribution of $20,000, they are focusing on major changes for GNOME 3. "It will be more than a tweak," Stormy Peters stated. "It will be the whole user experience, from the look and feel, to how files are managed to how it syncs with your mobile phone -- really the whole package. It will be very much a change for users and how they use their computers."
The GNOME project has released GNOME 2.24 today. In case you're new here: "GNOME 2.24 is the latest version of the GNOME Desktop: a popular, multi-platform desktop environment for your computer. GNOME's focus is ease of use, stability, and first class internationalisation and accessibility support. GNOME is Free and Open Source Software and provides all of the common tools computer users expect of a modern computing environment, such as e-mail, groupware, web browsing, file management, multimedia and games. Furthermore, GNOME provides a flexible and powerful platform for software developers, both on the desktop and in mobile applications." GNOME 2.24 comes packed with changes.
Last week, we reviewed the Aspire One, Acer's entry into the netbook market. The small but powerful device comes preloaded with either Linux or Windows XP, and we reviewed the Linux version. Even though most people will never need to go beyond the default Linpus Linux offering on the One, more advanced users will quickly hit the wall Acer set up: it has more or less completely locked down the Xfce 4.2.2 installation on the One. This bothered me - this is a powerful machine, so I want a powerful operating system. I went for Ubuntu 8.04.1 - read on for a few thoughts on how well GNOME's user interface fares on a small-screen device such as the One.
The GNOME Foundation has decided to hire a new executive director to continue its spread. In an announcement Monday at its user conference in Istanbul, Turkey, the foundation named Stormy Peters, who co-founded the foundation and formerly managed the open source program at Hewlett-Packard, to be the group's new executive director.
The KDE project saw the writing on the wall. They saw that they had reached a certain limit when it came to what could be done with the KDE 3.x series - they named it the "big friggin' wall", and decided that in order to get over that wall, incremental updates wouldn't do - they needed massive changes, a big jump, and they went for it. It's been a rough road, but it seems as if KDE 4.1 is showing signs of the vision becoming a reality. And it now seems as if several people within the GNOME community are seeing the writing on the wall too: GNOME 2.x has reached its goal - now what?
Thomas Thurman of Metacity fame has written a lengthy blog post on how Metacity themes work. "This is an article about how to theme Metacity. It is a work in progress, and I have had to dig deeply to find some answers. GNOME lets you theme a bunch of different things, but we’re only talking about window border themes here, which some people call Metacity themes."
In November 2007, we reported on the GNOME Board Elections of 2007, where Jeff Waugh was getting serious
slack flack from some people in the GNOME community. One of the complaints centred around Waugh's apparent inability to properly take care of requests to be syndicated on Planet GNOME, or other maintenance issues related to PGO. Six months later, this complaint is still valid, according to Rodney Dawes.
GNOME 2.22.1 has been released. "This is the first update to GNOME 2.22. Come and see all the bug fixing, all the new translations and all the updated documentation brought to you by the wonderful team of GNOME contributors! A lot of work has been done in the stable branch to make it even more solid than it was."
Epiphany, GNOME's web browser, will drop support for the Gecko engine, focusing on WebKit instead. "we will choose only one web engine back-end to support and concentrate our efforts on it instead of spreading our efforts to multiple back-ends and restricting us to the common features all back-ends support. This single back-end will be WebKit." Assuming this is not an April Fool's joke, that is. Seriously, we ought to just shut down teh intertubes every April 1st. It's getting out of hand.
Ars reviews GNOME 2.22, and concludes: "In version 2.22 GNOME continues to provide a high level of performance, functionality, and ease of use that contributes significantly to the viability of Linux on the desktop. Despite the numerous advances that are being made in GNOME technologies, there are still a few notable places where GNOME falls short of both open and proprietary competitors. GNOME application file dialogs, for instance, still lack basic support for file management operations such as rename and delete and don't provide support for viewing multiple file thumbnails."
The GNOME development community has announced the official release of version 2.22 after six months of development. GNOME is an open-source desktop environment that supplies a complete user interface and an assortment of programs for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. GNOME 2.22 includes some important new architectural features and a handful of significant new programs. Among the most important enhancements in GNOME 2.22 are the GVFS virtual file system framework, which brings improved network transparency to GNOME desktop applications, and the PolicyKit framework, which provides improved support for secure privilege elevation.
GNOME 2.22 isn't officially released yet, but here's a first look already. "Every six months, the GNOME team prepares a new and revolutionary release of the ever popular GNOME desktop environment. Today, we are proud to introduce you to the latest and greatest features of an 100% FREE and open source desktop. Whether you are on a Solaris machine or the latest Ubuntu distribution, GNOME is there and with every new release it makes your life... Simply Beautiful! Let's have a look at the new features of GNOME 2.22."