The GNOME 3.0 Shell Is Advancing Too
Last night an update was published as to the state of Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1, which is the Unity desktop interface that Canonical will be using in their next Ubuntu release rather than the GNOME Shell. Most all other GNOME distributions, however, will be using the GNOME Shell with GNOME 3.0 when released in March. As it so happens, another development snapshot of the GNOME Shell arrived last night too.
Per the GNOME 3.0 release schedule, the next development snapshot (GNOME 2.91.3) is set to arrive tomorrow so in recent days there's been a number of GNOME packages being checked-in for this package collection. The GNOME Shell 2.91.3 isn't particularly exciting since most of the major work already happened, but there are a few good changes.
GNOME Shell 2.91.3 brings a new layout for the overview, native power and battery status icons and drop-down, various optimizations, links in the message tray messages are now click-able, there's drop shadow support for STIcon, a number of visual and user-interface tweaks, fix memory management related crashes, and miscellaneous bug-fixes. When it comes to the new layout for GNOME Shell's overview, the complex dash is replaced with a narrow list of icons, a set of tabs is added at the top of the overview, the desktop background now stays fixed, and there's enhanced feedback when dragging and dropping favorites. The optimizations found in this version of GNOME Shell include taking advantage of partial-stage re-paints found in the newest Clutter code, transparent backgrounds and borders are no longer actually drawn, new smart background drawing via GNOME's Mutter window manager is taken advantage of, and there's more efficient tracking of the actor during the drag-and-drop process.
The release announcement for GNOME Shell 2.91.3 can be found here. Look for the official GNOME 2.91.3 release to come tomorrow.
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