The GNOME community is very excited today as they have just released version 2.30 of the GNOME Desktop. Besides being another six-month upgrade to this popular Linux desktop that brings evolutionary upgrades, GNOME 2.30 was originally going to become GNOME 3.0, but that was pushed back by six months.
We are just a few days away from the release of GNOME 2.30 and as such there is a slew of packages being checked in for this final release prior to GNOME 2.32, which will be known as GNOME 3.0 once it arrives in September. GTK+ 2.20 was checked in today along with other GNOME packages now deemed stable, while the GNOME Shell also had its first point release in the 2.29.x series.
Mutter, the new window manager designed for GNOME 3.0 integration to replace Metacity 2, has experienced a new development release. Mutter reached version 2.29.0 last month and it integrated the most recent Metacity changes (up to v2.26), improved appearance of scaled down windows using mipmap emulation, new signals and properties, and many other changes. Metacity 2.29.1 that's been released today doesn't bring as many changes to the table.
A few days back we reported on a new Mutter release, which is the window and compositing manager for GNOME 3.0, and now with the GNOME 2.29.91 beta release coming up on Wednesday there is also the release of another new GNOME 3.0 component. Perhaps the single biggest new component for the GNOME 3.x stack is the GNOME Shell and this is the package that just reached version 2.29.0. GNOME 2.29.0 brings a lot of improvements.
NetworkManager, the free software project that's backed by Red Hat and used by many distributions for easily managing network connections from the Linux desktop, is ready for its version 0.8 milestone. NetworkManager 0.7 is getting old and while NetworkManager 0.7.1 brought some improvements last year, the 0.8 release is rather exciting.
While Mutter should reach version 2.30 with the release of GNOME 2.30 at the end of next month, this evening the Mutter 2.29.0 release has entered the world. This new version of Mutter offers improved appearance of scaled down windows using mipmap emulation, new signals and properties, merging of Metacity changes since the 2.26 release, and many fixes (for crashes, build, and bugs). With the pulling of the recent Metacity work presents theme-able sound support using libcanberra.
Back in December Zeitgeist 0.3 was released with many changes and its engine was even largely reworked. Since then there have been a few point releases as GNOME Zeitgeist is in the process of being stabilized for a Zeitgeist 0.4 release in time for GNOME 2.30. Yesterday afternoon Zeitgeist 0.3.2 was released to deliver on more stabilization work along with better support for GNOME's Activity Journal. The release announcement can be read on the mailing list.
Way back in 2005 a GNOME 10x10 goal was created by Jeff Waugh at a conference in Stuttgart, Germany. The GNOME 10x10 goal was stated as "To Own 10 % of the Global Desktop Market by 2010." Well, it's now 2010 and sadly this goal did not come to fruition for the GNOME project or even the Linux adoption rate in general commanding not even close to 10% for desktop PCs.
Replacing the recently released GNOME 2.29.3, the GNOME 2.29.4 version is now available. GNOME 2.29.4 is still considered developmental quality but represents a milestone that is a step closer to the final release of GNOME 2.30, which will come in March of 2010.
While GNOME 3.0 will not be released until September 2010, many of the GNOME packages are beginning to change in preparation for this major overhaul of the GNOME desktop even though the GNOME 2.30 release is still ahead of us. While Zeitgeist, G-Streamer, Clutter/Mutter, and GNOME Shell grab most of the attention, the mature Nautilus file-browser is receiving some improvements too.
Many GNOME development packages are being released this week in preparation for the next GNOME 2.30 development release (2.29.3). While GNOME 2.30 will not be released as GNOME 3.0 as was once planned -- but instead has been pushed back to September 2010 -- there are still plenty of exciting changes. Zeitgeist, the "activity journal" that will officially premiere with GNOME 3.0 to make it easy to find and browse files and events from your computer, has reached version 0.3 today.
Back on Sunday we shared The GStreamer, Cairo Video Hackfest Results after GNOME, Intel, and X developers were working hard for a few days in Barcelona to hash out plans to improve Linux video playback in the GStreamer multimedia framework via using Cairo/Pixman and gaining support for VA-API/VDPAU. Sunday's article shared most of the details we knew at that time, but now GNOME's Benjamin Otte who organized this "hackfest" has shared his conclusions.
Last month we talked about a hackfest to improve Linux video playback that came about after a GNOME developer began work on using Cairo/Pixman for raw video in GStreamer and looking at other ways to leverage hardware acceleration within this major open-source multimedia framework. This Linux video meeting started in Barcelona on Thursday and is ending today, with some accomplishments.
While GNOME 2.30 will not be the release that goes on to become GNOME 3.0 (instead it will be GNOME 2.32 in September that grabs the "3.0" tag), the second development release for the 2.30 series is now available.
Following a meeting last week between Jesse Barnes, Chris Wilson, and Kristian Høgsberg with developers working on the Clutter tool-kit and GNOME's Mutter window manager, there is a new GLX extension that has been proposed as a result. Jesse Barnes has announced their work on the GLX_INTEL_swap_event extension, which helps GLX integrate better with glib style event loops.
Last week we were the first to report that it looked like GNOME 3.0 would not come until September 2010 after developers wanted a delay compared to their original March 2010 plans. As of last night it's now official that GNOME 3.0 will not be out until September of next year.
Yesterday we reported that the release of GNOME 3.0 could end up being delayed to the end of September after the Zeitgeist and GNOME Shell developers shared these key pieces of the GNOME 3.x desktop would likely not be ready in a stable state for the planned 3.0 release in March. Today more developers responsible for different parts of GNOME have voiced their views and the status of their code. The consensus appears to be that a GNOME 3.0 release in September would lead to a better, more polished release for this first major overhaul of the GNOME desktop in years.
Back in July of 2008 we learned of GNOME 3.0 as plans were laid out during the GUADEC '08 conference to make the GNOME 2.30 release their "3.0" version. A art and user-interface followed months later and then this April the GNOME 3.0 road-map was laid out that put this release, which will overhaul the GNOME desktop in comparison to the usual incremental releases, to come in March of 2010. The March target is just six months after the release of GNOME 2.28 and consistent with their bi-monthly release cycle they have been following for years. However, it looks like GNOME 3.0 may not hit in H1'2010 but rather September of next year.
The much anticipated GNOME 3.0 release is coming in March, but the first development release (v2.29.1) for GNOME 3.0 (a.k.a. 2.30) is now available this week. For months now we have seen early development snapshots of the new Zeitgeist, GNOME Shell, and Mutter modules, but now that GNOME 2.28 was released, all of these free software developers have turned their attention towards the major 3.0 release.
AbiWord, the open-source word processor that is part of GNOME Office, has reached version 2.8 this morning. While AbiWord may not be as popular as OpenOffice.org, AbiWord 2.8 does bring an impressive set of changes with some notable new features in particular.
The Clutter Toolkit, which is used by free software projects like Moblin and GNOME 3.0's Mutter for providing a very rich user-interface while eliminating the complexities of programming directly in OpenGL, reached version 1.0 back in July. While Clutter 1.0 has worked out well, work towards Clutter 1.2 has been underway and this morning the first post-1.0 development snapshot, Clutter 1.1.2, has been released.
A month after the release of GNOME 2.28.0, the first point release is now available that brings a mixture of bug-fixes, translation updates, and documentation updates. The release announcement for GNOME 2.28.1 that contains links for the changes in GNOME 2.28.1 can be found on the gnome-announce-list.
With GNOME 2.28 having been released last month, all efforts are focusing on GNOME 3.0, which is the first major overhaul of this Linux desktop environment in years. Two of the key components to the GNOME 3.0 desktop are Mutter, the new window/compositing manager, and GNOME Shell, the shell for how a user interacts with the desktop. There have been early preview releases for both Mutter and GNOME Shell, but out this afternoon are 2.28.0 releases for both of these software packages.
Lucas Rocha, on the behalf of all GNOME developers worldwide, has just announced the release of GNOME 2.28.0. GNOME 2.28 is the last release prior to GNOME 3.0 that is due out next March, with some of the improvements in this version being a GNOME Bluetooth module, the Empathy instant messaging client has picked up more features, the Epiphany web-browser has finally switched to the WebKit rendering engine over Gecko as the default choice, improved audio settings support, and much more.
The hard code freeze for GNOME 2.28.0 is coming up soon with the final release of this feature-update to GNOME coming out at the end of this month, but available now is the GNOME 2.28 release candidate. GNOME's Vincent Untz writes, "having
GNOME 2.28 will be released next month, but after that, the core focus among these free software desktop developers will turn to working on GNOME 3.0. Many GNOME developers have already been devoting some work towards GNOME 3.0, particularly in the areas of Mutter, Zeitgeist, and GNOME Shell, considering all of the work that's ahead. Just a week ago there was a new development release of GNOME Shell, but now another development release is out, along with one for Mutter.
GNOME 3.0 will not be rolling out until the first half of 2010, but work is already underway on this major GNOME update that is the first to bring some radical changes in a long time. One of the major components of GNOME 3.0 is the GNOME Shell. The GNOME Shell will begin handling some of the responsibilities that previously was done by the window manager and GNOME Panel in GNOME 2.xx while offering a modern graphics experience.
We are just a month out from the release of GNOME 2.28, which is the last major update before GNOME 3.0's expected arrival in H1'2010. With development on GNOME 2.28 winding down, these desktop developers have announced the first beta release. GNOME 2.27.90 is this first 2.28 beta and it includes bug fixes and other work along with the usual variety of documentation and translation updates.
Vincent Untz has announced the release of GNOME 2.27.5. This unstable release of GNOME in the road to GNOME 2.28.0 also marks the entering of the feature freeze for this bi-annual update to GNOME. The packages found in GNOME 2.27.5 have a whole host of changes ranging from burst photography support in Cheese to translation updates and fixes throughout the desktop and platform.
One of the GNOME projects that's in development that should premiere around the time of GNOME 3.0 is Zeitgeist, which is the system for tracking user activity and events and then logging it, so that later on the user can use the Zeitgeist tool to browse or find events and files on the computer. This project is described by the Zeitgeist developers as, "You worked on a file, but you cannot remember where you saved it? You visited a web page about basketball three days ago, but you cannot find the URL in your browser's history? No problem, this is where Zeitgeist enters the scene. It knows a lot about your activities and has a feature rich D-Bus API which allows GUI applications like gnome-zeitgeist, zeitgeistfs and others to present you your activities in a readable way." Anyhow, the first release of the Zeitgeist engine is now out in the wild.
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