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Gnome 2.14 Released 348

Posted by Zonk
from the hooray-for-shortiez dept.
joe_bruin writes "Beware the Ides of March... the Gnome people have announced the release of Gnome 2.14, right on time to meet their 6 month release schedule. See what's new in this release, as well as the release notes. New features include many more searching options, fast user switching, and speed increases to all the apps you know and love." From the release notes: "Just as you would tune your car, our skilled engineers have strived to tune many parts of GNOME to be as fast as possible. Several important components of the GNOME desktop are now measurably faster, including text rendering, memory allocation, and numerous individual applications. Faster font rendering and memory allocation benefit all GNOME and GTK+ based applications without the need for recompilation. Some applications have received special attention to make sure they are performing at their peak."
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Gnome 2.14 Released

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  • by woolio (927141) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:36AM (#14932679) Journal
    Like the way wnck-applet ties up my system every few days.

    Ah well, I guess I could always go back to icewm.
  • by Simon (S2) (600188) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @09:55AM (#14932895) Homepage
    You have to read this [livejournal.com] as well.
  • Faster, slicker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fak3r (917687) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:08AM (#14933031) Homepage
    I always had one foot (*pun intended*) in Gnome and one in E17/Openbox/Xfce4 - but recently I've installed Ubuntu Dapper, and then Compwiz/XGL - holy cow! Yes, you need good graphics card, but my nVidia 6600GT is up to the task. The desktop is now totally snappy - even things like Firefox seem faster - feels like the graphics really fly on the screen now. As promised everything is faster, especially the startup of the main desktop. Apps are quicker, and even the menus just pop up (no annoying delay waiting for the icons to catch up on the menus). Oh and all of a sudden Gnome-terminal is just about as fast to launch and respond as Xterm! Woo-hoo! Considering that's what I use the most, this is a welcome improvement.

    After reading the review from yesterday I tried out Epipany, and it's come a long way. There are only a couple of more config options I need, but if I get those I'll start running that in place of Firefox. For all of it's percieved 'heavy-ness' it feels nice and snappy now, and I think I'll be sticking more with Gnome for quite some time. Nice job.
  • by jejones (115979) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:11AM (#14933066) Journal
    GNOME now features an integrated screensaver. GNOME Screensaver is compatible with the "hacks" popular in Xscreensaver, but also has lots of new features unavailable in Xscreensaver, like being essentially unconfigurable by the user, who can't be trusted not to put rude messages in GLtext.

    Figure 16. Configuring the few GNOME Screensaver properties we deign to let the user control
  • Re:Eye Candy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheSenori (947444) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:20AM (#14933144)
    Actually, Metacity has an OpenGL compositor with libcm now- it's only really working on Fedora, but it has wobbly windows and a minimize effect and whatnot.
  • by vdboor (827057) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:38AM (#14933357) Homepage
    What I noticed is GNOME 2.14 took a lot of features that are already in KDE, or got into one of the recent releases of KDE:

    * the search bars in all applications, like Thunderbird also has.
    * viewing man/info pages from the GUI.
    * magnetic window borders.
    * fast user switching menu.
    * switch users from a locked session.
    * editor with sftp/ftp/webdav support.
    * editor plugins, for running "make" etc..
    * preferred application defaults
    * sound preferences.
    * user lock-down editor for administrators
    * terminal speed.. Konsole already knows how to speed up output like "ls -lR". Konsole with a transparent background beats a plain blank xterm.

    So much for screaming how KDE suffers from the "not invented here" syndrome.. :-p
  • by MegadeTH_ (177721) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:53AM (#14933557)
    Great except for gnome-screensaver has NO options at all, you cant disable screensavers that your card does not support, or enable only 2d screensavers

    or change the text or change the picture folder, or preview

    someone submitted a preview screensaver patch, but the maintainers will not accept it
  • I have actually had a few discussions with the devs on IRC about it and the option philosophy is pretty dang ridiculous.
    Supposedly many options will confuse the user. Come on. These users are using Linux. They probably know what they are doing. And even to a newbie, an option on window behavior will not do any harm. Yes, the whole 'linux-on-the-desktop' camp will tell you that simplifying programs is a good thing, but radically cutting out options is not the way to do this.


    I wonder if a good solution to this would be to have a global 'advanced user' flag which if set would allow the user to access the more advanced options. When not set [the default of course], it would only provide the super-simple, no-options-for-the-newbie preferences. They can even make this option accessible only to the command line to help prevent the newbies from accidentally activating the advanced settings.

    Is this a reasonable compromise or will I just upset the Human Interface gods with such heresy?

  • Re:GLib == good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by G-Licious! (822746) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:17AM (#14933854) Homepage

    Okay, you're not making alot of sense here..

    Please, don't. I'm sure Glib is a great library with lots of useful utitlities in it, but I wish people would stop using it as anything other than a GNOME library. Glib might seem like a great idea if you're developing for Linux, but if at a later date I want to build your code on a platform that isn't supported, Glib is yet another unusual dependency I have to satisfy, and it adds ~3MB of additional code when it gets linked (statically!) to the application, which might only be a couple of hundred K itself.

    From what I've gathered, one of the main ideas behind GLib was to be very portable. But okay, let's say the other platforms become a problem, then...

    The worst Glib offence is the duplipcation of existing standards E.g. the g_int types (Use C99 types!), GThread (Use PThreads!) or even GObject (Use C++ or ObjC!) Really; if the stuff in Glib were really that useful, it'd be part of the C library or SuS.

    ...how would using OS or C Library specific APIs make GLib any more portable at all? Those APIs are probably the least consistent across platforms, especially in C.

    Also, the whole C++ argument has been brought up several times, I'm sure. I think one of the reasons was to make integration with other, higher level languages easier, but there's probably more.

  • Re:Eye Candy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jusdisgi (617863) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:36AM (#14934088)
    I've been interested in this gl compositing business for some time, and was real excited when I read Davyd's preview of 2.14. But since then I've spent a bit of time trying to find out what I have to do to actually enable that functionality, without luck.

    In the preview he somewhat cryptically says that you need "some features in unstable xorg" and "texture-from-pixmap" support. I'm not positive, but my reading suggests that the latter is a feature of the drivers, in my case meaning I have to wait for Nvidia to release new ones (Also, I think it means that Geforce2 and earlier cards are left out in the cold, as new Nvidia drivers no longer support them). As for the former, I couldn't tell whether "unstable xorg" at the time of his writing meant what would eventually become xorg 7.0, or something later than that which still hasn't been released.

    If someone could enlighten me about this, I'd really appreciate it. What version of xorg does one need, what drivers, and about how much graphics horsepower?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:55AM (#14934284)
    I believe that one of the main advantages of defeaturing/focusing applications to the common use is that the Gnome project gets to spent more of its limited OSS developer time on new applications and functionality (e.g., zeroconf support would be an example). If they were to add an advanced mode to all of the desktop applications, the exisiting Gnome developers would be burdened with a lot of additional work in designing, developing, testing and supporting all of the new features made available in the advanced mode.

    Another thought I had was that, for a lot of advanced features, the existing gconf application provides 'global' access to advanced features without burdening the application developers with extra work.

    I'm not one of the HIG elite so take this opinion with a grain of salt.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:28PM (#14934636)

    Aaron Seigo, a lead KDE developer, has written extensively on this: DRM + source code = no DRM

    Seigo is wrong... as Fluendo know all too well, and are banking on for future business. Trusted Computing hardware in PCs will enforce the use of digital signatures on executables... if you don't have the key to sign the binary, the source means nothing. You can't modify it to remove the DRM... you can't even simply recompile it and have it work.

    Christian Schaller, one of the developers at Fluendo, was bragging about this on his blog... claiming that "Linux distros" are working on a solution to stop people recompiling a kernel and saving out played back media that way. He was talking about Red Hat (and others) who are quietly working on Linux equivalents of Microsoft's Protected Media Path (a generalised version of their Secure Audio Path)-- which, as a first requirement, will prevent you from modifying the kernel, and use hardware (TC being one example) to enforce that.

    I'm no fan of KDE and consider the licensing for Qt/KDE to be nasty and disingenuous... but what GNOME is allowing to happen with Gstreamer is disgraceful. Linux corporations (and I include IBM/HP in this) are railroading Free software down the Trusted Computing and DRM path with the intent of rendering the source code unimportant, and leaving them the only ones with the keys to make things work.

  • Re:Button order... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by caseih (160668) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @02:11PM (#14935794)
    Fortunately the button order is the thing that Gnome got right. I absolutely cannot stand the Windows and KDE button orders. It is not logical to my mind. This compounds the problem that Windows buttons (maybe kde too) often mix word types, leading to horrific "yes," "no," "cancel" situations. On windows (and sometimes KDE) I have to always make sure to read the entire prompt before I decide on an action. In Gnome it is much better. Usually the verb in the button is enough. This practice makes a different button order than you are used to much more workable.

    I don't buy the most important button first philosophy. This is the kind of misguided thinking that leads to windows wizards where the "next" button frequently changes position, making the wizard slower and more tedious than it needs to be.

    I don't understand why you expect a KDE app, firefox, and a gnome app to all be consistant button-order-wise when KDE and gnome have fundementally different button order philosophies. Gnome is consistant with itself. Now if only there was a reliable way to change the KDE button order... There is actually, but it's not consistant.
  • by bicho (144895) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @03:50PM (#14936586)
    So it has finally come to this
    I will have to hunt key-value pairs down in gconf every time I need to look for some missing setting from the app gui interface.
    nice. each day it is more like the windows we all ran away from...

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