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A Look at GNOME 2.14 602

An anonymous reader writes "Gnome has a nice preview of their newest version 2.14 posted which should be hitting the streets around the 15th of March. From the article: "As well as new features and more polish, developers have been working around the clock to squeeze more performance out of the most commonly used applications and libraries. This is a review of some of the most shiny work that has gone into the upcoming GNOME release."
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A Look at GNOME 2.14

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  • Coral Cache Link (Score:4, Informative)

    by Breaker_1 ( 688170 ) * on Monday February 20, 2006 @05:49PM (#14763514) Homepage
    Before they get slashdotted: 14/ []
  • by Philodoxx ( 867034 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:03PM (#14763597)
    Every Ubuntu release is timed so that it arrives shortly after the release of gnome. This is done so that the Ubuntu release features the latest and greatest of what gnome has to offer.
  • by Sodki ( 621717 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:04PM (#14763605)
    Yes, GNOME 2.14 will be in both Fedora Core 5 and Ubuntu 6.04 aka Dapper Drake.
  • Re:Progress! (Score:5, Informative)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:15PM (#14763666)
    Now, for the confusing part. Why was their previous allocator so lame compared to malloc()?

    Because glibc's malloc() is actually a pretty fast and scalable piece of code for a general-purpose memory allocator. Even GNOME's new special-purpose allocator only gets about twice the performance of glibc's.
  • speed! (Score:2, Informative)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:19PM (#14763689) Homepage
    I'm thrilled that they led off the article by talking about performance improvements. For the last 5 years or so, I've been staying away from Gnome because of its poor performance. I still remember the first time I tried it, ca. 2001 -- after clicking on a folder, I literally had time to get up and get a cup of coffee before it would open. Although I've been pretty happy with fluxbox recently, there are times now and then when it might be handy to have more of a full-featured desktop environment. I'll have to try Gnome again.
  • Re:Program Naming (Score:3, Informative)

    by soupdevil ( 587476 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:26PM (#14763744)
    Part of it is geek speak, but I think a large part of it is due to the cost and time involved in researching, registering and defending "traditional" names for companies and products. Odds are that no one will sue you for using the name "Ekiga," but it might take a large corporation to defend a sexy and often used word like "Rendezvous."
  • Re:Biggest change: (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:27PM (#14763752)
    There's actually a very good reason for the wierd placement of the Exit option. When Apple designed the original Mac OS (way before it was even called Mac OS), they gave each application an application menu, and put the Exit option on that menu. It's still there in Mac OS X. When Microsoft ripped off Mac OS to make Windows, they didn't rip off the application menu. Since they had no logical place to put the Exit option, they just stuffed it in the File menu. Gnome just ripped off Windows, so they also got stuck with the Exit option being on the File menu.
  • by billybob2 ( 755512 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:30PM (#14763770)
    GStreamer, the official audio backend for GNOME, will include DRM plugins [] developed by a company called Fluendo, which hopes to make money by restricting the users' rights and turning GNOME/Linux/"the Free Desktop System" into a Vista-like nightmare [] controlled by the entertainment cartel []. Why? Because Fluendo is on the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board []. I can't believe I've been so stupid to actually give them money, so that they can turn around and stab Free Software in the back! Never again will I trust the GNOME Foundation after they sold out the community like this.

    I hope KDE is smart enough [] to avoid DRM by choosing a multimedia backend that is GPL. This will ensure that users can change the code of any plugin, remove the DRM, and be left with a functional product. Xine [] would be an excellent choice for a multimedia backend, since it is light-weight, works with more codecs that Gstreamer (not to mention better) and can be included as a library in any program, like Kaffeine [] and Amarok [] have already done.
  • Re:SW Dualprocessing (Score:5, Informative)

    by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:30PM (#14763778) Homepage
    How do I use that with Ubuntu instead of OpenSuSE?

    Downoad the latest ubuntu CD [], then:

    1 .Enable the universe repository (see AddingRepositoriesHowto)
    2. Make sure that you have the latest mesa, libglitz1 and libglitz-glx1, xserver-xgl

                sudo apt-get update
                sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa libglitz1 libglitz-glx1 xserver-xgl

    3. Install compiz-kde and/or compiz-gnome depending on your desktop

                sudo apt-get install compiz-gnome

    4. Replace /etc/X11/X with a symlink to /usr/bin/Xgl

                sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/Xgl /etc/X11/X

    5. Close all applications and restart gdm (This will log you out!)

                sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

    6. Log in, then in a terminal start compiz and the Gnome window decorator (do NOT use sudo here)

                compiz --replace gconf decoration wobbly fade minimize move place resize scale switcher cube rotate zoom

                Leave out the gconf plugin if you don't have compiz-gnome installed

    7. Add these commands to ~/.gnomerc if you want this on every login (which you probably do)

    Taken from the Ubuntu xgl howto wiki []
  • by UuCon ( 4853 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:39PM (#14763831)
    right-click on your menubar, select properties and then
    change the number in the 'Size' box. Done! This feature
    has been there since 1.x days.

    Toolbar size depends on your font size. Go into your
    Preferences->Font and change 'Application Font' to
    something smaller.
  • Re:Why (Score:4, Informative)

    by pyros ( 61399 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:41PM (#14763847) Journal
    Why do the Linux GUIs always have the menu bar as part of the windows and the top 3 buttons on the right? Surely it makes more sense to only have one menu bar taking up space at a time, and the buttons near the menus where your mouse is.

    KDE can be configured with one global menubar. Both KDE and Gnome can have the buttons on the left, you just have to find a window manager theme that puts them there.

  • Re:Biggest change: (Score:3, Informative)

    by pomo monster ( 873962 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:48PM (#14763890)
    You sure? I seem to remember the "Quit" menu item always being located under the "File" menu, at least as far back as System 4.0, and IIRC every System Software release prior to then. If I'm not mistaken, the application-specific menu was only introduced with OS X.
  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:54PM (#14763923) can't hold a candle to KDE for configuration. I mean, why would I want all these Gnome developers making choices for me?

    Don't feed the trolls ... don't feed the trolls ... must ... resist ... aaahhh

    Gnome has taken the route of trying to pick decent defaults for as much as possible. This ranges from the trivial (like the Window List always being a reasonable size, rather than specifying a minimum and maximum size) to more entrenched settings like button order based on your language left-to-right or right-to-left settings. Beyond that, it has aimed to keep the configuration/preferences window to just the most common options and remove any esoteric settings from the display. This has two benefits:

    • things behave reasonably
    • preference windows are quick to navigate and find the most common options

    This is a marked change from KDE which offers pretty much all the tweaks available in the GUI. This does mean that KDE preferences tend to be heavily tabbed to provide the options in a reasonable amount of screen space. While a user is learning to use a KDE application, they may take some time to find the option they need in the tabs available.

    Because Gnome does not expose all the configuration options in the application preferences, it's easy to assume that the defaults can't be changed or that custom bindings can't be set. The Gnome power-user who wants to, for example, bind multi-media keys to a script rather than one of the potted commands, needs to know about the GConf schemas and the gconf-editor tool. In this respect, Gnome provides for the user who doesn't care about complex configurations well while still allowing the arch-tweaker access to a whole host of advanced options.

    Toby Haynes

  • Re:SW Dualprocessing (Score:3, Informative)

    by pyros ( 61399 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:02PM (#14763974) Journal
    There are Nvidia and Ati specific HOWTOs in the Dapper Development section of One key item that the wiki howto misses is that it's apparently important to run on display 1 for Ati, rather than display 0.
  • Re:KDE? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ( 653730 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:03PM (#14763982)
    KDE is focused in revamping the whole KDE infrastructure with KDE 4, even during the kde 3.5 development some people said 3.5 would be unstable because too many developers where focusing in KDE 4 (kde 3.5.1 is great for me).

    So you won't see any kde news for a while except for KDE 4. KDE 3.5 is everything what KDE 3.X has to offer. Of course people could continue developing 3.5, but they're focusing in kde 4....there'll be news in the kde 3.5 field - bugfix releases, updates from individual programs like koffice or kopete - but overall, you won't see any "earthbreaking" change in kde 3.5.

    Some gnome developers think that there should not be a gnome 3 - at least, there's zero lines of "gnome 3 code" right now - and that the gnome 2 is OK and that it's much better to do small improvements to the current architecture. This is a big error IMO, but the fact is that until kde 4 is released it will be gnome who gets more attention and releases more attractive things.
  • by i_should_be_working ( 720372 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:18PM (#14764055)
    Actually, that has been implemented since at least 2.12. Choosing 'Open' starts you in whatever directory you were already in, not your home directory. Typing a "/" opens a path bar for you to type in a location. Typing a letter brings you to the first file in that directory that starts with that letter. The AC you responded to just doesn't know what he's talking about.
  • Re:Program Naming (Score:3, Informative)

    by stikves ( 127823 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:29PM (#14764109) Homepage
    So when I'm on the command line I have no idea what that package is.

    Ok, I'll be lame here:
    $ grep "User Profile Editor" /usr/share/applications/*
    /usr/share/applicatio ns/gnome-sabayon.desktop:Name=User Profile Editor
    /usr/share/applications/gnome-sabayon.desk top:Name[en_CA]=User Profile Editor
    $ rpm -qi --whatprovides /usr/share/applications/gnome-sabayon.desktop
    N ame : sabayon-admin Relocations: (not relocatable)
    ..bla bla.. lameness filter...
    Description :
    The sabayon-admin package contains the graphical tools which a
    sysadmin should use to manage Sabayon profiles.
    If I use the command line, I'd like to know all the package management related commands.
  • by davydmadeley ( 267470 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:48PM (#14764217) Homepage
    The obvious solution is to install xscreensaver instead of gnome-screensaver. This was doable last time I checked. There are indeed more options in xscreensaver, a number of these I'd like to see available in gnome-screensaver through some method.
  • Re:Progress! (Score:2, Informative)

    by someone300 ( 891284 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @07:51PM (#14764243)
    Well I think quite a lot of GNOME/GTK stuff uses the glib functions to allocate memory (including specialist functions like memory slices and memory chunks which malloc doesn't provide). Probably for abstraction/cross-OS-ness too.

    I suppose they've rewritten the glib stuff to make it faster than it was before AND faster than malloc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @08:06PM (#14764336)
  • Might I suggest. . . (Score:3, Informative)

    by lord_nimula ( 839676 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @08:24PM (#14764443)
    For those who find KDE and Gnome to be a bit much: []
  • Re:Naming (Score:3, Informative)

    by gerardlt ( 529702 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @08:35PM (#14764484)
    Tssk. What, do you know nothing?

    "A delicate bar of cartilage connecting the dorsal and ventral extremities of the first pair of bronchial cartilages in the syrinx of birds."
    From The Free Dictionary []

    Surely everyone knows that!
  • Re:Progress! (Score:3, Informative)

    by pherthyl ( 445706 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @08:39PM (#14764506)
    ioslaves in KDE. I don't know if it's an original idea (blah blah some company did it back in 1842) but it's damn useful. You can work on remote files in any KDE app as if they were local files. FTP/SSH/SFTP/Webdav, what have you.. No other OS does anything close. There are some lame attempts, but they are not nearly as seamless as in KDE.
  • Re:Good old Linux (Score:2, Informative)

    by miscz ( 888242 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @09:40PM (#14764727)
    Tango []) icons will be default in Gnome 2.16, they were supposed to get into 2.14 but they aren't complete yet. As for window drawing technologies - I'm using Xgl on my desktop right now and I'm in love with it. I think I'm going to marry Xgl. :)
  • I may be ignorant, but I don't think I understand. Either that, or you don't understand the LGPL. The LGPL most definitely requires access to the source code of the library it governs. If the DRM'd plugins are licensed under the LGPL, it is perfectly possible to alter them like any other open source library or program.

    What the LGPL does, is allow LGPL'd libraries to be used by non F/OSS programs. Even then, it requires access to the source code and build system, so that the LGPL'd parts of that program can be changed and then replaced to be used by the program, even if the program is compiled statically. The LGPL does not in any way permit hiding the source of those libraries themselves. Thus, it is perfectly possible to rip out the DRM parts of any LGPL licensed GST plugins.

    Did you not know this, or did I miss your point? I can agree that it could have been wise to license GST under the GPL, but I don't see it being for the reasons that you describe. Also, as I see it, it is better if any proprietary programs can use GST, because that still gives a better user experience in the end (since the user won't have to maintain several plugin repositories).

    External references: The LGPL [] and the GPL [].

  • Noone is forcing anything on you. DRM plugins will be in the "ugly" module. You don't have to install this module. GStreamer will still work perfectly fine with the rest of the plugins.

    From gnomejournal: []

    Most distributions, for legal reasons, only ship a small subset of GStreamer 0.8 plugins. Because GStreamer's plugins are built from the same source module, each packager was forced to split it up to remove components that were illegal or unwise to use in their particular area of operation. The amount of custom code caused a number of problems for users. To solve this, 0.10 has five plugin modules called base, good, ugly, bad and ffmpeg. Base and good contain plugins that any distribution can ship without fear of potential legal issues. Ugly contains well-maintained plugins which may or may have legal issues of some form, generally patent or license issues. Bad is an incubation area where new plugins mature before moving to good or ugly. If a plugin never matures, it may remain in bad for the rest of its life. ffmpeg contains wrappers for all the codecs in the ffmpeg package. This new scheme will allow downstream packagers to have more consistent package naming and installation scripts, making it easier for users to discover and install the plugins that they need.

    The base package is not intended to contain all the plugins required by a typical GStreamer setup. Instead, it contains one important example of each type of GStreamer plugin. The code and documentation for base plugins will remain current so developers will always be able to create new plugins from a known working code base.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.