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Gnome 2.14 Released 348

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 wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:53AM (#14932873) Homepage Journal
    I am so glad to see that Gnome 2.14 has fixed menu editing, so that ordinary users can add applications to the Gnome menu rather than having to clutter up the desktop with icons that will inevitably be hidden by windows.

    After all, such a simple feature being missing really made Gnome look bad compared to Windows ....

    Wait, I am being handed a message.... ....

    Menu editing *hasn't* been fixed? Users still cannot edit the application menus in a sane, convenient fashion? ....

    Never mind.
  • de/up/grade (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @10:57AM (#14932908) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad they fixed some text rendering. Because after the last upgrade, my Ubuntu 5.10 renders text illegibly (some weird garbage font that does display properly after being selected with the cursor) in some apps, including Firefox and Evolution (but not Mozilla). I never even got a response to my discussions in the GNOME bug forums.

    I'm hoping a reinstall of Ubuntu's next release, now delayed, will return the lost quality of the previous version with the promised speed of the next version.

    And I'm hoping that biannual OS reinstalls aren't the price of a feature-complete OS, as Microsoft would have me believe.
  • *Sigh* (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:06AM (#14933012)
    What is so terrible about installing a menu editor like alacarte, which let's you do exactly what you want and is available for about every distribution and is even default in ubuntu?

    Really, I fail to see where the problem is and I'm really getting tired of people like you who act like the ability to add applications to the menu by default is really important for most users just to troll on sides like /.
    Boring and irrelevant.
  • Button order... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bstocker ( 886888 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:33AM (#14933288) Homepage
    Please do not take me wrong, I like GNOME very much and i see it as a superior Desktop for UNIX Systems and the most important competitor to KDE.

    The problem I have is the button order on dialogboxes, which can - AFAIK - not be changed. GNOME adopts the same schema used by Apple. It is based on a study which says that the readers eye starts searching for a information on the lower right corner of the screen (I did not read the study, so my description may not be accurate). As a result, a typical button order looks like this:

    (Cancel) (Save)

    On KDE, Windows and many other Desktops, a "most important first" scheme is used. The promoters of this scheme state, that people (in the western world) read from left to right and expect the most important information to come first. therefore, the order looks like:

    (Save) (Cancel)

    In principle, the button order is not a problem, if all of the applications use the same schema. For example, if You use a Mac, you may expect consistent order. And there is no "right" or "wrong" order, there are just different philosophies.

    The only problem I see is the consistency. If you are a GNOME user and also use KDE Apps (or vice versa), you may find the different order disturbing. Of course, if You use Firefox and Kate every day, you can get over this. As for me, I work with a swiss/german keyboard in the office and with a US-keyboard at home. After having problems in the first days, I now switch intuitively between the keyboard schemas.

    But anyway, it would be nice to see GNOME and KDE apps adopt the sema Interface guidelines or let the user choose which one he likes.
  • Re:GLib == good (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:40AM (#14933377)
    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.

    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.
  • by stevenm86 ( 780116 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @11:59AM (#14933638)
    So let's see...
    How many options/preferences were cut in this release?
    I've been an avid gnome supporter but lately I switched to KDE 3.5, something I would have never imagined doing.
    Seems that lately the Gnome people think the fewer options a program has, the better. Something about how testing multiple code paths is difficult and bad for QA. While this may be true to a certain extent, Gnome people take it to ridiculous lengths. I mean, god forbid there be an if statement in the code!
    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.
  • Re:Button order... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by creepynut ( 933825 ) * <teddy(slashdot)> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:16PM (#14933839) Homepage
    You missed the important bit:

    GNOME aims for Action oriented buttons. Which would be ...

    [Save] [Don't Save]

    Where as Windows uses ...

    [OK] [Cancel] ...for almost ALL dialogs. No matter what. Sure, its consistant, but for users who don't read the dialogs, which most don't, OK and Cancel aren't very descriptive of what action the user is actually selecting.

    I've always felt GNOME is in the right in this respect. Users will never stop complaining as long as Microsoft continues ignoring any sort of Human Interface Guidelines.
  • Re:Eye Candy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:23PM (#14933926) Homepage
    I mean things like "Fast User Switching" - they could at least have called that something different, and the "DeskBar" which is basically look identical to the Spotlight search bar on Mac. Like it or not, Gnome coders are taking the best of Windows and Mac OSX and putting it into Gnome

    "Fast User Switching" is a terrible example to use. Microsoft beat OS X to that punch, and itself was only an incremental improvement over linux, where you could run multiple x servers concurrently and switch between them. Micsoft polished up this linux feature (alot) and os x improved on Microsoft's version even more.

    there is little original in Gnome, as nice as it is.

    There is little original in any windowing environment - if you got out a little more you'd realise that everyone's borrowing from everyone else. The only real innovation I can think of in windowing environments in the last 25 odd years is probably overlapping windows.

    Also, don't start on the whole "OS X uses open source software so its OK to the OS X GUI". Open source software specifically grants a license to be used on operating systems. Just because Apple takes them up on that offer, doesn't mean its OK to rip Apple's UI off.

    No, I think "It's OK to copy user interface paradigms as they're uncopyrightable."

    Apple obviously thinks so too - or they wouldn't have "ripped off" (as you put it) tabbed browsing, fast user switching and a plethora of other features from other GUIs.
  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:31PM (#14934029) Homepage Journal
    The new Dapper Drake with Gnome 2.4 use 179 MB of RAM (Less than default Win XP) for the default system

    What? A default Windows XP install uses about 70MB doing nothing. You can easily run Windows XP on a machine with 128MB RAM total - it's just that you're essentially limited to one application before swapping. (And, generally speaking, only one "document" in that application at that...)

    The problem is that most Windows programs are giant memory hogs, so when you start installing non-default software (especially things like Office that like to preload) you start pushing the memory usage up and up and up...

    I'm loving my Debian Linux install at work if for no reason other than I don't have to run the corporate-required Norton Anti-Virus on it. Things are so much faster without Norton. A basic Windows XP install isn't terribly resource-hungry - it's just that the standard bundle of software that comes with most Windows XP computers, simply put, sucks.

  • by fistfullast33l ( 819270 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @12:46PM (#14934190) Homepage Journal
    Konsole on Gnome wouldn't make much sense to'd have to have qt installed and I really only want one Graphics library / DE or the other on my drive because of all the space they take up.

    I use Eterm and aterm. Both are highly customizable, support fake transparency (except in E17), and give the appearance of speed over konsole and gnome-terminal.
  • Re:Eye Candy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by podperson ( 592944 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @01:01PM (#14934352) Homepage
    So your metric (closer to Mac OS) is a false one.

    Right. And KDE isn't trying to clone Windows 2000.

    Trying to clone a well-designed GUI isn't exactly the worst thing in the world. It's probably better than trying to imitate NeXTStep since NeXTStep was designed in the Apple/Microsoft lawsuit era and had several features designed specifically to be original instead of good. (Or so it seemed to many outside observers.) Indeed one of the best design features of Mac OS (menubar at the top of the screen with effectively infinite target depth) has been eschewed by many OSes mainly to avoid lawsuits. (I don't want to start a flame war with people arguing that menus bound to windows are better... they're just wrong ;) )
  • Re:2.16 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @01:26PM (#14934620)

    It's worse than that...when I looked at [] , my first impression was that it was full of terrible ideas. It also looked like people were just reaching for ideas that needed to break 2.x, but maybe that was just because the criteria for being added to that page included breakage (the stuff that sounded more reasonable was mostly moved to other pages for possible inclusion in 2.x). But are some of the suggestions:

    Make GNOME a standards organization instead of a software development shop

    Does that not seem like a sure-fire way to kill the project to anybody else? "Uh...we just decided not to develop software anymore...we're just going to approve or disapprove of other people's stuff."

    Make GNOME truly-cross platform- i.e., make apps and environment work on Windows.

    Er...doesn't Windows sort of already have a desktop environment? I can see making apps portable....but what purpose are they really going to serve by porting the whole desktop?

    There are also long, tedious discussions of moving from "applications" to "objects"...i.e. making the desktop centered on the document. People talk about this a lot it seems, but it always seems to me that it makes a lot of sense for some types of applications, and no sense at all for others. I don't have a document in solitaire, just for the dumbest example. And then there's talk about changing from a "desktop" metaphor to an "assistant" metaphor, with contextual text input and later voice input. Ok, it worked on Star Trek, but this concept just gives me the heebie jeebies when I think about it actually applied to real computers. I can just feel the suck from here.

    In any case, there's more, but my point is just that I also don't see a reason to break from 2.x, and I think that most of the reasons that have been suggested are cart-before-horse ideas that suck. The only thing I saw on that page that I thought was a good plan was a rich-data-storing clipboard application, and I don't see how that requires breaking 2.x; furthermore, I'd just be happy if they would copy klipper...I don't care much about clipping anything but text, but the cut/paste management is the one thing I still miss from KDE.

  • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @01:33PM (#14934689) Homepage Journal

    Thanks, I will, because I currently have XScreensaver set to come up in five minutes, and lock in eight minutes. That gives me a nice buffer time to deactivate the screensaver before the system locks if I happen to be working on something else non-computer related and the screensaver pops up.

    Because users can't be trusted, this option is removed in gnome-screensaver. It either locks, or it doesn't. Great.

  • by jusdisgi ( 617863 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @02:02PM (#14935030)

    Your assertion that gstreamer is evil because it allows others to make linking proprietary software is zealous anti-user crap. You say the GPL nature of KPDF allows the user to remove the DRM and "be left with a fully-functional PDF viewer." But you miss something obvious to anyone who actually has to use the software: the PDF viewer is no longer "fully functional" when it can't read the DRMed file somebody sent you.

    It's great to want everything to be free. But here in the real world, real users want to be able to work with everyone else, and some of those folks aren't willing to open up. Your response is to stoically ignore them and purposefully keep users from being able to properly interact with them. The Gnome team's response has been to do what they can to enable their users to work with the outside world.

    You're never going to have a legal and free-as-in-speech mp3 plugin. You and the OSS-religious-crazies would thus force us to break the law or not use mp3s. That strikes me as downright ridiculous.

    Oh, and about the FSF warning against the LGPL. Isn't Gnome part of the GNU project, and thus FSF-sponsored?

  • You wouldn't have ever right clicked on the panel and seen an items marked "New Panel" and "Delete this panel", would you?

    Wow, you're right! Having a screwed up defualt setup is a-OK as long as the user is able to find the controls to change it!

    Until those "confusing" controls are taken out in the next GNOME release.
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @02:31PM (#14935395) Journal
    i apt-get install it, try for 10 minutes, conclude that it's still ugly by default and with no easy way to tune the look-n'feel, full of annoying, non-intuitive ways to do things, apt-get remove it and go back to WindowMaker with some KDE stuff thown in.

    i hope they fixed that unbelivably stupid file dialog from the previous release. i simply don't know what Seamonkey devels were thinking when they introduced that thing in seamonkey 1.0 for linux.
  • by dozer ( 30790 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @06:36PM (#14937385)
    It's absolutely true. The more user-friendly Gnome apps get, the more time I spend hunting around in gconf-editor for obscure and undocumented configuration keys. It's like gconf is the new Gnome UI. What a step in the right direction!

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972