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GNOME GUI Software

Gnome 2.18 Released 253

xdancergirlx writes "Gnome 2.18 was released today (on time as usual). Detailed release notes are available. Nothing revolutionary in this release but definitely some nice new features, bug fixes, and improvements."
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Gnome 2.18 Released

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  • Gnome (Score:5, Funny)

    by xaositects ( 786749 ) * <xaos@@@xaositects...com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:43PM (#18357193) Homepage
    Gnome 2.18: Nothing special really, just somewhat improved infravision, an extra +10 bonus to detect uneven grades, worked out some bugs in the "failure to run from big scary trolls due to lack of common sense" department. Should be a somewhat more usable gnome.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:56PM (#18357259)
      I use both KDE and GNOME on a regular basis. I really don't have a preference either way; both allow me to get my work done well enough. But what I've noticed is that with each KDE release, it feels significantly more responsive than the previous releases. I can't say the same with GNOME. If anything, it seems to be getting slower as time goes on. I use OpenBSD, so I end up compiling all of the packages myself. I use the optimal C and C++ compiler flags for my particular system. It's not a matter of my using KDE packages built with a more recent version of GCC, or something like that.

      In any case, earlier today I built GNOME 2.18 on my system. I've been using it for a few hours now. And compared to the KDE 3.5.6 installation I was using earlier today, I think it's significantly slower. Evolution is far more heavy-weight than KMail. Nautilus takes longer to display directories. I have one directory with about 15000 photos in it. Nautilus crashes when viewing it, while with Konqueror I can easily scroll through the thumbnails within about a second.

      Maybe it's just a quality control problem with GNOME. While I don't follow the development mailing lists very closely, I've heard from co-workers that GNOME is suffering from some pretty serious organizational issues. Low-quality code is being accepted into GTK+ and GNOME itself, and many people are noticing a decrease in its quality as of late. Maybe somebody can shed more light on whether or not these rumors are true?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Bug reports welcome. :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by yoyhed ( 651244 )
        And on top of all that, KDE is more configurable!
      • by thephotoman ( 791574 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:02PM (#18357699) Journal
        The biggest problem I have with GNOME as a user is Evolution. Simply put, Evolution needs to be scrapped in favor of something else. Its Exchange functionality is non-functional, and its calendar could be easily replaced by something else. Why not just do what they did with the default browser and fork from Mozilla? Surely, it'd suck less.

        Nautilus is in dire need of a code audit, just to ensure that everything in there is up to par. Hells, if I were in charge at GNOME, I'd probably stop developing new features in Nautilus and work on the audit for the next cycle.

        Honestly, though, the one thing that hurts GNOME the most is the six month release cycle. If they'd even just use a single one-year release cycle, just to clean things up, they'd be in much better shape.

        All that said, though, GNOME is my desktop. It's what I learned first, and honestly, KDE's configurability just scares me. Also, I remember too well a time when KDE looked like shit out of the box. Thankfully, that's no longer a problem.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:58PM (#18358041)

          and honestly, KDE's configurability just scares me
          I used to be the exact same way. However, a few years ago I decided to sit down and configure KDE to my liking. Now that I've done so, I wouldn't even consider going back to Gnome. If you use your computer for hours every day, I would strongly suggest spending a bit of time to configure KDE. The relatively small amount of time it takes to configure everything to your liking is well worth it. In my opinion, it's a much better desktop environment and practically every KDE application is far beyond its Gnome counterpart.

          Also, with the focus on Mono applications, Gnome seems to be getting slower and even more bloated with every release.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mr_sas ( 682067 )
            There's one mono program in the default install (tomboy) and it's not running by default.
        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )
          In addition to that, it seems like the Evolution team didn't do ANY regression testing of Palm synchronization between 1.x and 2.0 - The last time I used Evolution, it took me an hour to clean out all the dupe entries from my phone after just two syncs. (Every sync duped every single entry in the phone.)
        • by phrasebook ( 740834 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:41PM (#18358287)
          KDE's configurability just scares me

          I know what you mean. I had to configure my background in KDE once. Christ, it gave me THREE options! 'No picture', 'Picture' and 'Slide show'. I mean, WTF? I'm not a rocket surgeon.

          Then I wanted Konqueror to open links in tabs. People are right when they say KDE has a cluttered interface. It dragged me into Settings, then into something called Web Behaviour, and then forced me to click the box saying 'Open links in new tab'. After that I had to rest with 2 hours of TV.
          • I agree that the GP did make a big deal about nothing...
            but in all honesty the default behavior for opening new links should be in tabs. that is the sane option and the user should have to specify if you want them seperately
        • by Dan Ost ( 415913 )
          Its Exchange functionality is non-functional

          No, Evolution Exchange functionality is slow, but very functional.

          Normally, I'd be the first to complain loudly about Evolution, but for all the things I dislike about Evolution, the reason I (have no choice but to) use it is because it's the only usably way to access my corporate Exchange email (no, I can't convince them to turn IMAP back on). It's slow, but functional. If it weren't for Evolution, I'd be forced to choose between the web interface or a second com
        • Last time I tried KDE, I could not configure it to understand both Alt-Tab and Alt-Escape. I had to choose which of them I want and then assign the key! IceWM has no problem supporting both, by default. And Windows supported both at once at least from the 3.1 days.
          • See, this is where I just change my window manager to Beryl (or, for those less into 3D bling, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, or IceWM) and forget about Kwin. Once I learned to configure window managers in GNOME, Metacity went away very quickly.
            • by njchick ( 611256 )
              KWin is a part of KDE, and I was replying to a post mentioning KDE configurability. Sure, replacing KDE components with non-KDE components would help. Every time I tried KDE I could not use it for more than a day. It gives some visibility of choice, but I could not fix what annoyed me most. My impression is that KDE is for keyboard-challenged users. Many standard operations are hard to perform from the keyboard in a way similar to other environments. Also, all KDE themes are garish and hard on the eye.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        AMEN! I just want to affirm what the parent is saying, I've heard people say "I've never noticed that" or "works fine for me" etc...it definitely feels slow.

        I've found KDE to feel simply -less- slow. Could some of this "slowness" be due to a lack of threading? I don't understand how it all works but my intuition was: if lots of services are working in serial and each has to send up a flag for the next to do something, and then nothing happens until the next service refreshes and checks up on the previous se
      • This is an earnest question, which I hope you will answer:

        To me, the prime UI difference is that in dialogs, there is "[OK] [Cancel]" in one, and "[Cancel] [OK]" in the other. That is the #1 thing that keeps me from trying it out, because I instinctively mix those two up. I use mostly the keyboard to answer dialogs, so in Gnome I have a grim tendency to choose the wrong option...

        Do you have a way around that? Or do you just not have as much muscle memory (or whatever it is that applies)?
    • Knome skin (Score:5, Funny)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:00PM (#18357283)
      The big change is they went to a Knome skin that makes it look like KDE.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:44PM (#18357197)
    Thanks to those I got first post!
  • Did they include... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:49PM (#18357221) Homepage
    Linus' usability patches?

    http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=07/02/16/19372 37 [linux.com]
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:59PM (#18357681) Homepage Journal

      How do I know? I've looked. Yesterday I even fixed it. I sent the patches off to add the capabilities.
      It's a shame he didn't, ya know, attach the patches to his email.. this whole "contribute it to the maintainer" crap is the problem with open source. If you see something you don't like, sure, contribute it to the maintainer to get fixed.. but if the maintainer drops your patch on the floor, don't go cry on the mailing lists, just make your patch publically available so other people who want the same feature as you don't have to recode it themselves. Jesus, Linus should know better.

      • Linus was more making a point of how broken Gnome is from the development practices up into the code, rather than trying to make more than a trivial contribution.
        • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
          I know that. He failed. His arguement is that because no-one has done what he wants them to do that there must be something wrong with their development process. Totally ignoring the possibility that maybe the maintainers just don't want that level of configurability and the users of GNOME don't either. It's not just GNOME that takes the "no thanks to the kitchen sink" approach.
          • And it's that "It's our way or the highway" attitude that is driving off users. Too much choice can be a bad thing, but making anything useful impossible to do, and doing it shoddily at that? That's just bad programming AND design.
            • Generally, less choice = better usability.

              In fact, probably 90% of usability is finding what people want to do and making it trivially easy. The stuff the majority don't want to do remains hard or impossible. It sounds a little strict, but it seems to pay off for, say, Apple.

              The reason Linus doesn't like it is because he wants every little byte to be configurable, like a lot of Linux users. That's fine; he can use KDE instead. The stupid things about this situation is:

              1) That people give a crap what Linus s
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Daemonik ( 171801 )

                2) That Linus uses GNOME and gripes about it instead of just using what he likes. Isn't the entire point of the open source ecosystem to give the user choices? Linus can hardly bitch if he doesn't bother to use an alternative. 2a) Or (even worse) he uses KDE but chooses to go out of his way to bitch at some other open source project.

                Actually, Linus uses and prefers KDE but was raked over the coals for publicly stating that was his preference because of what he saw as flaws in GNOME. It was the GNOME g

    • Wow Linus is a total jackass in his post. I thought he was supposed to be the only Unix figurehead that wasn't a jackass. What's up with that?
    • by Wdomburg ( 141264 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:46PM (#18357953)
      No. But some variant of the patches are in trunk for the next release. It really just adds a config option though. Not as big a deal as the brouhaha would suggest. :)
    • If you really care, here's the tracker for his patches in Metacity's bugzilla http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=408898 [gnome.org]
  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:53PM (#18357241)
    Personal security is now fully integrated into the desktop, allowing digitally signed communications, encryption of emails and local files, and user-friendly management of personal keys. Internationalization records progress in all directions, with support for vertical text layout and a full Arabic localization matching the quality standards. The official release incorporates essential tools for developers, which hopefully will contribute to get more and better software for the GNOME users.

    What's more important, for the first time we ship online games, chess with a 3D look, and endless Sudoku entertainment.

    Good thing we've got our priorities straight.
    • Re:Priorities (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:13PM (#18357387) Homepage

      Obviously they're being facetious.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kurtmckee ( 870398 )

      > Good thing we've got our priorities straight.

      It's a problem of manpower. My understanding is that there was a sudden and unexpected number of Gnome documentation people who were unable to contribute as they have in the past, which is what prompted this post by Quim Gil [desdeamericaconamor.org] calling for help.

  • Any place yet to change the scroll speed of my mouse? Seriously. KDE has it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:06PM (#18357333)
    As usual too ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, I'm disappointed, too. From other software projects we've gotten used to 2.17 -> 2.18 transitions to be cataclysmic, jaw dropping and quite simply awe inspiring. The GNOME project has really let us down here...
  • That's Nice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:23PM (#18357443)
    So, when are we going to see smart and innovative desktops that dramatically improve user friendliness?

    Just as some examples:
    • As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.
    • I have 1000s of photographs. How can these images be automatically categorized and displayed most effectively without having to manually add meta-data. It should be sorting images by looking at similarities between pictures, date taken and other automatically generated information
    • I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.
    These are some of the type of things that would make using a computer easier to use.

    Are open source desktop developers so focused on trying to make it "easy" for Windows user to convert they get Microsoft tunnel vision and can't innovate?

    It's the year 2007 and we have desktops with the same intelligence as those back in the early 80's.
    • by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <imboboage0@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:28PM (#18357477) Homepage

      It's the year 2007 and we have desktops with the same intelligence as those back in the early 80's.
      Yeah, but the people got worse.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )
        Yeah, but the people got worse.

        Well, they did. Really. In the early 80s, you were using computers because you were in some geeky CS/number crunching job, which means you probably were above average intelligent and more often than not had domain-specific knowledge. Desktops are a lot more user-friendly, but in general a desktop isn't supposed to be "clippy"-style intelligent. You can still commit harakiri like "rm -f /" except now it comes in a beautifully themed 3D desktop using a point-and-click interface
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by petrus4 ( 213815 )
      I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.

      Do you have any idea how difficult something like that would be to code?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SnprBoB86 ( 576143 )
        Yes, so you better get started soon :-)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by OmegaBlac ( 752432 )

        Do you have any idea how difficult something like that would be to code?
        Of course he doesn't. If he did he would code it himself or pay someone to do it instead of whining on slashdot where the GNOME developers (or any devs of large desktop environment project) may never see his complaints. The GP would do better to post his wish list on the Gnome mailing lists.
      • Not fully automated, but we live in the internet world where an encyclopedia written by Wiki is among the most used references in the world...

        Namely, I'm talking about MusicBrainz. Programs will analyze and produce a fingerprint, and MusicBrainz will do a fairly good job of matching that fingerprint to the track. From there, tempo, mood, etc could all be community stored info. More esoteric tracks suffer, but as Wikipedia shows, things that don't work well in theory can sometimes work surprisingly well i
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by module0000 ( 882745 )
      Your suggestions such as "extending applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another" is unfortunately not possible with our current(or dreamed-about) tech. Great concept, kudos for that, but the "frame" all desktop computing operates from just does not allow for this. You are not suggesting improvements to "desktop linux", but you are speaking of changes to desktop computing as a whole, across all platforms; it's not that 'easy', I wish it was. Concerning your sugges
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Your suggestions such as "extending applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another"

        That's why we always keep going back to the command line shell where you can do a grep on the output of just about anything. The GUI has a place but I'd rather send an entire file through sed with a short command than move the mouse to the first character of every line, right click, and scroll down to delete, then left click as I have seen some purely bound to the GUI do.

        The biggest pr

        • yes, but even on something like Mac OS 10, which is touted as the supreme champion of simplicity and interoperability of programs, I doubt there is even this kind of functionality...
      • by dduardo ( 592868 )
        In terms of the dragging and dropping features I think one of the big issues is standardizing how data is stored within applications. For example, look at how SQL works. You have a physical data organization, conceptual schema, internal schema and external levels, all of which are designed to be independent. When a top level widget tries to query the main program it should have a very high level look. It shouldn't matter how the physical data is organized.

        In terms of the mp3s, what I really mean is that
      • by Eideewt ( 603267 )
        I think you've got those turned around. Dragging a widget from one application to another would not be especially difficult to make happen. They would have to have some way to communicate the change (good luck getting that picked up... drag-and-drop file saving isn't even common yet), but assuming that each programs considers its windows to be reconfigurable, you've got a common pool of widgets, and a way for your programs to communicate, the problem is more one of actually writing a bunch of programs that
        • by nuzak ( 959558 )
          but assuming that each programs considers its windows to be reconfigurable, you've got a common pool of widgets, and a way for your programs to communicate

          I believe you're looking for this [squeak.org]

          It's got your drag and drop widget goodness. It won't make them magically work of course.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A, mostly because different programs use different data models. It's not impossible, at least not in a limited way, but it would hinge more upon app developers than the desktop environment.

      B, because machine image recognition is an area of tricky tricky research and requires serious computational power. Note that spammers have yet to defeat the wonky text + squiggly lines test for posting on slashdot. And thats just OCR. (While people with very limited intellectual capacity seems to make it through in hoard
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kurtmckee ( 870398 )

      So, when are we going to see smart and innovative desktops that dramatically improve user friendliness?

      Just as some examples:

      • As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply thinking things into existence? i.e. Dragging and dropping Blender into Gaim?
      • I have 1000s of photographs and I hate metadata. Why can't my computer automatically recognize people's faces and group the photos accordingly? Why can't it analyze the hairstyles and figure out when the photo was taken, and why can't it automatic
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AaronW ( 33736 )
        KDE offers some of this, though nothing like dropping Blender into Gaim. In KDE, most applications are also components and can be easily embedded inside other applications. For example, Konqueror is not so much a web and file browser as a container. I.e. I click on a Word document and it opens it in the browser using kword, or I click on a MP3 and it can use Amarok, or a photo brings up my preferred photo viewer inside the browser.

        As far as not requiring metadata for MP3s, Amarok already supports this (a
    • As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.

      This is pointless. The dev has to code the search feature into the app for it work, so let it be up to the dev whether or not a search box is appropriate. GTK provides standard widgets to keep the same look and feel between apps, not to replicate functionality.

      (If you want a search box in list views, type '/'.)

      I have 1000s of photogr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by massysett ( 910130 )
      Tagging MP3s: Musicbrainz [musicbrainz.org] has projects to automatically tag MP3s with metadata on track name, album, etc. As for tagging them with mood: good luck; however All Music Guide has been working on this sort of thing for years; see also Last.fm [last.fm]. Integrating these into a desktop would be nice, though your comparison to "Microsoft tunnel vision" is quite harsh seeing as open source desktops have long had features that Windows sorely lacks, such as transparent SSH file transfers, thumbnailing of PDFs and other non-p
    • We didn't have desktops in the early 80's. We had command prompts.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )
      As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.

      Sounds like Apple's OpenDoc?

      It didn't work because:
      1) They released it too early and it quickly gained a reputation for being too buggy.
      2) The only application that really embraced it was ClarisWorks. Oh, there was some lame web browser Apple made that used it too called Cyberdog, IIRC.

      The idea isn't *bad*, but it really needs a killer ap
    • Just as some examples:

      You forgot:
      Why doesn't the cup holder pour me a drink when I'm feeling thirsty?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gardyloo ( 512791 )
      Christ. Not only did that squirrel give the gnome an entire basketful of red, painful-looking chancres, but it also ate off his left hand. And he's *smiling*. That's one badass gnome.
  • Have they... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by metamatic ( 202216 )
    ...removed Mono from it? Or is technology known to be covered by Microsoft patents still part of the GNOME desktop?
  • by pizzach ( 1011925 ) <pizzach@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:50PM (#18357621) Homepage
    With the release of GNOME 2.18, it appears there has been a change in the playing field. In order to be considered to a full fledged modern OS, a Three-Dee [wikipedia.org] Chess program must be included with every new operating system. The Release of Mac OS X seems to have started this trend. Microsoft soon followed suit with Windows Vista. Now there is Gnome. Will KDE be pulled into this madness, or will it fall behind into oblivion?!

    Apple Chess [gete.net]

    Windows Chess [kotaku.com]

    GNOME Chess [sourceforge.net]

    Feel free to flog me now.
  • by babbling ( 952366 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:52PM (#18357631)
    I'm looking at this screenshot [gnome.org] and thinking that it looks quite good. People often complain about the brown in Ubuntu being "ugly", and Ubuntu has stated that they don't want to be "just like Windows" by going for blue. Well, based on that screenshot, I think green would be a good choice.
    • by AusIV ( 950840 )
      I like blue myself, but when I set my girlfriend up with Kubuntu, she decked everything (and I mean everything) out in shades of green, and I was amazed how good it looked when she was done.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tuxicle ( 996538 )
      Green reminds people of SuSe/Novell, I suppose
    • by coaxial ( 28297 )
      People often complain about the brown in Ubuntu being "ugly", and Ubuntu has stated that they don't want to be "just like Windows" by going for blue. Well, based on that screenshot, I think green would be a good choice.

      Ubuntu is ugly because they've gone with browns, oranges, and reds -- the worst part of the spectrum.

      What I noticed in the screenshot is that background is almost identical to MacOSX's default background. [apple.com] The only difference is that it's green, and MacOSX's is -- wait for it -- blue. If th
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @10:02PM (#18357715) Homepage Journal
    That's not "detailed release notes", that's marketing spin. Release notes would mention specific apps, like evolution, and specific fixes, not just buzzwords and superficial brags about how the experience is better.

    Such marketsprach has its place. But the release notes are even more important. And even more important is not pretending that marketsprach is release notes.

    If GNOME release managers don't release that by themselves, then the project is in serious trouble.
    • by lahvak ( 69490 )
      That was my first reaction, too. Gnome releases used to come with nice detailed release notes, but this time I simply couldn't find them. Very disapointing!
  • by baomike ( 143457 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:37PM (#18358257)
    and with any luck it wont come back.

What hath Bob wrought?