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GNOME GUI Open Source Software Upgrades Technology

GNOME 3.4 Released 147

supersloshy writes "The popular GNOME desktop environment has just announced the release of version 3.4. User-facing updates include, among others, a new look for many GNOME applications, smooth scrolling support in GTK, integrated document search in GNOME Shell, a new dynamic background, improved accessibility configuration options, new high-contrast icons, and more documentation. Developer-facing improvements include the release of GTK+ 3.4 and updates to standard GNOME libraries as part of the latest GNOME Developer Platform."
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GNOME 3.4 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    With GNOME 3.4 2012 is most certainly going to be year of the linux desktop!

    • With GNOME 3.4 2012 is most certainly going to be year of the linux desktop!

      Either that or with the new version of TurboJPEG

    • by Psion ( 2244 )
      Meh. Been there, done that. For me, 2008 was the year of the Linux desktop.
  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:11PM (#39498245)

    Yet another new look for no apparent reason. (shrug). I guess it ain't so bad. I'll adjust. Or just keep using Lightweight ubuntu/LXDE instead.

    • The look isn't any departure. From what I see on the screens it is similar to 3.3, 3.2, 3.1. And the things that did change i personally like. search bar in overview mode has much better visibility this way and the transparent buttons also seem to be more effective. The other optical changes seem quite minute so I hope they also worked on some bug squashing and didn't just wax poetic about the illustration the whole time...

      • All I really want is the ability to pin any app to the dock without having to create .desktop file for it... and the ability to always launch a new app instead of the default action of bringing up the previous instance.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Pinning the app icon is as simple as adding the app to your favorites. Simply search for it as if you were going to launch it and right mouse click on the icon and select "add to favorites". If it is already running you can right mouse click on the app icon in the dock. If you mean pin apps that don't have .desktop files - that is a freedesktop standard.

          As for default to lauch -

          • Oh, wow, so they're still recognizing right mouse clicks? They should just go ahead and deprecate that and just do mono-button for all mice. Nobody needs more than one mouse button...
          • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:29PM (#39499037) Journal

            You can't favorite a program you download off the Internet to a subfolder of your home folder without that .desktop file. That's a usability problem. I don't care what the standard says.

            If you mean pin apps that don't have .desktop files - that is a freedesktop standard.

            Fine.. .then have Gnome Shell create that .desktop file using the executable name and default the path to the folder you ran it from and add it to favorites. Is it really that hard? Currently, if I right click on an app in that bar there is no option to add it to favorites. I have to open a terminal to run the application every time. The only workaround without manually creating the desktop file is using alacarte, but I find that doesn't always put the run path in the desktop files and some apps don't like that.

            You can do it in Unity, however. But Unity has some other really big issues that keep me from using it.

            As for default to lauch - []

            This should be a setting somewhere. I still don't know how to add/search for extensions (without this webpage?) Last time I checked by typing Extensions in launcher search, nothing comes up. There's also no apparent visible way to do it from the task bar or launcher. I can download new background images fairly easy... why are extensions hidden away?

            • by spitzak ( 4019 )

              I agree that is really stupid. Since you can double-click on the App in the folder and run it, Gnome obviously has all the information necessary to make it run from the dock. Just create the .desktop file with a pointer to the app and the same Icon the file browser is showing and it is done. This should be automatic.

  • Epiphany - Web (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Epiphany, the GNOME web browser, has been renamed Web. "

    Ok. Now that I learned what Epiphany is, it changes. Not that the original name meant anything useful, but Web is even worse: too general.

    • by jojoba_oil ( 1071932 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:39PM (#39498451)

      Tech Support: What web browser are you using?

      User: Web.

      Tech Support: Right. What's the program you use to view the web?

      User: Web.

      Nope. Can't see how this would be a problem. Ever.

      But I think they were going for the same idea that Microsoft had when they added "Internet" and "Email" links to the start menu in XP. Generic shortcuts that launched whatever program you had setup as your default. At least Microsoft didn't rename the entire programs...

      • Well, in Vista & 7, they canned Outlook Express and replaced it w/ Mail. But one could call it Microsoft Mail. A good solution here would have been to rename Epiphany as GNOME Browser. That would have made it simpler.
      • They did the same thing years ago with Totem, which is just called "Movie Player" (to considerable annoyance).

        • Re:Epiphany - Web (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:48PM (#39499237)

          They did the same thing years ago with Totem, which is just called "Movie Player" (to considerable annoyance).

          What is wrong with it, is it needs no be universal. Its time to get rid of ALL the silly naming. Thing what is wrong with "Gnome Movie Player" or "Gnome Web". Let the renaming continue; "Epiphany" and "Totem" mean nothing.

          • Fully agree w/ you here. Get rid of these funny names, as well as the fun that people have when they get to name software titles, inevitably giving it stupid names. On the KDE side of things, drop the K's - KMail, KDevelop, Kate, Kerry, Kleopatra, Krusader, et al, and just give them proper names, like KDE Mail, KDE Development Studio, KDE Text Editor, KDE Search, KDE Cert Manager, KDE File Manager and so on. Of course, if a different group is providing the app, such as Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Libre Off
            • Re:Epiphany - Web (Score:4, Interesting)

              by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:59PM (#39500167)

              This is a good idea. It is entrenched, however, by the idea of a 'unix name' or 'package name'. At sourceforge, you register with a unix name, which is in the URL. So the featured project Scribus is located here:

              I need to install KDevelop, which package do I get? Easy, it should be apt-get kdevelop. What about "KDE Development Studio"? Well, I'd probably need some sort of GUI thing to let me select, and then know what the package name is.

              Short, unique names are how we do things, and getting that to change will require more than just the projects changing the official names. It has to satisfy the point-and-click people as well as the command-line people.

              • The fllenames themselves can be something like, or kdev.rpm, or kdev.pbi, or whatever. Not an issue - go ahead & type apt-get kdev, or yumm install kdev, or whatever. But once it's installed, on the desktop, the name should read KDE Development Studio, and if the application is opened, that's the name that should be sitting on the title bar, alongside the file name. The short, unique names needn't be broken just b'cos you're making it understandable to the general public. Oh, and while we a
      • Well you would say that you are using the GNOME default web browser. Otherwise you say firefox or whatever. I don't see what is so hard about it.
    • I used Epiphany once, and found it too minimal. At this stage, is it too much to expect browsers to have Firefox like news feeds on their bookmarks bar? Firefox & derivatives have it, and IE8 and beyond has it, but others don't. I found that annoying, whether it was Epiphany, Konqueror, Safari, or Opera. Never got to check whether Chrome supports it or not, and I would be interested to know whether Camino does. As for the name, I think it's an improvement in that most of the FOSS names just suck -
    • Web is even worse: too general.

      Imagine trying for search when errors occur.

      "Web 2.3.1 crashes"

      "Web cache not cleared"


  • My commentary... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:20PM (#39498331)

    My problems with Gnome 3:
    -Extensions are a very awkward approach to what should be simple config changes. For example, there are two hotcorners by default, upper-left and lower-right. Rather than offering a straightforward configuration to disable it, you have to dig through extensions and find either the extension to disable upper-left, the different one to do lower-right, or the third one that disables both. This accumulates quite atrociously with all the settings.
    -Because of the extensions being particularly invasive and pretty much required, the 'oh no' screen is easy to hit.
    -In the event of an 'oh no' screen, gnome shell does not care that your apps are still running and could conceivably be used if gnome-shell would just let you restart without logout. It just says 'screw you, log out and kill all your applications'. I've tried starting metacity and it will run, but I can't get rid of the 'on-top' oh no screen.
    -No window title search, like has been in Compiz scale and KDE for a very long time. Very hostile to large window count scenarios.
    -No way to show all windows belonging to an application in activities view exclusive of other windows
    -The application button is sloppy-focus unfriendly

    What I like about gnome 3:
    -Hot-plugged multi-display is handled pretty well (one of my biggest reasons to lean toward gnome away from KDE, less work when I dock my laptop).
    -I actually do like the new alt-tab,alt-above-tab. Having two tiers helps that be almost useful (had given up on alt-tab as unscalable without this)
    -Nominally having all task switching/launch elements hidden, but taking over the full screen when you want to switch or launch applications. Keeps my workspace cleaner and doesn't limit the real estate used to facilitate task switching/launching to some small corner of the screen when it is the only thing I am thinking about while that is happening.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest ( 867930 )

      Well said. Most of the things I need are now handled, or are at least configurable. The speed is good (I find Unity extremely slow on my low-powered laptop, while Gnome Shell is fast). The Gnome Live extensions integration is quite nice, but a better grouping/searching facility would be nice. I do find that Gnome shell leaks memory, but at least it can re re-started quickly and easily if required with no application closing required. I find the notifications are still not quite as nicely integrated as in Gn

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pi1grim ( 1956208 )

        > The Gnome Live extensions integration is quite nice

        Are you kidding me? The sole fact, that the only place where you can turn extensions on and off is website is somewhat strange, if not you use a stronger word. Imagine me installing an extension and then needing to disable it later on — I need internet connection to disable an extension that is already installed on my system. This whole web-centric touch-ui with special disabilities support policy is leaving majority of users with unusable interf

        • You can install the advanced configuration program and turn extensions on and off through that as well. There's even an extension that adds it to the user menu.

    • You can restart gnome-shell without logging out. Just type ALT+F2, type in "r" without the quotes, just the letter r, and hit enter.

      What seems to really be the problem — is failure to implement plugin-based dash search. Unity is doing a stellar job at providing "lences", wish there was a similar thing for gnome 3. Or, better yet — support for unity lences.

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        But that doesn't rid me of the 'oh no screen', but a logout and login does...

        • You can ALT-F4 the "Oh no screen". It's silly that you can't close it any other way, but it is just a window.

    • Does it allow me to make a pic of me & my kid the wallpaper? Does it allow different wallpapers for different screens?
    • what they should do, and I've only just thought of this, is let you hold down the $Platform keyboard key and click the left mouse button on whatever it is you want to change, be it a widget, the desktop background, an app icon or the volume-control-icon and have that launch the configurator for it.

  • I did some testing with DEs lately and I my best friend I found from GNOME3 + Gnome Shell. Everything is nicely in its place, providing an intuitive, minimalist desktop. I had to hack the theme though, to not display titlebars when maximized, as the title is shown in the top bar anyway (tutorial []). However the whole thing is quite similar to Unity, but for some reason Unity runs dog-slow (?). If you want a more full-fledged desktop, KDE4 seemed very snappy and smooth too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:44PM (#39498507)

    It added two more desktop environments to the linux world: Mate (a fork of Gnome 2 ) and Cinnamon (a fork of Gnome 3 ). These new alternatives to Gnome 3 don't get the attention that they deserve.....

    • I currently use Cinnamon some of what Gnome3 takes away. I hope eventually it will get more attention.
  • by RocketRabbit ( 830691 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:52PM (#39498597)

    I think it's time for Gnome to have a feature and UI freeze, for perhaps a year or two, and concentrate on fixing bugs in all the various subsystems. Every new release focuses on new features, but there are numerous bugs in Gnome from five or more years ago!

    Take Apple as an example. Their UI has undergone little change since OS 10.4 (minor tweaks excluded) and they have concentrated on improving the underlying stuff. This could be a methodology that Gnome might take to heart.

    Instead, the Gnome developers and design team will continue to sparkle a phone / tablet friendly UI on top of a desktop system, with the unrealistic goal of making legacy software work on a touch UI with a simple recompile. Sally buggers.

  • Can/will any BSD distros support this? Like GhostBSD? NetBSD? Or have they already implemented systemd dependencies on it that would effectively make it Linux only? Also, any idea whether this new DE has been embraced by other Unixes, such as Solaris, OpenIndiana, HP/UX and so on?
  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @01:59PM (#39498683) Homepage Journal

    This is great news! Gnome 3 is certainly surpassing Windows 8 now. If only they could implement all that "log in with your web account" stuff like Windows 8 does, it will be awesome!

    For my tablet.

    • On a tablet, I'm afraid that it'll be largely decided by the app library, not by the UI itself (unless it's particularly atrocious). Hence why Apple has such a big lead, and any contender, no matter how good, has to struggle real hard to even set foot on the market.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    apart from:

    1. for such a minimalist interface that has chosen to be modal the flip between modes isn't snappy enough.
    2. when in overview the keyboard short cuts (ctrl alt pagedown) is so slow to respond I might be better off using the mouse.
    3. the 'max half screen'/side-by-side thing was good until some one thought it and said ' maximise screen the same kind a thing' and bolted it on. Now I've had to turn it all off. Double clich the title bar, use the maximize icon in the title bar. Thats how you maximize.

  • Does the GNOME3 team have any plans to make their DE run on Wayland?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      Does the GNOME3 team have any plans to make their DE run on Wayland?

      No. That would result in such an accumulation of suck in one place that the universe would implode.

    • Does the GNOME3 team have any plans to make their DE run on Wayland?

      Yes. Clutter has already been ported and GTK is in the process of being ported.

  • Is it just me or does Gnome3 look more and more like a crappy Windows/MacOS-bastard rip-off?
    • No, it's not just you. I too had recollections the system menu bar from GeOS, GS/OS and MacOS (long before OSX) when I read this in TFRN...

      Application menus are a new feature that will become an increasingly familiar part of our applications in the future. These menus, which are labelled with the application's name and can be seen in the top bar, provide a new space for options that affect the whole application (as opposed to specific windows), such as application preferences and documentation.

      It's just 80's vintage GUI with more curves and colours thrown in. Won't stop me from using it, though.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant