gnome studies 1

GNOME


GNOME (pronounced /ˈnoʊm/ or /ɡəˈnoʊm/ is a desktop environment and graphical user interface that runs on top of a computer operating system. It is composed entirely of free and open source software. It is an international project that includes creating software development frameworks, selecting application software for the desktop, and working on the programs that manage application launching, file handling, and window and task management.
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GNOME is part of the GNU Project and can be used with various Unix-like operating systems, most notably Linux and as part of the Java Desktop System in Solaris.

In 1996, the KDE project was started.
KDE itself was free and open source from the start, but members of the GNU project were concerned with KDE’s dependence on the (then) non-GPL Qt widget toolkit, owned by Trolltech.
In August 1997, two projects were started in response to this issue: the Harmony toolkit, a free replacement for the Qt libraries, and GNOME, a different desktop not using Qt but built on GTK+ licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), a free software license that allows GPL-incompatible software to link to it. The GNOME desktop itself is licensed under the LGPL for its libraries, and the GPL for applications that are part of the GNOME project. Having the toolkit and libraries under the LGPL allowed applications written for GNOME to use a much wider set of licenses (including proprietary software licenses). The initial project leaders and founders for GNOME were two Mexican programmers Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena.
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In 2000, Qt was made available under the GNU GPL terms.Trolltech offered dual-licensing under both QPL terms and GNU GPL terms and granted exceptions to other specific licenses like the Apache License. Qt’s GNU GPL-derived license, however, continued to restrict linking Qt with arbitrary proprietary software at no charge; GTK+’s LGPL license did not impose this restriction and differentiated it from Qt. At the end of 2000, the Harmony Project ceased, as KDE no longer depended on non-GPL software; the development of GNOME continues (as of 2011). In March 2009, after Trolltech was bought by Nokia, Qt 4.5 was released and added an LGPL licensing as a third option.

The California startup Eazel developed the Nautilus file manager from 1999 to 2001. De Icaza and Nat Friedman founded Helix Code (later Ximian) in 1999 in Massachusetts. The company developed GNOME’s infrastructure and applications, and in 2003 was purchased by Novell.


Name

The name “GNOME” is an acronym of GNU Network Object Model Environment. It refers to GNOME’s original intention of creating a distributed object framework similar to Microsoft’s OLE. This no longer reflects the core vision of the GNOME project, and the full expansion of the name is now considered obsolete. As such, some members of the project advocate dropping the acronym and re-naming “GNOME” to “Gnome”.
[edit] Controversy over supported platforms
In May 2011 Lennart Poettering proposed systemd as a dependency for further releases of GNOME. As systemd is available only on Linux, the proposal lead to discussion of possibility to drop other platforms support in future GNOME releases. While some met the proposal with criticism others evolved the idea to GNOME Operating System on top of Linux kernel
While the discussion on mailing list ended with no conclusive result, the GNOME 3.2 Release Notes state that systemd will be used in GNOME 3.4 release
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Project structure
As with most free software projects, the GNOME project is loosely-managed. Discussion chiefly occurs on a number of public mailing lists.

In August 2000, the GNOME Foundation was set up to deal with administrative tasks and press interest, and to act as a contact point for companies interested in developing GNOME software. While not directly involved in technical decisions, the Foundation does coordinate releases and decide which projects will be part of GNOME. Membership is open to anyone who has made a non-trivial contribution to the project.Members of the Foundation elect a board of directors every November, and candidates for the positions must be members themselves.
Developers and users of GNOME gather at an annual meeting known as GUADEC to discuss the current state of the project and its future direction.
GNOME often incorporates standards from freedesktop.org to allow GNOME applications to better interoperate with other desktops, encouraging both cooperation and competition.
[edit] Aims
According to the GNOME website:
The GNOME project provides two things: The GNOME desktop environment, an intuitive and attractive desktop for users, and the GNOME development platform, an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop and mobile user interface.
The GNOME project puts heavy emphasis on simplicity, usability, and making things “just work” (see KISS principle). The other aims of the project are:
Freedom—to create a desktop environment with readily-available source code for re-use under a free software license.
Accessibility—to ensure the desktop can be used by anyone, regardless of technical skill or physical circumstances.
Internationalization and localization—to make the desktop available in many languages. At the moment, GNOME is being translated to 161 languages.
Developer-friendliness—to ensure ease of writing software that integrates smoothly with the desktop, and allow developers a free choice of programming language.
Organization—to adhere to a regular release cycle and maintain a disciplined community structure.
Support—to ensure backing from other institutions beyond the GNOME community.
Up until GNOME 3.x was released, GNOME was designed around the traditional computing desktop metaphor. Its handling of windows, applications and files is similar to that of contemporary desktop operating systems. In its default configuration, the desktop has a launcher menu for quick access to installed programs and file locations; open windows may be accessed by a taskbar along the bottom of the screen, and the top-right corner features a notification area for programs to display notices while running in the background. However, these features can be moved to almost any position or orientation the user desires, replaced with other functions or removed altogether.

GNOME 2.x uses Metacity as its default window manager. Users can change the appearance of their desktop through the use of themes, which are bundles of an icon set, window manager border and GTK+ theme engine and parameters. Popular GTK+ themes include Bluecurve and Clearlooks.

The current default theme is Adwaita.

With the release of GNOME 3.0, the traditional computer desktop metaphor was abandoned in favor of a user interface where switching between tasks and workspaces takes place in a separate interface. Icons and menus, both staples of traditional interface design, are noticeably absent from the GNOME Shell UI, as they were deemed by the developers to be no longer relevant to the GNOME desktop.
The HIG helps developers to produce applications that look and behave similarly, which provides a cohesive GNOME interface and enables customization using themes.
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Controversy over GNOME 3.0

With the release of GNOME 3.0 and its abandonment of the traditional desktop metaphor, considerable controversy was stirred among both Linux users and developers about its usability. Among these is Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and a routine user of GNOME before abandoning it at the release of GNOME 3.0. Torvalds criticized GNOME 3.0 by stating, “The developers have apparently decided that it’s ‘too complicated’ to actually do real work on your desktop, and have decided to make it really annoying to do.” Torvalds cited specific usability problems he pointedly summarized as “crazy crap,” and the “‘head up the arse’ behavior” of Gnome 3.0. Torvalds stated that his objections were universally held by the varied Linux developers he knew.

Other Linux users and developers have added to Torvald’s criticism of GNOME 3.0. Stephen Ewen, lead developer for UberStudent, a Linux distribution for higher education and secondary students and schools, has cited examples demonstrating that GNOME 3.0 is a “hindrance” to student academic computing productivity.He further argued that the usability issues of GNOME 3.0 compared to its prior version placed much of the Linux desktop world into what he described as a “crisis.” He stated that this was brought on because GNOME’s developers had “become personally enthralled with Apple Macs.” Ewen added that the enthrallment “has led to a major shift in overall Linux strategy, one that chooses to take on Apple and its encroachment into Microsoft dominance rather than Microsoft dominance itself.”

He concluded by urging a refocus away from Apple and back toward Microsoft, and by expressing his hope that the issue would self-correct over time due to Linux’s free and open source nature.
In responding to some of these criticisms, GNOME designer William Jon McCann responded in an interview by saying that “people are not making it up and it may indeed not be what they like”, stating that “there are a lot of different products out there that may fit their way of working better.” However, he also reminded them that “this isn’t the first time we have encountered such reactions”, adding that “many of the same people who are now claiming that GNOME2 was such a great thing for them were some of the most vocal opponents of the things we did in GNOME2.” He also commented that some “feedback is certainly valid and we are going to use that to make informed decisions in the GNOME3 cycle”, stressing that GNOME 3 is still early in development and that it took “eight, nine years to get to where GNOME2 ended up and we’ve had like four months of GNOME3.”

GNOME 3 also features a more traditional GNOME Panel interface available as a “Fallback Mode” in situations where the GNOME Shell can not launch due to a computer not meeting its higher hardware demands such as compositing and further desktop effects, although it can also be toggled to be activated by the user. The Fallback mode has most of the same features as the old GNOME Panel, including the placement of applets and the ability to move them around panels, although the mechanism for doing this has been slightly altered. GNOME developer Vincent Untz has stated that, while he prefers the default interface, users who do not appreciate the Shell may be more at home in the Fallback mode. Both the GNOME Shell and the Fallback mode can also be further customized through the use of the “Gnome Tweak Tool”, allowing users to regain a traditional desktop, change themes and fonts, and change various settings that are normally unavailable in an effort to regain a more traditional desktop.
Reactions to GNOME Shell have also not been universally negative. Scott Gilbertson of The Register commented in his review of Fedora 15, one of the first distributions to ship GNOME 3, that while there is “no question that GNOME 3 will be something of a shock for those accustomed to working with the GNOME 2.x line”, that the new interface in the end “really does feel like a vast improvement over GNOME 2.” Supporting his argument, he commented that one of the Shell’s greatest strengths is “that it doesn’t look like a cheap knock-off of Windows”. Gilbertson concludes that the “result is a cleaner interface, to be sure, but one that’s also very different from most OS designs.”
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Major subprojects
GNOME relies upon a large number of different projects.
GConf – for storing application settings (GSettings in GNOME 3).
GVFS – a virtual file system.
GNOME Keyring – backend for storing encryption keys and security information. Seahorse is a common frontend.
GNOME Translation Project – for translating documentation and applications into different languages.
GTK+ – a widget toolkit used for constructing graphical applications. The use of GTK+ as the base widget toolkit allows GNOME to benefit from certain features such as theming (the ability to change the look of an application) and smooth anti-aliased graphics. Sub-projects of GTK+ provide object-oriented programming support (GObject), extensive support of international character sets and text layout (Pango) and accessibility (ATK). GTK+ reduces the amount of work required to port GNOME applications to other platforms such as Windows and Mac OS X.
Human interface guidelines (HIG) – research and documentation on building easy-to-use GNOME applications.
LibXML – an XML library.
A number of language bindings are available, allowing applications to be written in a variety of programming languages, such as C++ (gtkmm), Java (java-gnome), Ruby (ruby-gnome2), C# (Gtk#), Python (PyGTK), Perl (gtk2-perl), Tcl (Gnocl) and many others. The only languages currently used in applications that are part of an official GNOME desktop release are C, C++, C#, Python and Vala.
Release cycle
Each of the component software products in the GNOME project has its own version number and release schedule. However, individual module maintainers coordinate their efforts to create a full GNOME stable release on an approximately six-month schedule.
Some experimental projects are excluded from these releases.
GNOME releases are made to the main FTP server in the form of source code with configure scripts, which are compiled by operating system vendors and integrated with the rest of their systems before distribution. Most vendors use only stable and tested versions of GNOME, and provide it in the form of easily-installed, pre-compiled packages. The source code of every stable and development version of GNOME is stored in the GNOME Git source code repository.
A number of build-scripts (such as Jhbuild or GARNOME) are available to help automate the process of compiling the source code.
Adoption
GNOME is the default desktop environment for several Linux distributions, see Comparison of Linux distributions for details.
Release history
Previous release
The previous release was version 2.32, which was released in September 2010. It included improvements to the Empathy IM client, Evince, and the Nautilus file manager. It also added Rygel and GNOME Color Manager
Version 2.32 was the last major release planned before version 3.0
Tests reveal that GNOME 2 (version 2.29) has lower memory utilization compared to KDE 4.4, but higher than Xfce 4.6 and LXDE 0.5 (which are also based on GTK+ like GNOME).
Current release
Version 3.0 of the desktop environment was released on April 6, 2011.It was announced at the July 2008 GUADEC conference in Istanbul. The code name ToPaZ (standing for Three Point Zero) was introduced around 2005 and for a long time was only a playground for vague ideas. Quite a few mock-ups were created as part of several ToPaZ brainstorming processes.
Though the philosophy around GNOME mandates that changes are incremental, the desktop received a major overhaul with the GNOME Shell.
Version 3.2 was released on September 28, 2011 and is currently the latest version of the Gnome desktop.
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GNOME 3.2 Release Notes

http://www.gnome.org/
The GNOME Project is an international community that works to make great software available to all. GNOME focuses on ease of use, stability, first-class internationalization, and accessibility. GNOME is Free and Open Source Software.
GNOME is released every six months. Since the last version, 3.0, approximately 1270 people made about 38500 changes to GNOME
3.0, Evolved
Based on user feedback, lots of small changes have been made to give a smoother experience in GNOME 3.2. Some noteworthy highlights:
It is now easier to resize a window as the area for this has been increased.
System Settings now includes links to related settings found in other locations. For instance, the Keyboard section now has a link to the keyboard layout.
Titlebars, buttons, and other controls are less tall, making it easier to use GNOME on small screens.
Notifications in the lower-right corner now include a counter. This makes it easier to see how many emails are waiting for you without having to open your email program, or to determine how many messages you have missed in a particular chat.
The highlight effect that indicates that an application is already running has been made more obvious.
In the user menu, notifications can be configured independently from the chat status.
The workspace switcher in the overview remains expanded by keeping its full width displayed when you are using more than one workspace.
Instead of assuming Evolution, the application for the calendar drop-down can now be customized.
The battery power status is now shown using a bar.
Focus-follows-mouse handling has improved, though more work is needed.
1. Online Accounts
Documents, contacts, calendars — They can be stored locally on the computer, but storing this type of information online is becoming increasingly popular. In GNOME 3.2, Online Accounts provides one place to manage these online sources. These online accounts are automatically used by Documents, Contacts, Empathy, Evolution as well as the calendar drop-down.
2. Web Applications
Certain web sites are used as if they are applications. Some sites are opened the minute the computer is turned on; the site is open all the time and checked periodically. Wouldn’t it be nice if GNOME treats these sites as actual applications?
GNOME 3.2 makes it possible to use a site as an application thanks to Epiphany, our standard web browser. To do so, press Ctrl-Shift-A, or access the File menu and select Save as Web Application. Once the web application has been created, it can be launched from the overview.
The following is a brief list of the benefits:
Web applications can easily be launched from the overview mode. They can also be pinned as favorites.
The entire window is used for the site.
The application is restricted to the saved site. Attempts to go somewhere else, say by clicking a link, are shown in a normal browser window.
The icon used when switching windows or to start the web application shows the site’s logo or a clipped screenshot of the site.
The web application is distinct from the normal browser. Should the main browser crash, the web application will not be affected.
Manage your Contacts
Contacts is a new application focused on people. The goal is to provide one overview of people, whether the contacts are stored online, within Evolution or the chat application Empathy.
1. Manage your Documents and Files
When dealing with a lot of documents, it can be hard to keep track of them. In GNOME 3.2, steps have been taken to make this easier.
Helpful File Open and Save dialogs
Documents application
Helpful File Open and Save dialogs
Opening and saving files has been made easier. When opening a file in an application, GNOME will helpfully show a list of recent files. Similarly, a list of recent directories will be shown when a file is saved.

Even more beautiful
3.2 has received lots of visual polish, making it even more beautiful than before. This would not have been possible without the work done on the CSS support in GTK+, see Section 4.2 ― GTK+ 3.2 from the developer section for the changes.
The visual polish includes:
Dark theme: media applications can now opt to use a dark theme variant. This is used by Movie Player and Image Viewer.
Window corners are now smoothly anti-aliased.
Chat notifications are more visually pleasing.
Various dialogs such as the network dialogs now match the style used by GNOME shell.
Various visual improvements for people with an eye for detail, such as drop shadows on button labels, new inline toolbar and raised button styles, and refined pressed button states. Additionally, focus rectangles will only be shown when using the keyboard to interact with an application.
But Wait, There’s More…
As well as big changes, there are also various small additions and tweaks that happen in every GNOME release.
Ability to access and modify documents shared via the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP).
Movie Player has a new plugin to allow videos to be rotated in case they’re in the wrong orientation, such as those recorded on a photo camera or a smart phone.
Encryption and certification improvements:
Improved access of applications to certificates and keys and more consistent behavior whendealing with certificate authorities, keys, and smart cards by using PKCS#11. (Further improvements in this area are planned for version 3.4.)
A new viewer for certificate and key files so you can quickly inspect such files by double-clicking them in the File Manager.
What’s New for Developers
The following changes are important for developers using the GNOME 3.2 Developer Platform. If you are not interested in changes for developers, you can skip forward to Section 5 ― Internationalization.
Included in GNOME 3.2 is the latest release of the GNOME Developer Platform. This consists of a set of API- and ABI-stable libraries available under the GNU LGPL that can be used for the development of cross-platform applications.

Freedom ! From Fear !


For information on developing with GNOME please visit the GNOME Developer Center.

Be the Correct reflection of True Knowledge

1 thought on “gnome studies 1

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