On GNOME 2.22: the rise of a revamped platform and desktop

We’re now in the middle of the development cycle for GNOME 2.20 and our plans were already published in our RoadMap page. Of course, there are some very nice stuff coming for the next GNOME stable release as you can see there.

I’d like to bring some attention to an important thing that can make a lot of difference for GNOME next year. We have a very good opportunity to make big, necessary and important changes in our desktop and platform in the 2.22 release. Why am I saying that?

From the roadmap process we’ve kicked off in the 2.20 development cycle, it’s perfectly clear (to me) that several important changes are coming (potentially for 2.22). Here are some of them:

  • Revamped session management: headed by Dan Winship. Recently, a branch has been created with the new code.
  • Next iteration of the GNOME Configuration system: headed by Emanuelle Bassi. Possibly, an initial code will be shown and discussion on this topic will happen at GUADEC.
  • Revamped VFS API: it’s called GFVS and is being headed by Alex Larsson. Current code resides on a git repo. For a good overview on GVFS, read this message Alex to gtk-devel-list some time ago. Current status and discussion will be take place at GUADEC.
  • New documentation technologies: it’s called Mallard and is being headed by Shaun McCance and Don Scorgie. Current code resides here (Mallard) and here (Rarian, replacement for scrollkeeper). We have 2 Summer of Code projects for the development of a documentation editor for GNOME which uses the new infrastructure. Some of the new stuff will probably be used in 2.20 already. Talks about related topics at GUADEC.
  • New applets API: developed by Ryan Lortie. Current code resides on git repo (I don’t remember where it is). Talk and discussions on this topic will happen at GUADEC.

There are others: GTK+ additions and more widgets consolidation (Project Ridley), SoC projects (some of them could possibly land in GNOME 2.22), Bugzilla 3.0, and so on. Also, there are some important topics which needs to be seriouly and objectively discussed like web services integration, better desktop integration with instance messenging and voip, search engines and metadata, and others. A combination of effort, time, manpower, good communication and community cohesion will decide if those goals will be achieved or not.

Let’s keep those goals in mind for 2.22 and try to stay focused as much as possible so that we can make them a reality. GUADEC will be a wonderful time to discuss those topics.

GNOME 2.20 will rock a lot! Let’s make 2.22 a 23 release!

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Lucas Rocha is just a brazilian guy who loves hacking and music. He lives in the frozen lands of Finland with his lovely wife Carol. He works for Nokia in the development of Hildon and Maemo. In his free time, he's a happy GNOME contributor. He has a mustache, a beard and big smile in his face.

10 thoughts on “On GNOME 2.22: the rise of a revamped platform and desktop”

  1. I beg on my knees! Big sad panda eyes 8|

    1. ESD & sound generally. I plug in usb headset on my Gnome desktop computer and the sound continues going to the loudspeakers instead of the headset. Wtf? Then I go to control center / sound to select usb headset on everything possible.. And still some applications are pushing sound to the loudspeakers. ARgh. It’s a mess.

    2. Integrate desktop search & clean the main menus. I know of the SOC, that’ll help.. But it should include also making the main gnome menu better / different. There’s a lot of work to be done there and it’s not easy.

    3. TELEPATHY based IM/Voip client to the standard installations! At least without all the connection managers if there are licensing/patent issues. It’s the only and best way to get connected with all the required people groups (msn users in “real life”, irc for friends, jabber for nerds, etc) and superb. The present state of this area is appalling. Integrate, deep.. Deep..!

    4. Separate the browser plugins (totem-plugin, flash, etc) from the Epiphany so that WHEN they crash they don’t crash the browser as well! (Well, they don’t crash often but they get jammed easily if they have network connectivity prolems..)

    5. Fonts, re-design the included default fonts and the settings as there has been improvements on the area.

    6. Clean off some obsolete features (palm integration included by default, ancient icon sets, etc) to extra package.. Some people might want those but for 99% of the people they are just taking space for nothing.

    7. New Novel’ish control center please. Something like that!

    8. Filesystem ACL support on Nautilus by default. 60s called, they want their old posix file system security model back mmkay.

    9. Integrate music & video playing. It’s hard but doable, and it’s silly to have distict applications for both tasks. Context sensitive gui is quite doable. Also, no library functions!??! :[ Media players are some 5+ years behind the best competitors :o

  2. Hi,

    Lucas, you said it right. You just forgot to mention scanning features ;)


  3. Not necessarily. How about for instance creating an internal plugin to act as a bridge… Copy events, video, etc from the separated process to the plugin canvas and vice versa? There must be solutions to that madness!

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