Wed, 18 Apr 2007

Debian's GNOME 2.18: are we there yet?

The short answer is no, but as our status page easily reflects, there has been lots of work going on during the last two weeks, once etch's release unblocked the way to upload new versions to unstable. This post intends to resume the trend of updating on the status of GNOME in Debian, after we ended up deciding we'd ship etch with 2.14 for a number of reasons, most notably some complications with the GTK 2.10 transition at that time. You'll be able to find other related news items in Debian GNOME team's website.

What has the Debian GNOME team up to during the last 6 months? Our first priority was to focus on unstable's GNOME 2.14 packages again, in an attempt to fix any outstanding remaining bugs from our packaging, and get them in the best shape possible to deliver a polished GNOME desktop for etch. I think the result is really good, and Debian's default GNOME desktop is both very usable and attractive. In parallel, the preparations for a complete set of GNOME 2.16 packages continued in our Subversion repository and kept appearing, little by little, in experimental. The most visible consequence of our 2.16 efforts translated into nobse's backport of 2.16 for etch, which can be found in the corresponding repository.

And then, with etch deep frozen and nearly ready to be released, GNOME 2.18 was released, and of course the GNOME team didn't wait too much to start working on it.

Our current status is looking good: the Developer Platform is already available in unstable, although buildd's are fighting the builds on various architectures. When the dust settles (GTK 2.10's landing has generated quite a big cloud; we have a list of packages that still haven't completed the GTK+ 2.10 transition), we'll be able to prepare and upload the more complex Desktop components like the panel, nautilus, evolution or control-center. Unstable users should probably be seeing daily progress on this front, so keep an eye on your package managers!

Although Debian 4.0 released with an old version of GNOME, vast amounts of time and work have been invested to release it with the necessary backported fixes and enhancements. The newer GNOME versions have been available in Debian official ftp archives in very reasonable timeframes; this has only been possible thanks to the restless efforts of the (fortunately) growing Debian GNOME team members: giskard, feedback, HE, lool, np237, slomo, shaka, sjoerd, xaiki and not forgetting our incredible bug triager, svena. Thanks!

On the behind the scenes department, it's a pleasure to report that Loïc Minier and Jordi Mallach very recently joined the GNOME Foundation's board of advisors in representation of the Debian Project, replacing Matthew Garrett, who has been representing us for the last few years until he left the project. Thanks, Matthew!