Wed, 31 Mar 2010

GNOME 2.30

Congratulations to everyone involved in what looks like a very good GNOME release!

Interesting times are now ahead for the GNOME project, as on the plate is now a big release like 3.0. That will mean a lot of changes to the desktop we've got used to in the last decade, and I hope it ends up being successful, innovative and useful.

Debian has packages for GNOME Shell, and a special gnome3-session which starts Mutter + Shell. I experimented with it last week at my work place, and had mixed feelings with the current status.

I'm not a big fan of hard dependencies on Direct Rendering. My main computer is an Athlon 800MHz. Compiz crawls on it, and sadly Mutter is basically unusable on it. At the office, I have P4-based system with 1GB of RAM, which runs GNOME 2.28 OK. When I switched to the GNOME 3 session, it showed that it's getting old. I also experienced X crashes and kernel oopses, apparently a classic for ATI users using a composited window manager. This being said, I consider myself lucky because both systems have ATI cards and can do DRI using free software. If I was forced to use nVidia non-free drivers, it'd probably mean I'd stick with the Panel until that wasn't an option at all.

I am aware we'll see improvements both in Xorg/kernel and GNOME before GNOME 3.0 is released next Autumn, and have high hopes for a release that is accepted by our users really fast (avoiding a KDE 4.0 situation). GNOME hackers have done good stuff for ages, and 3.0 will be a new example!