Slouching Toward Galeon 1.0
GNOME at LinuxWorld Expo
Editor's note: with this column MIchael Hall launches a weekly look at what's new and noteworthy in the GNOME world.
This week I'm writing from New York, where LinuxWorld Expo wraps up today. At the last LWE, the big GNOME news was the establishment of the GNOME Foundation. Though there wasn't anything as earth-shattering (and flame inducing) as that this time around, GNOME was everywhere and lots of projects are closing in on major releases. Besides taking a look at GNOME around the Expo, I also grabbed Galeon 0.9pre3 and took a look, using it to check in on sites each night to get a feel for how the Gecko-based GNOME web browser is shaping up.
In addition to the GNOME project booth, Ximian and Eazel had their own spaces on the floor. Walking between each and talking to the developers and executives behind these companies, the real value of the GNOME Foundation became apparent: GNOME is bigger than a single group or company now, and this will reach fruition with the projected March 27 release of GNOME 1.4, which will draw in work from the mainline GNOME project, Ximian's Evolution, and Eazel's Nautilus (which just had its third and final preview release).
Nautilus, according to Eazel's Director of Client Engineering Don Melton (formerly of Netscape and the Mozilla Project), will be the first major component of the new GNOME release to be completed, reaching version 1.0 on March 5th. Melton played up the values Eazel has brough to bear on Nautilus, asserting that disciplined production schedules "don't kill creativity", and noting that Eazel has focused a lot of resources on quality control.
Though Ximian and the GNOME Project at large have clear and close ties, if the three entities can pull off a successful 1.4 release it will be a real testimony to the cohesiveness they've achieved, especially in light of the fact Evolution and Nautilus have at times been unable to coexist on the same machine during their development cycles (without some tweaking, anyhow) thanks to differing dependencies on key libraries like bonobo.
The proof will be in the 1.4 pudding, obviously, which makes too much gushing about the GNOME Foundation's triumph as a coordinating body premature. It was clear, though, after talking to nearly a dozen people involved in the assorted projects that everybody's communicating and aware of each others' status to the point that they're ready to help each other out across projects to ensure smooth integration.