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Gnome 2.0 RC1--A Huge Step Toward World GNOMEination

A GNOME Primer

  • June 18, 2002
  • By Bill von Hagen

For anyone who lives on a command line or hasn't been paying much attention to GUI development on Linux for other reasons, the GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) project is a Linux desktop environment. The GNOME project was originally born out of frustration with licensing issues in the Qt library used by the other major Linux desktop environment, KDE (K Desktop Environment). Though these licensing issues have been resolved for a long time, there's no stopping a good thing and the GNOME project has continued to improve and expand its horizons for years now.

The GNOME project uses an X.Y.Z version numbering scheme similar to that used by the Linux Kernel, where 'X' is the standard major version number, but the critical part of the version number is the middle digit. If the middle digit is odd, that version of GNOME is technically an unstable, developer's release. If the middle digit is even, that version of GNOME is a stable release, suitable for distribution and installation by mere mortals. The current major version of GNOME, GNOME 1.4, was released in early April, 2001, and is now up to version 1.4.1 thanks to bug fixes and related enhancements.

The first release candidate of GNOME 2.0 (GNOME 2.0 RC1, also known as "Fever Pitch") was announced on June 14, 2002, and is spreading across the 'Net like wildfire. This article examines what's new in GNOME 2.0 and the release candidate, where to find it, how to install it, and concludes by discussing whether or not to install it as well as a crystal-ball look at some of the implications of GNOME's successes to date and GNOME 2.0's potential for the future.

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