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Gnome 2.0 RC1--A Huge Step Toward World GNOMEination - page 4

A GNOME Primer

  • June 18, 2002
  • By Bill von Hagen

The development of a stable, usable desktop environment is widely viewed as one of the criteria for making Linux a success on the desktop. GNOME 1.X has been wildly successful on Linux systems, and shows just how excellent Open Source software can be. The GNOME project got a significant boost in 2001 when Sun Microsystems announced that GNOME would be the default desktop environment in upcoming releases of Solaris, replacing the aging and unintuitive CDE (Common Desktop Environment). (You can get information about GNOME for Solaris at http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/gnome, though this site is somewhat misleading since it talks about GNOME 2.0 but only provides links to GNOME 1.4 for Solaris at the moment.)

Discussing the default Solaris desktop wouldn't ordinarily be germane to an article on LinuxPlanet except for the fact that the adoption of GNOME by Sun is a success story for Open Source development that rivals IBM's love affair with Linux. GNOME is an excellent desktop, and GNOME 2.0 RC1 is a spectacularly promising glimpse of the future of GNOME. Given the amount of industry backing and the new raft of features built into GNOME 2.0 RC1, I believe that GNOME is indeed the desktop of the future on modern machines - as you'd expect of a modern desktop, it requires a fair amount of memory, but is refreshingly peppy even on Celeron-class systems. I switched to KDE from GNOME around GNOME 1.2 because I needed the better font handling capabilities that were traditionally the domain of KDE, but I'm back in the GNOME court after seeing GNOME 2.0 RC1. And I'm already salivating over the next release candidate.

That said, GNOME 2.0 RC1 is indeed a preliminary release candidate. Many of the GNOME applets and applications that you may expect to find in GNOME are not yet present or are not yet completely functional in GNOME 2.0 RC1. GNOME 2.0 RC1 is fine for reasonably sophisticated users who are willing to work around problems, can put up with the occasional error message without panicking, and want to live on the bleeding edge. I've found GNOME 2.0 RC1 to be both stable and usable on my test systems (I'm writing this on one of them), but your mileage may most definitely vary.

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