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GNOME 3.4 Redefines the Linux Desktop

  • March 27, 2012
  • By Sean Kerner

This past week on the Linux Planet has been all about key development milestones. The GNOME 3.4 desktop is nearly done, openSUSE is at its second milestone and Fedora is trying to figure out what will follow the Beefy Miracle.

1. GNOME 3.4

GNOME 3.4 will be a big release, as it's the one that will 'refine' the GNOME 3.x experience. This is not an initial attempt, or even just a bug fix stability effort. GNOME 3.4 is about making GNOME 3.x great.

A refined user experience for GNOME begins with theme and application menu improvements. There are also user panel and network improvements that build on the GNOME 3.2 release.

GNOME 3.4 will introduce new features, as well. Among the new features is the Boxes project, which will enable easy access to virtual machine images.

Making GNOME 3.4 the best version of the popular Linux desktop isn't just about features, it's about details. That's where the Every Detail Matters effort comes into play. Originally launched in December, the effort is all about polishing the little details that make all the difference when it comes to user experience.

For GNOME 3.4, the goal of Every Detail Matters was to fix 20 user experience bugs.

"For much of this cycle, I wasn't sure whether we would reach our goal," GNOME developer Allan Day wrote. "We did some great work, but the big 20 target often seemed a long way off. But, thanks to a last-ditch push by the GNOME Shell crew, we managed to hit that 20 bug total."

2. openSUSE 12.2 Milestone 2

The GNOME 3.4 desktop will find a home in nearly every upcoming Linux distribution, including the openSUSE 12.2 release.

openSUSE 12.2 hit its second milestone release last week, debuting a few of the early features that will land in the Linux distro. Among them is support for Grub2 as well as Plymouth for flicker free bootups.

There is still much time left for developers to bake their features, the openSUSE 12.2 release is not set to be generally available until July 11, 2012.

3. Fedora 18 Naming Begins

The Fedora community is currently building up for the release of Fedora 17, codenamed the Beefy Miracle, but that also means they need to know find a name for Fedora 18.

Fedora currently has a naming wiki set up for members of the community to suggest a name. The only condition is that it somehow relates to the name used for Fedora 17. Name submissions close this week, and community voting on the final name occurs from April 6 to April 12, with the winner announced on April 13.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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