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GNOME 2.18 released

From:  "Elijah Newren" <newren-AT-gmail.com>
To:  "devel-announce-list-AT-gnome.org" <devel-announce-list-AT-gnome.org>, gnome-announce-list-AT-gnome.org
Subject:  Celebrating the release of GNOME 2.18!
Date:  Wed, 14 Mar 2007 15:30:01 -0600

                  ======================================
                  Celebrating the release of GNOME 2.18!
                  ======================================

Today, the GNOME Project celebrates the release of GNOME 2.18, the
latest version of the popular, multi-platform Free desktop
environment.

Released on schedule, to the day, it is the culmination of six months
effort by GNOME contributors around the world: hackers, documentors,
usability and accessibility specialists, translators, maintainers,
sysadmins, companies, artists, users and testers. Due to their hard
work, we have another great release to be proud of - thanks very much
to every contributor!

You'll find information about GNOME 2.18 in our release notes, linked
from the 2.18 start page.

          About GNOME 2.18: http://www.gnome.org/start/2.18/

Meanwhile, GNOME developers around the world are looking forward to working
on fresh new features for the next version of GNOME, due in September, 2007.

Enjoy!

- The GNOME Release Team
_______________________________________________
gnome-announce-list mailing list
gnome-announce-list@gnome.org
http://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/gnome-announce-list


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GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 14, 2007 23:11 UTC (Wed) by cantsin (guest, #4420) [Link]

From the release notes, the changes sound rather trivial. Nothing is wrong with that if the project focused instead on cleaning up its subsystems and its codebase. But at least the release notes do not indicate anything like this. Rather, Tomboy creates more bloat by making Mono a dependency of the standard Gnome desktop...

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 14, 2007 23:30 UTC (Wed) by svena (guest, #20177) [Link]

The notes seems to be a little thinner than usual, possibly because the people who usually contribute to it are busy with the revamp of the whole gnome.org infrastructure and content.

It's also important to note that features often are worked on over several releases, not always making the cut for a particular release.

That said, 2.18 does seem to have quite a few cleanups and speedups not mentioned. For example, if I'm not mistaken, gnome-power-manager uses much less memory and cairo is in some cases almost 100 times faster.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 11:19 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

So besides the performance improvements and bugfixes, not much new in
2.18? Except for tomboy (yuck, it's slow, and that for note-taking...) and
catching up in the area of security/encryption/signing? The releases seem
to be thinner on features than ever...

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 13:27 UTC (Thu) by Janne (guest, #40891) [Link]

"It's also important to note that features often are worked on over several releases, not always making the cut for a particular release."

Well, 2.16 didn't have any major new features either. Last two versions (2.16 and 2.18) have been pretty ho-hum. And it's not like the work is "finished". There's still loads of features and functionality that could be added.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 14, 2007 23:32 UTC (Wed) by jwb (guest, #15467) [Link]

I'd have to agree here. If they wanted to fix something in 2.18, why not fix Beagle search? Last time I installed Beagle, it consumed 80 CPU hours and then crashed. Or, why not make Yelp have a bounded runtime? Make gconf --makefile-install-rule faster?

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 0:21 UTC (Thu) by Burgundavia (subscriber, #25172) [Link]

Beagle is not part of the Desktop, Platform or Bindings release set. As such, it is the responsibility of the Beagle people to "fix" Beagle perceived or real memory issues. If you want see what is part of GNOME 2.18, see http://live.gnome.org/TwoPointSeventeen under Release Suites.

Corey

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 0:22 UTC (Thu) by bk (guest, #25617) [Link]

Beagle depends on mono, and that's a big political problem.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 1:35 UTC (Thu) by jwb (guest, #15467) [Link]

I agree, the mono dependency is unacceptable. But then how do you explain Tomboy, which also depends on mono?

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 8:54 UTC (Thu) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

I'd also like to hear how this happened. Depending on a technology that Microsoft is patenting is very dangerous.

At least it's only a note-taking piece of software, any and every distro can easily leave it out, I assume.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 16, 2007 3:10 UTC (Fri) by rqosa (subscriber, #24136) [Link]

> Depending on a technology that Microsoft is patenting is very dangerous.

Why? After all, "The range of algorithms covered by software patents in the U.S. (and elsewhere) is astounding; there is no way to write any sort of non-trivial program without infringing on at least a few of them".

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 16, 2007 16:12 UTC (Fri) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

Having to walk through a minefield to get to your destination is one thing. Taking a detour through what you know to be most mine-ridden field is another.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:24 UTC (Thu) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861) [Link]

Mono may be a political problem for some users of Gnome, but as far as I can tell it's not a problem for the people who decide what goes into a Gnome release.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:36 UTC (Thu) by newren (guest, #5160) [Link]

Mono may be a political problem for some users of Gnome, but as far as I can tell it's not a problem for the people who decide what goes into a Gnome release.

That's not really a fair characterization. First, it was a difficult compromise situation (read the official announcement for the details). Second, Tomboy was accepted into GNOME before the MS/Novell deal; it is not new to the GNOME 2.18 release. Many of those who were originally in favor of accepting new applications even if it meant a dependency on Mono, or that were straddling the fence on that hot topic, have changed their opinion considerably since that deal. True, Tomboy hasn't been kicked back out of the desktop release (yet?) -- it's quite rare for anything ever to be kicked out once in -- but I'm somewhat surprised it hasn't yet been proposed.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:32 UTC (Thu) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861) [Link]

As already discussed, Beagle is not a part of Gnome. I don't know what "bounded runtime" means in terms of Yelp; Yelp is a help file viewer so why does it need to have a "bounded runtime"? As for making gconf faster, do you really expect things like that to be mentioned in the release announcement? They did say there were lots of speedups and efficiency improvements, although I hardly think many Gnome users' lives will be greatly improved by increasing the speed of "gconf --makefile-install-rule" (indeed, I don't even have the gconf program installed on my Ubuntu system).

Personally, I'm pretty happy with Gnome as-is; I'm not looking for some massive reworking. I like Gnome because it does the basics and gets out of my way. What I really, really want to see is some serious work done on bug fixing, stability, memory use and speed, and minor features, especially in productivity apps (in particular Evolution). So, to me, 2.18 looks just fine; I happen to know a bunch of annoying Evolution bugs were fixed (of course these won't be listed in the release announcement), and I'm interested to see the key management improvements as that has also been a bit too haphazard for my taste.

So, bring it on, it looks good to me!

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:48 UTC (Thu) by jwb (guest, #15467) [Link]

"... although I hardly think many Gnome users' lives will be greatly improved by increasing the speed of "gconf --makefile-install-rule" (indeed, I don't even have the gconf program installed on my Ubuntu system)."

You might be surprised. gconftool was the chief reason my computer spent over 4 hours upgrading from Ubuntu 6.04 to Ubuntu 6.10*. As for Yelp, it starts more slowly than Firefox, which is really saying something. But my main complaint with it is that it sometimes just runs in a loop eating all CPU, hence unbounded runtime.

Like you, I'm pretty happy with GNOME. You don't see me rushing off to work on gconf or anything like that.

* The other reason was the repeated use of gzip -9 to build the initrd, an operation which takes over 140 seconds on my computer.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 3:47 UTC (Thu) by Sutoka (guest, #43890) [Link]

I may be incorrect, but doesn't yelp use the gecko rendering engine, so it
REQUIRES Firefox as a dependency and pretty much embeds firefox? That
would explain why it would start slower than firefox.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 6:47 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

It uses libxul these days (not sure if ever did differently) to access xul and gecko. At least in my personal experience, some browsers which embed gecko start faster than firefox, so I don't think the layer cake explains things alone.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 16, 2007 7:29 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

I doubt it has anything to do with Gecko or Firefox or anything like that.

I would expect that the problem is I/O related and maybe have to do with XML-based formats.

I would expect that yelp is banging all over your harddrive looking for thousands of little XML files or html files or something like that. Polling this or that directory and trying to build a index of aviable help pages.

I haven't looked at it, but this is generaly why things slow down in Gnome. To many little text files and to many places were they could be and are checked.

Often checked and rechecked and rechecked and rechecked again as application developers often use parts of gnome lib stuff they don't quit 'get'. Or is triggering some hidden functionality that make those lib files are doing something which he didn't nessicarially want.

Also for the other person which had the problem with Ubuntu taking four hours on gconf or something bizzare like that.

I use Gnome on Debian unstable so I regularly get this or that update and I never had anything like that happen with me. Not remotely. So I'm willing to bet that it's something that Ubuntu did to Gnome, not nessicarially something that Gnome did.

There are a few things that Ubuntu does which does odd performance-reducing things.

I noticed that when running 'pure' gnome, as it's designed by the Gnome folks (basicly _no_ firefox, for example. _no_ openoffice.org for another example, but instead epiphany and gnome office) then it's not bad at all.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 8:35 UTC (Thu) by spaetz (subscriber, #32870) [Link]

All people using people but feeling uncomfortable with mono (for whatever reasons) should be looking into "Tracker" an indexer written as part of the Gnome project in C. I've found it to be incredibly fast, use much less memory and already be integrated into Nautilus. There is also a plugin to connect it to the deskbar applet.

It seems to be a fantastic program. BTW, I am not affiliated with that project.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 11:17 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

afaik, tracker will be in 2.20, and it's indeed way beyond what beagle
offers in terms of stability and performance.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 16, 2007 7:21 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Thanks for the tips to the above people.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 18, 2007 12:43 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

I've been playing with tracker and so far when it's running I can't realy tell the difference except for the initial startup.

With Beagle I could get it to work fine if I put certain directories on the 'privacy filter'. My Downloads directory, a directory I used for scratch space and torrents, and a fuse-mounted (sshfs) directory from my file server.

That way it wouldn't try to index the big binaries files and any sort of file that was temporary.

But with tracker I don't need to do this, at least not so far. Although I probably will end up excluding certain directories as I don't want it to clutter up search results.

Beagle made me think that desktop search was just one of those things that only people with relatively new machiens could benifit from. But using tracker I could see people using it quite effectively in in the sorts of machines that already can run KDE/Gnome effectively. Even less then that for people who feel that they could get very positive benifits from having their desktop file indexed.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 4:59 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

Having developed a piece of infrastructure software (had to keep running on an appliance or server, regardless, had to survive power cuts safely, etc) on Mono, I have no faith in it. I do not want it on any of my systems.

Luckily, on Debian I don't have to monolithically install "gnome" but can install only the parts I don't think are terrible. At least for now. Unfortunately the gnome library development strategy (expect the "right" environment, if not present do not recover) means this sometimes leads to silent failures and program misbeheavior, but one can always add more components to the terrible list.

GNOME 2.18 live images

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:10 UTC (Thu) by michaelkjohnson (subscriber, #41438) [Link]

All of us at rPath are very pleased to have the opportunity to host live images demonstrating GNOME 2.18 as implemented in Foresight Linux, including live CD, VMware images, raw hard disk image (suitable for QEMU, Parallels, etc.), and even Microsoft VHD images to make it easy to demonstrate GNOME anywhere.

GNOME 2.18 live images

Posted Mar 15, 2007 2:54 UTC (Thu) by newren (guest, #5160) [Link]

You guys rock for making those available.

GNOME 2.18 live images: props

Posted Mar 15, 2007 3:26 UTC (Thu) by michaelkjohnson (subscriber, #41438) [Link]

Our pleasure!

The heroes were Ken VanDine, Jonathan Smith (smithj), António Meireles, and Stu Gott, who all put in the hours to create and polish these images.

GNOME 2.18 released

Posted Mar 15, 2007 11:31 UTC (Thu) by pointwood (guest, #2814) [Link]

Congrats to the GNOME developers for putting out yet another timely release!

Linus and Gnome usability patches

Posted Mar 17, 2007 19:03 UTC (Sat) by diegoliz (guest, #29285) [Link]

And in the meanwhile some of the patches about usability that Linus submitted have been included in Gnome cvs.
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=408898


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