GNOME, Its State and Future
In addition to the file manager, another highly visible part of the desktop is the panel. It is a place to put icons to launch applications, access application menus, manage open windows and run small utility applications that display the status of the machine, play CDs or display time. We recognize that people are not the same, and different people like to work differently. That is why the panel is highly customizable, and this customization has been greatly extended in the new version. The panel supports many new and different modes of operation. For one, you can select a size for your panels depending on your tastes and screen size. There are also new modes to place panels anywhere along an edge, and even anywhere on screen. In addition, all icons on the panel are now anti-aliased, and external applets have the ability to use anti-aliasing for their display. Many other smaller additions make the panel more configurable and easier to use, and your GNOME experience more pleasurable.
Another noticeable improvement coming to GNOME is GConf, a new configuration API and back end. This will add the features not provided by the simplistic configuration API in GNOME 1.0. It will make it easy to plug in different back ends for the actual storage, so you can change how and where the data is actually stored without touching the applications themselves.
Since many GNOME applications utilize CORBA, a framework for locating and activating these applications is necessary. OAF, the Object Activation Framework, provides a simple method for finding and running the CORBA objects available on a computer system. Distributed operation is supported, allowing activation of objects on a network of computers being used in a GNOME desktop. The flexibility of OAF enables it to be used outside of GNOME programs, allowing non-GNOME CORBA applications to be utilized alongside GNOME applications.
Supporting the various human languages is a complex task, not because of the difficulty, but because of the wide range of communication systems humans have came up with in the last few thousand years.
Since our goal in the GNOME project is empowering users and giving them a chance to run free software, we have to make sure everyone on this planet can use our tools with their language, and that our applications can be used by all people.
Gtk+ is the toolkit used by GNOME and the various GNOME applications. The Gtk+ team led by Owen Taylor and Tim Janik is making steady progress towards the Gtk+ 1.4 release.
The major highlights of Gtk+ 1.4 include flicker-free drawing, better internationalization support (through Pango), and integration of the BeOS and Win32 ports.
Applications written against the Gtk+ 1.4 and GNOME APIs will be portable to Windows and BeOS. (Keep in mind that GNOME/Gtk+ applications talk to a windowing system layer called Gdk, which is independent of X11. This is why it is simple to port them to other architectures.)
The people who brought you GNOME are programmers, and most are not graphic designers. They do not have all the experience required to make the best user interface possible. It is hard to write good user interfaces, and we are trying to address this. The GNOME User Interface team is responsible for redesigning the look and feel of various GNOME applications by studying the current application failures and using what is good from other applications and systems.
GNOME is part of the GNU project, and it is free software (some people call this open-source software), created for the people by the people. We want to make software that grants users various freedoms.
It is not software owned by some large faceless company. You, therefore, are the person best qualified to contribute to its improvement. Although programming help is extremely welcome, you don't need to be able to program in order to help. Documentation, translations, web site maintenance, packaging and graphic design are just a few of the many areas where people are already making contributions. If you dislike an aspect of GNOME and want it improved or want a totally new feature added, the way to make this change happen is to start contributing.
You might think any contribution you could make would be unimportant, but if many people make small contributions, the result is a large increase in the progress being made. Your efforts for GNOME will continue to make the power of UNIX easily accessible to average users.
George Lebl (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an independent consultant in San Diego, California. He has been involved in GNOME since the very early days.
Elliot Lee (email@example.com) is a programmer for Red Hat Advanced Development Labs at Red Hat Software.
Miguel de Icaza (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a programmer at Helix Code, Inc.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide