The GNOME Desktop Project Unleashes GNOME 3.0

GNOME 3.0

After five years of planning and design, GNOME 3.0 has been officially released. The totally rewritten desktop has had its share of both praise and condemnation in recent months due to what the project describes as "its most significant redesign of the computer experience in nine years." They further say, the "revolutionary new user interface and new features for developers make this a historic moment for the free and open source desktop."

The main idea in the redesign was to allow "users to focus on tasks while minimizing distractions such as notifications, extra workspaces, and background windows. Jon McCann is quoted as saying, "we've taken a pretty different approach in the GNOME 3 design that focuses on the desired experience and lets the interface design follow from that. With any luck you will feel more focused, aware, effective, capable, respected, delighted, and at ease." GNOME 3.0 aims to "help us cope with modern life in a busy world. Help us connect, stay on track, feel at ease and in control." In summary, GNOME 3.0 helps users stay "informed without being disrupted."

Matt Zimmerman, Ubuntu CTO, said, "In the face of constant change, both in software technology itself and in people's attitudes toward it, long-term software projects need to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant. I'm encouraged to see the GNOME community taking up this challenge, responding to the evolving needs of users and questioning the status quo."

GNOME founder, Miguel de Icaza adds, "GNOME continues to innovate in the desktop space. The new GNOME Shell is an entire new user experience that was designed from the ground up to improve the usability of the desktop and giving both designers and developers a quick way to improve the desktop and adapt the user interface to new needs. By tightly integrating Javascript with the GNOME platform, designers were able to create and quickly iterate on creating an interface that is both pleasant and exciting to use. I could not be happier with the results."

Some of the new features include:

  • Activities Overview at a Glance
  • Built-in Messaging
  • Redesigned System Settings
  • Side-by-side window tiling
  • Redesigned file manager
  • Faster performance
  • Beautiful interface

The official press release:

Groton, MA, April 6 2011: Today, the GNOME Desktop project released GNOME 3.0, its most significant redesign of the computer experience in nine years. A revolutionary new user interface and new features for developers make this a historic moment for the free and open source desktop.

Within GNOME 3, GNOME Shell reimagines the user interface for the next generation of the desktop. This innovative interface allows users to focus on tasks while minimizing distractions such as notifications, extra workspaces, and background windows.

Jon McCann, one of GNOME Shell's designers, says of the design team, "we've taken a pretty different approach in the GNOME 3 design that focuses on the desired experience and lets the interface design follow from that." The result: "With any luck you will feel more focused, aware, effective, capable, respected, delighted, and at ease." GNOME Shell aims to "help us cope with modern life in a busy world. Help us connect, stay on track, feel at ease and in control." GNOME Shell, he says, will keep users "informed without being disrupted."

The GNOME 3 development platform includes improvements in the display backend, a new API, improvements in search, user messaging, system settings, and streamlined libraries. GNOME 2 applications will continue to work in the GNOME 3 environment without modification, allowing developers to move to the GNOME 3 environment at their own pace. The GNOME 3 release notes include further details.

Matt Zimmerman, Ubuntu CTO at Canonical, praises GNOME 3: "In the face of constant change, both in software technology itself and in people's attitudes toward it, long-term software projects need to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant. I'm encouraged to see the GNOME community taking up this challenge, responding to the evolving needs of users and questioning the status quo."

Miguel de Icaza, one of GNOME's founders, celebrates the new release: "GNOME continues to innovate in the desktop space. The new GNOME Shell is an entire new user experience that was designed from the ground up to improve the usability of the desktop and giving both designers and developers a quick way to improve the desktop and adapt the user interface to new needs. By tightly integrating Javascript with the GNOME platform, designers were able to create and quickly iterate on creating an interface that is both pleasant and exciting to use. I could not be happier with the results."

GNOME 3 is the cumulative work of five years of planning and design by the GNOME community. McCann notes: "Perhaps the most notable part of the design process is that everything has been done in the open. We've had full transparency for every decision (good and bad) and every change we've made. We strongly believe in this model. It is not only right in principle -- it is just the best way in the long run to build great software sustainably in a large community."

In partnership with Novell, Red Hat, other distributors, schools and governments, and user groups, GNOME 3 will reach millions of users around the world. Over 3500 people have contributed changes to the project's code repositories, including the employees of 106 companies. GNOME 3 includes innumerable code changes since the 2.0 release 9 years ago.

Users and fans of GNOME have planned more than a hundred launch parties around the world. Users can download GNOME 3 from http://gnome3.org to try it immediately, or wait for distributions to carry it over the coming months. GNOME 3 continues to push new frontiers in user interaction.

-----

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. The desktop has been utilised in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project's developer technologies are utilised in a large number of popular mobile devices. For further comments and information, contact the GNOME press contact team at gnome-press-contact@gnome.org.

______________________

Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.

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It does appear that Gnome 2

Tony Johnston's picture

It does appear that Gnome 2 has some upgrade to it that I would find useful. However, I am still wondering why anyone would change their existing program in order to use this one. Think of the end user who likes the convenience of Word. Why would they change to this application instead? They need to make the entire program more user friendly as a whole. The developers don't need to replicate Word, but instead give it some kind of a healthy competition.
http://www.bluelock.com

unix

Anonymous's picture

I am glad that unix distros like openindiana are supported with this release.

gnome3 on fedora15beta --a useless interface on a great distro

juanitdeltorre's picture

I just installed fedora15beta on a new laptop, logged into
the gnome3 desktop and was greeted by a completely useless
interface (this is a rant about gnome3, not fedora15). I'm not in a living room stroking my ipad, I want to do computing on my computer, I want to set up networking, databases, servers, etc.
I don't care about the extra large icons, I just want to set up my network (not dhcp)--where the hell is that hidden? How do you enable and disable services like in fedora 14?
Yes, I can open a terminal and do everything, but that is the point! what is the other stuff useful for?
These people are going to kill linux!

Absolutely totally agree. The

Anonymous's picture

Absolutely totally agree. The whole point about linux/unix is that you could easily add the bits you wanted,leave out what you didn't want and make it work the way you want it to. Gnome 2.x did this very well. I.e. it was dead easy to install the basic gnome desktop add something like avant window navigator or other plugins get it working the you want to. It appears to me that the gnome 3 interface has been thought by computer politicians and not by people who are going to use it everyday!

Beautiful

Kim Andersen's picture

Contrary to you guys, I think they have done a very good job. If you need to do computing, I am sure there are alternative ways. I mean this is Linux. Ways are in millions.

I will try it first before posting final thoughts

MacManLinuxLova's picture

I have been beta testing the forthcoming ubuntu 11.04 with unity and it is definitely different and will take some getting used too. I'm not say good or bad just different but I am able to still do my work. I have been until to get Gnome 3 - Shell working to test it out. However I did go back and visit KDE 4.6 and as all times I have tried it out in the past I "just don't get nor understand the flow of KDE logic". "I know this is my opinion but hey at least I tried it first."

What's the problem?

Anonymous's picture

We all want Linux to be better than Microsoft, but how can it if the DEs just copy it? It seems to me to be better there has to be a new computing experience, so it has to be different, not the same. So don't compare it to what is there already, its new!! Try it on its own. If the experience is different as it should be. Then decide if the different is better. But don't expect the same, you'll never get ahead.

I haven't tried it yet (GNOME3), but am looking forward to it.

Portrait mode when I’m at my work stations

Greg Zeng's picture

As a user, I read newspaper columns, book text, hardcopy in PORTRAIT mode. All my notebooks, smartphones & netbooks are used in Portrait mode when I’m at my work stations.

True – sometimes I’m in air/ rail/ road/ water-craft, etc – so I am forced to use the device’s standard screen. My smartphones: portrait mode,

Code-nerds need advertisers to populate the waste space on the wasted edges of their old cathode ray-tube televisions.

UNITY is anti-user. However it copies Windows7 Sidebar, and can disappear if we so choose.

Retired (medical) IT Consultant, Australian Capital Teritory

Thank God,,, you're Retired.

Tuxagon's picture

The Unity 'sidebar' is not even remotely a copy of the windows 7 sidebar.
Even the functionality of these two aren't even similar. Nor do they even look the same.

Also the fact that you called it a sidebar, explains us why you have this misconception and weird conspiracy ideas... lol.

Forget the sidebar... I don't think you know what Portrait Mode is too... :/
You actually use Portrait Mode on your Notebooks and Netbooks? Which planet are you from?

Retired (homicidal) IT Consultant, Australian Terror Company

Gnome3 Good

LogicDave's picture

Using my best caveman logic to battle the rest of the commenters -- Gnome3 GOOD. I may be in the minority, but I'm all for improving the user experience of the desktop. We're one step closer to getting my mom to switch over from Mac to Linux.

Min/Max Buttons

Anonymous's picture

I was shocked to hear that the Max/Min buttons were done away with till I tried not using them on my KDE machine. You know what those buttons are stupid. You click on bar and boom Max you click on the Max bar and boom min. Surprised Steve Jobs hasn't done this already.

Still love KDE 4 and as always surprised at all the KDE 4 hate still???? 4.0 was beta and 4.2 onward has really been moving forward. What causes KDE 4.6 to suck compared to 3.5 or Gnome 2????

DOUBLE "click on the Max bar and boom min"

Greg Zeng's picture

"click on bar and boom Max you click on the Max bar and boom min. Surprised Steve Jobs hasn't done this already" - has been a hidden feature of ALL Windows desktop versions I've used. Also in the Gnome DEs I've used. DOUBLE-c
lick.
This "secret" is a fake that the Gnome3 devs do not know about. Whether Gnome3 offers this traditional feature - I'm assuming it does, but they do not dare say so in their demo video publicity.

KDE 4.4.5 > Gnome 3.0

Anonymous1234's picture

Don't get me wrong I was a huge Gnome fan from 2006 until about a month ago when I tried the Gnome 3.0 Beta I just didn't like it. Started with Ubuntu in 2006 switched to Debian Squeeze when it was released and also switched to KDE 4.4.5. I have been using it for a month daily, it works great! After a little fine tuning it uses about the same if not less ram than Gnome!

I don't need any kwin effects so that cut down the ram significantly by disabling it.

I honestly don't see me going back to gnome at all after using KDE.

Don't get me wrong I like XFCE too. Sometimes I switch between the two just for kicks but lately it's been all KDE.

It also Looks a lot more polished and modern than anything else I've seen and I like that.

Gnome > KDE

John667's picture

They're both bloated but kde beats gnome with the amount of bloat.
Luckily we have the lightweight window managers that do a better job every day.

KDE = basically same or less resoursea as gnome

mtelesha's picture

Why is KDE bloated compared to Gnome? One give me numbers and two if either one is different then its your settings.

My netbook runs KDE 4.6 better then gnome. How can a netbook run something with instant response and its bloated. Also it uses less memory and CPU. Not alot but it is less.

Give me numbers, not feelings

Mozai's picture

Do we have some performance metrics yet? How much RAM and CPU time does the "standard" load-out of GNOME3 use up? How does the resource consumption of a default GNOME3 load-out compare to the typical GNOME2 load-out?

moses@deunan:~$ pstree $(pgrep gnome-session)
gnome-session─┬─at-spi-registry───{at-spi-registr}
              ├─compiz─┬─sh───unity-window-de───{unity-window-d}
              │        └─{compiz}
              ├─gdu-notificatio
              ├─gnome-panel───{gnome-panel}
              ├─gnome-power-man───{gnome-power-ma}
              ├─gpg-agent
              ├─nautilus───2*[{nautilus}]
              ├─nm-applet───{nm-applet}
              ├─polkit-gnome-au───{polkit-gnome-a}
              ├─ssh-agent
              ├─update-notifier───{update-notifie}
              ├─zeitgeist-datah───{zeitgeist-data}
              └─2*[{gnome-session}]

and I know some gnome-panel applets drop their PPID (why?) so add 'indicator-applet-complete' and 'wnck-applet' to that list too since they would be in a "stock" GNOME2 -- they are the clock/status icons and windowlist/workspacelist widgets respectively.

Bloatware: KDE, GNOME, etc.

Greg Zeng's picture

Compared to Windows, these are not bloatware, except the GPU is not optimized for Linux as much as Windows is. The devs will not disclose the stats, cos Linux is pretend to be openware. Third party Linux testers show that Linux is speed handicapped with graphics, but generally is better than Windows for non-graphic uses.

Using lightweight window managers: XFCE, etc - I miss the extras of the "normal" managers (Windows, KDE, GNOME). From what I've seen of Gnome3, seems ok, but using a 24 inch portrait screen, and other performance stats - we need independent reviewers.

The devs are anti-open. They know & keep secret all these comparitative stats: times, file sizes, CPU/ GPU /HDD/ MEM stats - but 'cos it is never finalized (always alpha) - they won't show us these figures.

> Compared to Windows, these

Mozai's picture

> Compared to Windows, these are not bloatware,

Who said anything about Windows? or bloatware?

> ...except the GPU is not optimized for Linux as much as Windows is.

What? I didn't say anything about GPU performance nor frames-per-second.

> ... Linux is pretend to be openware.

Now I KNOW you're trolling. Everything GNOME and GTK can be compiled from source -- you can't get more "open" than that.

> ...we need independent reviewers. ... [devs] know & keep secret all these comparitative stats: ...

Each of us are the independent reviewers, dude. We can take these measurements ourselves, we can do the work and share our results. I asked on this forum not because I am unable to take the measurements, but in the hopes someone already did the work so i don't have to repeat it.

Example: I wanted to know which terminal-emulator had the smallest memory footprint, so I installed them all, launched one of each, and ran ps -o rss,comm $(pgrep erm) and I had my own measurements. I can find out how many library dependencies each has by running for p in xterm aterm Eterm lxterminal gnome-terminal whateverterm; do echo -n $p\ ; ldd $(which $p) |wc -l; done There's no way some conspiracy of malevolent software authors can keep this information secret from me.

I think you've spent too much time listening to stories about malevolent organisations. No conspiracy is possible to keep this information hidden because every user has the tools to get the answer themselves.

Not trolling - just an end-user.

gregzeng's picture

The code hackers are obviously hating end-users like myself. To such code hackers, end-users like myself are "trolls" who dare not spend weeks compiling source code on our ATOM-cpu netbooks.

"library dependencies each has by running for p in xterm aterm Eterm lxterminal gnome-terminal whateverterm; do echo -n $p\ ; ldd $(which $p) |wc -l; done There's no way some conspiracy of malevolent software authors can keep this information secret from me"

Software authors do keep these secrets away from public view. Ubuntu marketplace refuses to tell which apps are for developers only. I don't want to know about library files, etc.

In Apple & Windows, mature desktops both, we end-users never know about CLI. Only stupid code-hackers are denying the existence of the desktop. I'm not into flame wars - just stating bare, obvious FACTS.

Some very rare Linux programs are end-user friendly. If I run a PC app, it might (very rarely) tell me that the choice(s) I have will take a long time.

Until the bulk of pc users are known to exist to Linux coders, Linux will stay in the eccentric fingertips of the one per cent minority of end-users.

wait wait... you just quoted

Mozai's picture

wait wait... you just quoted back to me the passage where I tell you how you can find the answer for yourself, and in the next breath you tell me that there's a conspiracy to keep that information a secret from you?

Then you call a group of people "stupid," and in the same breath say you're "not into flame wars."

I am unable to help you with your troubles.

There honestly isn't a conspiracy organized to hide things from you. You can find the answers yourself if you're willing to do the work; we're all volunteers here, we're all in this together.

two thumbs up

Heni's picture

@ DanB; have you ever considered trying it out BEFORE you deem it useless. Per your logic ; a window manager without min/max renders it useless by design. Have you ever considered why this decision came about? As stated elsewhere by the devs it is because they think/believe that their desktop implementation will most likely render it useless. If later down the line people are requesting it, they will put it back.

After I tried it out I must say that they are correct, the way they threat the desktop, it is pointless with min/max buttons.

From a user perspective (point and click) I am way happier with Gnome3/shell than I ever were with KDE4. Gnome3 brings innovation and beauty.

Silly people, if you dont

Anonymous's picture

Silly people, if you dont like dont use- simple enough- devs did a great job. Those bugging about any project should be greatful about the time these devs spent on its development.

Why do so many people say kde

Anonymous's picture

Why do so many people say kde 4 sucks ?
I use it daily and i like it. Plus for the most part it can be made to look & work just like kde 3.5, can't it ?
I think people dislike change because it might be hard to adapt so they just dismiss it as wrong.

Personally I can't wait to try gnome shell, maybe I'll like it more than the old gnome.

GNOME 3 is Not GNOME Shell

tracyanne_1235's picture

GNOME Shell is part of GNOME 3, not the other way around. The part of GNOME 3 that every one is seeing and which is being written about is GNOME Shell.

GNOME Shell is primarily directed at Tablets/touch screen devices. GNOME 3 Classic is the same as the current GNOME 2 desktop.

For those who are not yet aware of this Linux Mint 11 will be released with GNOME 3 but without GNOME Shell. The desktop experience of Linux Mint will be the same as Linux Mint 9 and 10.

tracyanne (a registered user who can't be bothered logging in before posting)

GNOME 3 is Not GNOME Shell

tracyanne_1235's picture

Since GNOME Shell makes no sense at all, and in fact makes life somewhat difficult, on my hi res Multimonitor setup, it's a good thing that GNOME 3 includes GNOME Classic

I have not used Gnome3 yet,

metalx2000's picture

I have not used Gnome3 yet, but I find it funny how so many people have decided it sucks this early on.

DE and WM is a personal choice. As long as they aren't a resource hog I don't think we can say if it sucks or not. It's a matter of opinion. If you can say Gnome2 uses half the RAM that Gnome3 uses. That is an argument. But to say it sucks because you have a personal feeling that it doesn't suit you, that's not an argument. You can't argue opinion.

It the same conversation I have with Windows users when discussing open-source. They argue that the programs they use are better because it's the programs they use. It doesn't make sense.

So, don't tell me Gnome sucks and not give me reasons why. And I mean really reasons. Not, "I don't like where they put the toolbar". I want to here really technical reasons why it's not good.

http://filmsbykris.com/
Everything you ever need to know about Open-Source Software.

No min/max buttons.

DanB's picture

No min/max buttons. Dependence on different windows instead.

Both are huge UI mistakes.

MIN - MAX BUTTONS on all Linux top bars, already there.

gregzeng's picture

Double-Click on the top bar on any window on the desktop. I've nearly always used a Ubuntu derivative, with Gnome.

The few times I tried a lightweight DE, it misses many Gnome features, such as double-click on the top windows bar.

Once again, can I ask for

metalx2000's picture

Once again, can I ask for something that is not an opinion?
Just because you don't like that, doesn't mean that other won't like it.
Obviously the developers like it like that.

http://filmsbykris.com/
Everything you ever need to know about Open-Source Software.

Are you one of the UI devs,

DanB's picture

Are you one of the UI devs, since you're taking so much offense to this?

Seriously, the UI is 90% of what the desktop user sees and uses. Major changes such as this make no sense. If you can't see that, I'm assuming you're a shill.

No, I'm not. I'm just tried

metalx2000's picture

No, I'm not.
I'm just tried of people making comments that don't have any backing.
Seriously this is the same argument that I have all the time with windows users.
If you think something sucks, tell me why. Not your opinion of "It's not what I'm use to"

If we don't change and try new things well don't move forward.
People seem very upset about Gnome3 and the truth is:
1) you don't have to use it
2) it's Open-Source, If you don't like how it is, change it.

If it restricts you from accomplishing a task you could do before with Gnome2, but can't with Gnome3, then say that. And saying that it does it in a different way isn't "restricts you from accomplishing" it.

So, if all this people think it sucks, I want to know why.

http://filmsbykris.com/
Everything you ever need to know about Open-Source Software.

I told you why. But since you

DanB's picture

I told you why. But since you don't like my answer, you pretend I didn't answer you. UI is not mathematically measurable, that I can see. It's purely based on use and people's easy understanding of it. SHELL lacks this.

No, you didn't answer me, you

metalx2000's picture

No, you didn't answer me, you gave me your opinion.
We can sit here all day and argue what I like and what you like.
It would be the same as arguing that Blue is better Green.
You can't argue that. It's a matter of opinion.

If you can't tell the difference between a technical aspect of something and you own opinion we are going to be here for a long time. You have the right to your own opinion, but that is not what I'm asking.

We are talking Technology here. Give me some Facts.
Tell me why, technology why Gnome2 is better then Gnome3.

http://filmsbykris.com/
Everything you ever need to know about Open-Source Software.

> Tell me why, technology why

Anonymous's picture

> Tell me why, technology why Gnome2 is better then Gnome3.

Now you tell us what you want! You should have been clearer
about this in your first few messages instead of appearing to
be like a shill.

Let's give this new GNOME 3 a chance (I still use KDE 3 today)

Sum Yung Gai's picture

I was willing to give the new KDE 4 a chance. Turned out to totally suck, so I've stuck with KDE 3.5.x, which continues to serve me very well. However, I wasn't willing to say KDE 4 sucks until I had actually tried it for myself.

I'm therefore going to wait to pass judgment on this new GNOME 3 until I can actually try it. I'll at least give it a chance. If it makes computing easier *for me*, then I'll use it. If not, I won't use it. Pure 'n' simple. Fortunately, I've still got KDE 3.5.x to fall back on for now, and XFce is another good option.

Gnome 3.0 = KDE 4.0

DanB's picture

Both suck, which is too bad, because Gnome2 and KDE3 were both really good.

I hear ya! xfce 4.8 is an

markh's picture

I hear ya! xfce 4.8 is an almost perfect replacement for gnome2.......right now I am on LXDE on my opensuse dual core box...yeah it may be shy on eye candy but **** its fast!

Gnome 3.0 = KDE 4.0

DanB's picture

Both suck, which is too bad, since Gnome 2 and KDE 3 were both great. Hopefully xfce will gain a lot of new users.

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