GNOME 2.22: A Truly Amazing Desktop!

First look at the GNOME 2.22.0 edition!

By on March 10th, 2008 22:52 GMT
Every six months, the GNOME team prepares a new and revolutionary release of the ever popular GNOME desktop environment. Today, we are proud to introduce you to the latest and greatest features of an 100% FREE and open source desktop. Whether you are on a Solaris machine or the latest Ubuntu distribution, GNOME is there and with every new release it makes your life... Simply Beautiful!

Let's have a look at the new features of GNOME 2.22:

The Cheese software - a brand new application designed to "take care" of your webcam. It allows you to make photos and record videos using your little... webcam! Say... cheese!
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image courtesy of the GNOME Project
Window Compositing - a brand new technology introduced in GNOME 2.22, which will offer drop shadows on windows, live previews when hitting the Alt+Tab key combination and some very nice transparency effect. All this, without Compiz!

DVD or DVB? - why not both?! Because, starting with the 2.22 edition of the GNOME desktop, Totem will have improved support for DVD playback and digital television (DVB). Moreover, support for the popular MythTV and the Youtube service is also present in GNOME's Movie Player.

GVFS - this new network-transparent virtual filesystem layer for GTK+ is here to make your desktop sessions much pleasant. How? Why? Well, for example: do you remember that simple file transfer/copy/move window that appears (yes! the one with the progress bar and remaining time)... well, because of GVFS, it's now able to show you more than a progress bar! It can also remember the login credentials and be more resilient to failures! But wait, that's not all, as with this technology, all GNOME users will have access to new protocols, such as: cdda:// (used to show the audio tracks of an inserted Audio-CD), gphoto2:// (used to access a connected digital camera's photos).

International Clock - a new function "injected" into the clock applet, which can display multiple timezones from around the world!
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image courtesy of the GNOME Project
More Evolution Improvements - with the amazing Google Calendar support and custom message labels (tagging) for your emails, better spam filtering and making error dialogs less intrusive on your desktop session by using the status bar rather than popups!
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image courtesy of the GNOME Project
Remote Desktop Viewer - yet another new application that can be found in the 2.22 edition of the GNOME desktop. It complements the existing remote desktop server support and has the ability to discover computers on your LAN (local area network) and bookmark them! Isn't that cool?
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image courtesy of the GNOME Project
Simplified Keyboard Settings - with the redesigned "Keyboard Preferences" window, which now combines the old "Keyboard Layout" and "Keyboard Accessibility Preferences" dialogs. All the keyboard settings in one place... yeah baby!
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image courtesy of the GNOME Project
Other noticeable features that can be found in GNOME 2.22 are:

• magnification and screenreading improvements;
• new mouse accessibility features;
• PolicyKit integration;
• better system tools;
• you are now able to directly open Evolution contacts in Deskbar;
• Gedit, the GNOME's text editor receives printing improvements;
• The Chess game has now network multiplayer support;
• Epiphany brings you download notifications;
• The Archive Manager tool received LZMA (7-zip) support;
• inhibit automatic hibernation and suspend while burning CDs;
• Evince, the document viewer, is now much faster, uses less memory and it's able to support page transitions in PDF slideshows;
• Tomboy is able to organize your notes into notebooks from now on;
• Sound Juicer supports more metadata, including disc number and year;
• extensive improvements to Calculator's precision and usability;
• Seahorse is the new sheriff in town, as it completely replaced Keyring Manager.

... and much, much more. But you will have to see it for yourself to believe it! If you want to customize your GNOME desktop to look like in the preview image, follow this tutorial.

BREAKING NEWS: The Foresight Linux 2.0 distribution was just released a few minutes ago and it contains GNOME 2.22.0. Download it now from here

In the end, as a bonus, here's a sneak peak at the upcoming features of GNOME 2.24:

• a new version of GNOME's Ekiga VoIP client featuring a revamped user interface and SIP presence support;
• the Empathy instant messaging client utilizing the Telepathy communications framework;
• the often requested column and list views in GNOME's File Manager;
• the completion of the port from GNOME-VFS to GVFS;
• bug fixes, performance improvements, and memory improvements throughout the desktop.

Credits: And last but not least, a big THANKS goes out to all the people behind the GNOME project!

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