As Javier Jardón from the GNOME Project announced a few days ago, the first Beta version of the forthcoming GNOME 3.12 desktop environment is now available for download and testing with many updated apps, bugfixes, improvements, and lots of other changes.
If you read our website on a regular basis, then you are well aware of the fact that GNOME 3.12 will no longer be delayed and it will arrive on time, on March 26, 2014. Furthermore, you should also know about the features and fixes added to some of the main applications and core components of the GNOME project.
Therefore, in this article we will only mention the packages that were updated for this first Beta version of GNOME 3.12, such as GNOME-Shell, Baobab, Clutter, Empathy, Eye of GNOME, Epiphany, GLib, GNOME Calculator, Control Center, Disk Utility, Online Accounts, PackageKit, Screenshot, System Monitor, Terminal, GTK+, Nautilus, Mutter, Totem, Tracker, Vala, VTE, and many important libraries.
In addition to the above-mentioned packages, the Bijiben, Cheese, Evolution, File Roller, Gedit, Orca, Boxes, Chess, Documents, Logs, Music, Maps, Clocks, Photos, Software, and Weather applications have been updated. Moreover, all the GNOME games have also been updated in this Beta release.
Once again, if you want to know the exact changes of each of the aforementioned packages, you should search our website. Among some of the major highlights, we can mention that Gedit’s brand new user interface has received more polishing, GNOME Chess supports only GNU Chess 6.1 or higher, GNOME Music adds filter as you type functionality, and GNOME Photos implements search provider.
Additionally, the powerful GNOME Software application received many new features and improvements, Epiphany comes with a new and revamped title/location bar and HTML-based overview page, GNOME Control Center adds Flickr support for backgrounds, GNOME Disk Utility remove support for MD-RAID, and support for the Pocket service is now enabled by default in GOA (GNOME Online Accounts).
To test a development version of the GNOME desktop environment, you will need to have some experience with the JHBuild tool, which downloads, configures, compiles, and installs all the necessary modules.
However, keep in mind that this is a development release and it should not be deployed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only. You should wait for the final release packages to make their way into the default software repositories of your Linux distribution.