THE GNOME PROJECT has released Gnome 3.12, the latest version of the heavyweight Linux desktop environment, which adds support for better displays and faster startup times.
On its website, Gnome Release Team member Matthias Clausen said, "This is an exciting release for Gnome, and brings many new features and improvements, including app folders, enhanced system status and high-resolution display support."
The major features of Gnome 3.12 include significant updates for finding and installing software packages and applications, facelifts for video applications and the gedit text editor, additional support for high-resolution displays, major updates to the Gnome web browser, shorter startup times and more efficient resource management, plus a new application folders feature that enables users to organize their applications.
Gnome 3.12 is also a major release for applications software developers, the project said, and has new APIs and interface widgets as well as documentation improvements.
Gnome somewhat lost its way several years ago and was widely criticised for introducing desktop features that some Linux users - including Linus Torvalds - found objectionable. Many users moved to the competing heavyweight Linux desktop environment KDE or more stripped-down alternatives, so it will be interesting to see if Gnome 3.12 resolves most of those complaints and will be able to recover the popularity that the Gnome desktop once enjoyed among Linux power users.
Initial reactions from the project's partners and large organisations that use the Gnome desktop system took the standard congratulatory tone.
The project quoted Red Hat Desktop Team manager Christian Schaller as saying, "Red Hat is very pleased to see the GNOME community continuing to push the GNU/Linux desktop forward. We are looking forward to the innovations in GNOME 3.12 arriving in future versions of Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux."
Yahoo software development engineer Arun Sag said, "Gnome is the desktop environment of choice for many Yahoo developers. It provides a stable foundation for GNU/Linux power users to get things done, from reading emails to writing code."
Linux - and FreeBSD - users interested to find out more can check out the Gnome 3.12 Release Notes. µ