What to expect from Gnome 2.14

by Jeremy Jones

Gnome 2.14 was released within the past couple of days. I'm currently on Gnome 2.12 running under Ubuntu Breezy. Hopefully, Dapper will include 2.14.

Here's what I'm excited about in 2.14 from what I've read from the release notes:

  1. Multiple Monitor Handling - they claim that multiple monitor handling is improved in this version of Gnome. Right now, I have to go through a painful ritual involving ceremonial knives and hacking my xorg.conf file in order to get into dual-head mode.

  2. Performance improvements - they benchmarked Gnome terminal printing a list of all English words in 1 second as opposed to about 3 in Gnome 2.12.

  3. The Deskbar - they don't go into detail on the release notes page, but it looks like a task automation/facilitation utility which is pluggable with Python. I usually don't use stuff like this, but I'm going to have to give it a spin.

  4. Image Viewer - I have yet to find an image viewer I'm absolutely in love with. The new one included in Gnome looks like it has some potential. Definitely worth a look.

2.14 contains other improvements such as enhanced searching, which I'm +0 on. I'm glad it's there, but I don't think I'll use it much. The release notes mentioned that the search system would integrate with beagle. I'll likely give beagle another try, but the last time I tried it, memory usage was unreasonably high, even on a machine with 1.25GB of RAM.

Another cool feature that they mention that I have very little use for is fast user switching. All of my desktops are pretty much single-user, but this is still a cool feature. Again, not many details were spelled out on the release notes page, but I hope it will be like Windows user switching where it preserves the desktop session when you switch.

They also mentioned that it would include GStreamer 0.10. I have not had great success with GStreamer. xine has been really easy to configure with every media format I'm interested in viewing. Any media player I use that has a GStreamer backend seems to have problems with some media types. Maybe I just need to buckle down and try to get it working with various codecs.

Altogether, I'm looking forward to it. I'm downloading the Dapper Flight 5 live CD now (which contains Gnome 2.13.92) in hopes that I can get a little closer preview into what will be in Gnome 2.14.


2006-03-18 06:31:07
The last few release notes, all of them, mention improvement in beagle memory usage. It will interesting to know the current state of beagle. If you end up installing it and using it, please post some performance figures.