On GNOME 2.22: the rise of a revamped platform and desktop

July 01, 2007

We’re now in the middle of the development cycle for GNOME 2.20 and our plans were already published in our RoadMap page. Of course, there are some very nice stuff coming for the next GNOME stable release as you can see there.

I’d like to bring some attention to an important thing that can make a lot of difference for GNOME next year. We have a very good opportunity to make big, necessary and important changes in our desktop and platform in the 2.22 release. Why am I saying that?

From the roadmap process we’ve kicked off in the 2.20 development cycle, it’s perfectly clear (to me) that several important changes are coming (potentially for 2.22). Here are some of them:

  • Revamped session management: headed by Dan Winship. Recently, a branch has been created with the new code.
  • Next iteration of the GNOME Configuration system: headed by Emanuelle Bassi. Possibly, an initial code will be shown and discussion on this topic will happen at GUADEC.
  • Revamped VFS API: it’s called GFVS and is being headed by Alex Larsson. Current code resides on a git repo. For a good overview on GVFS, read this message Alex to gtk-devel-list some time ago. Current status and discussion will be take place at GUADEC.
  • New documentation technologies: it’s called Mallard and is being headed by Shaun McCance and Don Scorgie. Current code resides here (Mallard) and here (Rarian, replacement for scrollkeeper). We have 2 Summer of Code projects for the development of a documentation editor for GNOME which uses the new infrastructure. Some of the new stuff will probably be used in 2.20 already. Talks about related topics at GUADEC.
  • New applets API: developed by Ryan Lortie. Current code resides on git repo (I don’t remember where it is). Talk and discussions on this topic will happen at GUADEC.

There are others: GTK+ additions and more widgets consolidation (Project Ridley), SoC projects (some of them could possibly land in GNOME 2.22), Bugzilla 3.0, and so on. Also, there are some important topics which needs to be seriouly and objectively discussed like web services integration, better desktop integration with instance messenging and voip, search engines and metadata, and others. A combination of effort, time, manpower, good communication and community cohesion will decide if those goals will be achieved or not.

Let’s keep those goals in mind for 2.22 and try to stay focused as much as possible so that we can make them a reality. GUADEC will be a wonderful time to discuss those topics.

GNOME 2.20 will rock a lot! Let’s make 2.22 a 23 release!

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