3.8 release notes items

Major changes in GNOME 3.8, to be potentially mentioned in the release notes.

Please note that this does not need to be pretty. It's just a list that will be used to make the actual release notes.

See also the advice about the schedule and translation.

/!\ Attention: Press/reviewers: This is a work in progress. Items aren't checked for correctness. Statements may be completely wrong. Very large changes could be forgotten. Please wait until the final release notes are done. This page will not contain everything that will be in the final release notes.


Major changes are those that:

  • Affect lots of people (users, administrators, or developers.)
  • Are something people have been hoping for or discussing widely.
  • Feature, usability, performance, internationalization or accessibility improvements.

{i} Provide this information:

  • What the module (application) is.
  • What the change is.
    • Why it is important.
    • How it can be accessed.

Be as descriptive as you like. Better too long than too short. Links and screenshots are very welcome!


What's new for users

(Please add your app or feature if it is not listed here!)

Activities Overview

  • Overhauled window layout - means much bigger thumbnails, making it easier to select the window you are looking for
  • New applications view
    • Frequent applications - we show the apps you often use first. This makes selecting an app much more convenient.
    • All applications - folders mean that the grid isn't as large and helps to distinguish between certain categories. People can create their own application folders.
  • Smooth scrolling. When using a touchpad or supported mouse, you get nice, smooth scrolling in the overview and menus.

Message Tray

  • When using a supported X Server, you can now open the message tray by pressing against the bottom of the screen.
  • You can quickly clear all notifications by right-clicking on the tray and choosing "Clear Notifications".
  • Integration with the new Notifications panel in the control-center, letting you suppress specific notifications.

  • New search view can include results from any application.
  • Search settings allow user control over which search results are displayed. You can also change their order.

Tracker specifics - input from Martyn (highlights)

  • Full Text Search (FTS) v4 support with support for snippets (i.e. context around matching queries) and offsets (index in context matching queries).
  • Colour based command line interfaces: http://blogs.gnome.org/mr/2013/02/15/tracker-search-gets-colour-snippets/

  • Indexing support for new formats:
    • XPS documents (GB#687160) - XML Page Specific Microsoft alternative to PDF files
    • DVI documents (GB#687162) - DeVice Independent files (printable output of TeX files)

Sharing & Privacy


  • Screen panel replaced by Power + Privacy panels
  • Updated settings panels:
    • Network
    • Power
    • Region and language
    • Lots of printers work. Refined UI. Added support for samba printers. "samba printers which are publicly accessible in your network will be found automatically and that users can enter a specific server to the entry so printers installed on the server are listed"
  • New panel for notifications
    • For users: the ability to control sound, popups and visibility at the lock screen at the application level
    • For applications: new syntax in the desktop file, and a new libnotify hint (both optional)
  • Improvements to the settings shell - clearly delineated toolbar, back button

Online Accounts


  • GNOME Goal DesktopFileKeywords fully completed, which will help users to easily find applications in GNOME-Shell using keywords

  • See EveryDetailMatters

  • Pressure sensitivity for activating the message tray


  • Added selection-mode to contacts list
  • Showing a contacts subset (main contacts vs all)
  • New contact pane design


  • Add USB redirection support in new VMs and option to add it into existing VMs. i-e You can use your USB devices (camera, flash drive etc) plugged into host from the guest operating system.
  • Smartcard support. This means if you have an appropriate reader device, you can use that to read information from your smart cards (credit/bank cards etc) from your virtual machine boxes.

  • Automatically download and installation of all virtio and QXL drivers, and spice-vdagent as part of Windows XP and Windows 7 express installation. This means following working out of the box:
    • Copy&paste between host and VM.

    • Guest resolution automatically adjusted to fit the Boxes window.
    • Very efficient disk I/O (helps in reducing installation time e.g).
  • oVirt support. This means you can now access all your virtual machines running on a (most likely remote) oVirt broker from Boxes by simply providing it's URL.

  • Option to pause VMs from selection view.
  • Otions to select all, none and running boxes.
  • Allow accessing properties for non-running VMs (through selection view).
  • Allow tweaking properties for remote machines in the wizard.
  • UI looks a lot more like UI mockups and more consistent with Documents.
  • Add initial experience greeting. As a consequence, we don't auto-launch wizard on first time usage anymore.
  • Support for changing the CD-ROM device/ISO from properties.
  • Selecting item when maximized automatically enters fullscreen view.
  • Mark recommended RAM and storage of guest OS (when known) in properties.
  • Allow search with multiple terms. A search like "foo bar" now means name containing "foo" and "bar". This is nicer, and what you expect from e.g. gnome-shell search.
  • Allow drag to unfullscreen Boxes.
  • Troubleshooting log viewer to system properties.
  • For Developers:
    • We now make use of libosinfo for express/automated installations. Support for new OSes/distros can be added through libosinfo. No Vala or C hacking needed, only XSL/XML.
  • Loads of other fixes and minor improvements. For more details: http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-boxes/tree/NEWS


First release! Improvements:

  • Updated alarm dialogs
  • New artwork and visuals
  • ...
  • ...


  • Switch to WebKit2. This brings:

    • More stable, responsive, secure and performant Web.
    • Pages can crash without bringing down the entire browser: http://i.imgur.com/MKq5Nvi.png

    • GTK+2 plugins work again out of the box (in particular, Flash)
    • State-of-the-art browser for GNOME, catching up with Chrome or Safari OSX.
    • Huge effort by the Web team, in development for more than two years.
  • Incognito mode (http://blogs.gnome.org/xan/2012/12/13/theory-and-praxis-of-netbanking/)

    • Let's you browse without storing any personal information, can be accessed from the app menu.
  • All new Search UI.
  • Revamped UI for HTML5 media content: http://blogs.igalia.com/xrcalvar/2013/02/20/new-media-controls-in-webkitgtk/

  • Undo close tab
    • You can now re-open closed tabs or windows, can be accessed from the app menu or with Ctrl-Shift-t.
  • New Tab button in the toolbar.
  • Asynchronous session saving and restore, plus delayed tab restore on startup
    • This improves responsiveness at all times, especially when restoring tab-heavy sessions.
  • Tons of bugfixes and other small improvements.


  • appmenu
  • python3 for plugins (3d party plugins needs porting)


  • New preview scrub bar and page controls
  • Embedded Edit mode for GDocs
  • Presentation mode
  • Better document preview reading width and dual page mode
  • Bookmarks and Table of Content dialogs
  • Support PDF files from Google Drive
  • Sharing dialog for GDocs
  • Getting started introduction documents


  • Treeview is back
  • Add a Connect to Server and Format menu items in sidebar
  • Better integration with the Recent Files feature in Privacy Settings

Initial Setup

  • New first run experience.
  • Nice experience for getting your system ready to be used.
  • Integrates with getting started videos.

Owen's Stuff


Classic Mode

  • Fallback is dead. Long live classic mode.
  • Built with GNOME 3 technologies
    • Built as a set of extensions: each can be installed individually from extensions.gnome.org, and as a whole from distribution packages
    • Classic mode extensions are as supported as the core experience
    • Can be further tweaked from the extension config app
  • Application menu.
  • Traditional look.
    • For theme writers: classic mode can be styled differently than core with a gnome-classic.css stylesheet
  • Window list.

What's new for administrators

What's new for developers


  • g_type_init no longer needed and deprecated
  • GTask replaces GAsyncResult
  • Type modules are never unloaded
  • Interfaces can't be added after class_init anymore
  • File monitors work on NFS homedirs, by falling back to fam
  • kqueue support for file monitors (BSDs, OS X)
  • GUnixFdSource, a new way to add file descriptors to the mainloop
  • g_get_home_dir() now respects $HOME


  • Per-widget opacity with gtk_widget_set_opacity
  • Frame synchronization with mutter for smooth animations and resizing
  • Single-click mode for tree and icon views
  • Possible to reuse accessible implementations
  • Multi-application Broadway support with broadwayd
  • Better font support: can set family, size, etc, like other css properties

Python bindings (PyGObject)

  • Now provides access to the full and original GLib API. The old and pygobject 2.x specific way to call functions like GLib.io_add_watch() is now deprecated, causing a PyDeprecationWarning, and will be removed in a future release cycle.

  • Much improved support for data types that haven't been handled before: GParamSpec, boxed list properties, or direct setting of string struct members.

  • New pygtkcompat.generictree module that offers a PyGTK compatible TreeModel class, for easier porting.

  • Now raises a DeprecationWarning for introspected methods which are marked as deprecated. Run python with the -Wd option to see them.


  • Always use the XInput extension in X11 to support touch events by default.
  • Add ClutterTapAction, to recognize (single) tap gestures on touch screens.

  • Performance improvements to avoid tearing.
  • Allow setting text attributes on editable ClutterText actors.


  • Interface revamped to match the new GNOME3 style.

What's new in accessibility

What's new in i18n/l10n

  • New OSD for switching input methods
  • Extended input method menu to include all input method engines
  • New candidate chooser popups
  • Additional settings (switch per window)
  • New region and language settings panel

See http://blogs.gnome.org/mclasen/2012/12/18/input-sources-in-gnome-3-7-4/ and http://blogs.gnome.org/mclasen/2013/01/14/input-sources-in-gnome-3-7-4-continued/

  • Deckard allows translators to check their translations in context without the hassle of having to build software locally. Though the hosted instance only provides a list of GNOME software, this is free software (code available on Launchpad) and could be used for any Glade based UI (XFCE, LibreOffice…). Get in touch with AlexandreFranke for more details.

Plans for GNOME 3.10


  • New widgets for GNOME 3 apps: list box, flow box, stack, header bar, ...

ThreePointSeven/ReleaseNotes (last edited 2013-03-13 14:20:04 by ZeeshanAli)