2.16 release notes items

Major user-visible changes in GNOME 2.16, to be mentioned in the release notes. Please make a list here when we reach feature freeze.

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. In fact, if it's too pretty, people will link to it and complain that it's not perfect.

See also the advice about the schedule and translation.

For Users

  • Alacarte Menu Editor:
    • new module, support menu editing in GNOME
  • Bug-buddy:
    • now submits bugs without needing sendmail installed
    • interface cleaned up -- a lot
  • Epiphany Web Browser:
  • Evolution :
  • Evince:
    • supports impress slides with --enable-impress. (Why is this a compile-time option? murrayc) (because the code is "experimental", it works well enough, but the proper support isn't finished, BastienNocera)

    • supports attachments in PDF files
  • File-roller shows an emblem for password protected files gnomebug:152039
  • Unmaintained themes removed from gnome-themes: rand-Canyon, Ocean-Dream, Simple & Smokey-Blue, Traditional

  • Unmaintained engines removed from gtk-engines: Lighthouseblue and Metal engines
  • gnome-control-center/sound pref tool: Added sound device selection gnomebug:329112
  • gnome-icon-theme:
    • More scalable icons, meaning you can now scale the icons on your desktop and they still look good!
    • Now works in applications written for other popular desktops, like kde and xfce, thanks to the Freedesktop Icon-Naming-Spec.
    • Lots of cleanups, most application icons are now shipped with the apps themselves.
    • Updated the look to follow the Tango style guidelines
  • gnome-power-manager:
    • New deamon module proposed, which helps laptop and desktop users manager their battery, UPS, and wireless peripherals.
    • New graphs that let the user see how much power is being used (screenshots available in yelp file)
    • Better integration with gnome-screensaver
    • Standardised DBUS methods providing hooks for other programs to interact with power saving.

  • gnome-screensaver:
    • Add fullscreen preview
  • Gnome-terminal
    • Can use real transparency when it's available gnomebug:345378
    • (vte) add support for 256 colors terminals gnomebug:168251
    • Improve startup time by ~20% gnomebug:336947 (g-t) gnomebug:339983 (vte)
    • escape file names on drag and drop gnomebug:85926
  • gnome-utils:
    • Dictionary: Add a side bar containing the speller widget, to show similar words in case no definition was found, and the list of databases available on the dictionary source.
    • Add Baobab, a disk usage analysis tool, which shows the disk usage using bars and graphs.
    • Screenshot: Fix the "black border" bug and allow to shoot overlapping windows and menus.
  • Metacity (the tabbing function item may be the only thing that makes sense from this list):
    • fullscreening actually works again. I'm really embarrassed that I ruined it so badly (several bugs) during early 2.13.x. I'm kind of shocked that we got so few bug reports and that even worse we didn't get any until the 2.14 series was nearly ended. Should all be fixed now in 2.15.92, though. Plus the heuristics for legacy apps with fullscreen are now much improved over any previous version. Don't know if this is worth a mention given the small number of bug reports, but this page seems to be listing lots of stuff even if it isn't relevant...
      • There's no interface for fullscreening -- no menu item, no default keyboard shortcut. So it's not really a widely known feature, hence the lack of reports I imagine -- Joachim
        • Huh? Several apps have options in their interface (e.g. menu items) to make the window fullscreen (e.g. totem, evince, acroread, mplayer, firefox, gnome-terminal). Your claim doesn't make sense.
          • so it's the same system that does it whether you define the global shortcut or use the app's own menu? never mind then :)

    • lots and lots of compositor improvements; beginning of a new layer to abstract transition effects, shrinking and minimizing and exploding effects, fading in and out, unminimize animation that reverses minimize one, translucent menus, bounce on window focus, and all kinds of stuff I don't understand and can't summarize well.
      • (What will the user see, and how can he see it? murrayc)

        • The user will not see anything unless metacity is compiled with --enable-compositor. And Soeren would be a better person to summarize than using this NEWS entry of mine where I made it clear I didn't understand the user or code impact. Also, shouldn't this be combined with the other entry below about compositor improvements? -- Elijah
    • Port more properties to our async system for code cleanliness and speed improvements.
      • This doesn't seem to be user-visible -- murrayc

        • Almost certainly correct. Someone could profile to verify, but I'm surprised someone picked to put this change on this page -- Elijah
      • intention: topic that GNOME 2.16 is again faster than GNOME 2.14. this would be one of the examples -- OlavVitters

        • Makes sense, but I'd want someone to profile before making a fuss about this particular issue. I bet the impact is around the 2% speedup range (totally wild guess there, though), and might have (unknowingly) been undone/outweighed by other changes in the code -- Elijah
    • An endless array of compositor updates, not all of which are well explained in the ChangeLog. ;-) Includes an ability to enable and disable the compositor at runtime, fixed up wobbling effect and new explosion effect, special magnification handling, different opacity for different window types like menus, a way of scaling windows, handling of foreign displays, improved handling of window moving/resizing, various code restructuring, special runtime checks for correct extensions and other compositors, lots of bug fixes, and possibly other stuff I'm missing or not understanding

    • Add a tabbing function, bound to alt-f6 by default, to cycle through the windows of the current application gnomebug:94682
  • Nautilus:
    • New permission dialog with recursion and selinux support
    • Has improved startup performance; uses less memory while thumbnailing
    • Added a button to the location bar to toggle betwen the path bar and a location entry
  • nautilus-cd-burner: Support writing DVDs on the fly (without ISO).
    • CD burner is a bit of a misnomer now isn't it. hope this description above can be made clearer for the release notes -- AlanHorkan

  • EyeOfGnome:

    • Collection Panel and UI Rework
  • gnome-system-monitor: Improved Writable Memory on linux.
    • how can this be rephrased to avoid using the word linux and invitable complaints from people who call it GNU/Linux? -- AlanHorkan

  • libwnck: Add dragging of windows from the tasklist gnomebug:96675
  • Totem:
    • Numerous Web Browser plugin improvements
      • Audio playback support
      • QuickTime, Windows Media Player and Real Player skins

      • Playlist support
    • Subtitle encoding selection
    • Removed DXR3 and GStreamer 0.8 support (worth mentioning?)
    • Properties dialogue is now in the sidebar (ditto?)
    • Use HAL for CD and DVD detection
    • XSPF playlist support (read/write), Quicktime Metalink (read)
  • gnome-panel
    • new wanda icon
    • new dialog to edit launchers. It's really better.
  • gedit
    • honour gnome lockdown keys
    • sidepane filebrowser plugin
  • gtk+
    • perhaps: gtk filechooser location button thingy
    • Use CTRL-SHIFT-u <hex codes> instead of CTRL_SHIFT-<hex codes> to generate unicode keys -- This is a change in behaviour so important to note (OlavVitters)

    • new features in 2.10 like print dialog are directly for users too
  • lots of icons have been updated to tango guidelines (not just in gnome-icon-theme)
  • Yelp:
    • Brand new, much snazzier table of contents
    • Search improvements - More helpful messages, able to handle questions "How do I burn a CD?", respond to "man:<foo>", "man <foo>" and "info:<foo>" by going to the man / info page directly

    • Performance - Improved starting time, improved loading time for documents, fix a huge number of memory leaks
    • Man / info pages - Able to handle more info pages (including emacs pages), if a requested info page doesn't exist, default to using the man page, translated man pages supported
    • Other stuff - Drop support for gecko 1.7 branch. Move to GtkPrinting, "Deep" history added to back / forward buttons

  • Unicode 5.0 support. (What does this mean for a user? What users will notice this, and how will they notice it?)

For Administrators

  • GDM:
    • no longer use popt in favor of glib's GOption command line parsing. Note that this removes the single-dash options GDM used to support (such as the gdm -nodaemon option which is now --nodaemon) which were originally supported so GDM would be more like XDM. Users who depend on the single dash options will need to change to use the non-deprecated double-dash options. (comment by Brian Cameron: this isn't exactly true. Support for -nodaemon was added back into GDM because Ray Strode put it back to support users who depended on it. However, gdmXnestchooser, gdmchooser, and gdmflexiserver may have previously supported some other single-dash options that will no longer work. I don't think the move from popt to GOption is really worth mentioning in the release notes, support for any other single-dash arguments can be added back if people have problems. None of the other single-dash options are ones that end-users or distros would likely depend upon.).
    • gdmgreeter themes can now use real GTK+ buttons, and can specify which GTK+ theme to use, so that buttons, menus, entry, etc. can be themed. The new "Options" button can be used for a sleeker one-button look.
    • Per-display configuration is now supported. The user may create /etc/gdm/custom.conf:<dispnum> files (/etc/gdm/custom.conf:0 for display :0) and GUI related configuration settings in the per-display file will override for that display.

For Developers

  • Bug-buddy now requires the following headers in your applications .desktop file:

X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=gcalctool (change this to the application name on b.g.o, case sensitive!)
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=general (change this to the component name on b.g.o, case sensitive!)
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Version=2.15.1  (optional, recommended)
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-OtherBinaries=gnome-calculator  (optional)

Improving the start page

(this is blindly pasted from TwoPointThirteen/ReleaseNotes

The start/2.12 page, for instance, creates a barrier between the visitor and what most of them want to see first - What's new for users, with pictures.

  • Maybe What's New For Users should be the first page, with a short introduction that takes people to the other information.
  • The LiveCD section should have a picture of a CD.
  • The LiveCD should mention that it's an Ubuntu CD, because people like to know.
    • Is it really Ubuntu, because I thought Ubuntu shipped a modified Gnome and the point of having the Live CD was to include a default unmodified Gnome? -- AlanHorkan

  • Remove "Solaris, HP-UX, BSD and Apple's Darwin"? It's dull.
  • The first link (maybe most likely to be clicked) should be to more cool GNOME stuff, not to the boring GNU site.
  • It's very late in the release time table though if some one wants to get me all the web page related files (via email - see user page) I'll happily go through and do a list of changes that people want. -- EdwardSavage

  • maybe a reference to SoC and WSOP? -- GilForcada


Please do not link directly to these pages since we don't want to have users, journalists etc getting confused about drafts and real press release / release notes.

Note: The 2.16 release notes should use a common page for Release Notes index, Press release and Start page (more, see also PDF)

See also TwoPointFifteen/ReleaseNotes/ShotsCastsTourBanner - The multimedia compilation.

Release Notes Team

If you can help with the release notes, please add your name here:

  • VincentUntz (proofreading, can help to explain new features, etc. and might even be there to help coordination)

  • QuimGil (coordination, content structure and some writing if needed)

  • SegPhault (proofreading, writing, press release)

  • JohnWilliams (proofreading)

  • Alex Smith (proofreading, screenshots)
  • JoeHalliwell (proofreading, writing, screenshots)

TwoPointFifteen/ReleaseNotes (last edited 2008-02-03 14:47:29 by anonymous)