Draft: Don't link!
Code cleanups and backend improvements
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Upgrade to GTK+ 2.10
GNOME 2.16 now depends on GTK+ 2.10, making use of many improvements that were made available by Project Ridley; an effort to consolidate a number of GNOME libraries into GTK+.
One of the first benefits made available to GNOME users is the new printing functionality of GTK+ 2.10: It features a high level, platform-independent API, GtkPrintOperation, that also includes a new printing dialog. A low-level, UNIX-specific API is available as well that currently supports CUPS and lpr for printing.
// image of the new print dialog about here
Many GNOME applications were ported to use the new printing functionality, such as the document viewer Evince, the web browser Ephiphany, and the help browser Yelp.
This also marks also the start of deprecating the previously used libraries libgnomeprint and libgnomeprintui: External projects are encouraged to use the new functionality provided by GTK+ 2.10.
Another important improvement introduced by GTK+ 2.10 is the new API, GtkRecent: It manages a single list of recently opened files and documents. Among the GNOME applications using the new functionality are the file manager, panel, document viewer, and editor.
The file chooser dialog has also been improved: the location entry (previously opened by using Crtl+L) has been integrated and the dialog as a whole remains responsive even when performing time-consuming file operations.
- // Image of the dialog about here
GTK+ 2.10 provides the gtk-touchscreen-mode mode controlling a number of changes that make GTK+ work better on touchscreens, which are widely used on mobile and embedded devices.
Several other improvements made available by GTK+ 2.10 are used throughout the desktop: New widgets to display clickable hyperlinks, or to create multi-step wizards, for example and better drag-and-drop support in notebooks allowing tabs to be reordered, moved between notebooks, and made into windows by dragging to the desktop.
GTK and GNOME get sharp
GNOME 2.16 now offers bindings to GTK+ and GNOME libraries for fans of the C# (C sharp) programming language. This also means that the development framework Mono is a dependency of the GNOME bindings.
Additionally, software written in C# can be proposed as new modules for later GNOME releases. However, existing GNOME modules need to go through the proposal process again if they gain a new dependency on GTK# and/or Mono.
New Bug-buddy backend
GNOME's bug reporting tool, Bug-buddy, no longer requires that the user have sendmail installed. As a result of this change, projects using Bug-buddy must have the correct information in their application's .desktop file.
Note: The .desktop issue is only relevant to developers, I don't think it should be mentioned in the release notes. --Ryan
Release notes are also for developers and administrators -- OlavVitters
The previous way to create bug reports (sendmail method) will still be supported for one year. After that, users of old Bug-Buddy versions won't be able to file bug reports anymore.
Unicode 5.0 support
GNOME 2.16 will be the world's first desktop release that features support for the Unicode Character Database (UCD), version 5.0, which defines more than 99,000 characters for the languages of the world. The improvements are built into GNOME libraries GLib and Pango, and are thus available to all other open source and free software projects that use these libraries.
Removals and other notes
- Due to the lack of active maintainership, the themes 'Rand-Canyon', 'Ocean-Dream', 'Simple-Blus', 'Smokey-Blue', and 'Traditional' were removed. Likewise, the 'Lighthouseblue' and 'Metal' theme engines were removed as well.
- The screenreader Gnopernicus has been replaced by Orca.