2.20 release notes items

Major changes in GNOME 2.20, 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. There's a Draft of the actual release notes, but you shouldn't link to that either, because it's not ready either. We mean it.

How-to

Major changes are those that:

  • affect lots of people (users, admins, developers alike).
  • are related to something people already talk about.
  • See also GNOME RoadMap, which maintainers should review to see what features were actually implemented.

  • See also tribe3, tribe4 Ubuntu beta releases, which mention interesting GNOME stuff.

Schedule

  • August 6th: (API Freeze) Start release notes research
  • See the full release notes schedule

  • August 27th: Release notes are ready for translation

Feature improvements

  • GDM (GNOME Display Manager)
    • Accessibility improvements: GDM now works better with AT programs like GOK and orca. The GUI program (gdmchooser) used to select remote machines to connect via XDMCP is now accessible.
    • Now users can restart the GDM greeter in the selected language. After changing the language the user is prompted with a dialog asking them if they wish to restart the greeter in that language. The greeter is the GUI program that asks the user to enter the username and password. USED.
    • GDM now has better utmp/wtmp auditing. So when users log in or log out, entries are placed in /var/adm/utmp and /var/adm/wtmp. This benefits other programs such as who and finger that use the utmp database for getting information about who is on the system. USED.
    • Support for Linux auditing (libaudit). Logs the success or failure of the login attempt with the linux kernel audit system. USED.
    • RBAC (Role Based Access Control) support for Shutdown, Reboot, and Suspend. USE.
  • gnome-screensaver:
    • now allows people to leave a note while the screen is locked. See bug gnomebug:384509 for details. USED.
  • totem:
    • Full-screen mode for the browser plugin. USED.
    • Allow replaying videos from the browser cache in the browser plugin. NOT USED.
    • Browser plugin works on many more websites. USED.
    • Galago plugin (see bug gnomebug:427580 for details). NOT USED (it's not used by any other software in the release sets, I think. murrayc)
    • Only set "On Top" when files are playing (see bug gnomebug:171691 for details)
    • Bemused plugin (allow remote control of Totem through a Bluetooth phone or PDA)
  • file-roller:
    • Uses gnome-vfs to load and save remote archives, as well as to add remote files to an archive and to extract to remote locations. USED.
    • You can cut/copy/paste and drag&drop among different file-roller windows. USED.

    • Added a sidebar that shows the folders stored in the archive. NOT USED (this isn't on by default, and it doesn't seem to add much functionality. murrayc)
  • gnome-power-manager:
    • Profiles your batteries to give 100% accurate time remaining, even with old and broken batteries. It profiles how you use power, so you know you have accurate remaining time when you are actually using your computer, rather than the guessed time remaining when idle. USED.
  • yelp:
    • DocBook (manuals) have a new look which feels sleeker. USED (as improved style and layout).

    • Faster, by loading individual pages instead of parsing whole manuals. USED.
  • gedit/gtksourceview
    • More accurate and powerful syntax highlighting. USED.
    • Support for style schemes. USED.
  • control-center
    • New appearance applet as the result of merging themes, fonts and backgrounds applets. USED.
    • Better settings module architecture (for developers) to allow for a better expandability and for 3rd party settings modules. (TODO: What on earth is this? What is the "settings module architecture?" murrayc.)
  • libgnomeui
    • The image thumbnailer (used by Nautilus) now respects the orientation tag embedded in exif jpeg and tiff files (bug gnomebug:440978). Note: old thumbnails that did not respect this tag may persist in the users' .thumbnails cache. When upgrading to Gnome 2.20, it is recommended that you delete the thumbnail caches (~/.thumbnails). They will be automatically regenerated. USED.

  • seahorse
    • The master password for the default gnome-keyring key ring can now be changed in the encryption preferences. USED
  • epiphany
    • Better inline completion of URLs entered in the address bar. This is the fix for bug gnomebug:318459. When you use the cursor keys to wander the autocompletion dropdown in the address entry, the current selection is now put into the entry. In previous versions the entry contents didn't change. This makes it easier to determine the selected URL. USED.
    • Printing improvements (support for frames, a progress window)
  • evince
    • Interactive forms support. USED.
    • Printing multiple pages per sheet. USED.
    • Images extraction from PDF documents. USED.
  • Nautilus
    • Properties tab shows a pie graph of free space for drives. USED.
    • There are no other major changes.
  • Tomboy
    • New tango-based colors. USED.
    • Support notes synchronization across multiple machines. USED.
    • Notes that were open when Tomboy exited will automatically open again the next time Tomboy starts. USED.
    • Addin infrastructure completely revamped using Mono.Addins. Can add Application Addins and Synchronization Addins in addition to Note Addins. NOT USED (Not meaningful to users, and not part of the developer platform. murrayc)
  • metacity:
    • Better RTL languages support:
      • WM Menu items aligned to the right. USED.
      • window switching (alt-tab) lists and moves through windows in right-to-left order when using an RTL language. USED.
      • workspace switching (ctrl-alt-arrow) listing and moving through workspaces from right to left. USED.
      • window titlebar buttons (window menu, minimize, maximize, close) swapped order. USED.
      • better alignment of menus for the window with the titlebar. NOT USED (I don't know what this means. murrayc)
  • Evolution:
    • Improved SPAM filtering with plugable junk filters. USED.
    • Backup restore support. USED.
    • Improved e-mail notification. USED.
    • Magic space bar support. USED.
    • FACE header and Contact image in preview pane. NOT USED (This feature isn't really usable yet)
    • Calendar Search improvements. USED.
    • Improved Gtk+ Printing support for mails. USED.
    • System Timezone Integration. USED.
    • Attachment reminder for message composer. USED.
    • Evolution Exchange
      • Better offline support. USED.
      • Delegation support. USED.
  • Gnome System Tools:
    • Network tool: Added support for WPA encryption.
  • Eye of GNOME
    • Full rewrite of the application: more stable and faster
    • New image properties dialog
    • Improved image collection pane
    • Plugin system
    • Editable toolbar
    • Support for XMP
    • Better error UI feedback

Usability improvements

  • Panel:
    • Fix positioning of panels when the screen size changes. USED.
    • Sort windows by workspace in the Window Selector applet. USED.
    • Window List behavior is much more saner: the size of the buttons is not changing every time a window title changes, for example. USED.
  • Totem:
    • Add support for a number of extra multimedia keys. NOT USED (I might use it if I know what keys they are, if they are interesting. murrayc.)
    • Show file comments in the properties tab in Nautilus and Totem. NOT USED.
    • Make browser plugin's Play button glow when the user needs to click it to start playback. NOT USED.
  • gnome keyring:
    • Unlocks your keyring automatically when you log in (no need for an annoying password prompt). It also unlocks your keyring when you unlock your screensaver. (OS Support Required). USED.
  • gnome-dictionary (and applet):
    • The find bar will automatically disappear after 5 seconds. NOT USED (Doesn't seem worth mentioning. murrayc)
  • baobab:
    • Show the total and available space for each file system. USED.
    • Display a message dialog when there is no file system available. NOT USED. (This doesn't seem common. murrayc)
  • seahorse
    • More details about imported keys are now shown in the notifications. USED.
    • Encrypted archive extensions are now selectable from a drop down menu. USED.
  • epiphany
    • Better use of icons in the user interface, also accessibility-related. This means that high contrast icons have been added (NOT USED) and that favicons are now displayed in the address entry dropdown for history items as well as bookmarks. Formerly favicons were shown for bookmarks only. USED.
    • Smooth scrolling can now be enabled from the Preferences. USED.
  • Evolution:
    • Better mail thread sorting and promotion of threads with new mails to top. USED.
    • A new command line option '--disable-preview' to avoid repeated startup crash due to last-selected e-mail. NOT USED.

Performance improvements

  • totem:
    • now tickless when idle (empty playlist or paused)
  • evince
    • Several speedups. Page rendering is the first job to be carried out. Page is shown as soon as it's rendered even if other page elements (links, images, forms, ...) are not available yet. USED.
  • Evolution:
    • EContact optimizations - better vCard folding (Huge improvements for contacts with photograph/image).
    • Exchange public folder performance improvements. NOT USED. (used general folder item instead. murrayc)
    • Exchange folder loading/startup improvements. USED.

Internationalization and accessibility improvements

  • control-center
    • a11y applications now integrated with the rest of Preferred Applications, making a11y an integrated part of the desktop settings. USED.
  • gnome-speech
    • Improvements to drivers for eSpeak
      • Better handling of max speech rate
      • Use LANG when determining default language
      • Use eSpeak_Info for eSpeak version information
      • Provide compatibility with eSpeak 1.27
    • Improvements for Festival
      • Support languages without dialects
    • Improvements for Swift
      • Do not hardcode language to en_US
    • When building Java platform support, add -cp option to work in the presence of environments where CLASSPATH might be set
  • Orca
  • AT-SPI
    • Provide Python bindings in pyatspi. It wraps the Gnome Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface for use in Python.
  • GAIL
    • Move libgnomecanvas' A11Y support into libgnomecanvas.

Back-end improvements and code cleanups

  • gnome keyring:
    • can store a keyring on a removable disks. Passwords in these keyrings are automatically (and only) accessible when the removable disk is plugged in and mounted. (OS Support Required). NOT USED (because there is no UI for this so it's not available to regular users, and doesn't seem useful to administrators. murrayc)
    • security improvement: it now uses non-pageable memory to store it's secrets to prevent them from being written to a swap disk. Any passwords and secrets are also removed from memory before hibernation. (OS Support Required). NOT USED (This is important, but the details are meaningless to the average enthusiast user. murrayc)

System Administrator improvements

  • Sabayon:
    • Support for OpenOffice.org lockdown. TODO: screenshot?

    • Many fixes for robustness and integration with GNU/Linux distributions.
    • New logging facility for debugging. If Sabayon encounters an error, it will create a sabayon-debug-log-XXXX.txt in root's home directory. This file can be attached to a bug report. Developers can then ask system administrators to create a sabayon-debug-log.conf file to tweak the logging parameters and get more debugging information.
  • Totem
    • Missing plugins support (calls distribution-specific helper to ease codec installation). USED (though it was really implemented in 2.18. Still we never showed it off. murrayc)
    • Allow specific mime-types to not be handled by the browser plugin. NOT USED.

Developer improvements

  • New widgets, API in GTK+ 2.12. USED.
  • accerciser: New module. "Accessibility Explorer". USED.
  • gnome-devel-docs: New module (the overview document is new, and the rest is reorganized from elsewhere). USED.
  • library.gnome.org website. (mention devhelp too, for offline access). USED.
  • Pango
    • Improved OpenType Layout engine. USED.

    • Add support for specifying multiple preferred languages. USED.
    • Vertical text shaping now uses vertical variants of punctuation marks. USED.
    • New shaping engine for minority language N'Ko. USED.
    • Various new pangocairo APIs, making for a tighter integration with cairo. USED.
  • Totem. NOT USED. (It's not part of the Platform. murrayc)
    • Add a plugins system with C, Python and Vala bindings
    • Add PLA playlist support as used on iRiver MP3 players
    • Extract and send extra metadata from playlists and send it to applications (such as start time, duration, etc.)
  • Glade:
    • Allow widgets to be declared in the catalog without any support code. USED.
    • Dockable tools (editor/inspector/palette) with minimal session management. USED.
    • Context menu actions on widget classes (the major missing feature compared to glade-2). USED.
      • Add/Remove parent widget. USED.
      • Insert/Remove placeholder before/after inside GtkBox. USED.

      • Insert/Remove page before/after in notebook. USED.
      • Insert/Remove Row/Col in GtkTable. USED.

Future: Plans for the next release

  • Seahorse: Replace gnome-keyring-manager when it has enough functionality.

TwoPointNineteen/ReleaseNotes (last edited 2008-02-03 14:45:15 by localhost)