The Gnome Project

libre software, mswl, mswl-cases, mswl-comm, mswl-devtools, mswl-intro

Hi folks!!

Continuing with the set of posts that I’ve written about Study Cases in my M.Sc. on FLOSS, today I’m going to talk about the talk which was given by Carlos Garcia Campos in my University.

As the previous post, the video of this talk is not uploaded, so this first post will be based in the slides that Carlos used.

This talk was about The Gnome Project and its history.

1. History:

Gnome was started in 1997 by Miguel de Icaza after thought about there were too many technologies which were missed in the FLOSS world compared with MS Windows 95.

KDE was started before, in 1996 by Matthias Ettrich but was depending of the Qt library which was not under a FLOSS license in that moment.

Other thing really important was that FLOSS suffered an important inconsistence among X-Window applications, so that means the applications didn’t use the same libraries between them to build their graphic interfaces.

Miguel de Icaza thought to use different libraries to build Gnome, he thought in the following ones:

  • libapp: was the first attempt to fix the consistency problems in Linux, but was never finished.
  • GNUStep, in that moment was too young to be used.
  • Qt: Miguel contacted with TrollTech the owners of that library to change the license, but they never answered him.
  • GIMP: GNU Image Manipulating Program, was the first application for end users completely FLOSS. It used its own graphic toolkit called GTK+ (the Gimp toolkit) and to create Gnome, GTK+ was separated from this app becoming the first FLOSS graphic toolkit really viable.

Finally in  1997 with Federico Mena, Miguel de Icaza announced the creation of Gnome in several mailing lists.

2. Releases:

Gnome has been a lot of releases since 1997, the most important have been:

  • Gnome 0.10, a single package which contained libraries and some applications like the panel.
  • Gnome 0.20, first version really suitable to be distributed. Several packages (core, admin, games, libs, media, etc.)
  • Gnome 0.99, released in November 1998.
  • Gnome 1.0, released in March 1999. With this release (1.x), several things happened as the first Gnome version really stable (1.0.55), companies were founded based in Gnome, like Eazel, Helix Code, etc. In March 2000, the Gnome annual event was created (GUADEC). In August 2000, Gnome Foundation was created with the support of different companies.
  • Gnome 1.4, released in April 2001 included Bonobo and Nautilus.
  • Gnome 2.0, which this new series of versions (2.x) a new development platform was created, and the usability was improved. This version has been used until 2011, when Gnome 3 was released.
  • Gnome 3, included Gnome shell, 3D capabilities, new notification system, redesigned system settings, and a lot of new improvements and features (like a new development platform, GTK+3.0) were included with this new revolutionary version.

3. Conclusion:

As you can see the history of Gnome is really interesting you can see how this project was born under a necesity that a couple of friends felt the FLOSS world needed and how this project has reached an incredible position in the software world, not just talking about the desktops environments but with application which use its graphic toolkit, the foundation which ensures its integrity and rights, etc.
For me, and it’s just my opinion, Gnome is the best dektop in the actuallity not just talking about Free software but also having used MacOSX and MS Windows, even with Gnome 3 and its incredible new hand washed the usability and look and feel of Gnome is more incredible if it’s possible.

You can find the slides used in this talk here.

As the previous post regarding this subject, when I can watch the video about this talk I’ll update this post.

See u my friends!!


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