Feeds

Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible - at least in beta

Even baring your privates to world+dog isn't compulsory any more

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Review The GNOME team has released the first beta of GNOME 3.12, the next major release for the popular desktop and UI environment.

Unlike the past few releases, there's a ton of new stuff in GNOME 3.12. The highlights include a slew of new apps, a major makeover for the long-standing video player, better privacy controls, support for jump lists and quite a few other interface tweaks that make GNOME 3.12 more pleasant to use.

Another noteworthy change in GNOME 3.12 is better support for high-resolution screens. GNOME 3.10 actually has some of the better high-DPI screen support you'll find in a Linux desktop, but there are still a few glitches.

GNOME 3.12 will fix some of the small, but annoying high-DPI scaling issues like poorly sized icons and thumbnail images. That means the Alt+Tab switcher, the Activities view dock, and other parts of the GNOME shell interface should all look a bit nicer on high-resolution screens. There's still work to be done in this area, but GNOME 3.12 will likely be one of the best Linux desktops for those with a high-res screen.

Other visual changes in this release include a significant makeover for Totem, the default video player in GNOME. In fact, unless you know the backstory you'd be forgiven for thinking it was an entirely new video player.

Gnome 3.12 beta jump lists

Jump lists lets you add almost anything you want to the favourites bar for right-click access

The app has been renamed Videos (or GNOME Videos if you want to be more specific), though the project itself retains the Totem moniker. The interface has been completely redesigned to fit with the look of GNOME 3.x apps and there are some new plugins for online services like Pocket (more on that in a minute).

The 3.12 beta sees GNOME developers once again doing an about face on a capricious decision that seemed totally pointless - removing the wired network indicator from the status bar. In GNOME 3.12 the wired network indicator is back, which means it's once again simple to toggle wired connections on/off and quickly open your network settings for more fine-grained control. Sanity prevails.

Sanity prevails more generally in this release with several tools that - gasp! - complicate the interface a bit to give users more functionality. GNOME is not just minimalism for the sake of minimalism any more, apparently.

Perhaps one of the most immediately useful new tools in this release - which would seem to fly in the face of GNOME's belief that features confuse users - is GNOME 3.12's new "quick lists" or "jump lists" for the launch bar. Right click on the launch bar in GNOME 3.10 and earlier and the only menu items you'll see are "new window" and "close".

With 3.12, GNOME adds support for customizable right-click menus in the Activities view and in any running apps listed in the favourites bar. That is, you can now add pretty much anything you want to the right-click menu in the GNOME 3.12 favourites bar. So you can right click, for example, LibreOffice Calc and not just open it, but create a new spreadsheet at the same time.

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.