This is GNOME 3.0

Novell recently announced its release of the “Xgl”:http://www.novell.com/linux/xglrelease/ code that it’s been working on by itself for a while. There are some videos of the upcoming Novell Linux Desktop 10 (NLD) at the “release page.”:http://www.novell.com/linux/xglrelease/ The above picture is a mockup released a few months ago, but as “Jono Bacon”:http://www.jonobacon.org/viewcomments.php?id=637 has written, it’s very similar to what’s on show in the videos.

So, NLD is about to have MacOS-X-style window compositing capabilities, some Exposé-style functionality, integrated desktop search, via “Beagle,”:http://beaglewiki.org/Main_Page and probably more. GNOME can have this, too. As I wrote about a year ago, the lack of such things was among the reasons I “use OSX and not Linux.”:http://benhourigan.com/archives/2005/02/05/linux-and-proprietary-operating-systems-and-linux/

These changes might finally put the usability of Linux desktops on par or ahead of Windows and OSX, _if_ we also see better and more reliable video playback, Flash plugins, and so on. They might just bring be into the Linux fold for my daily work, and not just for the odd bit of OS experimentation.

So let’s put aside “whatever politics are involved”:http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2006-February/msg00115.html in Novell’s behind-closed-doors development of Xgl, and get the changes into GNOME, and into “other distros.”:http://www.ubuntu.com I don’t know much about GNOME version-numbering decisions, but this is big. This is GNOME 3.0. Let’s have it.

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Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.