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.
  • David Lo Pan

    I have three laptops and one desktop computer.
    The desktop computer primarily runs linux, but i have windows on it for games.
    One ultraportable laptop has windows on it. The other, same model ultraportable has linux.
    My third laptop, is a 13.3″ mac running mac os x.

    Across all of these machines i have flawless video/flash/etc. increasingly often i am even running the same applications on the 3 platforms. i am incredibly indifferent in the OS argument, since i use linux, os x, and windows every single day, and what you can do in one you can more or less do in all. for a desktop/laptop i really wouldn’t be put out using any of those three os’s. for a server a linux/bsd/unix is definitely preferred, and os x server is not counted amongst those preferred(xnu being a turd).

    os x pisses me off for some things, linux pisses me off for some things, and windows pisses me off for some things.

    in terms of expose in gnome, check out skippy, been out for quite a while now.

    I spend >90% of my time on my laptop(s), using wireless internet or iburst wherever i am for the big win. the current intel macs are also a big win because of intel vt-x, x86 hardware virtualization. without using lots of big words this means i can run linux and windows on top of os x at native speeds. another bonus is now that os x and windows are running on the same cpu architecture, projects like darwine and crossover will increasingly give os x the ability to run windows applications without the need for virtualization in the first place, much the same way linux already can.

    On a side note, windows vista is the most breathtaking waste of anyone’s time i’ve seen in a long time. 880mb of ram to boot to desktop. unremarkable performance on my desktop (which is an amd x2 3800 with 2gb ram, 7900gt and lots of disk). ridiculous amounts of confirmation dialogues. boy, it looks shiny though.
    I think microsoft have screwed the pooch with this one.
    Ubuntu 6.06LTS “Dapper Drake” is an amazing linux release. It just goes. It’s fast. shit works. its feature set is complete. ITS FREE. it’s not a resource hog. “Edgy Eft” will be released before vista, and is going to be a LANDMARK release. that means substantially better than dapper.
    OS X is cheap, very, very polished, works very well, has a highly active update cycle (compared to windows, not ubuntu), easy to use.
    Vista is a turd. It is slow. it wants the bees knees to perform even adequately. its huge! it’s annoying. it’s going to have what CURRENT alternatives have. by the time it’s out, current alternatives will have progressed. All the cool shit it was supposed to have is gone, like WinFS, EFI support, etc…

    XP is far, far better in my books.

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