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The Best New Features Coming in GNOME 41

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GNOME

GNOME 41 doesn’t include as many desktop layout rejigs as the GNOME 40 release in the spring, but the same sincere commitment to improving the GNOME desktop experience is there all the same.

As you are about to see, there is a stack of new features and ‘interesting’ design changes to talk about, so scroll down to swot up on the key changes expected to ship in GNOME 41 this autumn.

For note, Ubuntu 21.10 will NOT include GNOME 41. A few exceptions are being made on an individual app basis, as in the case of the GNOME Disks Utility.

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HighContrast Variants For Adwaita-Qt

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GNOME

In the past we used to have a completely different project to cover HighContrast variants of GTK Adwaita theme. This was all implemented as Highcontrast-qt, a project nobody has touched for 6 years. You can imagine how it looks like these days when you compare it to what we have now. I think even GTK variant of HighContrast was a completely separate theme back then, while today days it’s just Adwaita with a different set of colors.

Since GTK made the new HighContrast theme with just few modifications to the original Adwaita theme, I decided to use same approach and have Adwaita-qt to provide all four variants as well (Adwaita, Adwaita-dark, HighContrast and HighContrastInverse). While this looks like a simple thing to do, as you just need to add additional color palette, it was a pain to do it in Adwaita-qt. The reason is that Adwaita-qt is full of hardcoded color definitions, where all of them were randomly taken from GTK Adwaita stylesheets. Everytime something changed in GTK Adwaita, we would have to manually pick the change and replace the changed color value on our side. This was not really sustainable, especially when I wanted to have four different variants.

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GNOME 41 Desktop Environment Enters Beta Testing with New Apps, Better Wayland Support

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GNOME

GNOME 41 will be the first major update to the popular desktop environment since the release of GNOME 40 with its redesigned Activities Overview, and promises new apps, new features, as well as numerous improvements and bug fixes.

Highlights of GNOME 41 include a new Calls app that acts as a phone dialer and call handler, mostly useful for mobile devices but capable of doing VoIP calls too, and support for the GDM login manager to allow Wayland user sessions even if the login screen is on X.Org, as well as for single GPU vendor NVIDIA machines.

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GTK 4.4

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GNOME

GTK 4.4.0 is now available for download in the usual places. Here are some highlights of the work that has gone into it.

The NGL renderer has continued to see improvements. This includes speedups, fixes for transformed rendering, avoiding huge intermediate textures, and correct handling of partial color fonts. After some help from driver developers, NGL now works correctly with the Mali driver. We are planning to drop the original GL renderer in the next cycle.

Outside of GSK, our OpenGL setup code has been cleaned up and simplified. We increasingly rely on EGL, and require EGL 1.4 now. On X11 we use EGL, falling back to GLX if needed. On Windows, we default to using WGL.

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GNOME and Debian GSoC Reports

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Google
GNOME
Debian
  • GSoC 2021 Final Report – Abanoub's Blog

    I have been working on tracker project for the past 10 weeks to improve its support for custom ontologies. It has been a great journey and I gained great software engineering experience by exploring the project and its architecture. Also, the project mentors helped me a lot during the project. In this article I’m going to summarize the work done in the project and the future work.

  • GSoC 2021: Overview – Ivan Molodetskikh's Blog

    Over the summer I worked on implementing the new screenshot UI for GNOME Shell as part of Google Summer of Code 2021. This post is an overview of the work I did and work still left to do.

    The project was about adding a dedicated UI to GNOME Shell for taking screenshots and recording screencasts. The idea was to unify related functionality in a discoverable and easy to use interface, while also improving on several aspects of existing screenshot and screencast tools.

  • GSoC: Second Phase of Coding Period

    So here we are near the end of GSoC 2021 and with that, I am sharing details of the work I completed in the second phase of the coding period.

Top 13 Best GNOME Extensions That are Beautiful (2021 Picks)

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GNOME

Extensions are a major part of the overall GNOME experience as they add in value to the ecosystem either it is too mould its Desktop Environment (DE) to workflow, to add more functions than provided by default, or to freshen up the user interface. To put the long story short you can customize your desktop theme with help of these extensions.

With the default Ubuntu switching from Unity towards it, now it is time that you get familiar with different choices that it offers. Finding one can be quite a difficult task this is why we have compiled for you a list to save your time and energy to follow through to know it all.

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GNOME 40.4 Released with More Bug Fixes and Various Improvements

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GNOME

The GNOME 40.4 point release comes exactly a month after the GNOME 40.3 update and it’s considered a stable bugfix release for the GNOME 40 series that fixes some critical issues, but also adds various improvements to existing functionality for a better GNOME desktop experience.

Epiphany 40.3 web browser now uses PDF.js only for GET requests and the AdGuard script to block YouTube ads. It also adds supports for manually checking adblock filter content type and comes with a fix for an UI process CPU usage issue.

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Emmanuele Bassi: The GTK Documentation

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Development
GNOME

As you may have noticed, there have been various changes in the GNOME developer documentation website, as of late. These changes also affected the API references for GTK and its core dependencies.

What has changed

The main change is that GTK moved to a new documentation tool for its API reference and ancillary documentation, called gi-docgen. Unlike the previous documentation tool, gtk-doc, gi-docgen uses the introspection data that is generated by GObject-based libraries to build the API reference.

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Also: Porting GNOME Design tools to GTK 4

MATE 1.26 released

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GNOME

This release might have taken a little longer than usual but now after 18 month of development we are very pleased to release MATE 1.26. A big thank you to all contributors who helped to make this happen.

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Maximiliano Sandoval: Decoder 0.2.0 Released

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Development
GNOME

It has been a few months since last release in February, and quite a lot has changed, GTK 4 had many issues back then and had to be manually included in the Flatpak manifest, libadwaita was still a WIP merge request for libhandy and didn’t include changes to the Adwaita stylesheet, ASHPD didn’t have an asynchronous API, and gtk4-rs was in a state of constant flux, to the point where making the required API changes when updating the app took hours, just due to the massive number of improvements in gtk-rs-core. Just updating those dependencies makes a big difference.

The worst offender was that the gstreamer plugging used for the camera depended on gstreamer/gst-plugins-good/!767 for GTK 4 support, and to make everything bad, a bug in the Intel drivers made the app crash in Wayland when initializing the camera so it had to be released without Wayland support.

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