by May 8, 2004 0 comments



Finally the long awaited Gnome 2.6 is out. And, with a lot of new features and bug fixes. After the successful release of KDE 3.2, the expectations from Gnome had been quite high. In this article we will see if Gnome 2.6 is really worth immediately upgrading to or should you just wait for the next Linux distro, which will come pre-packed with it. And if the answer to the first question is yes, then how can you install it on your Linux box.

Gnome 2.4 (Eyes and Hands on Gnome 2.4, page 106, PCQuest, November 2003) came with new accessibility tools such as GOK and Gnoprencius. These tools were developed under HIG (Human Interface Guideline) and released as a big public beta with Gnome 2.4. In Gnome 2.6 these tools are added with enhancements such as lots of bug fixes, and a new innovative tool called Dasher that can be used to input text. These tools are approved by the Linux community and have taken a shape of a remarkable user interface, which will surely penetrate a wider spectrum of people irrespective of ones’ physical incapability, in this new release. 

Gnome has added a Computer icon on the desktop similsr 
to My Computer in Windows

Gnome 2.6 also comes with an improved File manager (Nautilus). The first thing that you will notice in Nautilus is the enhanced speed. Gnome has now improved memory management so that it can cope with the highly improved speed of KDE 3.2. Second, what you’ll notice is that when you click on a folder, it will open up on a new window instead of opening the folder in the same one. Well, everyone won’t appreciate this feature because it will consequently open up a lot of folders on your desktop, hence cluttering it. But, there is a reason why this has been done. From now on Nautilus is capable of remembering the size and position of every folder that has been ever opened. It is now also capable of remembering the exact position of the scroll bar where you left it the last time you used it. Another thing is that if you try to open a folder twice, it will only highlight the folder instead of opening up a new instance of the explorer. So if you are using a fixed set of folders frequently, the opening of new window for every folder makes sense with the above-mentioned feature and will surely enhance some of your productivity. And if this is not the case with you then you can always disable this feature by pressing the
Shift key while you double click on a folder or use the middle button of the mouse to open the folder.

Sequence of installation for gnome 2.6 files
libxml2ÙlibxsltÙgtk-docÙglibÙlibIDLÙORBit2ÙintltoolÙpkgconfigÙlibbonoboÙpangoÙatkÙfontconfig (all components 
from the folder)Ùgtk+ÙgconfÙgnome-mime-dataÙgnome-vfsÙesoundÙlibgnomeÙlibart_lgplÙ
libgladeÙlibgnomecanvasÙlibbonobouiÙgnome-icon-themeÙgnome-keyringÙlibgnomeuiÙstartup-notification, gtk-enginesÙgnome-themesÙgnome-desktopÙlibwnckÙscrollkeeperÙgnome-panelÙgnome-sessionÙvteÙ gnome-terminalÙlibgtopÙgailÙlibxklavierÙgnome-appletsÙmetacityÙlibrsvgÙeelÙaudiofileÙnautilusÙcontrol-
centerÙlibgtkhtml2ÙyelpÙbug-buddyÙlibgnomeprintÙlibgnomeprintuiÙgtksourceviewÙgeditÙeogÙggvÙ file-rollerÙgconf-editorÙgnome-utilsÙgnome-system-monitorÙgstreamerÙgst-pluginsÙgnome-mediaÙnautilus-
mediaÙgnome-netstatusÙgcalctoolÙgpdfÙgucharmapÙnautilus-cd-burnerÙzenityÙgnome-speechÙat-
spiÙgnome-magÙgnopernicusÙgokÙgdmÙepiphanyÙgnomemeetingÙgnome-gamesÙgnome2-user-docs dasher

Another add-on, which you will see on the Gnome desktop is a new icon called Computer. This is like My Computer we have in Windows. From here you can access your File System, Removable Medias like CD-ROM and floppy drive and network shares. This will make Windows users feel a little more at home while using Linux. Gnome is now also able to remember your network passwords for a running Gnome session and as a result you no longer need to enter your password
each time you access a network share. 

The new network applet gives you all the necessary
details about your network devices

Another useful thing which Gnome has adopted or you can say got inspired from Windows is a new panel applet called ‘Network Monitor’. This applet sits on your panel and shows whether your network device is active or not, and on double clicking on it, it opens up a dialogue box from where you can see your IP address settings, data uploaded and downloaded in Megabytes and also you will get a shortcut to open the ‘redhat-config-network’ applet.

On the browser front Epiphany, the lightweight Web browser, which had replaced Galion in the last release, is now trying hard to make itself a matured browser. In this release you will find better auto-completion of URL, better download management and an improved toolbar in Epiphany. Now the GTK+2.4 has also improved in respect of functionality and also had maintained the compatibility with the older version GTK+2.2. You will also notice some improvements in
gnome-vfs.

Installation
These are some of the core features of Gnome 2.6. Now let’s see how to install it on your PCQLinux 2004 machine. At this point of time we don’t have the binary version of Gnome to download and install with ease. There are two methods of installing it. One is by using Garnome, the Internet based installer for Gnome. This allows you to directly download and install Gnome-components from Gnome’s own or mirror websites. This is feasible for those who have a good bandwidth and can download 79 files, which are a little over 100MB in size. The installation is pretty easy in this, as you don’t have to unpack and compile all files manually. For this go to www.gnome.org/~jdub/garnome/. The second method to install Gnome 2.6 is from this month’s PCQXtreme CD. You can install Gnome manually from the source tree we’ve given. Unfortunately, the installation is quite laborious and monotonous so get jugs of coffee ready, because this is going to take time. 

Direct Hit!
Applies to:
Linux desktop users
USP: More bug fixes and enhanced speed 
Links:
www.gnome.org
On PCQ Xtreme CD:
system\cdrom\linux

We’ve done the installation on PCQLinux 2004 with at least 800 MB of free space. After the installation is over, you’ll get back about 450 MB.

Like we said, the installation is time consuming and laborious, but not difficult. All you have to do is unpack all files one after the other in the order given in the box, compile and install them. The command to do the same is as follows.

#tar —zxvf <pkgname.tar.gz>
#cd <pkgname>
#./configure
#make&& make install
#cd ..
#rm <pkgname>* -rf

Here, replace <pkgname> with the package you are going to install. This should take around two hours if you sit through continuously.

Anindya Roy

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