by November 2, 2007 0 comments

GENOME 2.20 is out and has already been incorporated in two most popular
Linux distros—Mandriva 2008 and OpenSuSE 10.3. However, it’s not yet out as
standard RPM or deb files for installation or upgrade on older distros. So, if
you don’t want to install Mandriva or OpenSuSE, you can still check out the new
GNOME. Simply download Foresight Linux from, which is
essentially a Live CD developed by GNOME developers. Here’s a sneak preview of
the popular desktop GUI.

Intuitive new features
If you are among those who often send mails and forget to attach actual
files, then GNOME has something really interesting for you. The default mail
client of GNOME 2.20, ie Evolution, has this nifty feature that is always on the
lookout for words such as attachment, attach, etc whenever you type a mail. In
case it finds a match, it warns you about the possibility of a mail attachment
and requests you to confirm the same before you send the mail. Of course, there
is no great technology behind this but it’s really useful to have. Plus, you
will also see a task bar icon of evolution in GNOME 2.20.

Meant For: Linux Users
Key Specs: New Evolution client;
EXIF information support for digital cameras; New User Profile Editor
Pros: Has incorporated some very
thoughtful new features
Cons: None
SMS Buy 131183 to 56767

GNOME is clever enough to understand the EXIF information from new age
cameras. EXIF or Exchangeable Image File is an image file format that
incorporates specific metadata into JPEG or Tiff files, which when copied to a
computer, tell you the orientation of an image. So, your GNOME File Manager will
automatically discover portrait and landscape images while being transferred
from the EXIF enabled camera to the PC and do the needful changes to their

GENOME has another interesting feature that doesn’t involve any rocket
science, but is thoughtful nonetheless. GNOME’s ‘Locked Screen’ dialog has a
button called ‘Leave a note’ where visitors can drop in a note in your absence.
You don’t need sticky notes anymore thanks to this feature.

User profiles
A new tool called Sabayon has been incorporated with GNOME, which is a User
Profile Editor where admins can configure user profiles sitting on a live GNOME
session. When a profile is created or edited, a nested GNOME session starts up.
An administrator can use this to change GConf keys inside the GNOME session.
Inside the nested window, the admin can create personalized profiles depending
on the type of work a user is supposed to perform. The best part is that these
profiles can be saved in a central location and deployed across multiple

If you type attach while
composing a mail in Evolution, without actually attaching a file, it pops up
a warning

Bottomline: The new GUI has a host of
interesting features, some of which are so simple, and yet one wonders why
didn’t anybody think of them before.

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