GNOME 3.32 was released this week. For all intents and purposes, it is a fantastic release, and I am already using the packages provided by Arch Linux’s gnome-unstable repository. Congratulations for everyone involved (including the Arch team for the super quick packaging!)
I have a few highlights, comments and thoughts I would like to share about this release, and since I own this blog, well, let me do it publicly! 🙂
Fast, Furiously Fast
The most promoted improvement in this release is the improved performance. Having worked or reviewed some these improvements myself, I found it a bit weird that some people were reporting enormous changes on performance. Of course, you should notice that GNOME Shell is smoother, and applications as well (when the compositor reliably sends frame ticks to applications, they also draw on time, and feel smoother as well.)
But people were telling me that these changes were game changing.
There is a grey line between the actual improvements, and people just happy and overly excited about it. And I thought the latter was the case.
But then I installed the non-debug packages from Arch repositories and this is actually a game changer release. I probably got used to using Mutter and GNOME Shell manually compiled with all the debug and development junk, and didn’t really notice how better it became.
Better GNOME Music
One of the applications that I enjoy the most in the GNOME core apps ecosytem is GNOME Music. In the past, I have worked on landing various performance improvements on it. Unfortunately, my contributions ceased last year, but I have been following the development of this pretty little app closely
A lot of effort was put into modernizing GNOME Music, and it is absolutely paying off. It is more stable, better, and I believe it has reached the point where adding new features won’t drive contributors insane.
GNOME Web – a gem
In the past, I have tried making Web my main browser. Unfortunately, that did not work out very well, due to 2 big reasons:
- WordPress would not work, and as such, I couldn’t write blog posts using Web;
- Google Drive (and a few other Google websites) would be subtly broken.
Both issues seem to be fixed now! In fact, as you can see from the previous screenshot, I am writing this post from Web. Which makes me super happy.
Even though I cannot use it 100% of the time (mainly due to online banking and Google Meets), I will experiment making it my main browser for a few weeks and see how it goes.
GNOME Terminal + Headebars = 💖
As I write this, I am getting ready for next week’s Parental Controls & Metered Data Hackfest in London. We will discuss and try to land in GNOME some downstream features available at Endless OS.
I’m also mentally preparing for the Content Apps Hackfest. And GUADEC. It is somewhat hard once you realize you have travel anxiety, and every week before traveling is a psychological war.
This was a peculiar release to me.
This is actually the first release where I spent serious time on Mutter and GNOME Shell. As I said in the past, it’s a new passion of mine. Both are complex projects that encompasses many aspects of the user experience, and cleaning the code and improving it has been fantastic so far. As such, it was and still is a challenge to split my time in such a fragmented way (it’s not like I don’t maintain GNOME Settings, GNOME Calendar, and GNOME To Do already.)
Besides that, I am close to finishing moving to a new home! This is an ongoing process, slow and steady, it is becoming something I am growing to love and feel like home.