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Linux in a Nutshell, Fourth Edition by Aaron Weber, Stephen Figgins, Ellen Siever

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History and Changes in GNOME 2

Most new software releases add features, and a major complaint among users is of steadily increasing complexity, or “feature creep.” The GNOME 2 desktop is distinctive in that, while adding a few features, it has also removed some features.

Tip

Many configuration formats have changed between GNOME 1.4 and GNOME 2.0 as applications have moved to using the GConf system. You will need to reconfigure most, if not all, of your applications when you upgrade.

New features include:

  • Font smoothing (antialiased fonts).

  • Marked speed increases in the Nautilus file manager.

  • Tabbed browsing (press Ctrl-T to create a new tab) in both Galeon and Mozilla web browsers.

  • Internationalization support, including proper handling of right-to-left languages.

  • Accessibility tools for people with visual or mobility impairments.

  • Control Center more smoothly integrated with the rest of the system.

Removed features include:

  • Edge flipping (dragging items from one desktop to another) is no longer available; use keyboard shortcuts or the Workspace Switcher Applet instead.

  • Detachable menus have been disabled; you can turn them on with the gconf-editor tool.

  • It is no longer possible to choose window placement algorithms. Some versions of GNOME ship without window focus options and leave them only as gconf keys.

  • GNOME 1.x made a distinction between two types of virtual desktops. Workspaces assumed the creation of multiple distinct desktops, whereas viewports assumed that you were creating a single, ...

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