Chapter 11. The GNOME Developer Platform

You are probably familiar or at least acquainted with the popular GNOME desktop environment. Often seen as a competitor to the similarly popular K Desktop Environment (KDE), GNOME is one of the flagship open source projects and one of the best ways to make GNU/Linux systems usable by the average person.

The desktop environment is based upon a stack of libraries known as the GNOME Developer Platform; the applications such as the panel, session manager, and web browser, which form the user's experience of GNOME are known as the GNOME Desktop. Both Platform and Desktop are released simultaneously on a strict every-six-month schedule, so the development philosophy is generally one of incremental improvement instead of radical change and rewriting. Some libraries usually considered as part of the Platform are not released on this schedule—Glib and GTK+ are developed on their own schedule, as they are not a part of the GNOME Project even though they share many core developers.

This chapter explores the GNOME Developer Platform by building a simple music player application using only libraries found within the Platform. By the end of the chapter, you should have a good starting point for further exploration of the libraries and the development of new GNOME applications. To assist you, a number of possible improvements to the music player will be presented, which will require some research to discover the appropriate solutions for. It is assumed that ...

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