Monday, 29 June 2009 07:08

GNOME 3.0 may have more Mono apps


The next major version of the GNOME desktop environment, version 3.0, may contain more than the one Mono-dependent application than it currently does, according to GNOME Foundation member Dave Neary.

In response to a query as to what extent Mono-dependent applications would be present in GNOME 3.0, which is planned as a major overhaul of the desktop environment, Neary said: "The only Mono app which is already part of the GNOME desktop release set is Tomboy. There are other popular Mono applications among GNOME users, including F-Spot, Banshee and GNOME Do, but for the moment, Tomboy is the only one which has been included in a release set. Between now and GNOME 3.0, however, that may change."

Mono is an attempt to create an open source clone of Microsoft's .NET development environment; the project was begun some years by current Novell vice-president Miguel de Icaza who claims this will pull Windows developers over to GNU/Linux.

Icaza's efforts have come in for a great deal of criticism due to the fear that Mono may cause patent problems down the track and may have to be jettisoned from GNU/Linux altogether; the most recent high-profile figure to voice his objections was the Free Software Foundation founder Richard M. Stallman.

Red Hat's community Linux distribution, Fedora, recently decided to throw out Mono altogether from its default install, and replaced Tomboy with Gnote, a recently created port of Tomboy.

Explaining why GNOME may include more Mono-dependent applications, Neary said: "There is a module proposal period which precedes each release, and the module proposal period for GNOME 2.28 is currently ongoing. There will be another module proposal period for 2.30 (which is likely to be GNOME 3.0). It is possible we'll defer 3.0 until 2.32, if there are issues which would jeopardise the stability and quality of the release, in which case there would be another module proposal period for that release also before the 3.0 release.

"I'm afraid I am not in a position to pre-empt the module addition proposals which will be made between now & then, or the decision which the GNOME community (through the release team) will take on those propositions which are made."

He said the technology was not the primary concern when evaluating new applications for inclusion with the desktop suite. "Before considering technology, we consider the functionality and stability, responsiveness of the maintainer to concern, the quality of the documentation, the speed of the application (and of course, technology plays a role here).

"The GNOME project considers applications for inclusion in the desktop suite if they are written in C, C++, Python or Mono. For the moment, we have not had to make a decision on whether to include a Java application, as there has not been, to date, a compelling module addition proposal written in Java. It is likely that we will also add Javascript support to the platform in the near future."

Neary added that two applications, which are not currently part of the release set, had clearly been identified for inclusion in GNOME 3.0: GNOME Shell, written in C and Javascript, and GNOME Zeitgeist, which is written in Python.

Asked about a possible release date for the 3.0 version, Neary said: "The 3.0 release will be either in March 2010 or September 2010... Either we will be ready to release a stable, functional 3.0 release for 2.30, or we will defer until 2.32. The final decision will be made by the release team, after the 2.28 release in September (2009)."

GNOME was founded in 1997 by de Icaza and Federico Mena-Quintero.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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