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19 March 2009, 10:35

GNOME 2.26.0 released

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The final version of GNOME 2.26.0 has been released and includes a number of new features, changes and updated applications. This release of the free open source desktop environment also includes several updated translations, stablisation work and bug fixes. According to the developers, the 2.26.0 release is not intended to be a revolutionary release, but rather one focused on stability, accessibility and ease of use.

Version 2.26.0 sees a return of the session saving feature which previously didn't work as well as intended. An earlier complete rewrite had resulted in problems when trying to save a session so the feature was pulled from the previous release. The GNOME control centre has been updated with better support for launching arbitrary commands via key-bindings and the power manager now has better ConsoleKit and PolicyKit integration. GNOME's sound system now implements the latest version of Pulse Audio and includes a new volume control and Sound Preferences tool. The updated Display Settings tool includes better support for multiple projectors and monitors to allow simple configuration. Version 2.26 integrates the fprintd fingerprint service to allow users to enroll their fingerprints to be used for authentication.

Many of the included applications have also received updates and notable changes. Totem has added support for MXF videos and the repeat function in the browser plug-in has been fixed. Evolution, the GNOME mail, address book and calendaring application, has an IMAP revamp, additional plug-in loaders and an Exchange 2007/MAPI Connector. The release offers Epiphany as it's own official web browser, which supports both the Gecko engine and the WebKit engine, with Gecko as the current default. Empathy, which was first introduced in GNOME 2.24, replacing Pidgin as the default instant messenger application, supports voice and video in the current release. Brasero is now included as the default CD/DVD burning program and changes have also taken place to the GNOME artwork as some themes have been updated, along with icons and emblems. Simple file sharing is included through a plug-in for the file manager which enables file sharing over WebDAV, HTTP and Bluetooth.

More details about the release and changes can be found in the release notes. A list of distributions that use GNOME as their Default Desktop can be found on the distributions page of the GNOME web site.


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