Gnome 2.24 released
Gnome 2.24 has been released bringing a wide range of improvements to the free desktop environment. The earlier releases of Gnome 2.24 environment have already been included in some prereleases of Linux distributions. The final release now assures its inclusion in the next releases of Mandriva (October 9), Ubuntu (October 30th), Fedora (late November) and OpenSuse (December 18). Gnome 2.24 also includes the first release of the Gnome Mobile development platform, aimed at developers and hardware manufacturers who want to use Gnome in their Linux based mobile devices.
Users will see, among other features in the Gnome 2.24 desktop, the "Empathy" instant messenger client with XMPP/SIP audio and video support, a personal time tracker, Ekiga 3.0 SIP conferencing client, new compact icon views and tab support in the desktop browser. The Gnome deskbar has been enhanced, now searching Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia and supporting the ability post status updates to Twitter and identi.ca.
Better screen management is also a feature of Gnome 2.24, with new display resolution controls which work with RandR (resize and rotate) 1.2, making Gnome more aware of what displays are connected and what orientation those displays are in. Audio support in the desktop is now themed in a similar way to how icons are themed.
Accessibility has also been worked on in Gnome 2.24. Keyboard navigation has been improved and made more predictable, especially in the file manager. Screen reader support has been improved with better text-to-speech and Braille device support for Java applications, Open Office, Thunderbird, Pidgin and within Gnome itself. Accessibility is an issue for government and corporate adoption of Linux where the law mandates disability equality and access.
Full details of all the changes are in the Gnome 2.24 release notes, which also cover changes for developers, both for working with 2.24 and preparing for future versions of Gnome.