Wednesday the GNOME Desktop project released version 3.0 of its GNOME Linux desktop interface. Various sources have labeled the UI overhaul as "radical" while the developers claim its the most significant redesign in nine years, a "historic moment for the free and open source desktop."
The team reportedly started from scratch to create a completely new, modern shell designed for today's users and technologies. "With any luck, you will feel more focused, aware, effective, capable, respected, delighted, and at ease," said Jon McCann, one of the designers. "[GNOME Shell aims to] help us cope with modern life in a busy world. Help us connect, stay on track, feel at ease and in control."
GNOME's new desktop throws out the previous boxy feel for a sleeker, more aerodynamic look. It's less cluttered and features a refined new font and new animations. Messaging is built right into the UI, and accompanied by a distraction-free notification system that subtly presents messages that are stored and saved for viewing later. There's also an activities view providing an easy way to access all windows and applications with the simple press of a keyboard key.
"Our system settings have been completely redesigned for GNOME 3, making them easier to use than ever before," the team said. "GNOME 3 also provides a new way to browse your settings, and our settings categories have been reorganized, making it quick and straightforward to find the setting that you want."
Other GNOME 3 features include an improved API, side-by-side window tiling to make using several windows simple and easy, a redesigned file manager, redesigned work spaces, improvements in search, display backend, and streamlined libraries. GNOME 2 applications will even continue to work in the new environment without modification, the team said.