What’s new in GNOME 44?

I use GNOME as my primary desktop environment on my Linux PC at home. GNOME gives me an easy-to-use graphical desktop that provides the flexibility I need but doesn’t get in my way when I focus on my work.

GNOME has recently released GNOME 44 with many new features. I reached out to the GNOME team to ask about the latest version and what’s in it. Team members Caroline Henriksen (Brand Manager), Matthias Klaassen (GNOME developer and release team member), and Alan Day (Design Team) had much to share here.

New GNOME Features

Gym Hall: What new and updated features in GNOME 44 are you most excited about?

GNOME Team: I’m excited to see how new and modern our user interface looks. Not only in core apps like Files (File Manager, Nautilus) but also in our Settings, which has seen a lot of work in the last cycle—many settings panels have been improved. If you have the chance, you should try out the new mouse and touchpad panel and enjoy the animated pictures.

There’s a lot to like in GNOME 44. For example, I think a lot of people are going to be really happy about the new grid view in the file chooser, as well as being able to easily connect devices from the new Bluetooth menu in Quick Settings.

gym: The release notes mention GNOME Circle and a few new apps have been added. What is Gnome Circle?

Team: GNOME Circle is a collection of great apps that use the GNOME platform. It’s GNOME’s way of promoting the best apps that use our technologies and support app developers.

To join GNOME Circle, an app must meet a set of requirements. Once this is done, developers get additional publicity and things like membership in the GNOME Foundation. In return, this gives them access to additional infrastructure and travel sponsorship. More information and how to apply can be found on the GNOME Circle page.

We are thrilled with the success of GNOME Circle. It now includes over 50 apps! I particularly like that not all of these apps revolve around computing. You can find apps like health tracker, metronome or chase clock.

gym: GNOME is the standard desktop in many Linux distributions. Where can we expect to see GNOME 44?

Team: The upcoming Fedora 38 release will include GNOME 44 and should be out sometime in April, as will Ubuntu 23.04. And GNOME 44 builds have already landed in OpenSUSE’s Tumbleweed and MicroOS, to name a few major distros.

gym: The release name of GNOME 44 is Kuala Lumpur. Where did this name come from?

Team: GNOME has two major annual conferences, Guadec in the middle of the year (the next conference will be in Latvia in July 2023) and GNOME Asia at the end of the year. We are very grateful to the local team in Malaysia who welcomed us to GNOME Asia 2022 in Kuala Lumpur.

Organizing these events requires a lot of effort and commitment from GNOME employees and local teams. As a small gesture of our appreciation, the GNOME release is named after the location of the most recent conference. This naming scheme was introduced several years ago. GNOME 3.18, Gothenburg, was the first.

gym: GNOME has a strong user community with active members. What keeps the GNOME community so engaged?

Team: GNOME has always been a community driven project with a strong sense of collaboration and inclusivity. That’s part of what makes being a GNOME contributor and user so rewarding. Being a member of the GNOME community means you can interact with people from all over the world to work on common goals and exchange ideas. It’s an enriching and inspiring experience, and I think that’s what helps keep our community excited and engaged.

An important aspect of fostering that connection is meeting our community where they are and making our programs more accessible to people around the world. For example, our flagship conference, Guadec, was held last year in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was the first time GUADEC took place outside Europe, and made it easier for GNOME users and contributors in Latin America to participate.

We try to meet our community members not only online and at our own conferences, but also at other events like Linux Applications Summit, FOSDEM, or SCaLE. If you see a GNOME booth at any of these events, please stop by and say hello. You’ll often find developers, designers, foundation staff and board members happy to chat and answer questions.

connect with gnome

gym: How can people get started writing their own apps for GNOME? If I want to learn how to write my first “hello world” app for GNOME, are there any tutorials I can follow?

Team: The Start Developing for GNOME site includes a collection of tutorials, including a guide to building your first app quickly. With new technologies like Flatpak and GNOME Builder, it’s amazing how easy it has become to build your own apps nowadays. Start the builder, click “New Project”, fill in a few details, and you’ll have your own running GNOME app. It really is that easy.

gym: In what ways can people contribute?

Team: If someone is interested in GNOME and motivated to get involved, there are certainly some things they can do to help. If you’re a beginner, participating in discussions on our Discourse instances or reporting issues is a good start. There’s also a lot of non-technical work that needs to be done, like helping with our documentation, translating GNOME into different languages, or even helping organize our annual conferences. Many of these activities have friendly teams working to help you get started.

Alternatively, if you have coding experience, you can browse our “Newcomer” ticket for tasks that may interest you.

Another way to contribute is by making a donation to GNOME. As an open-source project and a non-profit foundation, regular donations help us continue to build GNOME, provide essential infrastructure, and power new initiatives.

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