September 23, 2009

Made to Share! GNOME 2.28 Released!

September 23, 2009 — GNOME 2.28 enhances Empathy Instant Messaging, adds official Bluetooth support, and improves other applications and the GNOME Developer Platform.

The GNOME Community is excited to announce the immediate availability of GNOME 2.28. Hundreds of volunteers worldwide have worked over the past six months to deliver improvements to the GNOME Desktop and GNOME Developer Platform.

GNOME 2.28 furthers the GNOME mission by making sure people have a free desktop they can use to communicate with their friends using the latest technology.

GNOME 2.28 delivers a number of new feature enhancements to improve the user experience. GNOME 2.28 adds official support for Bluetooth devices for the first time, including mice, keyboards, mobile phones and other peripherals. Bastien Nocera, one of the leading developers of GNOME’s Bluetooth featureset says: “With the addition of the Bluetooth management tools and the enhancements to our Volume Control applications, we’ve given GNOME users access to more hardware features, whilst keeping our design principles.”

Empathy, GNOME’s instant messenger, built on the Telepathy framework, has seen numerous improvements, including the ability to add custom themes, geolocation support for Jabber clients, and the ability for users to share their desktop with their contacts using the GNOME Remote Desktop server and viewer, Vino and Vinagre. “The Telepathy team is proud of the cooperation between the Empathy, Vino and Vinagre developers. Thanks to their work, our users will be able to easily share their desktop with their contacts without having to care about the underlying technical details. This is a great step for us as it marks the first use in GNOME of the collaborative features offered by the Telepathy framework. We hope to soon see more and more applications integrating Telepathy in order to increase the collaborative user experience in the GNOME desktop,” says Guillame Desmottes, one of the main contributors to Empathy.

Other improvements to the GNOME Desktop include:

  • Cheese, the GNOME webcam application, features an all new wide mode for users with netbooks.
  • GNOME’s web browser, Epiphany, fixed a number of long-standing bugs with the switch to Webkit as its engine.
  • The Evince document viewer has been ported to Microsoft Windows®.
  • Gedit has been ported to Mac OS® X.
  • … and more.

For users with accessibility needs, Orca, the GNOME screen reader application, has seen numerous updates, including support for mouseovers, moving the mouse without performing a click, the ability to pronounce mis-spellled words, and more.

The GNOME Developer Platform has seen significant progress in removing deprecated modules and functionality. In GNOME 2.28, there are no longer any applications that depend on esound, libgnomevfs, libgnomeprint, or libgnomeprintui. GTK+, Glib and other GNOME libraries have also seen improvements.

For the full list of changes, please see the release notes at


The GNOME Project is creating a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop environment for users, as well as a powerful application development framework for software developers. The GNOME desktop is used by millions of people around the world. GNOME is a standard part of all leading GNU/Linux and Unix distributions as well as many mobile platforms like cellular phones and tablets.

The GNOME project has three main goals:

  • Free and open source desktop accessible to all. GNOME is a free desktop available to everyone, regardless of language, physical ability, technical expertise.
  • Development platform. GNOME is a powerful development platform for developing free and open source software applications.
  • GNOME Mobile. GNOME technologies provide a foundation for mobile applications from tablets to cellular phones.

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