18 Years of GNOME Design and Software Evolution: Step by Step

GNOME (GNU Object Model Environment) was started on August 15th 1997 by two Mexican programmers – Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena. GNOME – Free Software project to develop a desktop environment and applications by volunteers and paid full-time developers. All of GNOME Desktop Environment is the open source software and support Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and others.

Now we move to 1997 and see the first version of GNOME:


GNOME 1.0 - First major GNOME release
GNOME 1.0 (1997) – First major GNOME release


GNOME 1.2 Bongo
GNOME 1.2 “Bongo”, 2000


GNOME 1.4 Tranquility
GNOME 1.4 “Tranquility”, 2001


GNOME 2.0, 2002

Major upgrade based on GTK+2. Introduction of the Human Interface Guidelines.

GNOME 2.2, 2003

Multimedia and file manager improvements.

GNOME 2.4 Temujin
GNOME 2.4 “Temujin”, 2003

First release of Epiphany Browser, accessibility support.

GNOME 2.6, 2004

Nautilus changes to a spatial file manager, and a new GTK+ file dialog is introduced. A short-lived fork of GNOME, GoneME, is created as a response to the changes in this version.

GNOME 2.8, 2004

Improved removable device support, adds Evolution

GNOME 2.10
GNOME 2.10, 2005

Lower memory requirements and performance improvements. Adds: new panel applets (modem control, drive mounter and trashcan); and the Totem and Sound Juicer applications.

GNOME 2.12
GNOME 2.12, 2005

Nautilus improvements; improvements in cut/paste between applications and freedesktop.org integration. Adds: Evince PDF viewer; New default theme: Clearlooks; menu editor; keyring manager and admin tools. Based on GTK+ 2.8 with cairo support

GNOME 2.14
GNOME 2.14, 2006

Performance improvements (over 100% in some cases); usability improvements in user preferences; GStreamer 0.10 multimedia framework. Adds: Ekiga video conferencing application; Deskbar search tool; Pessulus lockdown editor; Fast user switching; Sabayon system administration tool.

GNOME 2.16
GNOME 2.16, 2006

Performance improvements. Adds: Tomboy notetaking application; Baobab disk usage analyser; Orca screen reader; GNOME Power Manager (improving laptop battery life); improvements to Totem, Nautilus; compositing support for Metacity; new icon theme. Based on GTK+ 2.10 with new print dialog

GNOME 2.18
GNOME 2.18, 2007

Performance improvements. Adds: Seahorse GPG security application, allowing encryption of emails and local files; Baobab disk usage analyser improved to support ring chart view; Orca screen reader; improvements to Evince, Epiphany and GNOME Power Manager, Volume control; two new games, GNOME Sudoku and glChess. MP3 and AAC audio encoding.

GNOME 2.20
GNOME 2.20, 2007

Tenth anniversary release. Evolution backup functionality; improvements in Epiphany, EOG, GNOME Power Manager; password keyring management in Seahorse. Adds: PDF forms editing in Evince; integrated search in the file manager dialogs; automatic multimedia codec installer.

GNOME 2.22, 2008GNOME 2.22, 2008

Addition of Cheese, a tool for taking photos from webcams and Remote Desktop Viewer; basic window compositing support in Metacity; introduction of GVFS; improved playback support for DVDs and YouTube, MythTV support in Totem; internationalised clock applet; Google Calendar support and message tagging in Evolution; improvements in Evince, Tomboy, Sound Juicer and Calculator.

GNOME 2.24
GNOME 2.24, 2008
Addition of the Empathy instant messenger client, Ekiga 3.0, tabbed browsing in Nautilus, better multiple screens support and improved digital TV support.

GNOME 2.26
GNOME 2.26, 2009

New optical disc recording application Brasero, simpler file sharing, media player improvements, support for multiple monitors and fingerprint reader support.

GNOME 2.28
GNOME 2.28, 2009

Addition of GNOME Bluetooth module. Improvements to Epiphany web browser, Empathy instant messenger client, Time Tracker, and accessibility. Upgrade to GTK+ version 2.18.

GNOME 2.30
GNOME 2.30, 2010

Improvements to Nautilus file manager, Empathy instant messenger client, Tomboy, Evince, Time Tracker, Epiphany, and Vinagre. iPod and iPod Touch devices are now partially supported via GVFS through libimobiledevice. Uses GTK+ 2.20.

GNOME 2.32
GNOME 2.32, 2010

Addition of Rygel and GNOME Color Manager. Improvements to Empathy instant messenger client, Evince, Nautilus file manager and others. 3.0 was intended to be released in September 2010, so a large part of the development effort since 2.30 went towards 3.0.


GNOME 3.0, 2011

Introduction of GNOME Shell. A redesigned settings framework with fewer, more focused options. Topic-oriented help based on the Mallard markup language. Side-by-side window tiling. A new visual theme and default font. Adoption of GTK+ 3.0 with its improved language bindings, themes, touch, and multiplatform support. Removal of long-deprecated development APIs.[73]

GNOME 3.2, 2011

Online accounts support; Web applications support; contacts manager; documents and files manager; quick preview of files in the File Manager; greater integration; better documentation; enhanced looks and various performance improvements.

GNOME 3.4, 2012

New Look for GNOME 3 Applications: Documents, Epiphany (now called Web), and GNOME Contacts. Search for documents from the Activities overview. Application menus support. Refreshed interface components: New color picker, redesigned scrollbars, easier to use spin buttons, and hideable title bars. Smooth scrolling support. New animated backgrounds. Improved system settings with new Wacom panel. Easier extensions management. Better hardware support. Topic-oriented documentation. Video calling and Live Messenger support in Empathy. Better accessibility: Improved Orca integration, better high contrast mode, and new zoom settings. Plus many other application enhancements and smaller details.

GNOME 3.6, 2012

Refreshed Core components: New applications button and improved layout in the Activities Overview. A new login and lock screen. Redesigned Message Tray. Notifications are now smarter, more noticeable, easier to dismiss. Improved interface and settings for System Settings. The user menu now shows Power Off by default. Integrated Input Methods. Accessibility is always on. New applications: Boxes, that was introduced as a preview version in GNOME 3.4, and Clocks, an application to handle world times. Updated looks for Disk Usage Analyzer, Empathy and Font Viewer. Improved braille support in Orca. In Web, the previously blank start page was replaced by a grid that holds your most visited pages, plus better full screen mode and a beta of WebKit2. Evolution renders email using WebKit. Major improvements to Disks. Revamped Files application (also known as Nautilus), with new features like Recent files and search.


GNOME 3.8, 2013

Refreshed Core components: A new applications view with frequently used and all apps. An overhauled window layout. New input methods OSD switcher. The Notifications & Messaging tray now react to the force with which the pointer is pressed against the screen edge. Added Classic mode for those who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. The GNOME Settings application features an updated toolbar design. New Initial Setup assistant. GNOME Online Accounts integrates with more services. Web has been upgraded to use the WebKit2 engine. Web has a new private browsing mode. Documents has gained a new dual page mode & Google Documents integration. Improved user interface of Contacts. GNOME Files, GNOME Boxes and GNOME Disks have received a number of improvements. Integration of ownCloud. New GNOME Core Applications: GNOME Clocks and GNOME Weather.

GNOME 3.10
GNOME 3.10, 2013

A reworked system status area, which gives a more focused overview of the system. A collection of new applications, including GNOME Maps, GNOME Notes, GNOME Music and GNOME Photos. New geolocation features, such as automatic time zones and world clocks. HiDPI support[75] and smart card support. D-Bus activation made possible with GLib 2.38

GNOME 3.12
GNOME 3.12, 2014

Improved keyboard navigation and window selection in the Overview. Revamped first set-up utility based on usability tests. Wired networking re-added to the system status area. Customizable application folders in the Applications view. Introduction of new GTK+ widgets such as popovers in many applications. New tab style in GTK+. GNOME Videos GNOME Terminal and gedit were given a fresh look, more consistent with the HIG. A search provider for the terminal emulator is included in GNOME Shell. Improvements to GNOME Software and high-density display support. A new sound recorder application. New desktop notifications API. Progress in the Wayland port has reached a usable state that can be optionally previewed.

GNOME 3.14
GNOME 3.14, 2014

Improved desktop environment animations. Improved touchscreen support. GNOME Software supports managing installed add-ons. GNOME Photos adds support for Google. Redesigned UI for Evince, Sudoku, Mines and Weather. Hitori is added as part of GNOME Games.

GNOME 3.16
GNOME 3.16, 2015

33,000 changes. Major changes include UI color scheme goes from black to charcoal. Overlay scroll bars added. Improvements to notifications including integration with Calendar applet. Tweaks to various apps including Files, Image Viewer, and Maps. Access to Preview Apps. Continued porting from X11 to Wayland.

Thanks to Wikipedia for short changelogs review and another big thanks for GNOME Project! Stay tuned!

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