According to the release schedule, the GNOME Project is pleased to announce the 2.8 version of its GNOME Desktop. You can find the official annoucement here, as well as the discussion in FootNotes.

I've been using the first release candidate (2.7.92) for around two weeks, and all I can tell is that it's marvelous (well, almost) ;-) Lots of bugs have been fixed, some of them regarding to portability to NetBSD (which I filed). It also has several new features and applications, like Evolution 2.0, Vino or the GNOME System Tools, just to name a few.

What I like specially is that Metacity starts to be usable. Believe me, it sucked in GNOME 2.6, specially its focus management. It got lost over and over again, which was very annoying when using the keyboard to switch between desktops and windows. There are still some issues remaining (compared to other window managers), but they don't get in the way in daily use (and I'm not sure if it's Metacity's fault, or if it's really doing what's expected).

With respect to pkgsrc, I already have 2.7.92 in my local tree. Updating it to 2.8 should be painless, given that it will be very similar, so I should have the update ready by the end of the current freeze (which is to prepare the 2004Q3 branch, in case you don't know). I hope to commit the big update just after the freeze is over, so keep tuned! If you are curious, here are some shots I took a week ago; they are about the first release candidate running under NetBSD 2.0G.

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