GNOME 43 finally here, soon to be followed by KDE 5.26 • The Register

The third version of GNOME since the big GNOME 40 shift is coming together – but KDE isn’t left behind.

We mentioned that the GNOME 25th anniversary release is coming up a few months ago and now the birthday edition is out. The new version is codenamed Guadalajara and will be the default desktop of the upcoming fall releases of Ubuntu 22.10 and Fedora 37.

However, KDE is not far behind. It turned 25 last year and the next version of its plasma desktop, Version 5.26is in beta and should be available in early October.

gnome 43

These are now two mature projects, although both have had major upheavals and rewrites whose aftershocks are only just beginning to subside. GNOME 40 was a major release that was originally going to be called GNOME 4 and the project still hasn’t moved all of its components to the new Gtk 4 with its Support for more restrictive themes.

In this version, the file manager moves to Gtk 4, with a host of small improvements and a more adaptive design: it automatically adjusts to smaller windows, with the sidebar automatically hiding when the window gets narrow. This is part of the process of adapting GNOME to run on mobile devices, as the project blog recently showed described.

The new text editor app is now also using Gtk 4, as we mentioned earlier Looking at the Fedora 37 Beta, as well as Maps, Logs, Builder, the initial setup wizard, parental controls settings, and the new console app that will eventually replace GNOME Terminal. There is a new system status menu with large, easy-to-reach buttons for general actions. This makes it easier to toggle between light and dark modes, reconnecting to VPNs, switching audio devices, and other improvements. The new version allows websites to be pinned to the desktop as standalone apps, and the on-screen keyboard has been updated with auto-suggests, on-screen Ctrl, Alt, and Tab buttons when working in a terminal. There are new alert tones, and remote desktop sessions now support tones as well.

KDE 5.26

The changes in the new KDE Plasma desktop are a little less dramatic, but it’s been a lot longer since the last major release of the KDE project. The new version makes significant strides towards a “10 foot UI”, ie one aimed at use as a media hub on a large TV screen.

The Plasma Bigscreen UI is meant for use with a remote control from across the room, and there’s also the new Aura Browser to use the web in this way and the Plank Player to watch locally stored media or listen instead of streaming them online.

KDE’s “Plasmoid” widgets are now resizable and support for visually impaired users with a screen reader has been improved. The Kickoff App Launcher has been improved, with a new compact mode and alphabetical indexing of apps by name. The Settings app has been redesigned with improved background support: instant previews, light and dark mode themed backgrounds, and even animated wallpapers. There’s better keyboard navigation, the ability to choose color themes for both day and night, choose your location from a map, and more.

Round up

Both desktops are working on their support for Wayland, for use with touch screens, and for scaling for different display sizes and resolutions. All of this is important as laptops continue to replace desktops and more and more modern laptops come with HiDPI, touch-sensitive displays… as well as growing support for running on mobile devices like phones and tablets.

These are very positive developments, although we suspect the downside to such modernization efforts could be driving some users towards simpler environments or even tile window managers, of which there is now a bewildering abundance. There is a risk that the smaller, simpler desktops like LXQt and Xfce will be left behind with the move to new display servers and new display and input technologies.

That to say but the Registration number FOSS Desk would be happy to be wrong about this. We were very pleased to learn recently that there is a new one dashboard Application for Xfce that gives it a GNOME-like overview screen. This one feature is an often-cited favorite among GNOME users, which is undoubtedly why KDE 5.24 also got something similar. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/09/22/gnome_43_is_here_soon/ GNOME 43 finally here, soon to be followed by KDE 5.26 • The Register

Laura Coffey

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