As most of you GNOME lovers out there will know, release 2.12 of our favourite desktop is due on September 7th, 2005. If you are like me and can hardly wait for this new version, have a look at the prerelease tour that GNOME Applets maintainer Davyd Madeley has ready for us. There you’ll find quite a few nifty things, the most interesting for me were the integration of GTK+ 2.8 with the Cairo vector graphics engine, further integration of the Hardware Abstraction Layer and improvements on Totem’s GStreamer backend as well as the development of a Totem Mozilla plugin. As I don’t use (or even install that is) Evolution and Epiphany, I don’t really care about them, but it seems they’re getting some nice features too, as is Nautilus, another application I hardly use for more than displaying desktop icons. There are also quite some really nice minor and cosmetic changes detailed in this preview, which surely will further enhance the great usability of the GNOME desktop. As it seems there won’t be too many new applications in this release, which I think is pretty cool, as I’m a person who doesn’t want to install everything plus the kitchen sink with my desktop (that’s why I use custom ebuilds, thanks to the wonders of Gentoo ;) ). However, the really nice PDF and PS reader Evince will finally replace GGV and GPDF, which IMHO is a Good Thing™.
So much for this prerelease tour of GNOME 2.12, but I have some more cool apps for you! Have you ever been looking for a comfortable editor for changing the tags of your music collection and finally went back to id3ed on the command line because all the graphical apps just wouldn’t cut it? Well, now that there’s Cowbell, it seems like there’s one thing less to worry about, as this tag editor for our preferred desktop doesn’t only look nice, it also integrates with the Amazon Web Services SOAP interface and does most of the work for you automatically. As most of the cool new apps I ran across lately, Cowbell is written using Mono and GTK#. The same holds true for Diva (except for the libGdv core engine which is written in C), a project which aims at creating “a decent, lean&mean video editing solution for the Linux/Unix platform”. There’s not too much to see yet, but personally I’d love to get a decent video editing solution for my Linux desktop, so all the power to the DIVA developers! Maybe you also want to check out Seahorse, which despite not being written in Mono/C# is pretty cool too. It’s a nice GNOME frontend for GnuPG, which I’ve installed quite a while ago and which has released a new version less than a week ago. Although I don’t really have any need for it (long live the GnuPG command line!), I think everything that makes privacy technologies accessible to the non-techy folk needs our fullest support. So go grab Seahorse, test it, find and report bugs and show it to your friends. This surely will make you really attractive for whichever demographic group you want to be attractive for*!*Note: This may be just a blatant lie, but you have to find out for yourself.