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<A first look at GNOME 2.16 ⁄ >




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The GNOME 2.16 release is almost upon us, and readers have asked for a prerelease preview. Although GNOME 2.16 is a minor update, it adds some highly desirable functionality and touts much-needed aesthetic improvements in addition to a veritable mountain of bug fixes.

GNOME 2.16 features a vastly improved default icon theme based on Tango and the Tango palette. The new theme adheres to the Freedesktop.org icon naming specification, which will facilitate its use by other compliant desktop platforms. Folders are still brown, but the colors are much softer and lot easier on the eyes. Many scalable icons were added as well, significantly improving the appearance of stretched or zoomed icons in Nautilus. Unfortunately, most of the Nautilus emblems haven't been replaced yet. Though not exactly related to the GNOME 2.16 release, it is worth mentioning that the GIMP was also a recent recipient of Tango icon love. The icon artists certainly have been a busy bunch lately, and I look forward to seeing more of their excellent work as the Tangoification continues in future releases.

GNOME 2.16 also includes a minor update of the cairo-enabled Clearlooks theme designed to be less distracting. The most noticeable difference is the lack of shiny blueness in the scrollbars. Although I understand the rationale for changing the scrollbars, I think that the new version of Clearlooks is a bit too plain. I tend to prefer Ubuntulooks because I like gratuitous gradients, colorful rollover highlighting, and rounded edges. Users that are looking for a slicker alternative to Clearlooks might also want to check out the impressive new cairo-based Murrine GTK theme engine, created by Andrea Cimitan. Murrine is one of the most visually elegant theme engines I have seen in a while, and it doesn't compromise performance. Those of you that share my dislike for salmon-colored highlighting will probably prefer this dark blue remix. Murrine is available in other colors from the GNOME-Look web site.



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