Desktop Enhancements in Fedora 12

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Date Status report
2009-11-02 Print Interview completed; printed below.
Next action: N/A, done other than publication.

Return to Category:F12 in-depth features page

Interviews

Print interview

Conducted with Matthias Clasen of Red Hat.

I'm delighted to be talking with Matthias Clasen of Red Hat today about some of the new features for desktop users in Fedora 12. I'm “average desktop user” myself (that is to say – not a software engineer!), and so I'm really looking forward to hearing about some of the new goodies that Fedora 12 will offer me in my day-to-day use.
Matthias, please introduce yourself! Who are you, and what do you primarily work on?
I am 39, married and have 2 lovely kids. We live in Massachusetts, close to the Red Hat 'Boston' offices.
I lead the 'core desktop' team at Red Hat. When I am not cheering on my team, I'm touching code all over the GNOME stack, and doing a lot of the mass updates when a new gnome release comes out.
On a more personal level, I am one of the upstream maintainers of Glib and GTK+, which sit at the very bottom of the GNOME stack. I am also a member of the GNOME release team.
I wanted to talk to you about some of the improvements to Fedora 12 for an everyday desktop user. What is the newest feature or improvement that you are most proud of?
As always, we have done some exciting feature work, that we will talk about later. But what I am most proud of is not so much the individual features, but the effort that we have put into 'polish'. There have been many small improvements that, in whole, should really make the Fedora desktop experience more enjoyable.
To name just a few things that we have done recently:
* We have reduced the visual noise by not having icons in menus and buttons everywhere.
* We've given tooltips (those small popups that appear when your pointer rests on a control) a fresh look and improved their positioning.
* Controls on the panels have been given a bit more breathing room.
* Status icons have a more consistent and stable ordering.
* Your 'special folders', ie Music, Pictures, Downloads, etc have their own, easily recognizable icons.
* Notification bubbles got a new look, and we reduced their frequency.
* Personalization of backgrounds has been improved by adding an easy way to get more backgrounds online.
* Font rendering and hinting has been improved.