Tuesday, 15 August 2017 11:27

GNOME Desktop Project celebrates 20 years with big bash


The GNOME Desktop project has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a party in Orinda, California on 29 July, a day that happens to be the birthday of project co-founder Federico Mena Quintero.

Founded on 15 August 1997 by Mena Quintero and Miguel de Icaza, GNOME has grown to become one of the two more widely used desktop environments by Linux users.


Rosanna Yuen, the first woman to submit code to the GNOME Project and the project's director of operations, speaks during the 20th anniversary celebrations. Also in the picture are (from left) are Carlos Garnacho, Garrett LeSage, Federico Mena Quintero (seen cutting a cake below), Jonathan Blandford and former GNOME executive director Karen Sandler

The project was started because the main desktop environment existing at the time, KDE, was based on QT, a library that was not released under a free software licence.

Version 1.0 was released in 1999. Since then there have been 33 stable releases.

The project has set up a website to provide a more detailed history of the project, along with some fun facts.

gnomeThe latest stable release, GNOME 3.24 or Portland, included new features like the GNOME Recipes application and Night Light, which helps users avoid eyestrain. 

The upcoming version of GNOME 3.26 or Manchester is scheduled for release in September. 

The GNOME project has more than 6000 contributors, and includes about eight million lines of code.

The name GNOME is an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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