GNOME turns 10 and 2.20, at the same time!

On the 10th anniversary of the GNOME project, the GNOME community has released version 2.20 of the GNOME desktop. Like the previous releases (that have been happening pretty much like clockwork [calender-work?] every 6 months), this release includes a number of accessibility improvements, making the accessible GNOME desktop even better!

These changes include:

  • for users of the "accessibility themes" - things like High-Contrast, Large-Print, and that combination High-Contrast-Inverse-Large-Print, the new appearances preferences shows a nice, iconic preview of the theme

  • a new "Accessibility" tab in the Preferred Applications control panel, allowing users to indicate their preferred assistive technology for handling visual impairments and mobility impairments

  • an updated version of the Orca screen reader, containing "greatly improved support for OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin (previously known as GAIM) and Java applications" - for all the gory details, see the Orca 2.20 change log

  • a new accessibility test tool, Accerciser which provides a much richer interface to the accessibility infrastructure than the previous tool, at-poke (and unlike at-poke, this tool itself is accessible!)

  • updates to the other two assistive technologies in GNOME - Dasher (version 4.6.0) and GOK (version 1.3.4)

GNOME 2.20 is already available in binary form from the GNOME Live Media site - in LiveCD, VMware, and QEMU/Parallels forms. If you are playing with the latest test release of Ubuntu 7.10 ("Gutsy Gibbon"), you can "apt-get update" to the GNOME 2.20 bits. Alternately, you can expect refreshes of OpenSolaris, Fedora, and other UNIX and GNU/Linux releases to include GNOME 2.20 in short order.

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Peter Korn

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