[sumanah panix com: ROUGH draft of GNOME 3.0 press release (request for comments)]

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--- Begin Message --- With Sri's help, I've written a very rough draft for the GNOME 3.0 press release. Please comment, critique, and suggest edits within the next 36 hours (before about 8am Wednesday, US East Coast time). I'm waiting on quotes from Miguel & Stormy -- as soon as I get one of them, I'm going to insert it somewhere reasonable and start sending this out to the longer-lead-time journalists on our lists (print people), as we're already behind schedule.

My major questions:
1) Is everything accurate?
2) Should I move the general "what is GNOME" paragraph to, perhaps, the second paragraph instead of the last?

(Tomorrow I can look at the whole thing with a fresh eye and start improving the prose.)


Groton, MA, April 6 2011: Today the GNOME Desktop project releases GNOME 3.0, its first major release in nine years. A revolutionary new user interface, new features for developers, and a stronger accessibility foundation make this a historic moment for the Linux desktop.

The GNOME 3 platform consists of the GNOME Shell and the GNOME 3 development foundation. The GNOME Shell reimagines the user interface for the next generation of the Free & Open Source desktop. The innovative GNOME Shell allows users to focus on tasks while minimizing distractions such as notifications, extra workspaces, and background windows.

Jon McCann, one of GNOME Shell's designers, describes it as "ineffable...We've taken a pretty different approach in the GNOME 3 design that focuses on the desired experience and lets the interface design follow from that.... With any luck you will feel more focused, aware, effective, capable, respected, delighted, and at ease." GNOME Shell aims to "[h]elp us cope with modern life in a busy world. Help us connect, stay on track, feel at ease and in control. [To help us be] informed without being disrupted."

The GNOME 3 development foundation includes improvements in the display backend, a new API, and improvements in search, user messaging, system settings, and streamlined libraries. GNOME 2 applications will continue to work in the GNOME 3 environment without modification, allowing developers to move to the GNOME 3 environment at their own pace. The GNOME 3 release notes include further details.

Matt Zimmerman, Ubuntu CTO at Canonical, praises GNOME 3: "In the face of constant change, both in software technology itself and in people's attitudes toward it, long-term software projects need to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant. I'm encouraged to see the GNOME community taking up this challenge, responding to the evolving needs of users and questioning the status quo."

In addition to improvements in user experience and the application development framework, this release marks GNOME making its accessibility framework available to other desktop environments. GNOME has always been a leader in accessibility, making GNOME 3 a usable and productive environment for everyone. The new release enables applications developed for other desktop environments to be just as accessible as native GNOME applications on GNOME 3. GNOME strengthens its legendary accessibility foundation, and accelerates the pace of innovation across the Linux desktop.

GNOME 3 is the cumulative work of five years of planning and design by the GNOME community. McCann notes: "Perhaps the most notable part of the design process is that everything has been done in the open. We've had full transparency for every decision (good and bad) and every change we've made. We strongly believe in this model. It is not only right in principle it is just the best way in the long run to build great software sustainably in a large community."

In partnership with Novell, Red Hat, other Linux distributors, schools and governments, and user groups, GNOME 3 will reach millions of users around the world. Over 3500 people have contributed changes to the project's code repositories, including the employees of 106 companies. GNOME 3 includes innumberable code changes since the 2.0 release 9 years ago.

Users and fans of GNOME have planned more than a hundred launch parties around the world. Users can download GNOME 3 from gnome3.org immediately, or wait for Linux distributions to carry it over the coming months. GNOME 3 continues to push new frontiers in user interaction.

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then-university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. The desktop has been utilised in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project's developer technologies are utilised in a large number of popular mobile devices. For further comments and information, contact the GNOME press contact team at gnome-press-contact gnome org.

[will add: quotes from: Miguel de Icaza & Stormy Peters (both have agreed to provide quotes)]

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