[Usability] [Fwd: ANNOUNCE: GDM (stable), the "SuperLate(tm)" release]]


(If you have no clue what gdm is, skip a few paragraphs down first)

I've cc:ed the desktop-devel-list on this announcement because I
I think it is a good idea to put Interface Change notification
in release notes.  I also think it is a good idea to announce
upcoming interface changes when possible.  It doesn't seem the
current "Release Planning for Maintainers" guide discusses this.

The release of GDM is worth upgrading to, I think.  George Lebl
and I went through the logjam of patches in http://bugzilla.gnome.org
and applied all of them except a few that had issues, see bugzilla for
details.  The GDM bug count was reduced from over 180 bugs to about
134.  GDM could use some additional love in the usability area and
a usability review would help to resolve many bugs.  Refer to bugs
71215, 117780, and 105918.

Anyway, lots of new stuff in GDM:


GDM now supports a11y much better by supporting STRUTS in its window
manager.  STRUTS makes it possible to launch GOK and the magnifier at
login time.  Without this, programs like GOK and the magnifier would
obscure the login window.

GDM's gesture listeners now support XInput style gestures, so users
who depend on XInput devices can now launch AT programs with their
XInput devices.

Refer to the GDM Documentation to learn how to launch AT programs
like GOK and Gnopernicus from the login screen, and to learn
about using a11y themes in GDM.



Bug fixes have been applied to the IPv6 code.  It has now been soak
tested for some time here at Sun and I believe this code is pretty
solid.  It is a new feature, so I recommend testing it.  You can
turn on IPv6 support by using the --enable-ipv6=yes configure option.


GDM now builds and works much better on Solaris and this is the
first release I would recommend using on Solaris platforms.  Note
that GDM only supports logindevperm on Solaris 10 so for earlier
versions of Solaris you might want to use "chmod +rw" commands
in the PreSession/PostSession scripts to allow read/write access
to needed devices for the user (e.g. sound card).  GDM also
supports auditing on Solaris 10 and later.

GDM is the GNOME Display Manager, it is the little proggie that runs in the
background, runs your X sessions, presents you with a login box and then
tells you to piss off because you forgot your password.  It does pretty much
everything that you would want to use xdm for, but doesn't involve as much
crack.  It doesn't use any code from xdm, and has a more paranoid and safer
design overall.  It also includes many features over xdm, the biggest one of
which is that it is more user friendly, even if your X setup is failing.  The
goal is that users should never, ever have to use the command line to
customize or troubleshoot gdm.  It of course supports xdmcp, and in fact
extends xdmcp a little bit in places where I thought xdm was lacking (but is
still compatible with xdm's xdmcp).

Interface Changes

I would like to announce that the next version of gdm will be 2.8.
I plan to rearrange the way that GDM installs itself to the filesystem.
This will remove the /bin/gdmXnest, and the /usr/bin/gdmconfig script
that is used to just run gdmsetup.  All gdm binaries except
gdmthemetester and gdmphotosetup will be moved to /sbin since they
are really intended only to be run by root.  The gdm-binary program
and the gdm script will be merged into one binary called gdm.
This will reduce the footprint of GDM and will make GDM better follow
standards.  It will mean that distributions may need to make minor
modifications to their installations where they depend upon the
current file installation layout.

This release has a few minor interface changes that user's and system
administrators should be aware of:

+ Code has been added so that the GDM slave process will now source
  /etc/environment if it exists.  This improves GDM's ability to
  work properly on AIX machines.  System administrators should be
  aware of this new feature so they can also take advantage of it.
  Refer to bug 135401.

+ The way the configure script builds the default User and Root
  password has been modified.  It should no longer add redundant
  directories to the PATH and should avoid putting symlinked
  direcrories in the PATH.  I don't think it will be necessary to
  further tweak the code, but we can improve this further if

+ The /bin/gdm script has been modified so that it now sets
  LC_MESSAGES to LANG if neither LC_MESSAGES or LC_ALL is set.
  This ensures that gdm can display in a system's default
  language if only LANG is set.  This provides better l10n
  support.  Since this affects the user environment, I wanted
  to highlight this modification.

Looking at the GNOME "Release Planning - For Maintainers" guide it
seems that Interface Change notification is not discussed, and the
"sample" release note seems to be an example of a release that has
no significant interface changes.  Refer here:


Current example:


Perhaps this release note would serve as another example, and could the
instructions be updated to highlight that explaining interface changes
in release notes would be useful?


Highlights of

- Enhanced a11y gesture listeners so they support XInput events
  for better a11y support.  (Bill Haneman).

- Add STRUTS support to gdm2's window manager for better a11y
  support (Bill Haneman).

- Improved the way the user's default PATH is set up by configure
  so it is set more sanely without redundant PATH's, and is more
  careful about not putting symlinked X11 directories in the PATH.
  Now can configure user's default directory via the --with-post-path
  argument.  (Brian Cameron).

- New configuration option to disallow visible feedback in password
  entry.  (John Martinsson).

- Fix width of "user name entry" to shrink to fit parent widget so
  text does not run out-of-bounds.  (Chookij Vanatham)

- Restart slave process if XDMCP chooser is selected from flexi
  server.  (Leena Gunda)

- Make default face obey the MaxIconWidth and MaxIconHeight
  configuration settings.  (Diego Gonzalez)

- gdm2 slave now sources /etc/environment if it exists. (Vicent Berger)

- Correct gdmsetup's tooltip to conform to GNOME HIG. (Sebastien Bacher)

- Use ngettext for translation.  (Christian Rose)

- Set default font size to "Sans 12".  (Erwann Chenede)

- Set name of password entry for more friendly a11y (Erwann Chenede)

- Mark "Remove Theme" for translation.  (Balamurali Viswanathan)

- Remove <span> tags from language display since they were causing
  formatting issues for some users.  (Glynn Foster)

- Ensure LC_MESSAGES is set so the user's default language can be
  displayed (Hidetoshi Tajima).

- Specify font for username/password entry for gdm2 supplied themes.
  (Alexander Kirillov)

- Add Kinyarwanda and Armenian to language list.  (Steve Murphy and
  petrosyan gmail com)

- Correct IPv6 logic so that it supports an IPv4 XDMCP request when
  IPv6 is enabled.  Fixed configure help for --enable-ipv6.
  (Brian Cameron)

- Set more sane Reboot/Halt/Shutdown commands on Solaris.  (Brian

- Correct the usage of IFS in the Init/PreSession/PostSession/Xsession
  scripts so it works on Solaris.  (Leena Gunda)

- Support logindevperm on Solaris for automatic/timed login.
  (Brian Cameron)

- Swap Alt and Meta keys on Solaris.  (Leena Gunda)

- Correct IPv6 identification for Solaris.  (Leena Gunda)

- Cleanup.  (Mark McLoughlin and Kjartan Marass)

Note:  GDM2 was originally written by Martin K. Petersen <mkp mkp net>, and
has for a while now been maintained by the Queen of England.  She is usually
not responsive to bug reports or feature requests.  You can try to send them
to me however.

Note2:  If installing from the tarball do note that make install overwrites
most of the setup files, all except gdm.conf.  It will however save backups
with the .orig extension first.

Note3:  Note3 has been depracated ...


Webpage: http://yippi.hypermall.com/gdm

No RPM this time around BTW.  Have fun.  A spec file is included though,
so you can try:

  rpmbuild -ta gdm-whatever.tar.gz

Have fun,


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