Bad news for everyone who has been waiting for GNOME 3.0 – its has been pushed back to March 2011. At GUADEC (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) 2010, the GNOME Release Team have decided that GNOME 3.0 will require another release cycle to mature. Instead of GNOME 3.0, they will release GNOME 2.32 this September.
GNOME 3.0 represents a revolutionary step for GNOME, whose interface has changed very little since 2002. When it was conceived, the release date for GNOME 3.0 was set as April 2010. However, it was pushed back to September 2010 since it could not be completed in time. Today’s announcement means that it is now a good one year behind the original schedule.
This is what the press release says:
GNOME releases every six months to provide a reliable platform for its community and downstream partners. While it might be possible to release GNOME 3.0 in 2010 by slipping the schedule by a month or two, it makes more sense to stick to GNOME’s release schedule and ensure that GNOME 3.0 lives up to the quality that our community expects.
GNOME is driven by its goals to provide a quality free software desktop, and we feel that our users and downstream community are better served by holding the GNOME 3.0 release until March 2011. This gives adequate time not only for feature development, but user feedback and testing.
This is a very sensible decision from the GNOME team to delay it until they feel that it is ready. GNOME is known for its stability. It is the stability that its incremental development brings that makes GNOME so popular among users and commercial distributions alike. With the leap that they are taking with GNOME 3.0, many people have expressed concerns that it might have an effect on the stability and general usability. Today’s announcement shows that they still give paramount importance to stability.
For everyone who have been waiting eagerly for GNOME 3.0, this announcement is a big blow, no doubt. But at least that we can be sure that GNOME 3.0 will not pull a KDE 4.0.