GNOME 3.18 is arriving today, and it’s probably already released by the time you read this article, but that doesn’t prevent the developers from already talking about the upcoming GNOME 3.20.
The development cycle for GNOME never stops and soon we’ll have the first releases in the 3.20 branch of the desktop environment. This happens because there are usually a lot of changes, improvements, and features that are not ready in time for a release and they get pushed forward. In this case, pretty much anything that landed too late for GNOME 3.18 will probably be ready in time for 3.20, and so on.
GNOME, like many of the other open source projects, advances with really small steps. Developers rarely made huge changes to their software because that also causes breakage. The last major jump for GNOME was when they moved on from 2.x to 3.x, and many users needed a lot of time to get used to it. The ones that couldn’t just adopted other solutions like Cinnamon or MATE.
GNOME 3.20 already looks interesting
Even if we already have a good idea of what GNOME 3.18 will feature, it’s nice to see some of the things that are being worked on. Some of the new stuff will be under the hood, but not everything. For example, the new Nautilus search function is one of the highlights and it’s likely we’ll see more than that pretty soon.
One of the GNOME developers posted some of the work that he’s being doing on the project and detailed a number of features and changes that will be arriving soon.
“Every new GNOME release, however, actually just an excuse for the next one. There’s always room for improvements and the work never ends. I personally like the beginning of new release cycles so that I can plan ahead what I’ll probably work on. And why not share it?” said Georges Stavracas, a GNOME developer.
For example, he explained that the GNOME calendar will finally get some well-deserved attention, which means drag ‘n’ drop support, week view, and maybe error reporting.
Also, Nautilus will also get better bookmarking, the search UI will be revamped, and Gtk+ will see some new features, like showing free space of local disks.