Anjal: GNOME's Evolution for Netbooks
Feb 09, 2010, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)
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"One unforeseen benefit of the rise of netbooks is the
rethinking of desktop interfaces. Compared to workstations,
netbooks have smaller screens and less memory, and developers
generally assume that users do less demanding tasks on them. As a
result, developers are starting to redesign interfaces to function
better within these constraints.
"These assumptions are questionable -- the hardware distinctions
of netbooks are blurring at the high end, and many users,
especially travelers, are using netbooks for more than email and
web browsing. However, by rethinking interfaces based on these
assumptions, developers are highlighting the question of what users
actually need. Considering the tendency of all applications to
bloat with each release, this is a welcome re-examination.
"Few netbook interfaces illustrate this re-examination better
than Anjal. Less than a year old, Anjal is a light interface for
Evolution, GNOME's default mail reader, and one of free software's
main answers to Microsoft Outlook.
"Evolution has been part of GNOME for a decade. However, the
last major changes came with the 2.0 release in 2004. Since then,
Evolution has become more stable, but has changed so little
functionally that users could easily conclude that it is a low
priority for GNOME."