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Anjal: GNOME's Evolution for Netbooks

Feb 09, 2010, 15:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"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."

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