Owen started the session by showing off what recent changes have landed and are about to land: the Shell UI integrated system status icons (audio volume slider, a11y feature enabler), the new window theme, the rewrite the shadow engine (with support of shaped window shadows).

GNOME Summit speaker photo

Returning to the theme of the system tray and notifications, he discussed the designers' philosophy of only having hardware related icons in the upper-right and not—for example—system update notifications.

Florian's overlay re-layout branch which reflects the work of the design team is "hopefully landing extremely soon." He built this branch and showed it separately as he was talking. This includes a new stream-lined left-hand bar for your favorite apps, file manager and mounted file-systems.

I asked where the Documents view has moved in the new design. Owen said that it will go in the re-layout but may not make it in time for 3.0. If that's the case, Nautilus will be in the default favorite apps list.

Ryan asked that we go over the change from the current design to one that doesn't zoom out as much. Jon McCann took that topic and said that the original design was too cluttered and the effect of zooming out was too jarring. In the new design, the windows still do the Exposé-style effect.

GNOME Summit speaker photo

Owen presented a list of major items remaining for 3.0 and those that are not achievable in time for the release:


  • Tracker integration
  • Network manager Shell UI
  • App menu
  • Jump lists
  • Keyboard indicator applet
  • Fallback
  • Multi-monitor (polish)


  • Contacts integration
  • Extensions ecosystem
  • Accessibility
  • On-screen keyboard
  • Screen-reading
  • End user testing

Canonical offered to do user testing of Shell at the same time that they were testing Unity. That offer was neither rejected nor accepted.

Owen was adamant that we all dog-food GNOME 3 as much as possible.

Someone asked about the new control center. Dan showed it off and there was a lot of discussion about the jarring resize of the window. Animated window resize turns out to be a very difficult problem to solve in X11 but a couple of ideas were floated including using an XSync communication with the window manager to animate the window and the contents resizing or waiting until client side windows are ready.