Gnome is desktop for Unix and GNU/Linux delivering a high level of
usability and interoperability. The Gnome Foundation, initiated in
August 2000, brought together many of the major Unix vendors,
including Sun Microsystems, IBM, HP and Compaq, to support the further
development of Gnome. Sun, for example, has identified the Gnome
desktop as the standard for Solaris, one of the most popular
commercial versions of Unix.
Gnome, an abbreviation for the GNU Network Object Model
Environment, is a component-based system built around standards
such as XML and CORBA. It offers a standard for the look-and-feel of
applications and provides a platform for applications to share
resources (like including graphics generated using the Guppi
application in a spreadsheet within Gnumeric).
While we refer to a common look-and-feel for Gnome there is much
more. While all Gnome applications share the same look-and-feel,
you can choose the look-and-feel (usually referred to as the
theme) to suit your own style. The variety of different
themes is extensive and includes themes that can make your desktop
appear like MS/Windows or the Apple Macintosh, to name just two. Once
you choose a theme all of the Gnome applications will use that
theme immediately. You can change themes at any time through the
standard menus (Applications-->Desktop Preferences-->Theme).
A collection of themes are used in this book, including the
Default theme that is similar to the HeliX theme but
using a lighter grey in the background (and hence more suitable for
the screen images used here).
In this chapter we begin with the basics of the Gnome desktop and walk
you though interacting with Gnome applications, including menus,
toolbars and dialogs. This is followed by reference sections
identifying Gnome applications.
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