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Oracle and Open Source by Sean Hull, Andy Duncan

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Chapter 9. GNOME and GTK+

When the Linux operating system exploded on the open source landscape, it was greeted with great enthusiasm. But Unix users, however much they loved the Linux command line, with its power, simplicity, speed, and elegance, still longed for a graphical user interface with which they could run all their other software: WYSIWYG word processors, load monitors, notepads, browsers, and image editors. For a long time, the only option on any free Unix system was the X Windows System, with its myriad of window managers (e.g., twm, fvwm, etc.). Enter GNOME.

The GNOME project is a Linux-based effort to build the world’s best desktop environment, one that combines the power and functionality of Unix-like systems with the visual elegance of Macintosh and Windows-type desktops. Not only did the GNOME developers set out to build a better-looking desktop environment, they also wanted to create a framework for easily building applications—applications whose GUIs would share a common, flexible look and feel, and whose activities would be integrated with other desktop operations. With the advent of GNOME, Oracle on Linux, which has in recent years become an important platform for database backend solutions, is now becoming a viable desktop solution as well. As the benefits of Linux become more widely appreciated, we anticipate that Linux could eventually become the platform of choice for many of the world’s developers and global software corporations. In fact, Sun Microsystems ...

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