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Text handling under Gnome OS

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how much please?

Just some funny info from In case that you want to buy Gnome, it will cost you about $130m (tax free), which is a real bargain as it invokes around 8m lines of code and one single developer would need around 2400 years to build it. This is based on 134 repositories (including gstreamer – I had to register to exclude repos and I didn’t), where actually Gnome repos are 129.

If you just have one million you can buy Gnome Shell which cost $1.1m and includes 80k lines of code and 20 years effort for a single developer. Gtk costs $11m and its codebase size is 730k lines.

The numbers above include all the repos, since the day one but the point is that Gnome is a huge project that consist of a lot technologies and frameworks. The goal is: to define a set of standard technologies and provide documentation for them (SDK), reduce the cost of the project, make rapid development a reality and have more people involved with us.

A kinda similar situation also applies for the actual user interface, the Gnome Desktop as a user sees it. So far we have (or will in 3.8) the “content” applications, (Videos, Documents, Music, Photos) which semantically belong to Files, the Notifications that supports all the Gnome Apps (3rd parties?), GOA than connects the Apps with Cloud (Calendar, Contacts and also the “content” Apps) an integrated system search (3.8) with Gnome Shell.

And much more are going to come. Everything works and looks similar each other.

Text Handing

Text handling involves common every day tasks, Search, Insert, Select, Auto-Completion and Spell Checking. The goal here is to make all this functionality available for all Gnome Apps. That will also help 3rd party developers (if they choose to support Gnome)  to distribute better Apps.


With the help of the integrated to the system IBus -a framework that allows the user to select and switch between multiple Input Methods.


[1] Installing a new Input Method

[2] Enable Suggestions

Just select the method.. and Voila!


Spell Checking

This shares a lot with Completion, but at the same time is a different functionality and will be enabled by default.

What it works for Empathy should also works system wide. Functionality remains, but the design will be different.


  • On screen keyboard – provide word suggestions for quicker entry
  • Highlight misspelled words
  • Provide spelling suggestions for misspelled words
  • Settings for enabling/disabling spell checking and suggestions



This is the most impressive part, redesigned and improved selections for manipulating content with better support for touchscreens and mouse -at the same time!


  • Make selection and insertion actions more discoverable
  • Have contextual actions closer to the object on which they act
  • Be easier to use on touch devices

Secondary Goals

  • improve mouse interaction (adjusting selection)
  • better context action definition (work on selection, not the container pobject)

Select the text (above) and manipulating it (bellow)

Spell Checking will probably fit in here.


M. Clasen: These screenshots were taken to collect prior art – we’re at the beginning of the research phase for this, far from designing a solution

Gnome is getting serious in every aspect but still keeps this “cartoon-ish” style it had from the early days! Because I had Gnome since  v1.4, (I think), I can say for sure that Gnome after release 3 goes really fast (with the exception of 3.4 -bad release), no matter the bugs and the complains.

Note: That all the above are currently early designs!

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  • Philip Witte


  • Matthias Clasen

    These screenshots were taken to collect prior art – we’re at the beginning of the research phase for this, far from designing a solution.

  • Arron Washington

    Gnome is quickly approaching super awesome.

  • Marty

    Damned ! Gnome Shell is about to become iOS ! too bad, please don’t mimic other OSs that much

  • w1ngnut

    Apart from all iOS similarities, I really appreciate the path the Gnome project is taking. Development at full speed and paying much more attention to the details. Now, I just need to find a debian-based distro that runs Gnome 3 by default since Ubuntu disappoints me every day more with its Unity shell.