It's been almost a year since we shipped Jupiter, the very first release of elementary OS. In that time, we’ve been working hard and a lot has changed. Our next release, Luna, is coming together.
Beautiful CSS themes, smoother scrolling, and new widgets are just some of the features available in our newly refreshed toolkit. Luna takes advantage of GTK+ 3 and builds upon it with our very own Granite library. This means better apps for users and better app development for developers.
We’ve been taking some time this cycle to really think about the desktop itself. Performance, ease of use, and simplicity take center stage in Luna with our brand new desktop environment called Pantheon. Inside Pantheon you’ll find a brand new panel and dock, a slick and powerful new way to launch apps, a smoother wallpaper experience, a beautiful login screen, a smart watchdog service that binds it all together, and one more thing...
System-wide settings have traditionally been a mess on free desktops. In Luna, that is no more. Switchboard pulls all of your system-wide settings into one organized, fully searchable, fully extendable app. Not only will system-wide settings be visually coherent with each other, re-distributors can customize Switchboard according to their needs.
In Jupiter we decided to make a stand: We’re not going to ship a music player that we don’t believe in only to flip-flop later from one player to another. That’s why we’re shipping BeatBox with Luna. It’s a fast, beautiful, iOS-syncing, automagic equalizing, outstanding audio experience. We’re also replacing GEdit with the intelligent auto-saving Scratch, GNOME Terminal with the slick and slimmed-down Pantheon Terminal, and Nautilus with the beautiful and snappy DanRabbit-designed Marlin.
With Jupiter, we shipped a slimmed down OS that was essentially a customized build of Ubuntu tailored to our liking. Starting with Luna, we’re utilizing a brand new build system that puts it all together even better. Building our OS this way enables us to customize it even more from the ground up, perfectly handling automated builds, proper installs, incremental upgrades, and more.
Luna’s not quite ready for public testing. We’ve been working hard in the past year, and that work is still coming together. We know that some of you have figured out where we’re keeping our experimental builds; right now, these builds should only be used by developers who are able to help fix some of the bugs they still have. We know that there are a lot of expectations around Luna and we want to make sure that the final release lives up to them. We do have a public testing period in our plans. But as always, that will come when it’s ready.
This Journal entry is a collaborative effort of Daniel Foré, Cassidy James, Harvey Cabaguio, and other contributors.