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#2 Another update on GNOME Settings

For the past months since my last update our project has been thriving with active contributors and positive interactions in our issue tracker and chat channels. As we land changes we often forget to talk about them, so this blog post is a small summary of the visual changes we have landed lately in Settings (in no particular order).

None of these changes are final and are subject to modifications before the stable GNOME 46 release. In addition to the items listed here, we have landed numerous bug fixes, tweaks, and non-visual changes. While the descriptions are brief, you can click on the links for more information and context.

New “System” panel, a Google Summer of Code project

Gotam Gorabh worked on this project during the summer of 2023. This panel groups “Region & Language”, “Date & Time”, “Remote Desktop”, “About” and will contain more system-level settings in the future.

Merged the “Removable Media” and “Default Apps” panels into the “Apps” panel

We have been working towards reducing the number of panels and grouping settings when that makes sense. Removable Media and Default Apps settings are similar to what we expose in the “Apps” panel and this makes related things easier to find.

An About dialog

After some discussions we decided to land the About dialog as it is not visually distracting where it is, and it gives us an opportunity to thank the volunteers involved in developing, translating,  documenting, designing the project.

Performance improvements in the Appearance panel

This panel has had some long lasting issues with its startup speed and lag when resizing. @velsinki has done great work identifying the issues and proposing changes that improve things significantly.

Lots of updated tooltips, mnemonics, HIG compliance UI changes

There are contributors doing drive-by merge-requests where they fix some missing tooltip, add a useful mnemonic, fix some sentence capitalization, etc… every detail matters. I appreciate this!

Multiple dialogs ported from deprecated GtkDialog to newer API

Most Settings panels spawn dialogs for specific settings, and a lot of those historically were using GtkDialog APIs that got deprecated. Various ports to newer APIs have landed lately.

Use of modern libadwaita AdwSpinRow, AdwEntryRow, etc…

The same way our dialogs are getting ported to new API, there are multiple instances of custom widgets that get easily replaced by modern libadwaita widgets. The result is often a much better polished widget and less code to maintain. Win-win.

Add “disable while typing” touchpad option

Updated Wacom illustration style

Improved status pages

Improvements in the “Saved Wifi-Networks” dialog

Notifications: don’t list system services

Other than that, there are other interesting merge-requests in the review queue and individuals working in features and bugfixes for the upcoming 46 release.