Innovations in Gnome 43: Browser based on Apple WebKit receives extensions

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In addition to an optional focus on mobile devices, which is reflected not least in the Gnome file manager Nautilus, and even more consistency in the GUI design, Gnome 43 and its browser Gnome Web – formerly Epiphany – for the first time also extensions in the form of the so-called web extensions.

GUI with even more consistency

So far, very little was known about Gnome 43, only the optional alignment of the file manager Nautilus to mobile devices and form factors as well as a new image viewer written in Rust and GTK 4 called “Loupe”, which also uses the central GUI design concept of the in-house library ” Libadwaita” has leaked to the public so far. But in the meantime some other innovations have become known.

All relevant Gnome design concepts are brought together in the Libadwaita GUI library. It also includes new widgets and existing content from Libhandy and the Human Interface Guidelines.

Extendable like Firefox and Chrome

The browser Gnome Web, which belongs to the Gnome project and is based on the HTML rendering engine WebKit developed by Apple, a fork from KHTML and the JavaScript implementation KJS developed by the KDE project, is also to be expanded in the future for Chromium and Firefox.

Linux users who want to try the feature now can do so in the current alpha version of Gnome Web 43 with the following Activate commands and test them now.

flatpak remote-add –if-not-exists gnome-nightly https://nightly.gnome.org/gnome-nightly.flatpakrepo flatpak install gnome-nightly org.gnome.Epiphany.Devel flatpak run –command=gsettings org. gnome.Epiphany.Devel set org.gnome.Epiphany.web:/org/gnome/epiphany/web/enable-webextensions true

Due to the still very early development phase, however, the makers point this out , users should not yet count on 100 percent stable operation of the new function.

About the extensions for the open source browser from Mozilla, so-called Firefox Extensions, corresponding add-ons can already be installed.

Extensions should be final with Gnome 43

In the final version of Gnome 43, which after will be released on September 21st of this year, all extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome should also work with Gnome Web. The website itfoss.com has already tried some of them successfully.

figure> The browser Gnome Web based on Apple WebKit receives extensions (Image: itfoss.com)

More accessibility, more Rust, more Wayland

The release on September 21 will also include corrections for more accessibility and a Disk Usage Analyzer rewritten in Rust, which has so far used the Vala programming language.

The Disk Usage Analyzer is to receive a new programming language (Picture: Gnome)

The first alpha, which was released two days ago, is to be followed by the first public beta on August 6th follow, while according to the official roadmap of the desktop shell on September 3rd, the release candidate should represent the end of the developments and the expected end result of the developments.

Roadmap for Gnome 43 Desktop Status Date Gnome 43 Alpha July 2, 2022 Beta August 6, 2022 Release Candidate September 3, 2022 Stable Release September 21, 2022

An even better one As with every new release of the free desktop, the implementation of the Wayland display server protocol in the Gnome Shell is in the specifications.

The visual appearance of the successor to the Gnome 42 remain true to the new UX design language introduced for the first time with the release of Gnome 40.x.

The Gnome Web 43 browser continues to follow the motto “simple, clean, beautiful”. and wants to be an alternative to the countless Chromium browsers and Firefox.

Try Gnome 43 with Gnome OS

Savvy users or developers already taking a look at the alpha version of Gnome 43 w If you want to, you can do this with Gnome OS Nightly (ISO). The detailed Gnome OS Installation Guide will help you get started.