RHEL 7.2 includes a new Gnome 3.14 and incorporates some improvements from Gnome 3.16. This makes me very happy. The classic problem I have with RHEL is that it is a great development platform, with a stable interface and a good set of tools enabling very nice development, but the desktop interface falls out of date too fast sometimes. While it's great to have stable API's, it's not great to have a graphical interface that doesn't improve year after year, especially with "competition" from more up-to-date, if less commercially supported, options.

Imagine my surprise then with the new Gnome updates in the latest RHEL 7.2 release. I don't know how regular developers of desktop apps will take this, but as someone who cares about having modern interfaces while also having stable APIs against which to develop, this is a really big boon for me. I continue to think that Gnome is one of the best modern interfaces around in terms of focused productivity, and each version provides real, tangible improvements in this area, so it's good to see RHEL increasing the desktop value of their offerings significantly with this release, despite not being a "major" release when we would usually see version bumps and changes that feel this big.

Among my top favorites are the following improvements:

  • Better System Tray Handling and Notification Handling
  • Cleaner systems menu for handling widgets and basic Shell manipulation
  • Much improved GEdit that follows modern Interface Guidelines
  • Terminal Improvements
  • Cleaner look (Yes, I find that this affects me)
  • Gnome Software (Making Software Management accessible to everyone and reducing cognitive load significantly for experts)