As you might expect, GNOME 2.22, the latest version of the popular desktop, which was released last week, has some functional tweaks and new default applications. If the release has a focus, it is on utilities, ranging from added features in standard GNOME applications such as Evolution and Archive Manager to improved accessibility and a handful of new applets. Few of these changes are dramatic, but the overall impression is of dozens of small enhancements that nudge GNOME toward greater usability.
Behind the scenes, where everyday users will hardly notice anything, developers have been busy. The GNOMEVFS abstraction layer, which was used by GNOME applications, has been replace by the more modern GVFS, which, among other things, provides a higher-level API for development and allows applications that don't share its library to access its mount points. The new cdda:// protocol allows the file manager to read tracks on a CD, while the gphoto2:// protocol does the same for digital cameras. While most users will probably not be aware of such changes, the overall result is faster performance and increased convenience.