Recent industry buzz has been about the Nautilus, Helix GNOME and Evolution projects. These three juggernauts address important areas to Linux adoptees in group medical practice: the need for an intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI), easy automated software upgrades, and enterprise groupware.
The Nautilus desktop environment is based on GNU GNOME and is being developed by Eazel, Inc., whose founders include Andy Hertzfeld and Michael Boich, architects of the Apple Macintosh user interface. Nautilus provides file managing software of the highest caliber, with sophisticated features such as integrated web browsing and esoteric file classification such as by MP3 audio data rate.
Helix Code, Inc. GNOME is a GPL’ed, polished distribution of the popular GNOME desktop. The difference is that it adds needed ‘voltage’ to the interface, says Miguel de Icaza, Helix Code and GNOME desktop environment founder.
Helix GNOME features ‘The Updater’ which provides the ability for Helix Gnome to upgrade its’ software to the lastest release via the ‘Net. This removes the chore of searching for GNOME RPM packages, wondering which is the latest stable release and dealing with RPM upgrade dependency problems. It also includes powerful set up tools which make configuring a snap. To top it all off, a groupware personal information manager called Evolution is also in the works that will allow enterprise calendaring and collaboration.
I switched to Helix GNOME on my Dell PC running Red Hat V6.2 a few months back when it was an alpha release. Unusual for an Alpha release, I had no problems and still don’t. The updater and The Helix Gnome solution brings Linux one step closer to being a widely-accepted desktop alternative to Microsoft Windows in health care organizations.