Well I dropped the ball on this one, but we released VMware Workstation 6.0 RC2 last week. This is our second release candidate, and for those using our betas in the past, you should know that that means a final release isn’t too far away!
Not much has really changed in RC2, aside from more bug fixes. We’ve taken care of a lot of critical issues that have affected some users and ourselves. If you used the Workstation betas in the past and haven’t tried an RC release, you should notice a huge speed increase when using the guest. Feels a lot more native with all that debugging turned off.
The betas are of course free to use, but Workstation 6 itself must be purchased. If you’re in school, you should be able to get a nice academic discount, and if you’ve bought Workstation 5.5 since January 1, 2007, you can get a free upgrade.
One of my personal goals has been to improve integration with the GNOME desktop. I feel we’ve made a lot of progress since Workstation 5. The big highlight of 6 has been the Tango icons (I’m biased, as I made most of them). Even the product icons on Linux are in Tango style now. This definitely cleans up the look and feel of the product and helps it to feel like it’s just any other GNOME app, rather than some big proprietary product half-ported to Linux (of which there are many).
There’s more that we could do, though. I’d like to hear from GNOME developers and users about other ideas to better integrate with the desktop.
The VMware Workstation 6 betas have been out for a while now, so I’m sure those using it have noticed that we’ve been trying to make our icon theme fit in with the Tango icon style (well, to the best of my current abilities). So far this has proven to be a dramatic improvement over our older icon style used in Workstation 5.x, and it really fits in a lot better on modern GNOME desktops. The overall look feels clean and polished, mostly thanks to the hard work of the Tango project.
We’ve been lucky in that the Tango project has provided such a good variety of high-quality icons. I haven’t had to do nearly as much work as I expected in designing these icons. There were several existing VMware icons that we needed to move to the Tango style still, such as power icons, USB, serial port, message log, etc. Just a handful, but while many of them may be somewhat VMware-specific, there are some that we felt could be useful to other software projects, icon designers, and, perhaps, to Tango itself.
So we’re releasing our non-trademarked icons (everything the lawyers are okay with) under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license. It’s only fair that we give back, afterall. There will be a dedicated page for this later, but for now, you can download it directly from here:
You can see what we currently have available in the image below. I’ll put out updates as we come up with new icons and tidy up some of the remaining ones that we still want to release.
Thanks again to the Tango project for all your work in making the Linux desktop a more beautiful place, and if any of these icons look at all useful to the project, please feel free to use them, modify them, or have me tweak them.