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Xfce 4.8 Released

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the when-snappy-matters dept.

GUI 193

PerlDudeXL writes "Today, after almost two years of work, we have the special pleasure of announcing the much awaited release of Xfce 4.8, the new stable version that supersedes Xfce 4.6. [..] Xfce 4.8 is our attempt to update the Xfce code base to all the new desktop frameworks that were introduced in the past few years. We hope that our efforts to drop pieces like ThunarVFS and HAL with GIO, udev, ConsoleKit and PolicyKit will help bringing the Xfce desktop to modern distributions."

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Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (5, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901710)

Hopefully all these new-fangled frameworks and technologies aren't going to turn Xfce into just another Gnome or KDE competitor. Xfce was always fast and light. Hopefully it stays that way.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34901730)

gnome:xfce::wikipedia:simple wikipedia

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (5, Informative)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901774)

Actually dropping HAL for PolicyKit/ConsoleKit/udev makes it considerably lighter in that regard. HAL has always been a beast of a system that got so unwieldy to maintain and fix that they started dismantling it years ago. As far as ThunarVFS vs GIO, I'm not sure, but it shouldn't be much different and at least reduces the amount of code around that duplicates functions, this should at least make your system itself lighter (unless you've got nothing but XFCE apps on your system, in which case there shouldn't be a change).

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (3, Informative)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902450)

The irony is that all these subsystems worked pretty damn well in QT3 years ago, and they've only gotten better, since. A lot of the long-running bugs in the various GTK wm subsystems were never really a problem for KDE, and things like the VFS implementations worked much, much better.

If only KDE wasn't such a general memory hog, eh?

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (2)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902832)

That was my immediate reaction. I use XFCE, but I still use Konqueror and Kwrite for browsing remote files systems and editing files on them because they work much better.

KDE is not as much of a memory hog as it is reputed to be. It depends on what you install and how you configure it.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (4, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903426)

For being memory hog, the "out of the box" installation is what counts. I install Ubuntu, comes with Gnome (but that's not the point), and don't want to start heavy configuring to make it less of a memory hog. I guess I could make it lighter, but it's too much effort for me. It has to just work.

You sound like a tinkerer (me too sometimes) but for most people stuff has to Just Work. And for most of my computers I also want them to Just Work. Which modern Linux distros luckily do more and more.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903820)

And Ubuntu packs so much extra stuff, that unless you do a minimal install and then add what you want, it is virtually impossible to have a lightweight system. This isn't a slam against Ubuntu. They are trying to be all things to all people. As such they have a lot of services running and such to handle just about any situation. Need a hammer, it's in a default install Ubuntu, need a wrench it's in a default install Ubuntu, need a screwdriver, it's in a default install Ubuntu. However, if all you needed was a pair of tweezers, well, you get that too, with the default install, but you still get all the other tools in the toolbox, too.

It's been regularly reported that Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc, all run faster and with a smaller footprint on things like debian, arch, fedora, and many others. However, with those systems, the user is expected to add what services and software that are specific to their needs. That is how they stay lean.

This is not to say that Ubunut is bad, or wrong in what it does. On the contrary, they are trying to produce a distro that "just works" without having to do a lot of tinkering. They pretty much have succeeded, but just like clothing, their one size fits all approach really means that it fits no one, well.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903762)

That was my immediate reaction. I use XFCE, but I still use Konqueror and Kwrite for browsing remote files systems and editing files on them because they work much better.

KDE is not as much of a memory hog as it is reputed to be. It depends on what you install and how you configure it.

So what you are saying is that by using Konqueror and Kwrite, you aren't concerned with the memory footprint and Xfce being lighter (or not) is irrelevant since you are loading most of the kdelibs anyway. Is that correct?

I do agree with the last part of your last statement about it depending on what is installed. It never ceases to amaze me that people will say they want a low resource desktop environment like Xfce or even LXDE and then install, say OpenOffice.org on it. While obviously, we want any desktop environment to not use any more resources than necessary, if you are running heavy apps, like OO or Evolution, etc, you really can't complain about how lightweight or not the environment is as the environment is not the limiting factor. (I've seen users install nautilus in Xfce to get dropbox access, which is not longer needed, btw, and then complain about how sluggish Xfce is!)

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902970)

> and they've only gotten better,

"they've improved".

Please, stop destroying the language through lazily substituting verbs with "gotten".

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903728)

I've done a lot of GTK programming and never programmed anything that hit frameworks like HAL as part of GTK. GTK deals with the screen and widgets and window managers. It doesn't care about HAL or VFS, etc. While GTK may not be as complete as QT, if any of these subsystems were causing a problem, it wouldn't matter whether QT or GTK were the toolkit used.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903772)

1. You are confusing KDE with Qt.
2. Neither KDE3 nor Qt3 had equivalents to udev/PolicyKit/ConsoleKit

But yes, kio-slaves always worked correctly and fast unlike gnome-vfs and it's replacement that's supposed to fix things :(

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902606)

HAL itself is only five years old and has only recently reached version 0.5. It is hard to tell exactly what is wrong with HAL, just calling it "unwieldy" doesnt prove anything. DeviceKit was supposed to also replace parts of HAL but now that project is merged into udev-extras. And all these replacements are Linux specific, so bsd-users are left out in the cold stuck with HAL. There have been far to many hardware abstraction and filesystem virtualization layers developed for Linux many of which competes with each other.

Still XML and dbus dependencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903108)

I used to be a fan of XFCE. But with all that Freedesktop hairball, an XML library is going to be wedged into basic system dependencies. I consider that a denial-of-servce attack.

(captcha was "abhorrer", fwiw)

HAL dismantling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903570)

HAL has always been a beast of a system that got so unwieldy to maintain and fix that they started dismantling it years ago.

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34901866)

I'm still hanging on my KDE 3.5.10, but who knows? I might consider Xfce instead of GNOME in the long run.
(Unless KDE pulls its shit together (highly unlikely), I refuse to use that garbage of WM.)

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902044)

I'm still hanging on my KDE 3.5.10, but who knows? I might consider Xfce instead of GNOME in the long run. (Unless KDE pulls its shit together (highly unlikely), I refuse to use that garbage of WM.)

Why is it garbage?

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902356)

Why is it garbage?

The WM is unstable, and many of the apps still don't have as much functionality as their KDE3 counterparts. Many of the really nice KDE3 apps, such as Kaffeine and Amarok, now seem to be unmaintained and/or stripped of their functionality and gutted.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902814)

I'm still hanging on my KDE 3.5.10, but who knows? I might consider Xfce instead of GNOME in the long run.

There's nothing that says you have to run one or the other if you want a fully-featured desktop environment. You can cherry-pick the features you want. For instance, I run compiz-fusion wirh Emerald, use various panels according to how I feel about them, but use Nautilus to draw my desktop. Easy enough on Arch Linux, and probably at least as easy on some of the more popular distros.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903360)

I do the same thing but with avant-window-navigator as well. On Ubuntu you have to mess with gconf-editor to make gnome-panel not a required component. I like GNOME but not GNOME panels.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902124)

It's funny how the further Xfce develops, the more it resembles Gnome... the way it's meant to be - full-featured yet fast and configurable.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a good thing. It means that, when Gnome goes for that crazy "shell" thing in 3.0, and what with KDE guys still trying to make their stuff not crash every other day, there will still be a sane DE to fall back to.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902194)

I've got my wife/kids running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS because they are familiar with the Start Menu motif, while I run Xfce on Sid.

When it's time to upgrade their OS, it'll probably be to xbuntu 12.04.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903290)

and what with KDE guys still trying to make their stuff not crash every other day

Oh, come on. It has worked reasonably well since 4.1, and just fine since 4.2. I guess you haven't used it (certainly not since after 4.1).

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903388)

Oh, come on. It has worked reasonably well since 4.1, and just fine since 4.2. I guess you haven't used it (certainly not since after 4.1).

The plural of anecdote is not data but KDE 4.1 crashed for me and so did 4.2, even with the 4.2.x updates. Whatever my issue was, it was fixed in 4.3 and since then I've not had any stability problems. In any case, 4.6 is about to be released so we're talking about what it was like two years ago, not how it is today.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903364)

Yeah, Fluxbox :)

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902462)

Hopefully all these new-fangled frameworks and technologies aren't going to turn Xfce into just another Gnome or KDE competitor. Xfce was always fast and light. Hopefully it stays that way.

More than that: its turning into Gnome.

Meanwhile Canonical writes their own desktop environment...

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903042)

That has already happened. I tried Xubuntu 10.04 on an old laptop, and it was terribly slow. Slower than KDE3 (Trinity) in fact.

So I had to move on to Lubuntu with LXDE. It is lightning fast and very small now, but even there you have to be careful not to pull in to many Gnome dependencies. Unfortunately I need Nautilus, because I really like it, and it is the only file manager that Dropbox will cooperate with.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903758)

Hilarious post - it sums up modern desktop computing.

"X has become bloated and now I use Y which is great unless you use Z with it, which I have to because I like it, and it's the only thing that W works with."

No offense, after all we're all users, but you have to see the irony of it all here...

Xfce has been fast and light since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903054)

Huh? Xfce has always been heavy and slow. If you really wanted a fast desktop environment, you'd use something like Fluxbox or Enlightenment. The only real win against Gnome is the lesser memory usage. And memory is very cheap these days, so I don't really count that as a plus. I've used Gnome on older PCs and the difference between it and Xfce isn't all that great in terms of performance.

Features like hal, DeviceKit, PolicyKit shouldn't really make a difference in performance (though I'm sure the existence of the modules itself make the boot process slower, but that's just a guess). And things like the VFS support... I'm sorry, but GUI code is way much heavier than that. There's no way you'd feel a difference.

But it remains that the feeling that Xfce has been fast is ... an illusion. It has less features, and it loads faster. It might take less RAM, which doesn't make any difference the moment you start an application...

Re:Xfce has been fast and light since when? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903328)

Fluxbox is a window manager. XFCE does ship with it's own window manager (but you can use whatever window manager you want). A desktop environment is significantly more than just a window manger.

Enlightenment is very good, however, there is very little software that does things in an enlightenment way. Slapping gtk or qt apps on top of enlightenment ruins the beauty that enlightenment presents.

People who think xfce is heavy, are mainly Ubuntu users, where a lot of extra stuff from Ubuntu has been thrown in. Debian, Redhat, Gentoo, Arch, etc. all show a lean and fast XFCE implementation.

Re:Making it just as heavy as Gnome and KDE now? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903694)

The big thing is that many of the distros are shifting to these "new-fangled frameworks and technologies" and Xfce needs to change to support them, regardless of the impact. If the major distro's drop HAL, for instance, and Xfce would still require it, then Xfce could rightly be called bloated as it would load additional frameworks that nothing else used and possibly would conflict with what was already installed.

What functionality are we BSD users ... (2, Insightful)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901756)

What functionality are we BSD users going to be missing? It didn't really say in the article at all other than that apparently there is a lot of Linux only stuff out there in the open source world. As a developer I am saddened by this fact, that what I have available for use on Linux won't work the same on FreeBSD for example making my life as a developer and porter much harder.

Where does the problem lie? Is it in the library developers or in the OS developers? What can be done to change the situation? Where are some places we can start looking?

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902028)

From the looks of it, some of the dependencies haven't been ported to FreeBSD yet. Such as xfconf, xfdesktop and garcon. Which would account for the loss of features, but OTOH it doesn't look like that big of a deal in the long term. From the looks of it they'll be ported as the changes were made with some concern for not making it Linux only.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902564)

From the looks of it, some of the dependencies haven't been ported to FreeBSD yet. Such as xfconf, xfdesktop and garcon. Which would account for the loss of features, but OTOH it doesn't look like that big of a deal in the long term. From the looks of it they'll be ported as the changes were made with some concern for not making it Linux only.

The problems are gvfs/gio/polkit/udisks/udev, not the Xfce libraries. Xfconf and Garcon are platform independent.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902062)

I will tell you what can be done to fix this issue:

Merge. Free Software is powerful, but not that powerful, and we are split. Thousands of distros, Linux + 3 flavors of BSD, Android, ChromeOS, plus countless other half-dead projects like Hurd. We need to stop being dicks about it and merge it all down. A single Free Unix. Then we can have a few flavors of it, for example: Desktop, Server, Lightweight, Mobile, Realtime (but all coming from the same codebase). Then we would be unstoppable. But, instead, we have 100 variants of every possible component of a free system. We don't have a single professional linear video editor, but we have 30 that are getting there, sometime in the future, each with its own coders and users. Instead of having a single awesome WM (very customizable to each people's needs), we have 10 and they all are incomplete.
r
I know this has been said over and over, but it's still our biggest issue and it's worth repeating it.

And don't tell me that there is a single valid reason why FreeBSD should exist as a separate operating system, because there isn't (and the fact that people like Theo and Linus are jerks doesn't count).

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (3, Funny)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902080)

I will tell you what can be done to fix this issue:
...blah blah blah...

good luck with that.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902156)

You seem to be missing the point entirely..

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902290)

And don't tell me that there is a single valid reason why FreeBSD should exist as a separate operating system, because there isn't (and the fact that people like Theo and Linus are jerks doesn't count).

Hahahahaha.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902344)

a few flavors? no thank you, sometimes i want a Debian and some times i want a Mint and the deb tree would probably be the first thing to merge, but the freebsd is sorta out there so u can have one point

id love to see how u could have one wm that could fit the needs that are filled by compiz and ratpoison

btw love ur sig

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902390)

I'll tell you what, Ace. You get all the Linux distros to merge first, and then you have to right to come knocking at BSD's door. Just ask yourself why operating systems developed as a complete unit would want to merge with a kernel.

BTW, there are 4 major flavors of BSD.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (5, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902524)

the fact that people like Theo and Linus are jerks doesn't count

Why not? That's the main reason right that there are so many variants of basically the same thing. Everyone has their own idea about the best way it should be, few are sufficiently humble or diplomatic to accept consensus decisions, and so you get a million shades of red.

You can argue that the continual splintering is worthwhile--natural selection of projects, in effect--but you can't deny that the basic motive behind most forks is "fuck you if you won't do it my way".

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

Renegade88 (874837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903472)

Great thesis except it doesn't apply to either Linus or Theo. Theo spent months trying to regain his commit status. He wasn't looking to fork. The NetBSD core guys basically locked him out and gave him no reason to believe anything would ever change. The sad thing was (besides the fact Theo co-founded the project) was that the code NetBSD locked out was really useful to them. A real interesting story, but it was not an "F*** you" situation.

Linus claimed he wasn't aware of the existing BSD projects, so he wasn't trying to "do his own thing" either.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902630)

Our goals are varied and often incompatible.
Ubuntu wants to be up-to-date and user friendly, and will tolerate proprietary elements to make it happen. Debian sacrifices the cutting edge for the sake of stability, and user-friendliness for the sake of openness. Red Hat and Novell want to simplify support by controlling their codebases. DSL wants to be smaller than 50 MB, and Yellow Dog wants to run on PS3s.

Apt and Yum handle dependency resolution for you. Slackware hands you a pile of .tgz/.txz files and lets you figure out what you need for yourself. LFS has you compile every piece by hand.

KDE wants every config option to be controllable from the UI. Gnome gives you a UI for some config options, and a registry for the rest. XFCE gives you practically no UI config options whatsoever. The independent WMs are mostly adjusted by editing config files.

KDE uses the Qt toolkit. Gnome and XFCE use GTK. The independent WMs stay lean and fast by not using any toolkits.

GPL wants to ensure that what you write isn't simply forked into a proprietary product. BSD is less concerned about proprietary forks, as long as what they've built on their own is still available to whomever wants it.
This, incidentally, is why FreeBSD should exist: because there is a fundamental disagreement about what "free" software is, and FreeBSD is the largest project in the BSD camp. It's differences in principles such as this one that lead to, for example, Apple choosing to base itself on the FreeBSD kernel rather than Linux.

So we should have a Single Unified Unix, eh? That's great. Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment, XFCE, CDE or LXDE? Or maybe BlackBox, OpenBox, Fluxbox, JWM, or IceWM, Ratpoison, FVWM, or xmonad? Yum, Apt or Emerge? Should there be any proprietary binaries (like drivers) in the default install? Should any proprietary binaries be available in the repos at all? Do we accept Mozilla's terms regarding their trademark, or do we fork it a la Iceweasel? BSD, GPL, or Apache license? Microkernel or Macrokernel? Benevolent Dictator for Life or democratically-selected project leaders? How do we accommodate companies like Canonical, Red Hat, and Novell?

Every possible combination will have supporters; how do you reconcile them?

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903654)

Only bad designers will use a "registry"

Keep the configs in Config files where they belong.

DesktopIconSize=Large

is better than

{12433242354435435.3245324534253245.345456.5467345643567435643256.34256.3456.34562456324.2546.4356.4356} Option 0

Only a complete nutjob likes the former compared to the latter.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903770)

I agree that there is an ideological split between the BSD and GPL camp. But apart from that you're throwing up a million kinds of problems that equally well apply to the Linux kernel but that is running on everything from desktops to servers, with or without binary modules on lots of distros that want different things.

KDE and Gnome may have their holy flamewars over UI design, but if that was the only thing splitting them apart we'd long since see a unification and the different UIs as different skins/settings. All the major subsystems would be shared and how the start bar/menu/file dialog and so on should look would be trivial. And probably configurable for all applications.

Actually the language barrier of C vs C++ is a much bigger problem. Lots and lots of functionality is duplicated between Gnome/GTK and KDE/Qt simply because there's no way to write a common module that would fit both projects. You can write a spec and have two implementations, or you can have a separate process like D-Bus but you can't really make GObjects and QObjects talk.

Ok, so maybe not absolutely everyone would use it. But if you managed to get one toolkit become a de facto standard for the average Linux desktop, you'd be a lot further along. It'd be a helluva job though, I'd suggest an asbestos suit as work attire...

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (3, Informative)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902664)

Welcome to Unix. You seem to be confused about a great many things. I'm not more than a novice myself, but I must recommend Eric S. Raymond's The Art of Unix Programming [faqs.org] , because for better or worse Unix and F/LOSS count most of your complaints as strengths. Core principles, even.

Your view of the One True Unix implies that there is only one correct way to implement an OS. If there's only one way to implement an OS, doesn't that imply that all computer usage is pretty similar? Perhaps we can optimize for all use-cases at once? Or do you just think that you know better than everyone else how they should spend their coding time?

It's likely that if you've raised this argument here before that people have mentioned the UNIX certification process as well as the Linux Standard Base. In what way do these entities fall short in defining a common standard?

Oh, fuck it. Don't have this argument with me. Don't have it with anyone on slashdot. Go have it out with Theo de Raadt, Linus, Eric Raymond, and RMS. If you want to change the world and change people's minds, start at the top. Alternately, close your mouth, open your mind, and start with the first chapter of that book.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902770)

There probably isn't. We have enough proprietary vendor sell outs with Linux.
On the other hand, it might still fit the niche for a proprietary sell out OS for people who want a decent userland.
Get Debian to remove all the GNU crap and most FreeBSD users will happily switch.
Oh and don't forget to send an hexadecimal C blob with ZFS support to Linus' git - it will blend nicely with the others.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0, Troll)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902928)

Its called competition. Its what makes free markets work.

If you think splitting resources is so bad, why not apply that to everything? Some people you may have heard of tried applying it to entire countries and it did not work out to well: you might have heard of some of thm: Marx, Lenin, Stalin, ring any bells?

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903528)

Not true; Marx (and Engels) defended that the state is a tool of the oppression of a class by another and both defended a decentralized, stateless society. To them, the idea of a communist state is an oxymoron.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902210)

What functionality are we BSD users going to be missing? It didn't really say in the article at all other than that apparently there is a lot of Linux only stuff out there in the open source world?

According to the 3rd paragraph, udev replaces HAL.

So, since udev is Linux-only, apparently none of the devices that it manages and exposes to the WM can be seen by BSD.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902724)

Hey Nutria... you ever play WOD?

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (0)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902466)

BSD users? I thought you liked moving bits around with bar magnets or some such thing?

That said, I imagine you'll not miss much more than you already are. Despite the whole marathon that the various BSD 'package management' systems provide you with, one thing the BSDs typically have going for them that Linux does not is well-designed interfaces. (They may not be usable, and they may not be documented, but they are well designed.)

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902526)

I wonder if removing the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) makes Xfce more specific to one OS (Linux) and harder to port.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902626)

It is freaking hard to develop for a system you dont have access for. Most free software developers doesn't use BSD (or Windows for that matter) so they need help bug-testing and verifying that their software works on those platforms. They don't get the help they need, so they advertise that they really need help triaging those platforms, they still don't get any help so they drop support for them.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902912)

If my Linux Xfce 4.7 install is any indication (I exorcised PAM long ago, so none of this fancy bloat actually works), you'll just lose the ability to shut down from the menu. And maybe automounting.

Re:What functionality are we BSD users ... (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903660)

> there is a lot of Linux only stuff out there in the open source world
> Where does the problem lie? Is it in the library developers or in the OS developers?

It lies in the BSD philosophy of stability, which the OS developers have translated into stagnation. The native BSD development environment is unusable until you install the GNU toolchain. The BSD desktop is unusable until you install a bunch of GPL software. Even the shell tools suck. And once you get that far, why bother keeping the BSD kernel? I can already get all that with a default install of Linux and without all the drama.

Oh Yeah! (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901770)

X fecce is the shit!

No, really, it's a good shit.

Re:Oh Yeah! (0)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901864)

God damn. Mod me up. I like X fecce. It's been my WM for a god damn decade now.

Re:Oh Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902138)

Eh, I don't really think I agree that you were trolling, but that was a pretty worthless "me too" post. And they deserve what ever down mod they get.

Good grief... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34901782)

Yet another "framework" to solve a problem that does not exist. And PLEASE, *nix pencil-heads, start naming things in a sensible way?

Re:Good grief... (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902034)

You do realize that Xfce has been around since 1996, right? It's hardly a new addition, personally I like it.

XFCE is amazing (4, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901802)

Everytime I think about it, I'm totally shocked by how good XFCE is. I was a bit misled when I was using Xubuntu (not as lightweght as I had hoped) so I dropped it for a bit, but then I came back when I installed Arch on my netbook. It makes Debian superfast and Arch superstable (and yes, I use both). And on top of all that are all the config tools, which are exceedingly comprehensive, the panel, with a plethora of widgets, and a really good WM (not as powerful as I wish, but I'm so satisfied with it that I can't convince myself to replace it with Openbox). And on top of it all, it's remarkably elegant and simple. Hot damn, it even has its own built-in compositor.

It's hard to think of things that I don't like about it... I do wish some of the config settings were more intuitive, or if they could all be placed in one spot so you could search for what you need... but other than that, for me at least, it's as close to perfect as could ever be hoped. It is, quite frankly, awesome. Sorry for the pun. Here's to hoping that 4.8 is just as good.

Re:XFCE is amazing (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902000)

I haven't used XFCE in a few years, but this tempts me to play with it, again. Last time I used it, I just deployed it on what was otherwise usually going to be a headless server that I just need CLI access to. It was such a joy, after the other hefty, bloated, overkill options out there (for these purposes, at least).

Re:XFCE is amazing (4, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902400)

Agreed. Xubuntu was not light enough. Among the many advantages of Linux that is trumpeted, particularly around the time of the advent of Windows Vista, is the ability to make old computers usable again. But it rings hollow. Seems a lot of desktop environments, including XFCE, do font work on the fly, and that's a real drag on old systems. If you turn off the anti-aliasing, the environment looks horrible unless you switch to a fixed or terminal font. A while ago, I tried Firefox 3.5 on a 133 MHz Pentium. Took 30 seconds just to come up. How the heck did we ever surf the Internet on 40MHz 486s with VGA graphics?

I switched from XFCE to LXDE on Arch Linux about 2 years ago. LXDE does seem faster, but it has issues too. Have tried KDE 3 and 4, Gnome, and various bare window managers. Good to know there's a new version of XFCE to check out.

Re:XFCE is amazing (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902162)

You might find it interesting that Gnome feels the same way on Arch. Pretty much everything feels lighter when you're not using Ubuntu ;)

Re:XFCE is amazing (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903686)

Ubuntu Server edition is pretty speedy, but nothing beats a slackware install in speed.

Re:XFCE is amazing (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902944)

It's hard to think of things that I don't like about it...

Let me get you started, then.

You only get an icon on the panel. Descriptive text only shows up after a couple seconds of mouseover.

No themes that disable window borders. The included themes all have thick borders, and even modifying them some, I didn't find a way to drop it below that last 1 pixel width.

No easy way to quickly disable all keyboard shortcuts... one unnoticed minor version upgrade added a zillion new shortcuts that caused several nasty mysteries (at work, over the phone), and once I tracked it down, I had to spend 5 mintues on one station disabling all the shortcuts, one by one, because there's no "none" preset included to start from, only the default/all.

I could come up with a dozen more if I was in front of an XFce system right now, but that'll have to do.

As you may have guessed, my main interest in XFce is something of a Kiosk environment. It works reasonably well, but the above issues are rather significant. #1 in particular makes it hard to recomend, since keywords are easier to convey than icons, and can be much more self explanatory.

For my own part. I loved XFce many years ago when it was an (improved) CDE clone, and used it as my DE for a couple years, until the small bugs finally drove me nuts, and made me a blackbox convert for life.

Going back to it though, it's become much heavier and less responsive, and the great ease of use, like right-clicking on an icon to bring up properties allowing configuration in a matter of seconds. Now, you've got to launch a configuration app, which presents 15 configuration apps, and each is plenty complex. Adding icons to the panel? No problem, but it'll turn into a bunch of random numbered xml files on your hard drive (something like LauncherAJDJFSDEFFCD.xml) making hand-editing tempting, and nearly necessary...

So, for all its years of progress, many of the basic issues still haven't been addressed, and other very basic things they can't get right. This may be intentional, someone convinced they know better than the end users what your desktop should and shouldn't look like. Other stuff is probably just laziness, or lack of forethough. Some certainly are copying GNOME, but just being way behind the curve (GNOME v1.x was mighty small, fast sleek and simple, too.).

Not that any of this is to say it isn't a good DE. It just never seems to be complete for any particular use case, and I'm not all that encouraged by the direction it has gone over the years.

Re:XFCE is amazing (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903704)

Kiosk environment... Why are you using a WM?

Launch X with your App. Tada!

Done it many times, if a user figures a way to crash the app, it relaunches X and the app. Never EVER use a WM if you are not going to use one.

Re:XFCE is amazing (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903366)

Hmm.. I used Xubuntu when I first started using Linux as my main OS and it seemed like a decent balance, though the config options were a bit confusing to me at the time.

I've been using Fluxbox for the last 6 months or so since installing Gentoo on my new computer, and I like the simplicity to a point but it is a bit bare, and also it's been giving me some issues.

The main issue I had with XFCE is it seemed to have issues dealing with multiple monitors. The task bar was spread across both screens, which I didn't want, and I couldn't see any way to change that. Just gave LXDE a try and that did seem to get around that issue. Maybe I'll try this new XFCE.

Go Xfce yourself! (-1, Offtopic)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901932)

Sorry. (I have no idea what "Xfce" is...)

Re:Go Xfce yourself! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902292)

You can turn in your geek card at the door, your uid will be incremented by 1000 and you may return next week.

VFS eh? (4, Funny)

Erik Fish (106896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901956)

All I ask is that ThunarVFS not suck.

One of the main reasons I don't use GNOME anymore is because GnomeVFS was such a godawful piece of shit for years and years, with nobody seeming particularly concerned about it.

I would be all "Hey, I'll use the GUI to copy these files from one drive to another" and GnomeVFS would be all "Sure thing! I'll have that done sometime after the heat death of the universe!"

Don't even get me started on the SMB performance.

Re:VFS eh? (5, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901984)

All I ask is that ThunarVFS not suck.

Don't worry. It'll be like it's not even there

Re:VFS eh? (4, Informative)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902018)

ThunarVFS isn't new, it's one of the things they've replaced and removed.

Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (4, Informative)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34901960)

...between functionality and bloat. I have not used it as my primary desktop environment, but I do sometimes install it when I want a reasonably full-featured desktop in a VM without causing the size of the VM disk image to balloon too much.

For a truly minimalist lightweight desktop, LXDE seems to be showing a lot of promise.

Re:Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902040)

I agree. I see Xfce more as becoming a replacement for the "Classical GNOME", as Ubuntu people call it. Lxde is much more light-weight. From a user perspective, I really like the way of the gnome-panel and xfce4-panel. Gnome-panel is dead, though, and obvious and very visible bugs have remained untouched for years. I really think Xfce4 can be a really good replacement for it.

I'm very much looking forward to trying this out.

Re:Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (2)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902120)

Hmm, things I like about Gnome: (1) gtk, and (2) gnome-panel
Things I don't like about Gnome: Their continuing descent into the abyss

As xfce uses gtk, it's always sort of on my radar as something to use instead of gnome, but in the past their panel has always been a little clunkier and uglier than gnome-panel. I'd always try it out, but go back to gnome after a while.

Gnome 3 is looking pretty awful, so here's hoping for xfce 4.8!

Re:Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903336)

The problem with LXDE is that by the time you add all of the features that it does not provide, it gets pretty heavy, too. You could install openbox and add just XFCE's panel and pretty much recreate LXDE's footprint.

Don't get me wrong, LXDE is very good, very fast. It's just that it doesn't provide a lot of the services that people have come to expect in a full desktop environment.

However, if I were installing a server and wanted to have a GUI, LXDE would certainly be a consideration.

Re:Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34903702)

Truly minimalist would be running only a wm, not a de, or drop xorg all together.

Re:Xfce seems to be a pretty good compromise... (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903872)

Picky, picky... if you're going to be that minimalist, you might as well just use something like screen [linuxjournal.com] . :D

What about 4.7? (1)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902048)

Or was "4.7" already taken by KDE and thus they had to use "4.8"?

Re:What about 4.7? (2)

jensend (71114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902090)

Like a lot of open-source software (most famously Linux before they decided everything from here on out would be 2.6), the odd point releases are the development branches.

Re:What about 4.7? (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902134)

odd version numbers = unstable/development
even version numbers = stable/release

And Xfce is...? (0)

Relyx (52619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902118)

I must admit, I would have really appreciated a quick, one line explanation of what Xfce is. Apparently it's a light-weight desktop environment.

Re:And Xfce is...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902184)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=xface

sorry , I could not resist...

Re:And Xfce is...? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902340)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=xfce

FTFY.

Re:And Xfce is...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902652)

whoosh! (with a noticeable doppler effect)

Re:And Xfce is...? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902248)

You really couldn't try http://www.xfce.org/ [xfce.org] ?

Anyway, it's a middle-weight DE based on Gtk.

Re:And Xfce is...? (1)

Relyx (52619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903188)

I did - that's where I found out it was a "light-weight desktop environment" :) Still would have been nice to have that information in the summary though.

I realize I'm probably not in the target audience (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902130)

but it seems, to the layman, that the TFS was written like a bad inside joke. The least you could do is provide a few words to indicate basically what Xfce is.

IceWM and pcmanfm (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902226)

Whenever i want a light desktop i almost always go with a combination of IceWM, pcmanfm for desktop icons and the lxde apps.

I don't need any GUI configuration tool and iceWM has well documented conf files.
It's familiar enough that someone who has only ever used windows can navigate enough and lite enough for me to ignore it in favour of a command line.

in time for Xubuntu 11.04? (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902486)

Anyone know if this is in time to make it into the next Xubuntu in April?

Re:in time for Xubuntu 11.04? (4, Informative)

heidaro (1392977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902706)

From the Xubuntu blog: "The new version of Xfce is scheduled to be included in Xubuntu 11.04, to be released in April of this year."

Cold hard facts about resource usage? (2)

DrMorris (156226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902684)

Are there any resources that actually back Xfce's claim of being "light" in comparison to GNOME?

I tried Xfce several years ago and while it was nice and easy and all, I had the feeling that with a bit more memory I could just as well run GNOME with obvious benefits (feature-wise).

Today the situation is still the same IMHO. Sure, Xfce has probably a lot more features nowadays, but so does GNOME. I see the benefit in the GNOME framework: it's mature and stable, and more or less customizable. I guess it would be possible to strip out some GNOME services (e.g. desktop search) if memory is of concern. CPU usage shouldn't be an issue with GNOME (unless some background service runs, which again could be turned off if not wanted).

With that in mind: how does Xfce compare to [a minimalistic] GNOME regarding resource usage?

Note that I'm not a GNOME fanboy (I use a plain window manager), but right now it's the desktop environment I'd recommend to others.

Re:Cold hard facts about resource usage? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902992)

It used to be much lighter, I think.

Then again, I ran it on Gentoo, so who knows. When I tried it a couple years later in Ubuntu it looked way different (worse) and felt way more bloated, but I'm not sure whether it's because XFCE changed or because the Ubuntu team configured it that way.

Re:Cold hard facts about resource usage? (4, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903352)

I am guessing from your post that you run Ubuntu or one of it's derivatives. Xfce on Ubuntu is not much better than Gnome, becaue Ubuntu packs a lot of stuff in to their Xfec impleimenation besides Xfce. Ubuntu, is not a distribution you want to use for a memory constrained or slow CPU system.

However, if you run Xfce on Debian, Fedora, Arch, etc. it simply flies and uses fewer resources than gnome.

Looking forward to running this on my PS3 (2)

calagan800xl (1001055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902908)

With the current absence of GPU hardware acceleration and low memory available, Xfce has been the desktop environment of choice for my 3.15 PS3's OtherOS. I'm really excited to try this new version which seems vey promising.

The "two features" thread starts here ... (2)

KMSelf (361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902958)

There are two, hopefully simple, things XFCE4 could provide which would make it a tenable desktop for me. Otherwise, I'll stick with WindowMaker:

Pinnable window lists. In WindowMaker, the feature provided by hitting the middle mouse button, or F11 key. A window menu with a list of all available windows. Allows you to scroll through these, click on likely subjects, etc., trying to find that 24th rxvt instance or the 7th Iceweasel window that you'd lost track of somewhere. Without this, managing the mess of windows my typical desktop devolves to after a day or so (and sessions typically run weeks to months) becomes an utter nightmare.

Circulate-and-raise alt-tab navigation. Similar rationale to above, and also implemented in WindowMaker (or Mac OS X or the Windows desktop). Under XFCE4, an outline of the window raises. Utterly .... useless.

Really, of all the alternative desktops (and I regularly revisit GNOME, KDE, XFCE4, OpenBox, ionwm, and others) XFCE4 comes the closest to a replacement for WindowMaker. But 12 years after having first tried that old standard, it still provides a light, fast, stable, configurable (from a keybindings and behavior standpoint), extremely workable desktop.

My one concern is that WindowMaker's seen no development since 2008, though it is very nearly feature complete, and is certainly very highly usable. I recommend it particularly for newbies.

Otherwise, congrats to the XFCE4 team for their milestone. Anyone else missing features (if I dare ask)?

Re:The "two features" thread starts here ... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903010)

Go WindowMaker fans! *high five*

I thought I was the only one. Everyone else seems to use the hideous *box window managers for ultra-light GUI work.

Re:The "two features" thread starts here ... (1)

MrLizardo (264289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903150)

Not at all. I tend to use it on any machine that has 1GB of RAM or less. Even on more powerful machines I tend to oscillate back and forth between WM and GNOME ever couple years. Also, a couple months ago I did a new install of it on a laptop I inherited from someone upgrading and was pleased to see that http://dockapps.org/ [dockapps.org] is still up, which made me all sorts of happy. :D

Re:The "two features" thread starts here ... (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34903748)

There's still us Fvwm using oddballs out there as well.
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