Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Sep 2008 18:46 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
Xfce It's been nearly 18 months since the last major Xfce release - Xfce 4.4, to be exact. Xfce 4.6 was supposed to go final this month, but the Xfce team didn't meet the deadline. Instead, they released the first alpha release of Xfce 4.6, and Phoronix summarises the most important changes, including a number of screenshots.
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Comment by diego
by diegoviola on Mon 15th Sep 2008 19:06 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

Nice features, but it looks very similar to GNOME.

http://www.phoronix.net/image.php?id=xfce46_alpha&image=xfce_46alph...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gnome-2.20-screenshot.png

I will give it a try but I will stay with KDE4 myself.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by diego
by Piranha on Mon 15th Sep 2008 20:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by diego"
Piranha Member since:
2008-06-24

Looks aren't what they're really aiming for. XFCE's goal is to make something as useful as the leading X managers, but keep resource useage to a minimum. It's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs and fluxbox is somewhat 'too' lightweight for some people's tastes. XFCE lies somewhat in the middle of these projects.

However, KDE4's goal now is to become a lot lighterweight, thus bringing on some big competition for XFCE. It will be very interesting to see how XFCE comes along with another X manager with similar goals.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by BluenoseJake on Mon 15th Sep 2008 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs


uh, not really true. Gnome and KDE3 have more features, therefore use more resources. One man's bloat is another man's useful feature.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by diego
by cyclops on Mon 15th Sep 2008 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by diego"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

erm It doesn't really work like that. Modern Desktop environments are made up of many loosely tied applications so occupy little as opposed to hard disk space...but even that is not true. Its just more complicated than that, especially as much of the lifting is done elsewhere Linux; X and a whole host of other *stuff*

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by diego
by BluenoseJake on Tue 16th Sep 2008 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by diego"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

The article is about Xfce, and Me and the op were talking about KDE, Gnome and Xfce. That's the parameters of our discussion, and the kernel and X Windows are irrelevant.

We were talking about Desktop Environments.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by diego
by Ethyriel on Tue 16th Sep 2008 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by diego"
Ethyriel Member since:
2005-07-07

He never said KDE and Gnome are bloated, just that they use more resources. Which they do, you said it yourself.

I would debate that KDE and Gnome could offer these features while using fewer resources, and I believe XFCE has been doing that as they add features, but that wasn't what the comment you replied to claimed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by diego
by BluenoseJake on Tue 16th Sep 2008 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by diego"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

He never said KDE and Gnome are bloated, just that they use more resources. Which they do, you said it yourself.

I would debate that KDE and Gnome could offer these features while using fewer resources, and I believe XFCE has been doing that as they add features, but that wasn't what the comment you replied to claimed.


No, but he did say "it's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs"

Same thing. I'm pretty sure being a resource hog and bloated are the same thing in tech world. I used bloated, he used resource hogs, but it boils down to the same thing. Which I disagreed with.

Edited 2008-09-16 10:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by diego
by gilboa on Tue 16th Sep 2008 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by diego"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, IMHO resource hog != bloated.

Resource hog is a general statement. E.g. VMWare will hog all your machine's resources if you run a number of heavy VMs. But the mere fact that it's hogging all the resources doesn't make it a bad product by itself.

[Beware: Even if you don't agree, PLEASE don't turn this into an pro/anti Vista thread. Thank you.]

On the other hand (in my experience) Vista is bloated.
As in, it was relatively slow on the dual dual Opteron machine that I tested it on (compared to 2K3 and Linux), without offering something in return.

[/Beware]

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by diego
by BluenoseJake on Tue 16th Sep 2008 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by diego"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Resource hog is a general statement. E.g. VMWare will hog all your machine's resources if you run a number of heavy VMs. But the mere fact that it's hogging all the resources doesn't make it a bad product by itself."

No, you're right, it doesn't make it a bad product. Just like if someone believes a product is bloated does not mean it it's a bad product. Lie I said, one man's bloated is another man's feature packed app is another mans resource heavy.

I also think resource heavy == bloated in the public's mind, and in a lot of geeks minds. I don't find Vista bloated, I find it runs great on a dual core box with 2G of ram. You find that it is bloated. It's all about perception.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by diego (Huge OT)
by gilboa on Tue 16th Sep 2008 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by diego"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

No, you're right, it doesn't make it a bad product. Just like if someone believes a product is bloated does not mean it it's a bad product. Lie I said, one man's bloated is another man's feature packed app is another mans resource heavy.

I also think resource heavy == bloated in the public's mind, and in a lot of geeks minds. I don't find Vista bloated, I find it runs great on a dual core box with 2G of ram. You find that it is bloated. It's all about perception.


True.
But again - if you look at the (?) translation:
Bloated == a lot of useless features that hinder performance. (Perception)
Resource hog == Uses a lot of resources. (Measurable assessment)

Calling Vista bloated is, as you said, a matter of personal opinion that's tied to what-ever OS you use as reference.
Calling VMWare a resource hog is a matter of observation. (E.g. my VM host is currently bust chewing ~500%/800X CPU time and ~5GB of memory...)

- Gilboa

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by diego
by Isolationist on Tue 16th Sep 2008 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by diego"
Isolationist Member since:
2006-05-28

"It's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs


uh, not really true. Gnome and KDE3 have more features, therefore use more resources. One man's bloat is another man's useful feature.
"

Completely agree, and I was surprised to find that when I tried XFCE 4.4.2 it wasn't any faster or responsive than KDE 3.5.8.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by Isolationist on Tue 16th Sep 2008 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
Isolationist Member since:
2006-05-28

It's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs and fluxbox is somewhat 'too' lightweight for some people's tastes.


That statement doesn't hold true as far as KDE3 is concerned. My laptop takes exactly 24 seconds to boot to a KDM prompt, and then takes a further 4 seconds to get to a working desktop.

All the KDE applications that I use are quick to load, very responsive, and feature rich. I have 512MB of RAM, and my KDE environment rarely uses the swap space; unless I am scanning images using a high DPI setting.

I have used XFCE4 on this laptop and it wasn't any different to KDE3 in terms of performance, responsiveness, etc. This made me go back to KDE3 because I get more features and the same performance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by Laurence on Tue 16th Sep 2008 08:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

It's known that GNOME and KDE3 are resource hogs and fluxbox is somewhat 'too' lightweight for some people's tastes.


That's quite a generalised statment.

I know people who are happy with Aero in Vista (they find it responsive enough for their needs as well as they like the looks).
I also know people (myself included) who find Aero anything but useful.

Personally I'm happy with KDE4 + compiz; everything runs at a good speed for me and (as vain as it might sound) it looks pretty. However 7 years ago I shunned both KDE and GNOME for fluxbox (due to it's minimalistic approach).

My point is this: KDE and GNOME maybe larger packages, but that's not specifically bloat. Sometimes the very features that make a project larger is the very features that attracts the user to said project.

Plus, compared to Aero - KDE / GNOME don't feel all that slow, so there can't be that high of a fat to meat ratio in KDE / GNOME.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by diego
by cyclops on Mon 15th Sep 2008 20:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by diego"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Desktop analogy...they all look the very similar. I actually used to set it in a very windows2000 kind of why. Its a layout I've only just moved from. It is GTK+y, but where XFCE really shines is Terminal and Thunder(The file manager) both of which I prefer more than any Linux or Windows equivalent. I moved off XFCE only because the desktop itself was weak, you couldn't select mult6iple things on the Desktop which really really annoyed me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by dbodner on Mon 15th Sep 2008 22:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
dbodner Member since:
2007-07-01

I moved off XFCE only because the desktop itself was weak, you couldn't select mult6iple things on the Desktop which really really annoyed me.


Sure you can. hold control, then select the item(s).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by SomeGuy on Tue 16th Sep 2008 04:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

Right. Adding desktop icons was a mistake in the first place. They're useless if you actually have windows open, they're a waste of resources, and they add code complexity. (They're disableable, but the code is still there.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by diego
by SomeGuy on Tue 16th Sep 2008 04:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by diego"
SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

Yes, you can make it look that way if you want. That's certainly not the default look (except perhaps on Xubuntu, where they seem to be aiming for making it as Gnome-y as possible.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by diego
by Doc Pain on Tue 16th Sep 2008 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by diego"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Yes, you can make it look that way if you want.


OSNews had featured two articles about how to make your XFCE 4 installation look like Mac OS X or "Vista", so if this is possible, why can't it made be looking like Gnome or KDE? :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by diego
by leech on Tue 16th Sep 2008 05:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by diego"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

More like it looks like Gnome 2.8. In fact when I saw it, I thought "Hey, it's Gnome before they added the "Places" menu. Had to go far back enough to see what version it was. The first Ubuntu release came with Gnome 2.8

http://osdir.com/screenshots/index.php?directory=gnome2.8

Edited 2008-09-16 05:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Good to hear!
by kurenai on Mon 15th Sep 2008 19:22 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

I was starting to worry about the project stalling! Looks to be a minor incremental improvement in terms of style/usability, but much better internals for configuration and such.

XFCE to me has definitely been a lightweight gnome-clone thus far. I've been hoping that in version 5 we'll see it really diverge from gnome and become much more of its own thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good to hear!
by cyclops on Mon 15th Sep 2008 20:45 UTC in reply to "Good to hear!"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

If you look at the threads for the previous version where many things were added to the desktop, people where worried about the reverse.

Reply Score: 2

Is XFCE really light?
by satan666 on Mon 15th Sep 2008 20:37 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

I think the lightness of XFCE is a little bit overrated. XFCE has become quite heavy as of late. Of course it is still lighter than Gnome and KDE but Gnome without Mono is almost as light as XFCE and if you install KDE (not the default way but the custom way), it can be really light too.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Is XFCE really light?
by cyclops on Mon 15th Sep 2008 20:49 UTC in reply to "Is XFCE really light?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I know KDE can be installed in a modular fashion, and I know there was a drive to reduce memory usage in Gnome...an effort I haven't heard of for some time. I don't know if the argument has gone away with memory. I know Ubuntu on 192MB struggles more than I think it should.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Is XFCE really light?
by jimbofluffy on Tue 16th Sep 2008 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Is XFCE really light?"
jimbofluffy Member since:
2008-07-15

I know KDE can be installed in a modular fashion, and I know there was a drive to reduce memory usage in Gnome...an effort I haven't heard of for some time. I don't know if the argument has gone away with memory. I know Ubuntu on 192MB struggles more than I think it should.


That is what Xubuntu is for. They says 192mb is the minimum amount to run, but 256mb is recommended. I installed on an old Toshiba Satellite with 192 and it works really smoothly. Yes XFCE is set up Gnome-esq in Xubuntu (though of course lacks the extra features), and there is no extra configuration to get it to work on 192mb as you probobly would want to do with Gnome.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is XFCE really light?
by jdusablon on Mon 15th Sep 2008 21:13 UTC in reply to "Is XFCE really light?"
jdusablon Member since:
2008-02-01

It's true that all desktops are getting "fat," but folks are demanding more and more from their machines. In the end, though, you have to choose a desktop env. that's right for you, not right for your friend or your forum pals.

XFCE runs quite nicely on my Athlon 1700 where gnome crushes it.

If you want "light," run CDE or none at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Is XFCE really light?
by dwave on Mon 15th Sep 2008 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Is XFCE really light?"
dwave Member since:
2006-09-19

I disagree. If you want it light, use ratpoison
[http://www.nongnu.org/ratpoison]

Edited 2008-09-15 23:19 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Is XFCE really light?
by cyclops on Mon 15th Sep 2008 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Is XFCE really light?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

erm thats quite a powerful processor for running any Linux desktop.

Where XFCE fails or successes in your eyes is whether it has everything you need and nothing you don't.

Its a nice desktop enviroment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Is XFCE really light?
by Doc Pain on Tue 16th Sep 2008 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Is XFCE really light?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

It's true that all desktops are getting "fat," but folks are demanding more and more from their machines.


And after all, they're treating them as a worse typewriter, I know. :-)

But sadly, the trend you mentioned is true for all applications, only few stayed the same and could improve usage speed accordingly to increasing computer power, while most applications switched toolkits to newer ones that wasted the power of the machine, just to to the same things they've done before, and even do these things worse. One example nattering to me is X-Chat 2: you can't middle-click copy to certain dialog elements, and it runs much slower than the older GTK variant. Same for Sylpheed.

In other words: If your desktop environment doesn't waste your system's power, your other applications will.

If you want "light," run CDE or none at all.


Or use XFCE 3 for a fast CDE lookalike. I had some customers who came from a Solaris environment and really liked it, so I took some time to setup an XFCE 3 environment for them (on 300 MHz x86 boxes) with all the "modern" stuff they needed (OpenOffice, Opera, mplayer), and they're happy.

Reply Score: 3

The Panel?
by Temcat on Tue 16th Sep 2008 10:48 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

Anybody tried the alpha? Have they improved the panel? It was rather awkward to add launchers to it in the previous versions, as opposed to say Gnome, where it is simply a matter of drag-n-dropping an item from menu.

Reply Score: 3

Xfce
by BrendaEM on Tue 16th Sep 2008 17:24 UTC
BrendaEM
Member since:
2005-11-23

I've tried Xfce a few times, and I will try it again. Gnome's progress seems to be slowing--except for attaching other programs to itself, akin to Rojin-Z.

I would like to see real memory/processor consumption tests for both Gnome and Xfce.

I think that Xfce should change their name. A mouse mascot isn't a bad metaphore for the lightweight GUI.

Using a blue version of the Gelatin theme would make a nice choice for a default theme.

Reply Score: 1