Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jan 2011 22:00 UTC, submitted by daev
Xfce Okay so it took them two years, but hey, good things come to those who wait. The Xfce team has finally released version 4.8 of their Gtk+-based desktop environment. This release contains a lot of work under the hood, as well as a number of new features.
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BSD
by vivainio on Mon 17th Jan 2011 22:30 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Interesting discussion points:


We hope that everyone will enjoy this release as much as we do. Sadly, this will not be the case as the folks using any of the BSD systems will notice a sudden loss of features. We think that this announcement is a good opportunity to express our disagreement with the recent "Linux-only" developments in the open source ecosystem, especially with regards to the utilities we need in desktop environments.

Reply Score: 9

RE: BSD
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 17th Jan 2011 22:56 UTC in reply to "BSD"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

It's kind of strange that not a word was said about this in the extended OSNews article. I first read about the new release a little bit ago on Slashdot. Can't wait to try it... my guess is that Zenwalk will be among the first to support it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: BSD
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 17th Jan 2011 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: BSD"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I left it out because they didn't say a thing about the how, what, why, when, and so on. It was just randomly thrown in without any connection to the rest of the release. It made little sense to me.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: BSD
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BSD"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I left it out because they didn't say a thing about the how, what, why, when, and so on. It was just randomly thrown in without any connection to the rest of the release. It made little sense to me.

Very good point. I was left pretty confused myself. Some detail on their part would have been nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: BSD
by Delgarde on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BSD"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

It made little sense to me.


See my other comment, but the complaint is essentially that HAL was cross-platform, and it's replacements aren't (yet).

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: BSD
by rhavenn on Tue 18th Jan 2011 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BSD"
rhavenn Member since:
2006-05-12

The real issue is that BSD has had devd for years while Linux has been fumbling about trying to re-invent the wheel 3 or 4 times and every time something new and shiny comes along everyone flocks to it, only to let old tech go by the wayside. see: OSS -> ALSA -> pulseaudio and the whole device thing with pre-HAL -> HAL -> udev.

Egh well, 4.6 works fine for now and maybe someday people will look at the BSD's and go, hey "they've done it right, maybe we should use their ideas". Okay, pipe dream.

Reply Score: 5

RE: BSD
by Delgarde on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:03 UTC in reply to "BSD"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Well, it's true enough, but not entirely new - it's just a consequence of 99.9% of the development work being done by Linux people. HAL was Linux-only to start with as well, but became more cross-platform as the Solaris and BSD people provided patches.

The same will be true of the newer technologies - udev itself is Linux-specific, but few packages talk to udev directly, instead talking over dbus to 'something' that implements the UDisks or UPower APIs. In most cases, all that's needed is for the BSD people to provide suitable implementations, and maybe some patches for other packages that are currently Linux specific.

Reply Score: 11

Version 2.8?
by khaledh on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:10 UTC
khaledh
Member since:
2007-03-30

Typo in the summary, should be 4.8 instead of 2.8.

Reply Score: 1

My favourite desktop
by siimo on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:16 UTC
siimo
Member since:
2006-06-22

I have been using Xfce full time since 4.4 introduced desktop icons. Will upgrade to 4.8 when I get home ;) .

One thing I like about Xfce is that it is so simple and easy to compile if your distro does not provide updates fast enough. And yet it is full featured and doesn't leave you wanting.

I had set up custom icons on my panel to enable/disable dual head setup using XRandr on my 4.6.2. Nice to see I will no longer need that! ;)

Also having Network share browsing is very welcome in Thunar.

Reply Score: 2

Well...
by Jason Bourne on Tue 18th Jan 2011 00:07 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I just wished that Xfce was a project with more appeal, like what Unity proposes to be, causing a stir. With Xfce you get nothing. The name is uncatchable and odd. I believe this is because the lack of vision the people behind Xfce have.

The project could have been just as popular as GNOME, or yet-to-be upcoming Unity, or being shipped as default in most distros, if it had just one slice of better visioning.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Well...
by stabbyjones on Tue 18th Jan 2011 01:27 UTC in reply to "Well..."
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

not everyone makes it in hollywood.

There's nothing wrong with xfce, one of my friends uses it full time and loves it.
I've been waiting for this re-write to try it out again because it has been falling behind in a lot of ways.

with gnome3 right around the corner it probably came as good a time as any.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Well...
by Soulbender on Tue 18th Jan 2011 10:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

not everyone makes it in hollywood.


And more importantly, not everyone WANTS to make it in hollywood. Perhaps Xfce are happy being where they are and doing what they do.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Well...
by DOSguy on Tue 18th Jan 2011 01:40 UTC in reply to "Well..."
DOSguy Member since:
2009-07-27

I believe this is because the lack of vision the people behind Xfce have.


They probably aren't trying to be a desktop environment for the masses. They could pick a better name and focus on gaining more popularity, but why should they really?
Being smaller has advantages. I would prefer a small, loyal and contributing user-base over Ubuntu's large user-base anytime!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Well...
by Morgan on Tue 18th Jan 2011 02:08 UTC in reply to "Well..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The name is no less catchy or more odd than KDE, which is supposedly the most popular DE for X. An analogy from the world of webcomics would be XKCD, which means absolutely nothing and was deliberately unpronounceable according to the author, yet it is one of the most popular webcomics still being published.

I'd say that it is what it is, i.e. it is simple enough for those who like simplicity while still powerful enough for power users. It's a good middle ground to be in, and given it is officially supported by the most popular "easy mode" Linux (Ubuntu via Xubuntu) as well as one of the most popular "geeky" Linuxes (Slackware) I'd say they are doing something right.

Off topic: Purely out of curiosity, what's with the odd mixing of italics and bold for emphasis? Your post would have been more comfortable to read if you had chosen one over the other, or better yet used inflection in your writing to create emphasis.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Well...
by orestes on Tue 18th Jan 2011 04:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Well said. I see XFCE as being an increasingly attractive option for those folks who really don't want to be dragged along with the new interface paradigms GNOME, Ubuntu and KDE have thrown at them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Well...
by SlackerJack on Tue 18th Jan 2011 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

You still can use the old versions but at some point,the Linux desktop UI needs to be dragged out of the 90s, and GNOME Shell is doing it.

Personally, I think GNOME Shell is on the right path, especially with CSS and Javascript but XFCE will always be there for the traditionalists.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Well...
by TheGZeus on Tue 18th Jan 2011 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I... yeah...
No.

I'm not going to try to change your opinion. I'm just going to state disagreement.

I'm not saying change isn't needed, just that gnome shell is a monolithic mass of DIW.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Well...
by orestes on Wed 19th Jan 2011 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Well..."
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

For a good portion of people, I'm not so sure it does. We're getting all these new and cool 3d interfaces and widgets and such, but honestly is it *that* much of an improvement? Seems like a lot of the time the well intentioned improvements get in the way of using the system as much as they help.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well...
by Skai on Fri 21st Jan 2011 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Well..."
Skai Member since:
2010-08-19

+1

Xfce manages to keep things simple, yet let advanced user do what they want wiith it.

I 've been using it for ages - since gnome got on my nerves by making it hard to tweak theri "foot" menu - a long time ago in a far away and forgotten life.

On top of Archlinux, and KISS principle is complete. Even my wife can use my laptop without wondering how to interact with that damn tux ...

Reply Score: 1

hopefully without the bloat
by bnolsen on Tue 18th Jan 2011 00:19 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I've been running xfce at home on my netbooks. It's functional enough that a non linux head can work with it nicely. gnome to some degree and kde especially are frustrating with just all the "stuff" they throw at you. I for one appreciate a default minimalism.

I use a computer to get work done, not to have an "experience". For my own personal development I like windowmaker best.

Reply Score: 8

RE: hopefully without the bloat
by Morgan on Tue 18th Jan 2011 02:28 UTC in reply to "hopefully without the bloat"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I think I will go back to Xfce on my netbook as well. Though, I'm not sure if I'll go with Slackware for customization and fine control (not to mention raw speed), or stick with Xubuntu.

Right now I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 just to try it out, and it's great so far, barring a couple of issues with trackpad support. I'm using an HP Mini 210-1041NR with the Apple-inspired "whole trackpad as button" pad, which actually works better under 10.04 than the latest release. Using Slackware would mean compiling drivers and such to get it working correctly, but it would be worth it as there don't seem to be any solutions at all for Ubuntu's current release.

As an aside, Ubuntu 10.10's network manager works seamlessly with my Nokia 5230 on T-Mobile: Plug in USB, select "PC Suite" mode on the phone, and add a new broadband connection with the detected modem. Put in my APN and it's connected. Subsequent connections are no different than choosing a WiFi hotspot. Too bad Windows isn't that easy.

Reply Score: 2

Does it live up to it vision though?
by sigzero on Tue 18th Jan 2011 03:02 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

It is supposed to be lighter on resources and such. Did the re-write come up short?

Reply Score: 2

.
by Icaria on Tue 18th Jan 2011 08:28 UTC
Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

Hurray. Trying to use apps that relied on udisks, while still running HAL for Xfce, was becoming a right pain. Hopefully the transition is a smooth one and I don't have to rewrite all my menus, custom actions, etc.

Reply Score: 1

Arch!
by evert on Tue 18th Jan 2011 09:21 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a few minutes ago, I did a "pacman -Syu", and now I'm reading this using Xfce 4.8.0 :-)

Couldn't resist to let everybody know ;-)


(Although I still recommend Ubuntu for ease of maintenance. Arch is more suited for skilled or enthusiast users. And Windows, of course, if you like the excellent Microsoft Office suite and games, but Windows needs lots of maintenance.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Arch!
by Temcat on Tue 18th Jan 2011 12:04 UTC in reply to "Arch!"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

I haven't used XFCE for a long time and so interested to hear about the current state of desktop icons support.

Are they freely movable now? Can you select them by rubber-banding?

Reply Score: 3

Using it too
by acobar on Tue 18th Jan 2011 10:07 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Compiled from source to avoid the kitchen-sink syndrome most distros apply to it. Still customizing.

Compiled also awn to achieve the same goal (minimum bloat).

So far, pretty satisfied. Most programs I use are qt or kde related or from mozilla.org anyway and I wanted to install it with minimum deps.

I used xfce 4.6.1 for a long time but changed to kde 4 once 4.4.x surfaced. Now I am back at home.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Using it too
by Temcat on Wed 19th Jan 2011 18:35 UTC in reply to "Using it too"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

If you've used the new 4.8 version, could you by chance answer this question of mine about desktop icons:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?458850

Thank you in advance!

Reply Score: 2

Stupid Gentoo
by FunkyELF on Tue 18th Jan 2011 15:20 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Tried to upgrade yesterday using portage and half the packages went to 4.8 while others stayed at 4.6.

Log into xfce and menu doesn't work, icons are all white boxes with red X's.

Now its nearly impossible to revert back to the 4.6 series.... package.mask and such

Reply Score: 1

RE: Stupid Gentoo
by TheGZeus on Tue 18th Jan 2011 15:33 UTC in reply to "Stupid Gentoo"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Comment title says what I planned on saying.

Reply Score: 3

Well... again
by Jason Bourne on Tue 18th Jan 2011 16:21 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I am not saying that Xfce is meant to have a spotlight on in Hollywood. I am not saying that its developers should strive for this. When things have a certain appeal, things just happens naturally. Look how simple Unity is, and the stir that is causing.

Xfce does not have any appeal, apart the appeal some users feel when they use a Windows 95-esque look & feel. For me, that's odd. I know that GNOME and GTK in general has this certain look, but Canonical learned a lesson and actually improved Ubuntu's themes on top of ole GTK. You can also see the difference after using GNOME and Xfce, with the same theme. It's just wacko.

Not to mention that it started as a Mac bar emulation...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Well... again
by TheGZeus on Tue 18th Jan 2011 19:51 UTC in reply to "Well... again"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

You approve of Ubuntu.
I rest my case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Well... again
by Jason Bourne on Tue 18th Jan 2011 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Well... again"
Jason Bourne Member since:
2007-06-02

You approve of Ubuntu.
I rest my case.


I don't approve Ubuntu. I said Canonical HELPED, improved some GTK themes to look better. Under the hood, it's still wacko.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Well... again
by KLU9 on Wed 19th Jan 2011 15:15 UTC in reply to "Well... again"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

Not to mention that it started as a Mac bar emulation...

Really? IIRC Xfce started as a CDE clone.

ah yes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xfce#First_versions

Reply Score: 2

always thought it was pronounced "xface"
by Sabon on Tue 18th Jan 2011 16:46 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

always thought it was pronounced "xface". But then I've never used it.

Reply Score: 3

How does this affect Thunar?
by Thomas2005 on Tue 18th Jan 2011 17:49 UTC
Thomas2005
Member since:
2005-11-07

I am in the process of building a FreeBSD system and Thunar is the only thing in xfce that I use. I found the following link in the FreeBSD forums that might shed some light on what has changed.

http://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=5655

Based on what I read it seems like plugins and panels are the items that will have problems. I really hope this does not affect Thunar because it has an excellent file renaming feature that has helped me many times.

Reply Score: 1

RE: How does this affect Thunar?
by TheGZeus on Tue 18th Jan 2011 19:54 UTC in reply to "How does this affect Thunar?"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Yeah, it's a nice graphical file manager.
It depends on too much of XFCE (the panel??? SERIOUSLY??), but yeah.

I use zsh and/or wdired, but yeah.

Reply Score: 2

Well... again and again
by Jason Bourne on Tue 18th Jan 2011 19:09 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

GNOME Shell is doing what... pushing UI off the Win95 realm? It is such a shame that GNOME Shell is "over-envisioned". I sincerely didn't understand why the huge focus on workspaces. To me it's a completely waste of time, specially when you see the screenshots of GNOME Shell which show nothing but workspaces selection, on every screenshot available. I thought we could have a decent taskbar, organized menus, but in fact the thing is even messier than before.

I will leave GNOME Shell for the V's...

Reply Score: 4