Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:05 UTC
Xfce XFce 4.0.4 is a maintenance release. Download locations can be found on this page, and the changelog is available here.
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XFCE
by Patrick on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:15 UTC

XFCE is a wonderful desktop environment. I encourage people to check it out if they haven't. Here's my desktop:

http://www.pipegrep.net/~patrick/xfce_screenshot.png

Caught me off guard
by Zeke on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:23 UTC

I thought the title said "XFREE 4.0.4 released." I thought they were up to 4.4.0, what are we going backwards? Then I read the description and got myself straight.

Considering the similarities between the names and the fact that they used the XFREE logo, its not hard to get them mixed up. Next time try to use the XFce logo, maybe?

v XFCE?
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:23 UTC
@anonymous
by Zeke on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:26 UTC

No, I think its just you. I read it "ex eff see ee" as in pronouncing each letter like CIA or KDE.

@ Patrick
by WP on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:38 UTC

Is that information window on the left side an integrated part of the Xfce desktop, or something you added?

I guess I'm asking how much "leg work" you had to do to get your desktop looking like that from stock Xfce out of the box/tarball/rpm/deb, etc... It looks good.

@Patrick and Zeke
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:43 UTC

@Patrick:
I'm very interested to know what you are running on your desktop like the panel on the left side with the system stats, and the weather panel in the middle. Clue us in! ;)

@Zeke:
I also thought it said XFree 4.0.4 released, and thought the same thing you did ;)

XFCE
by Roy Batty on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:46 UTC

I've never used XFCE so my question is how light-weight is it really ? I used fluxbox for quite a while and found it a bit skimpy on functionality. What looks cool about XFCE is that it uses gtk2, so it would look good with Gnome apps, but gtk2 does seem to have issues of its own(namely sluggishness). How lightweight can it be if it's based on a high-level toolkit. I'm assuming this might be a good middle-ground between something ultra-light-weight like fluxbox and a full fledged DE. Kudos for having Flash demos to check out too.

XFce
by directhex on Thu 11th Mar 2004 03:53 UTC

"X-face" sounds nicer than "X-Feces", anonymous

and it IS lightweight but stranegly powerful. My only issues with it are over the functions which do not yet have GUI control (e.g. using iconbox instead of taskbar involves editing some file, yet none of the suggested files in the documentation have any affect)

A Windowmaker fan could get along well with XFce once a few presets are changed (bar in top-right, expanding down, iconbox in bottom-right, etc) - but being GTK2 it looks sexylicious.

Overall the best WM i've used - no gnome/kde bloat, but all the neccessary functions

Re: @Patrick and Zeke
by bsdrocks on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:05 UTC

@Patrick:
I'm very interested to know what you are running on your desktop like the panel on the left side with the system stats, and the weather panel in the middle. Clue us in! ;)


It's gDesklets, you can find plenty of applets over at http://gdesklets.gnomedesktop.org .

File Manager
by pigeon on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:06 UTC

Just wondering what people thought of the xfce file manager. I found it a little complicated and tend to use Rox instead. Am I missing out?

I do really enjoy xfce though...

re: File Manager
by cory on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:21 UTC

I use Konqueror for my file manager. ;)

Roy Batty
by Zeke on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:34 UTC

"Kudos for having Flash demos to check out too."

Where did you find flash demos? I'd love to see some demos.

xffm
by Patrick on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:52 UTC

Just wondering what people thought of the xfce file manager. I found it a little complicated and tend to use Rox instead. Am I missing out?

I agree, the one thing about XFCE that's lacking is xffm, in my opinion. But I don't like rox either. I'm hard to satisfy when it comes to file managers. Nautilus is good, but bloated.

I'm still looking for a file manager that lets me do things like create new text files by dragging and dropping. (And looks good too.) In fact, I've started learning GTK programming just so I can make one myself ;-)

Re: Roy Batty
by bsdrocks on Thu 11th Mar 2004 04:59 UTC

Where did you find flash demos? I'd love to see some demos.

In the bottom of this URL: http://xfce.org/index.php?page=screenshots

Re: xffm
by Felix on Thu 11th Mar 2004 05:18 UTC

Patrick, I'm intrigued. How exactly would you create a file with DnD? I presume you'd have a folder where templates lived, and then dragged and dropped, told it to copy et voilą? Seems like the kind of thing you could do with ROX, anyway (ROX has a 'New' menu which copies files from ~/Choices/Templates. Hell, Windows Explorer has this, though I forget the exact path). There's nothing stopping you having the folder easily accessible on the desktop and opening, DnDcopying if you would rather DnD.

re: File Manager
by mctavish on Thu 11th Mar 2004 05:43 UTC

I've been running xfce4 for a while now and love it, but I hate xffm. I use xfe instead - clean and functional - a nice match I think.

application menu
by i_code_too_much on Thu 11th Mar 2004 06:03 UTC

Does it support reading the gnome2/kde3.2 menu desktop files? Since the xdg menu system is now a standard at freedesktop.org, it would be nice if xfce supported this so that people don't have to build their own menus.

COOL
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 09:39 UTC

Posting from an XFce desktop right now....it's cool !!

Re: application menu
by alley_cat on Thu 11th Mar 2004 11:14 UTC

Does it support reading the gnome2/kde3.2 menu desktop files? Since the xdg menu system is now a standard at freedesktop.org, it would be nice if xfce supported this so that people don't have to build their own menus.
Not yet in 4.0.4. They're working on it in cvs and it'll probably show up in 4.2.

Another screenshot
by Nikola Pizurica on Thu 11th Mar 2004 11:20 UTC

This is my desktop (1152x864):
http://pizurica.on.neobee.net/screenshot/xfce4.png

I use Rox Pinboard for desktop icons, but that will come to XFce's xfdesktop soon, AFAIK.

XFce4 is very nice and effective DE, at least for power users - but it lacks a few things that could make it functional for newbie users (coming from Windows background etc.) too.

I've heard that someone has tried to suggest adding an optional "start button", i.e. a menu button, but the XFce developers didin't seem to like the idea. However, a KDE/GNOME style start/menu button is something that people are used to (Windows/Mac/KDE/GNOME etc.), so it would make sense to have such an option in XFCE too. (Also some very small window managers, for example, IceWM have it, and that is one main reason why many lightweight Linux distros use IceWM as their default window manager/desktop environment - and not for example XFce4.)

Another nice possibility might to to map the start menu to those (otherwise often useless) windows buttons on your keyboard, so perhaps as a default XFce4 behaviour.

Also, mouse over effects with buttons (like XFWM buttons) might ad some extra usability (not just eye candy) too, and I think that they wouldn't necessarily add much bloat to the code. And sure button mouse over effects would add some nice eye candy too...:-)

It would be nice to be able to recommend XFce4 for newbies and potential Linux/BSD users/ex-Windows users (with e.g. old or slow computers that wouldn't run KDE or GNOME too well). But there are some small problems from usability point of view that might make learning XFce4 a bit too difficult for those kind of people. I hope that XFce4 developers could consider such usability/newbie issues more too, now as the basic structure of XFce4 is already very stable and well working.

Basically XFce4 would also make a nice newbie DE, if only it would be a bit easier to use and learn for them.

Re: xffm
by Patrick on Thu 11th Mar 2004 13:36 UTC

Patrick, I'm intrigued. How exactly would you create a file with DnD? I presume you'd have a folder where templates lived, and then dragged and dropped, told it to copy et voilą?

Oh, I probably wouldn't make it very complicated. You would just be able to drag a chunk of text into a folder, it would prompt you for a file name, and then create a plain text file and fill it with the text you're dragging. Also, you could append existing files (maybe by holding down the Shift key or something).

I suppose it could also handle other data types.

It's just that sometimes I want to store a confirmation number, tracking number, or FAQ answer from a web page, but I don't want to have to open an editor.

re: patrick
by philci52 on Thu 11th Mar 2004 14:16 UTC

I like this idea, but I would imagine that this would be really easy to to in an existing file manager. All it would be is an event based on dropping a certain mimetype, why create a whole new one?

@metic
by Bob on Thu 11th Mar 2004 14:44 UTC

While I can understand trying to point XFce towards newbies I would also say "no start button". XFce has a different UI metaphor that most desktops. When I tried XFce at around version 2, coming from a purely Windows background, I fumbled around a bit but got the gist of things very quickly. Now looking at the 4 version I can see that XFce has improved tremendously since then even. Soon I will be giving up my Windows box in favor of a Linux alternative and a small light GUI is something I am considering as well. I think for me that something like Libranet (http://www.libranet.com/) plus XFce would be very nice.

.:.
by HAL on Thu 11th Mar 2004 15:19 UTC

patrick: how did you get that weather applet there?

@ Patrick
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 15:43 UTC

"sometimes I want to store a confirmation number, tracking number, or FAQ answer from a web page, but I don't want to have to open an editor"

There's notes-plugin for that.

Re: Another Screenshot
by Jack on Thu 11th Mar 2004 16:09 UTC

Nikola what gtk-theme is that, looks alot like ximians decoratsion. Do you have a link for that theme?

RE: @metic
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 16:38 UTC

Actually, if the talk on the xfce4-dev list is correct, I think there is an effort to have an "appmenu" for the panel in CVS. I've seen screenshots and everything for it. It's sort of like the MenuMaker menu, but hooked to a launcher (I'm not too sure, I only glance at the dev list).

I've also heard that there is an attempt to get program icons to work like in GNOME/KDE. That is, the icons would be program-specific and follow the theme.

In the end, remember, even if the XFce CoreDev don't want something in the core (say, desktop icons), someone out there is probably developing an add-on to do it.

Re: Nikola Pizurica
by Carlos Vendramini on Thu 11th Mar 2004 16:55 UTC

Very cool your desktop, I did have no ideia about how to put icons on desktop...

Thanks.. :-)

Gentoo users...
by Carlos Vendramini on Thu 11th Mar 2004 16:57 UTC

BTW, Gentoo users go to /usr/portage/xfce-base/xfce4 and just emerge xfce4.0.4.. muhahaahahhaha

great...:-)

Re: @Patrick
by Patrick on Thu 11th Mar 2004 17:31 UTC

I like this idea, but I would imagine that this would be really easy to to in an existing file manager. All it would be is an event based on dropping a certain mimetype, why create a whole new one?

To teach myself Gtk programming ;-)

patrick: how did you get that weather applet there?

XFCE is compatible with gDesklets. Check out http://gdesklets.gnomedesktop.org

There's notes-plugin for that.

Thanks, I'll check it out!

About the start button
by GMFTatsujin on Thu 11th Mar 2004 17:57 UTC

One day I was talking to a friend about how much I hated the Windows start button (this was before I committed to Gentoo-only), but how much I loved the quick launcher bar right next to it. I lamented that there was no happy medium to be found -- What I wanted was a collapsed icon on the quick launcher that would launch a program of one type by default, or could expand to launch other programs of that same type if desired. Like I could have a "document" icon that by default launched Word, but could also be used to launch OpenOffice Writer or a text editor without too much navigational hassle. In other words, take that stupid start button away and make the submenus easier to get at.

A few months later I found XFCE4, and the launchers do exactly that. The icons are set launch an app by default, and you can attach collapsable menus to them for other apps too. Variations on a theme, as it were -- no more clicky-clicky-clicky navigation! A well-conceived launcher bar can give you a lot of speed and flexibility without lots of submenus, and it's a snap to set up. Couple that with the right-click menu, and launching to any app quickly is a breeze.

I LOVE XFCE! So clean, just a enough eye candy, and lightweight to boot. The implementaltion of the mouse for task-switching is super-nice and saves desktop real estate -- no more need for a taskbar!

creating a file with chunk of text
by Anonymous on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:12 UTC

Hi

Thats easy and already implemented in KDE.

try this copy some text and click paste on the desktop. it will prompt you for a file name. enter it and your file is created with the copied content

regards
Jess

Xfce & Filemanagers
by Tyr on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:21 UTC

Xfce is great, but I hate xffm. I use Velocity instead. It's fast, light, gtk2 and simple - like file managers are supposed to be. Do yourself a favour and try it out.
FreeBSD'ers, it is in ports but it's a new addition so you'll have to dl it manually!

@Patrick
by wowtip on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:34 UTC

Four other GTK2 file managers, if you haven't tried them. I have not used all of them myself, but one or the other would probably suit your needs.

Tux Commander:
http://tuxcmd.sourceforge.net/

Zemljanka Commander:
http://freshmeat.net/projects/zc/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/zemljanka
http://zemljanka.sourceforge.net/

Ego File Manager:
http://freshmeat.net/projects/egofm/

emelFM2:
http://dasui.prima.de/e2wiki/

Xfce 4.0.4 on NetBSD 1.6.2
by jeb on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:42 UTC

Xfce works great on my NetBSD laptop. The xfce folks have produced a really nice desktop that is fast and stable.

@Jack re: Another screenshot
by Nikola Pizurica on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:43 UTC

>Nikola what gtk-theme is that,
>looks alot like ximians decoratsion.
>Do you have a link for that theme?

It's Ximian Idustrial gtk2 theme, and window decoration is ported Industrial Metacity theme. I've ported it to xfwm4, and you can get it, together with bunch of my xwm4 themes, at XFce forum, Under "Themes and Screenshots":
http://xfce.lindesign.se

@Tyr
by wowtip on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:50 UTC

Do you know any webpage with more info and perhaps some screens of Velocity running? Their sourceforge page (http://velocity.sourceforge.net/) isn't very informative.

RE: @Tyr
by Tyr on Thu 11th Mar 2004 18:56 UTC

Well it's a gtk2 rewrite of Gfilerunner ( http://gfilerunner.sourceforge.net ) AFAIK and it looks similar but better.

RE:RE: @Tyr
by wowtip on Thu 11th Mar 2004 19:00 UTC

Thanks, that looks really nice. A must try for some rainy day. ;)

@Anonymous, Bob & GMFTatsujin
by Metic on Thu 11th Mar 2004 20:34 UTC

Yeah, I agree that probably people like the ones reading these OSNews pages, i.e. relatively experienced computer users, may find the current XFce4 design just great and also easy to use and customize for them. No problems in that sense.

But consider a relatively unexperienced user, who may be used to Windows and perhaps Macs before: if he is in front of a PC where the desktop is the default XFce4, how easy it would be for him to learn how to use the desktop effectively, find programs, documents, basic settings etc? I think there might be some usability issues, that also wouldn't be too difficult to fix if the developers wanted to develop XFce4 to that direction.

Also, it is true that XFce can be customized to suit many sorts of tastes rather easily, and there are more and more nice add-ons too. But such customizations wouldn't be so easy to do for a relatively unexperienced user. A typical user shouldn't be expected to make too many customizations to the default desktop configuration anyway, before she can get an easy to use desktop.

But then again, maybe XFce4 is not really even meant for newbies but mainly to more experienced PC users needing a fast and customizable no-bloat desktop? As such a DE for experienced power users XFce4 works quite nicely already.

The start button issue I mentioned earlier was only one example. Actually it is not too diffcult to find that main menu even now. Though an optional "start" menu button in the panel wouldn't hurt either, I think (and people could just not use it, if they don't want it).

There are also other potential usability issues though. For example, the panel may hide parts of program windows if it is set to be on top. But on the other hand, if a maximized program window is on top, the panel can get lost under the program windows (which could be very confusing for a newbie). At least I haven't found any other way to fix that except that one has to adjust the window margin widths in order to keep both the panel and a maximized program window always visble on the screen. That would be, of course, way too difficult to do for an unexperienced user.

So though I like XFce4 quite much personally too, I think that the potential usability issues from a newbie point of view might need more thinking too - if XFce4 wants to meet and suit such newbie users' needs better too.

I use to use Fluxbox, but now I use XFCE4
by Arch Angel on Fri 12th Mar 2004 09:56 UTC

I'm running Arch Linux, and XFCE4 is very popular on that distro. A lean OS, and a lean GUI, they go well together. Fluxbox was just a little bit *too* lean for my desktop, though it is perfect for a server.

For Me
by Anon on Fri 12th Mar 2004 20:34 UTC

For me, Xfce is like an extra virtual room with virtual desktops that use a small amount of system resources. I Love it.
I run Logic Audio with OSX.3 which can be quite system intensive. I Loaded X11 with Xfce. I can leave the two environments running and switch between them. In one environment I can play music, and the other I can play Software Libre and write lyrics.(I am not saying that I always do, I am saying that I can).
Xfce is accessible and easy to figure out with lots of resources on the internet.
Really nice workmanship in my opinion.

The only bad thing..
by AnImAl on Fri 12th Mar 2004 22:45 UTC

I've used xfce but the only the only thing I don't like is that it uses the gtk+ toolset which is inherently sluggish on video performance... It is overall great though... I still like kde because the qt is better when it comes to graphical performance..

Tabs in XFCE Petition
by Karsten Kruse on Tue 16th Mar 2004 02:02 UTC

Hello,

if you would like to see Tabs[1] in XFCE[2] sign the "Tabs in XFCE"[3] petition. I have heard many times that users would use Tabs, but the XFCE maintainers are against it. Hopefully we can show them with a huge list of signatures that Tabs are a good idea. The petition goes from 1st March to 1st May 2004.

Note: This is not the "Peace on Earth and Beer for free"-Petition, we simply want to show that there are a lot users interested in Tabs. Nothing more.

Please sign the petition here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/tab4xfce/petition.html

The website is terribly slow, please be patient ;) .

[1] What are Tabs? : http://www.tecneeq.de/tabs/
[2] XFCE Desktop Enviroment: http://www.xfce.org/
[3] Tabs in XFCE Petition : http://www.petitiononline.com/tab4xfce/

If you have questions or suggestions feel free to send me a Mail. Thank you for your support and time,

Karsten Kruse - tecneeq(at)tecneeq.de