Linked by David Adams on Mon 13th Dec 2004 17:06 UTC, submitted by Benedikt Meurer
Xfce The Xfce project finally finished the second release candidate for the upcoming Xfce Desktop Environment 4.2. This second release candidate is expected to be the last release candidate before the final release, which is planned to happen in about 2 or 3 weeks. This RC2 includes several bugfixes, esp. the window manager has seen quite a few important fixes, and it is the first release in the 4.2 branch that builds and runs on Solaris out of the box. As usual, prebuilt packages for several plattforms are already available (as a highlight: Debian/amd64 packages) and the graphical installers have been update to 4.2RC2. Please check the Xfce website for further details.
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yay
by Peter on Mon 13th Dec 2004 17:41 UTC

something to do when I get home ^_^

kinda off topic
by poundsmack on Mon 13th Dec 2004 19:37 UTC

sorry i know this is kinda off topic but, when GTK 3 comes out will there be plans to have xfce use GTK 3 at that point? by the way absolutly grteat job on xfce. I am really excited thoguh it runs so well on solaris ;)

re poundsmack
by adapt on Mon 13th Dec 2004 19:45 UTC

not to sound like a smartass, but i think that would be the only logical step for xfce. they won't want to use an old version of the toolkit their DE is based upon. unless gtk3 gets way too bloated for some reason, then they might shy away from it.

-adapt

gtk 3.x
by Anonymous on Mon 13th Dec 2004 20:00 UTC


The plans for gtk 3.x has not yet been even vaguely defined. some of the original ideas like cairo support has been deemed to be available within 2.x series itself so unless major new features or refactorisations requiring a binary compatibility break is required I dont think its possible for anyone to say anything conclusively but following the developments of gtk would seem to be the logical choice

Performance
by Nathan O. on Mon 13th Dec 2004 20:27 UTC

Performance is pretty low for me, though I have a lower-end savage chip. DRI-enabled,~390 FPS in glxgears. 32 MB / shared. Everything's pretty jittery and none of the XFce applications (fm, settings managers...) will even start without crashing. I get the same kind of performance with xcompmgr.

Looks beautiful, and I'm very much looking forward to a finished version. Does anyone know if these performance issues of mine will ever go away, or is XFce now destined to be slow on my laptop?

re: performance
by mrroman on Mon 13th Dec 2004 20:57 UTC

i've got the same graphic performance as you, but i have Intel 845G and it works very well. no crashes. only xffm caused crash because it didn't have set locale well (it has to be set in xffm settings).

Re: Performance
by Lumbergh on Mon 13th Dec 2004 21:01 UTC

Your performance won't be because of your card and XFCE unless the Xorg people have been doing something wonderful regarding hardware acceleration that I don't know about.

I've been using some XFCE4 betas from this site that has these really cool installers for it. http://www.os-cillation.com/article.php?sid=42. I've also been using it in colinux using the Cygwin xserver and haven't noticed noticed it being especially slow...except FireFox having issues with redraw. The one application that I was having problems with was a Terminal application from the same os-oscillation guys (just as nice as gnome-terminal without all the dependencies) I mentioned before. It had something to do with d-bus, but after I restarted colinux the problem went away.

The real question is how much memory you have and what speed is your processor.

Re: Performance
by Nathan O. on Mon 13th Dec 2004 21:06 UTC

"The real question is how much memory you have and what speed is your processor."

I've got 32 MB of video RAM, shared with regular RAM. 608 MB of regular RAM (640 - 32). I also didn't notice a performance difference between manually scaling my CPU to its lowest and highest frequencies. From 400MHz to 1400MHz, I get the same performance.

nathan:
by AdamW on Mon 13th Dec 2004 22:29 UTC

You've got a low-end video card and, if I read your post correctly, you're trying to use the new shiny x.org 6.8 graphical features. This is probably what's making it slow. Turn all that stuff off and it'll be faster.

re: nathan:
by Nathan O. on Tue 14th Dec 2004 00:08 UTC

I know it's a low end card, and I know I've got the goodie-features on, but that's kind of the point of the question. Will using these features in any way, shape or form require a high end graphics card? If that's the case, then there's not a lot being talked about in terms of new features that the common XFce user can run, if you know what I mean.

Side note: the same stability troubles happen with composite turned off. Signal 11.

Installer
by Androo on Tue 14th Dec 2004 00:32 UTC

That installer is brilliant. I wish more desktop enviornments had cross-platform installers. There's even a progress indicator for your compile .. quite nice.

RE: nathan
by RaVen_ on Tue 14th Dec 2004 03:14 UTC

"Will using these features in any way, shape or form require a high end graphics card?"

yes


"then there's not a lot being talked about in terms of new features that the common XFce user can run"

I would think the common XFCE user varies quite a bit. I use XFCE on a low-end laptop..no composite features on. I also use it on a fairly powerful desktop with an nvidia card and I sometimes do turn those on. Same is true for every other wm/de. The Xorg features are not XFCE specific.
"
Side note: the same stability troubles happen with composite turned off."

you may want to try recompiling it/finding out if something is wrong with your setup in some other way. I have run XFCE 4.2 beta and RC on NetBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris and several distro's of linux without any instability.

Re: Installer
by Joe Drago on Tue 14th Dec 2004 03:35 UTC

I agree, the XFCE Installers are gorgeous. As for the progress indicator, I asked the guy that makes them (benny in #xfce), and he said that the progress bars were hand-chosen and timed (configure #2 is approximately 32% through, etc).

Seems like a lot of work, but it pays off big time. It looks gorgeous!

Phooey on installers...
by marcusb on Tue 14th Dec 2004 05:11 UTC

Phooey on installers! I just downloaded the RPM's for fedora, opened a shell and typed 'rpm -Uvh *.rpm' in my xfce4.2 untarred directory. Installed in about 30 seconds. I love XFCE4.2 almost as much as my cat. This envionment is so much better than KDE or GNOME; it is so fast. I wish everyone could use this. I haven't booted in Windows mode in ages thanks to XFCE4.2. Rock on.

Moving windows in XFCE is slow!!
by anonymous on Tue 14th Dec 2004 07:00 UTC

like I'm sitting on a TFT-screen with 100ms response time (but I'm work with an old CRT 17")

No, my machine is fast: 2.4ghz/1gb ram/160gb hd
and _everthing_ else what I tried (Gnome, KDE, IceWM) _is_ fast and not slow motion.

And yes, I'm always moving windows with "OpaqueMove" on, on every WindowManager

Only XFCE feels a bit "jumpy" and slow :-(

can't understand why because I haven't only in XFCE no icons on my desktop (don't know why this feature isn't avaible, I have items on my real desk too)

So, XFCE _is_nice_, but window moving and doesn't able to put icons on my desktop are showkillers...

RE:Performance
by Dogacan Guney on Tue 14th Dec 2004 08:22 UTC

What graphics card do you have? The new "shiny" features in Xorg 6.8.x series, make heavy use of the RENDER extension(for alpha stuff, especially). XAA(X acceleration architecture) is not any good for RENDER and as far as I know, *only* NVIDIA provides hardware-accelerated RENDER(by writing their own acceleration architecture). In all other cards, RENDER has to be done in software, which makes it painfully slow.

The good freedesktop.org people are also working on this, i guess the goal is to write a new acceleration architecture(like glitz) which uses opengl, so any card that has DRI will give you translucency and others fast.

For now, you will probably want to start XFCE with --disable-composite(or something like that), which will probably set things right.

Uninstaller
by Androo on Tue 14th Dec 2004 08:36 UTC

Just in case anyone is wondering, the graphical installer for XFCE4 also comes with a graphical uninstaller, which can be found at /usr/local/bin/xfce4.uninstall

Quite nice
by Uru on Tue 14th Dec 2004 09:56 UTC

I use it on my more powerful systems (as in: faster than 600mhz without shitty onboard videocards). It's a lot more responsive than the more common Bloatware (KDE|Gnome).

I do however still like fluxbox a lot more, which is why I use that on my laptop and such.

It's fast and it rox ;-)
by Cagey on Tue 14th Dec 2004 13:32 UTC

Interesting. Fluxbox runs a little slow for me, window redraws are very "torn", not checked that out fully.

Xfce4 really kicks ass though, combined with Rox as the filer (still not happy with the xffm file manager - feels awkward to me). Smooth redraw and I love clicking on icons and things opening instantly, or almost instantly in some cases, gimp is almost 2x faster opening in xfce4 than any of my other desktops, isn't that strange?

Rox is great, being an old RiscOS user and programmer I appreciate where it's coming from ;-)

I appreciate those xfce4 installers too (compiles everything in less than 20 minutes!), the Gentoo portage tree is FAR too slow on picking up these non-mainstream updates, so os-cillation provides a great way to compile from source outside of the usual emerge mechanism. Maybe this would be frowned upon by Gentoo zealots, but hey, my desktop is faster than theirs, lol :-D

Debug Code Probably Still In There
by enloop on Tue 14th Dec 2004 13:43 UTC

Betas and release candidates typically include debugging code that is removed or deactivated before the product releases. Perhaps that's one reason some posters are seeing relative slowness in RC2. After all, the purpose of a release candidate is to find more bugs.

Besides, as others have pointed out, slow hardware or inadequate drivers will always degrade performance. The impact of hardware on speed is far greater than the impact of software.

RE: enloop
by Uru on Tue 14th Dec 2004 15:01 UTC

> The impact of hardware on speed is far greater than the impact of software.

That depends. Your spanking GeForce FXBAZILLIONMAGOG with 1TB gddr1100 won't do you much good if its driver sucks big donkey dick.

Re: It's fast and it rox ;-)
by Anonymous on Tue 14th Dec 2004 15:43 UTC

I use Rox too as I don't like xffm.

The Gentoo tree isn't slow picking it up, it just masks the packages as they are beta. You install with portage you just by adding the relevent lines to your /etc/portage/package.unmask and /etc/portage/package.keywords files, it isn't difficult, but is a bit of a pain.

Overall comment
by Anonymous on Tue 14th Dec 2004 18:12 UTC

I really like xfce, I use it all the time. I'm scared with new additions though, like the utility to search files, the iconbox, now-redundant taskbar (as we have the taskbar plugin for the panel, we should also be able to have two panels at once, don't you think?) and xffm. I don't really think that we need another bulky desktop environment with its own custom utilities. Keep it small and simple ;-) Oh, the one thing it could include is <a href="http://www.os-cillation.com/article.php?sid=40">Terminal</a&g... (not a very good name, though), which is a stripped gnome-terminal, it looks and feels great ;-) Oh, and I wouldn't like to see another gconfd or some other registry-like thing. Please don't ruin it!

Great for me
by Simon Osborne on Tue 14th Dec 2004 18:30 UTC

I'm running XFCE4.2RC2 on Ubuntu warty. My specs are quite poor (Fujitsu Lifebook, P2 333, 96mb, 4gb, NeoMagic graphics) but it runs a LOT faster than Gnome ever did on this laptop. I used the os-cillation installers and enabled the compiler optimisations. This is an excellent desktop!

Re: It's fast and it rox ;-)
by Tired on Wed 15th Dec 2004 00:05 UTC

I'm with you guys on the xffm thing, I too use Rox. And like Cagey I had issues with the Gentoo packages, at least for rc1 - even after unmasking the right ones following the post on then Gentoo forums, I just couldn't get it to compile. If I remember correctly one of the mcs (session?) .so files was reported as missing and it borked the emerge.

I gave up and tried the os-cillation installer and it worked, so who cares! Emerge sync/world is unaware of the new binaries, so nothings really spoilt.

I just unmasked the rox packages to the new version, emerged and here I am, Xcfe4-rc2 and Rox 2.1.4

A note about the lack of desktop icons btw, I LIKE that, I'm a freak ehy? Desktop icons remind me too much of the Windows users who's computers I often fix, who fill their screen with shortcuts to their harddrives - three times, accompanied by four trashcans and two mycomputers! 8-) ...lol

Desktop icons
by Tharkun on Thu 16th Dec 2004 08:11 UTC

I hate them.