Linked by Neven Bijelic on Wed 24th Nov 2004 08:45 UTC
Xfce No doubt, all of you have heard of Xfce and those who haven't will hear about it soon anyway. I remember trying out Xfce for the first time back on SuSE 9.0. I am not sure if it came with the distrobution or if I downloaded it. At the time 9.0 came out I remember thinking to myself "nice, good potential, could be eyecandy, fast..." but I still logged into KDE upon booting. Sure I tried Gnome but somehow for a windows-commer KDE was more user friendly at the time. Update: More screenshots of XFce.
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RE:ra1n
by karl on Wed 24th Nov 2004 10:28 UTC

I agree. XFFM has the worst UI of any recent graphical application I have seen. And it is a shame-because the rest of XFCE is really great. XFFM is quite powerful-but it is a lesson in counter-intuitiveness. Someone unfamiliar with Linux has *zero* chance to grok how to effectively use it because it flies in the face of all progress made in usability over the years.


In my experience XFCE excels in that it, as a DE, vanishes in usage, being a gateway to ones own applications. In this sense it is quite similiar to fluxbox-it is lightweight and fast-and unlike fluxbox in that it looks great. I have always used it in combination with ROX. Both of these projects- XFCE and FOX -are also fully endorsing and contributing to the new emerging standards from freedsektop.org. And this in and of itself makes a profound difference. It is precisely this focus on freedesktop.org standards implementation which enables XFCE and ROX, XFCE and Nautilus, GNOME and ROX to integrate with each other so smoothely.

When I use GNOME or KDE I want that which makes GNOME or KDE what it is to be available in all of the applications I am using(kioslaves/gnome-vfs, file open/save dialogues, printer config). With XFCE I have a very minimalist DE which recedes into the background allowing me to focus exclusively on the applications in use.

If and when freedesktop.org ends up hosting a userland filesystem(fish, kioslaves, lufs, shfs, gnome-vfs -intregrated together as one cohesive ufs-accessible form the command line as well as from within all applications) we will be one step close to the holy grail of a completely transparent DE. We already have freedesktop.org mime standards. Application startup notification is here. Standards for Tray icons is also here.

Work still needs to be done on application data interchange-I should be able to drag any document from any application to any other application and have the target application respond in an intelligable fashion(and this means from any toolkit and to any toolkit). And finally Xprint needs to be modernized -people are already working towards integrating gnomeprint and Xprint- if the KDE folks also follow this path we could end up with a single printer configuring/managing tool available in all applications regardless of toolkit.

XFCE has one major advantage over KDE and GNOME-it can be so good at doing what it does because it doesn't try to do very much at all. XFCE does not provide any kind vfs system, printing system or multimedia framework. And the things which XFCE does not provide should not be provided by any DE-they should belong to the system as backends-then the DE'S can differentiate themselves by providing front-ends to these systems.