Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 7th Jun 2014 00:53 UTC
Xfce Over the past several years, mobile devices have greatly influenced user interfaces. That's great for handheld users but leaves those of us who rely on laptops and desktops in the lurch. Windows 8, Ubuntu Unity, and GNOME have all radically changed in ways that leave personal computer users scratching their heads.

One user interface completely avoided this controversy: Xfce. This review takes a quick look at Xfce today. Who is this product for? Who should pass it by?
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demetrioussharpe
Member since:
2009-01-09

I don't think cross operating system compatibility has ever been part of that goal. I think its mission should always be to make the best open desktop experience possible. Now, linux has so much more funding behind it, that they can spend resources on the desktop and related technologies. the *BSDs don't have that luxury and end up getting left behind as they can't keep up with the pace of change.


Ironically, this isn't an issue of simply having funds to spend on resources. The fundamental difference between Linux & the BSDs has always been relative to the difference between firmly engineered solutions & "good enough for now" solutions. People always try to frame this topic as a matter of the BSDs not being able to keep up. Yet, the BSDs have never had a need for continuously scrapping infrastructure simply to replace is with something else that'll also be scrapped. Do the job right, from the beginning, so you won't have to constantly rewrite the same shit over & over & over again. So many resources wouldn't need to be spent on the desktop, if the Linux developers wouldn't churn so much. The same can be said of most subsystems in Linux. I still remember the whole crap-fest of the early ALSA days. The Linux guys seemed to start shitting lead bricks when OSS became commercialized. How did the BSDs handle that situation? Well, they basically decided to maintain their own branch of OSS. It took less time & worked nicely. They didn't have to drag anyone through a shit-storm.

So what to do? Hold back everyone because BSD lacks funds? Or sally forth and design the best desktops for open systems?


It's not a matter of funding. If you can't engineer good subsystems, then you shouldn't be writing subsystem code. Design first, then code. If your design is crap, redesign it BEFORE wasting everyone's time. There's a reason that the BSDs are known for being rock solid. Being rock solid isn't Linux's key attribute. The fact that everyone (& their grandmothers) is writing Linux code, even if they don't have any design skills.

I say, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!


Famous last words of ship & submarine commanders...

Reply Parent Score: 3

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

There are many reasons why Linux is the way it is, some of which I've explained in my comment above yours.

Other reasons that Linux must churn is that most hardware is actually badly implemented and so the subsystems must change once in a while because the amount of specific work arounds start working against each other.

Designing things to be perfect from the beginning only works if nothing ever changes. Like I said before, Linux churn is a result of previous Linux churn. BSDs don't experience this because they don't have previous churn to force them. There's no positive feedback loop.

So yes, it is somewhat a matter of funding and resources. Change creates more change, and Linux has a lot more sources of change from outside that it becomes a juggernaut. Linux very much can't say "stop giving us code" for long.

Reply Parent Score: 5

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Other reasons that Linux must churn is that most hardware is actually badly implemented and so the subsystems must change once in a while because the amount of specific work arounds start working against each other.


Sounds like the solution is pretty obvious -stop piling workarounds on top of each other. It's like finding a victim with a shotgun wound on his chest & trying to patch him up with lots of little bandaids, instead of applying a proper dressing. This isn't a technical matter, it's a social & managerial matter.

if(HerdingCats(sLinuxDevelopmenters) {
StopAllDevelopment();
RemoveUnorgizedDevelopers();
AddFreshDevelopers();
ActuallyEngineerSolution();
ImplementSolution();
ScrapAllOldSolutions();

if(SolutionWorks()) {
CommitSolution()
}
}

It's not rocket science.

(My indention spaces were automatically removed by the site software.)

Designing things to be perfect from the beginning only works if nothing ever changes. Like I said before, Linux churn is a result of previous Linux churn. BSDs don't experience this because they don't have previous churn to force them. There's no positive feedback loop.


Now, you're just making excuses. Churn can always be stopped. Churn could've been stopped when the development started on each major version of the Linux kernel, but no one bothered to actually do it. Every project has a beginning, so saying that the BSDs had no original churn is no excuse. Linux could've started without original churn, but it didn't. Linux could've transitioned to a system with less churn, but it didn't & it won't. Like I said earlier, this is a social & managerial mater -not a technical one. By the way, you're right, Linux churn doesn't exist in a positive feedback loop.

So yes, it is somewhat a matter of funding and resources. Change creates more change, and Linux has a lot more sources of change from outside that it becomes a juggernaut. Linux very much can't say "stop giving us code" for long.


If a project can't reject badly designed & badly engineered code, then that project has serious issues. What's funny is that you really believe that bs. I'm looking at what you wrote & I'm matching it up with how many years came & went that were supposed to be the year of Linux on the desktop. If your desktop can't stabilize because the kernel is churning faster than a dairy farm produces butter, then is it any wonder that the year of Linux on the desktop never arrived? This discombobulated approach to development has forced Linux to play catchup to TWO OSes, where it originally had to play catch up to just one. I've been around for the development of both Linux & the BSDs. As trashy as Windows can be, there's no doubt about the fact that it's still more seamless than Linux...when it's not crashing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

Other reasons that Linux must churn is that most hardware is actually badly implemented...


BTW, when has this NOT been the case? That's no excuse.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I guess the obvious retort is: then why does the desktop on BSDs suck so very, very much?

I was being nice saying that they couldn't devote resources to doing it right.

You're essentially saying, they can't do it right because they can't do it right? That's kind of insulting to the BSD devs.

Reply Parent Score: 5

demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

I guess the obvious retort is: then why does the desktop on BSDs suck so very, very much?

I was being nice saying that they couldn't devote resources to doing it right.

You're essentially saying, they can't do it right because they can't do it right? That's kind of insulting to the BSD devs.


The obvious answer is that the BSD developers mainly don't deal with desktops...until now. If you recall, the desktop software was supposed to be portable & multiplatform -the X server runs on pretty much ALL *nixen systems. The DM's are supposed to run on the X server & really aren't supposed to be kernel dependent. That's how it's always been until the Linux developers came & started upsetting the consolidation that'd taken so long to establish. Unless you've been dealing with *nix for over 2 decades, you wouldn't know anything about this. Now, you have portions of the DM & the X server starting to creep down into none standard APIs & shitting all over the ability of the whole software stack to run in a multiplatform way. Why else do you think that there's now a BSD desktop in development? Yet, so many Linux users started complaining about how resources would be better used if they're shared. Well, no, the Linux developers have already proven that there's no benefit in trying to share resources with them.

Reply Parent Score: 2