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Thread: Xfce development

  1. #1
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    Xfce development

    Hi all,

    Having no tabs in Thunar (on 12.04 LTS) was doing my head in, so I updated Xfce using this PPA.

    Recently, I started wondering...was it really such a good thing to have added that 4.10 PPA to update the whole desktop environment (perhaps I would have been better of just manually pulling a thunar .deb from the Saucy repo?).

    The problem: being attached to a PPA with a specific version number implies that my desktop will be attached to that specific version number, ad infinitum. Obviously, this is something I'd like to avoid - because it would mean my desktop would never be updated past 4.10.X.

    A bit of digging led me to search out the Xfce website and see how far behind I was. This revealed that 4.10 was released as stable 28/4/2012. Development on 4.12 seems to be pretty stagnant...the roadmap shows that the cycle was frozen on 27/5/2012 and hasn't been kick started since. Even the members of the release team are fixed as 'tbd'. The only ray of hope is that the 4.10 PPA still seems to be building packages reguarly (and presumably pulling them from upstream?).

    So, in summary:

    1) Is being stuck on this 4.10 PPA as bad as it sounds? The handy thing about package management on Linux (as compared to Windoze) is that the process is nearly entirely automated. A command, a password, a y/n, and my system feels shiny and new again. On Windoze, the only way to get the same effect is with a reformatting. Having to regularly see if my 4.10 install is out of date yet would seriously spoil the fun (perhaps not enough to force me back onto Windows 8, but...eugh !)

    2) Is my favourite desktop a zombie that is kept rolling by incorporation into new releases of distros (i.e. Saucy), rather than being having its own vitality upstream? Does anyone have any development news to clear my woes?

    Apologies for waxing lyrical. This 'revelation' does call for a bit of melanchology, dramatic violins and all I'm afraid!

    PS - yes, I do know about this PPA. I'm unwilling to apply it without hearing some good news first about 4.12, however.

  2. #2
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    Re: Xfce development

    Andrew_Lucas; Hi !

    Somewhat confused by your post. Why add xfce4 from a PPA (testing) when version 4.10.0 is available from the software repository ?
    sysop@1304mini:~$ apt-cache show xfce4
    Package: xfce4
    Priority: optional
    Section: universe/x11
    Installed-Size: 31
    Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
    Original-Maintainer: Debian Xfce Maintainers <pkg-xfce-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>
    Architecture: all
    Version: 4.10.0
    <snip>
    The conservative path is always remaining within the repository.

    just so we are all on the same page
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  3. #3
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    Re: Xfce development

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_Lucas View Post
    ...

    Apologies for waxing lyrical. This 'revelation' does call for a bit of melanchology, dramatic violins and all I'm afraid!
    ...
    Does it?
    Xfce could use intelligent people like you to speed things up; Get involved
    The Xubuntu team is also looking for contributors.

  4. #4
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    Re: Xfce development

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    ... Why add xfce4 from a PPA (testing) when version 4.10.0 is available from the software repository ?
    Maybe it's because OP is on 12.04? Maybe 4.10 (in the software center) is available for later versions and not for 12.04?

  5. #5
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    Re: Xfce development

    I use the 4.12 ppa and there hasn't been much noticeable cosmetic change with the exception of a new desktop settings GUI. XFCE is not my main desktop and I don't mind experimenting with the ppa . I have had no problems, but I am not using XFCE as a daily workhorse meaning I do little with it other than web browsing listening to music, and experimenting with the settings . I also only use the XFCE session as an add-on to Ubuntu and not Xubuntu.
    Infinite diversity in infinite combination.

    Ubuntu Documentation Search: Popular Pages
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  6. #6
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    Re: Xfce development

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1
    Maybe it's because OP is on 12.04? Maybe 4.10 (in the software center) is available for later versions and not for 12.04?
    That is true !
    To add to your above:
    "Please help testing Ricardo F. Teixeira's patched builds from this PPA:"
    Code:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ricardo.teixas/xfce4-session
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install xfce4-session=4.10.0-2ubuntu2~raring1 ppa-purge
    https://code.launchpad.net/~ricardo..../+merge/161735
    Please be sure to test thoroughly.

    It has been a bit, but I would think it is an ongoing effort.

    try'n to keep up
    THE current(cy) in Documentation:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PopularPages

    Happy ubutu'n !

  7. #7
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    Re: Xfce development

    A bit of digging led me to search out the Xfce website and see how far behind I was. This revealed that 4.10 was released as stable 28/4/2012. Development on 4.12 seems to be pretty stagnant...the roadmap shows that the cycle was frozen on 27/5/2012 and hasn't been kick started since. Even the members of the release team are fixed as 'tbd'.
    Yes, the roadmap has been delayed, but work is not stagnant (see: http://git.xfce.org/?s=idle). Granted, much of the work is translation-based, but there are enhancements, bug fixes, etc trickling in.

  8. #8
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    Re: Xfce development

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    Andrew_Lucas; Hi !

    Somewhat confused by your post. Why add xfce4 from a PPA (testing) when version 4.10.0 is available from the software repository ?


    The conservative path is always remaining within the repository.
    just so we are all on the same page
    Just to emphasise - my install is 12.04. I think someone references this further on, does that solve any confusion? In any case, the 4.10 PPA was recommended by a blog/forum post (I don't remember which/where; I'll have found it via Google) - it may have well been outdated (if 4.10 has been moved to the 12.04 repos now?).

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Does it?
    Xfce could use intelligent people like you to speed things up; Get involved
    The Xubuntu team is also looking for contributors.
    Yeah, I did look into this - and is definitely something I'd like to get into in the future (quite busy atm with University/exams). I did a brief stint on the IRC, and as far as I can recall, they were only interested in coding skills - something I could probably pick up, but don't currently have. Nor do I speak a foreign language (e.g. for translation) - though if there were a demand for English -> British English, I could do that (though I can't imagine this is the most in-demand skill ). Testing I'm not really able to do during term time, since I can't risk the potential time lost filing bug reports and/or (worst case scenario) having to do a full re-install. My work laptop (which would be the one I'd use for most installations) has got to have Windows on it to, and since I have no disc, I'd be scared of messing up the drive partitioning (i.e. if I was doing a clean install more than once per year).

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Maybe it's because OP is on 12.04? Maybe 4.10 (in the software center) is available for later versions and not for 12.04?
    Ta for pointing this out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Hair View Post
    I use the 4.12 ppa and there hasn't been much noticeable cosmetic change with the exception of a new desktop settings GUI. XFCE is not my main desktop and I don't mind experimenting with the ppa . I have had no problems, but I am not using XFCE as a daily workhorse meaning I do little with it other than web browsing listening to music, and experimenting with the settings . I also only use the XFCE session as an add-on to Ubuntu and not Xubuntu.
    Yeah, the whole thing about the scopes was the bullet to the head of me ever using straight Ubuntu. Even before that, Unity was (IMHO) ugly - I mean, orange and purple? They don't (quite) clash, but they're hardly the most appealing colours. KDE with it's overly smooth greys are marginally better, but I think Xfce is genuinely gorgeous! I never get why you'd want a back up desktop (I mean, the programs are what provide functionality, and they don't change!), anyway, and my install is a daily workhorse (hence use of Precise).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bashing-om View Post
    That is true !
    To add to your above:
    "Please help testing Ricardo F. Teixeira's patched builds from this PPA:"
    Code:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ricardo.teixas/xfce4-session
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install xfce4-session=4.10.0-2ubuntu2~raring1 ppa-purge
    https://code.launchpad.net/~ricardo..../+merge/161735
    Please be sure to test thoroughly.

    It has been a bit, but I would think it is an ongoing effort.
    try'n to keep up
    Uhm, what would the advantage of adding this be? As far as I can see, the patches seem to have been merged anyway ("Approve on 2013-05-27"). Plus, as mentioned, my current use needs a relatively stable installation, so I can't be testing. I wouldn't have updated to 4.10 in the first place if it wasn't for Thunar's lack of tabs really beginning to annoy me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toz View Post
    Yes, the roadmap has been delayed, but work is not stagnant (see: http://git.xfce.org/?s=idle). Granted, much of the work is translation-based, but there are enhancements, bug fixes, etc trickling in.
    Thanks for this! It's good to see something is going on. However, scrolling back - I do noticed there seem to be large periods with no development:

    The fact that the website has only (seemingly) been neglected is a little worrying about the long term viability? Doubts a little eased, but not completely assuaged.

    If anyone could take the time to help out with another fix I need (for the slowwwww loading desktop, see this thread), and can post over there, I'd be very grateful

  9. #9
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    Re: Xfce development

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_Lucas View Post
    ... Thunar's lack of tabs really beginning to annoy me.
    ... I do noticed there seem to be large periods with no development:
    ... The fact that the website has only (seemingly) been neglected is a little worrying
    ...
    If anyone could take the time to help out ...
    I'm not sure people have pointed this out or not, but much of the work done on Linux and Xfce and Xubuntu is by people volunteering their time and without expecting remuneration.

    I personally feel more comfortable helping, when I can, someone who shows an understanding of these limitations.

  10. #10
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    Re: Xfce development

    One of the greatest assets that XFCE has is that it changes so slowly. Small incremental changes to fix bugs and maybe add a new feature or two. It's the WinXP of Linux.

    I don't want it to change rapidly for fear that I will have to finally learn how to spell paradime ... paradym ... paradigm? whatever..... and be forced to interface with my operating system using interpretive dance.

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