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Thread: Features Coming In The Xfce 4.12 Desktop

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis3 View Post
    The base system also helps. Instead of Xubuntu, try ubuntu minimal, (pick option command line only) then just the apt-get the package xfce4. Or switch distro if you don't care about Canonical repositories. I'm hoping for Bodhi Linux to improve, but they need to fix PXE install using their ISO. You might also try the Linux Mint flavors.
    Agreed on installing Xfce rather than xubuntu-desktop-task or whatever. You will miss a few things - WiFi manager, volume slider etc but those can be installed later. I wish every desktop had a minimal install option. IMHO one of the great mistakes of the Linux desktop was the belief that every desktop had to have its own suite of applications. Notepad, calculator, text editor, web browser, email client, media player, search system, IM client, package manager, office apps, graphical editors, etc. KDE even developed its own IDE!

    We would've been much better off if desktops had stuck to being thin, fast, optimised ui bases for running common software, instead of trying to build these massive cathedrals.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Agreed on installing Xfce rather than xubuntu-desktop-task or whatever. You will miss a few things - WiFi manager, volume slider etc but those can be installed later. I wish every desktop had a minimal install option. IMHO one of the great mistakes of the Linux desktop was the belief that every desktop had to have its own suite of applications. Notepad, calculator, text editor, web browser, email client, media player, search system, IM client, package manager, office apps, graphical editors, etc. KDE even developed its own IDE!

    We would've been much better off if desktops had stuck to being thin, fast, optimised ui bases for running common software, instead of trying to build these massive cathedrals.
    Having those applications what is the very definition of a desktop environment. If you don't want to use something like that just use a simple WM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redi44 View Post
    Cinnamon having only a bit more than XFCE?

    Might not be quite as low as in the chart, but it definitely fits in the spot between XFCE and Razor-Qt.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    Having those applications what is the very definition of a desktop environment. If you don't want to use something like that just use a simple WM.
    Yes but the apps don't need to be part of the desktop project - they can be third party apps with the overall end user desktop environment potentially put together by someone else (as the reality is with distributions today). It is very telling that the most popular apps (chromium, Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, mplayer, vnc, open libre office) aren't part of a specific desktop, whereas their counterparts (gnome office, koffice, epiphany, konqueror, kmail, evolution, kCalendar etc) became less popular. Why did we need to have desktop specific web browsers and office suites? What good did it ever do us? As if writing all this software wasn't enough work already, we had to do it for every desktop.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis3 View Post
    Someone tested memory usage of basic desktop installs:


    I use Xubuntu but switched the desktop to E17, and the memory used went down from 150ish mb down to about 50 mb; looks better AND has more features than KDE, which is a memory hog and takes ages to load, comparable to Unity and Gnome 3 of course.

    But aside from E17 which might look intimidating for having so much customization (like KDE), XFCE, and LXDE are very good. For true old machines, you might go with IceWM or similar.

    The base system also helps. Instead of Xubuntu, try ubuntu minimal, (pick option command line only) then just the apt-get the package xfce4. Or switch distro if you don't care about Canonical repositories. I'm hoping for Bodhi Linux to improve, but they need to fix PXE install using their ISO. You might also try the Linux Mint flavors.
    I've seen that chart before and as I recall, the person who put it together did not provide much background information other than that those were just the default installs from the distro he / she was using, and did not specify what distro it was. I would be very curious to see just what is included in those default installs, and in the default session launcher configurations, by his / her distro's packagers.

    Pound-for-pound comparisons of components make sense (for example, file manager vs file manager, wm vs wm, and so on). As it is, comparing such "DEs" is too much apples and oranges, and this is only made harder when we don't even know what the default installs and sessions include.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Yes but the apps don't need to be part of the desktop project - they can be third party apps with the overall end user desktop environment potentially put together by someone else (as the reality is with distributions today). It is very telling that the most popular apps (chromium, Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, mplayer, vnc, open libre office) aren't part of a specific desktop, whereas their counterparts (gnome office, koffice, epiphany, konqueror, kmail, evolution, kCalendar etc) became less popular. Why did we need to have desktop specific web browsers and office suites? What good did it ever do us? As if writing all this software wasn't enough work already, we had to do it for every desktop.
    Only for two desktops. KDE and GNOME. I think the reason why that happened is due to the same reason why GNOME existed to begin with: licensing issues. at the time Qt was not as open as it is these days, so people created the GNOME project as the "more open than KDE" desktop environment. So while KDE had apps written in Qt, it was deemed insufficient by the GNOME camp and those programs were remade in GTK. Then as new programs emerged, given that the base desktops used GTK and Qt, with their own integration and theming issues and what not, it made sense to keep the whole separation.

    Now for XFCE, their programs have a different goal in mind: light weight. They remake programs and make sure that they don't have unnecessary bloat. Since their design decisions come from GNOME, they use GTK for this. That results in another separation when it comes to Razor-qt: their desktop is Qt, but loading the KDE libraries is super slow, so they also want their own light-weight Qt apps.

    Besides that, I don't think anyone else is making specific programs. LXDE and XFCE share the programs to some extent. The WMs, like Fluxbox, don't trouble themselves with programs to begin with. Enlightenment is doing something, but I never used E17 so I can't really comment on that (although I hear good things about it).

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Agreed on installing Xfce rather than xubuntu-desktop-task or whatever. You will miss a few things - WiFi manager, volume slider etc but those can be installed later. I wish every desktop had a minimal install option. IMHO one of the great mistakes of the Linux desktop was the belief that every desktop had to have its own suite of applications. Notepad, calculator, text editor, web browser, email client, media player, search system, IM client, package manager, office apps, graphical editors, etc. KDE even developed its own IDE!

    We would've been much better off if desktops had stuck to being thin, fast, optimised ui bases for running common software, instead of trying to build these massive cathedrals.
    I *think* this comes from times where you couldn't use apps designed for one desktop in another, because there was no standard hints for the WM to manage them. Right now, I think some make sense to be desktop dependent (like the notepad and the calculator, maybe), but office suits I think it should be one aiming to nice features and one aiming to be lightweight, and that's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Besides that, I don't think anyone else is making specific programs. LXDE and XFCE share the programs to some extent. The WMs, like Fluxbox, don't trouble themselves with programs to begin with. Enlightenment is doing something, but I never used E17 so I can't really comment on that (although I hear good things about it).
    Actually, LXDE is pretty thin in that aspect, there isn't even an *official* WM for LXDE, but is supposed to be used with the one you want (I tried it with Openbox, Fluxbox and IceWM). The default is usually Openbox.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrugiero View Post
    I *think* this comes from times where you couldn't use apps designed for one desktop in another, because there was no standard hints for the WM to manage them.
    That time never really existed in released software as I recall. There were bits and pieces that would not function, but apps written for KDE/Qt could always run in GNOME and vice versa. The core functionality of the window managers and ICCCWM extensions have always worked. Some components like applets, notification icons, and particularly "not usual" window behaviors might not have worked all the time, but then those were never essential to any apps besides the core desktop components (panels, root window file manager, etc.) that you wouldn't mix-n-match anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    That time never really existed in released software as I recall. There were bits and pieces that would not function, but apps written for KDE/Qt could always run in GNOME and vice versa. The core functionality of the window managers and ICCCWM extensions have always worked. Some components like applets, notification icons, and particularly "not usual" window behaviors might not have worked all the time, but then those were never essential to any apps besides the core desktop components (panels, root window file manager, etc.) that you wouldn't mix-n-match anyway.
    Very well, then, thanks for the correction.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Only for two desktops. KDE and GNOME. I think the reason why that happened is due to the same reason why GNOME existed to begin with: licensing issues. at the time Qt was not as open as it is these days, so people created the GNOME project as the "more open than KDE" desktop environment. So while KDE had apps written in Qt, it was deemed insufficient by the GNOME camp and those programs were remade in GTK. Then as new programs emerged, given that the base desktops used GTK and Qt, with their own integration and theming issues and what not, it made sense to keep the whole separation.
    Yes, you are right about the licensing dispute, Qt was supposed to be incompatible with the GPL, but that ended when Qt was relicensed in year 2000. Since then, there has been no licensing reason why new projects should be desktop specific. And some projects were always GPL anyway (KDevelop has been GPL since 1999). So I think there was more to it than that: the philosophy of the desktops was to make something that resembled Windows, where the desktop project had control over all of the software that came bundled with it. The problem with that approach is that it implicitly rejects third party software, even if that software is better, and it rejects opportunities to collaborate on cross-desktop applications. If Gnome desktop has an official app for functionality X (email, web, whatever), then that app will always be shipped as part of Gnome desktop, over all other competitors. It's a statist approach to creating a desktop. Competition is good, but the concept of a desktop having an "official X app" eliminates that competition. And I have no idea why generic programming tools like KDevelop/Nemiver were ever considered desktop specific. It can't be just about the widgets - nobody says that Skype is KDE specific because it uses Qt, or that Firefox is Gnome specific because it uses GTK.

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