Renaming of Xfce components

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Wed Apr 1 22:59:05 CEST 2009

[Why is this posted to xfce@?]

Jannis Pohlmann wrote:

> In an IRC meeting we had yesterday we've decided to strip "xfce"
> from the names of some of our components and replace it with something
> more generic that doesn't prevent people from using the libraries.

Uh, what?  Please clarify this "we" you speak of.

> Other renamings we have planned, all of which follow the "gtk", "glib",
> "gio", "gnio" naming style:
>   libxfce4util    => gutil
>   libxfcegui4     => gui
>   xfce4-session   => gsession

Have you talked to the glib folks about this?  Stepping on their
namespace isn't a particularly nice thing to do.

>   xfconf          => xdgconf (to emphasize that it should become the
>                               config system backed up by
>                               in the near future)

Frankly I don't think xfconf is suitable as a cross-desktop fd.o-blessed
standard.  It has several design issues, the implementation is
significantly less than optimal, and, as currently implemented, is a
desktop start performance bottleneck.

Also, while I intend to remedy this in a future major release, libxfconf
is currently not async (it blocks the main loop waiting for dbus calls
to complete), and I know several people will consider this a major
blocker in considering xfconf as any kind of cross-desktop standard.

In a word: no.  Xfconf is decent for us, and certainly a step up from
MCS, but it's not suitable for cross-desktop prime-time.  If people are
interested in getting it into shape, sure, let's solicit feedback and
come up with a TODO list, but I wouldn't presume to change the name
until *after* all that is complete and we have buy-in from fd.o, GNOME,
and KDE (assuming such buy-in is even possible, and I'm skeptical about

> I hope you all agree with me that this is once again a big step forward
> for Xfce as a whole. It underlines our urge to play a more important
> role in the cross desktop sector.

Not really -- it's basically an attempt to genericise our components and
co-opt other naming schemes without permission (while such 'permission'
isn't strictly required, not soliciting it is a bit of a dick move).

Jannis, feel free to rename libxfce4menu: it's your project, and its
future direction is up to you.  But the other libraries should not
change (especially libxfcegui4, which we're trying to kill off; we
should try to get useful stuff in libxfce4util pushed to glib proper),
and xfce4-session will most certainly remain xfce4-session.


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