The future of Linux

Comet Friend comet.friend at
Fri Jun 14 21:07:53 CEST 2013

Am Freitag, 14. Juni 2013, 07:36:15 schrieb Genghis Khan:
> Xfce and LXDE are close but Xfce4 does seem to be much more appealing
> due to its own composition mechanism and its own window manager Xfwm4
> which fits with GTK+ themes unlike Openbox (default in LXDE), and also
> Xfwm4 has a complete support for BiDi writings, unlike Openbox.
> For my personal usage, I use IceWM and Fluxbox because of two reasons:
> IceWM
> -----
> It is a great idea and I am also addicted to the old and simple Win95
> style which can be also achieved with Xfce.
> Fluxbox
> -------
> I can group tabs. *When this is implemented in Xfce I might drop FB.
> I find its menu much more flexible than the one of,
> though I may argue on it.
> I like the idea that most people in real world have trouble figuring
> out how this "strange" "operating system" (referring to FB) work.
> But, if I am interested in a desktop environment for a productive use
> in a company or in an office I would categorically choose Xfce over
> anything else.
> Note: Xfce is also a fallback environment for many KDE users I know.
> > > Can I be confident that Xfce will continue to be supported and
> > > available in the future? Or is it really destined to be lost to us
> > > eventually?
> > 
> > This again, is just clueless individuals whom think they know. They
> > don't. Alwasy take those kind of deterministic predictions as what
> > they are: Guesses.
> > 
> > > Regards
> > > 
> > > Neil
> > 
> > Cheers!


For a couple of reasons KDE is my preferred main desktop, but I use Fluxbox 
und Xfce a lot, too, for the very reasons you describe.

And you are correct: Xfce is a popular fallback for KDE users. In fact, the 
philosophy behind Xfce is more compatible with the philosophy of KDE than with 
the philosophy of Gnome and derivatives. This mainly refers to the approach of 
modularisation of components, avoiding endless chains of dependencies of 
dependencies of dependencies...
Therefore, while KDE users usually don't find Gtk+ visually appealing and 
avoid it whenever possible, we do like Xfce, and with Adwaita theme and Faenza 
icon themes Xfce looks damned fancy! :)

But to also respond to the OP: The future of Linux is in no way depending on 
the fate of one or another desktop environment, but on the willingness of 
developers of desktop environments to avoid proprietary stuff that requires 
application developers to invest a lot of effort in adapting their software 
for a specific environment.
The classic (commercial) Unix flavours died of just that: Their vendors tried 
to "differentiate" their products from competition. Application software had 
to be adapted for each *nix derivative individually, which meant a lot of work 
for each target. The market was fragmented, and finally died.

This is the reason, why I am sceptic about the things going on with Ubuntu, 
but I am not afraid, yet, that we are facing the same threat as former *nix 
users. In the end, the Linux world is the currently the only healthy market in 
the whole software world, as there is no pre-dominant single vendor, and as 
there is a lot of choice for users with wallets of different size (to buy 
support and services) from single-person hobbyist users to Fortune 500 

Freedom of choice and healthy competition is what a market should be about, 
and what actually has never worked in the software business, except in the 
Linux cosmos. One example is the desktop world. Choose yourself, what you like 
the most, now, and use it as long as you like it. And smoothly switch to 
something else, whenevery you change your mind, or when you want to support 
different use case.

And don't be afraid, that your favourite software won't run: Apart from a few 
exceptions, if your applications runs on one distro, it can be run on any 
other distro, as well. It just may require a little more configuration work.

So no reason to be pessimistic about the future of Linux as a whole or Xfce. 
As long as users adopt it, it will survive (and be maintained). I am convinced 
of that.


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