Xfce Digest, Vol 191, Issue 7

Andrzej andrzejr at xfce.org
Wed Oct 23 10:15:54 CEST 2019

On 22/10/2019 23:22, Sean Davis wrote:
>> If you really want work on that, fine, but as a minimum please make 
>> it a run-time option and make sure the non-CSD variant always works. 
>> Otherwise, if you really must follow through, rename/fork the 
>> applications and libraries so that original can be maintained and 
>> developed further under their current names and in their current 
>> repositories. We don't want to end up with another Gnome/Mate mess.
> Another feature of the toolkit CSD decorations implementation is that 
> GTK_CSD=0 just works. The last thing we want is any divide where Xfce 
> is forked and maintained separately.

This needs to be an option in GUI and CSD should be off by default. 
Otherwise, *please*, fork the code. One of the problems with Gnome3 was 
they have have repurposed Gnome naming and infrastructure to push their 
ideas and people who wanted to use the previous implementation were 
forced to do the fork.

>> But, why? Why break established X11 patterns for the sake of some 
>> visual candy? Window managers are a central part of X11 user 
>> experience. Only recently my organization has deployed Xfce on user 
>> machines because the hits a good balance between being standards 
>> compliant and feature rich. From the usability point of view CSD have 
>> a negative value.
> It's not about the visual eye candy. There are actual benefits we gain 
> from CSD (as I mentioned before), and the window manager is still at 
> work when using the CSD windows.

That's all great. Now, make it an option or fork the code - that's the 
way to convince users.

To me, this feature has a overall negative value and there were many 
technical problems with it listed as well. Two main issues to me:

- We lose credibility as a project. The community *will* see it as Xfce 
team turning into a Gnome3 path. This is particularly damaging to us 
because many of our users came here in search for an alternative to Gnome3.

- It is simply not possible to implement all features of all window 
managers, so this will always lead to loss of functionality and 
compatibility issues. By all means, do try to minimize them, but also 
don't force users to use it in the first place.

By the way, if in future you want to work on a Wayland compositor - 
that's OK, just make it a new tool, don't just replace 
xfwm/xfdesktop/xfce4-panel. In that case it is probably OK to default to 
CSD, or at least have it supported by libraries, although an option for 
having SSD would be great.

Best regards,


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