Proposal for a general setup panel (overview)

Olivier Fourdan fourdan at
Wed Aug 21 10:50:46 CEST 2002

Hi Jasper,

> Some people would consider this 'hijacking' of the standard and it assumes
> we always run with our own xsettings manager. This more or less makes it
> impossible to use parts of xfce in other environments (e.g. xfwm4 for GNOME
> or ROX) while still being able to change settings. I'm not saying this is
> wrong, but it's a consequence of using XSETTINGS, isn't it?
> Would it be possible to use our own XFSETTINGS window and use the protocol
> described in XSETTINGS for our own settings? The xfsettings manager can then
> manage both settings windows or only the xfce one if there is another
> settings manager present.
> I don't know if this is smart or even possible, but I thought I'd suggest it
> anyway.

The xsettings protocol clearly specifies that only one manager can run
at a time. For example ROX xsettings manager doesn't manage all the
settings found in GNOME xsettings.

By using plugins, we shall be able to implement some if not all of other
xsettings manager functionalities (gtk theme, desktop font, etc.)
> Yes indeed. There's lots of small thing all programs have to do. It will be
> very useful to have a common library with support functions.
> - settings
> - running programs
> - reporting (errors, warnings, info)
> - opening files, (images with preview ?)
> Some of this code could be taken from xfce4.
> - extended window manager hints. Setting and reading the desktop hints.
>    Perhaps this should be separate. It would be useful for pagers, taskbars,
>    the panel, the desk menu, ...

And a bunch of stuff from xfwm4 regarding freedesktop standards. That
would bereally usefull for other apps such as icon manager and pager.

> A big difference of course is that with ROX the configuration is all
> in-process, so that makes some things a bit easier.
> However if we decide on a communications protocol (XSETTINGS) and have a
> library to communicate with the settings manager the difference may not be
> so big.

Agree. I kinda like the "modular" approach provided by the plugin

> If I remember correctly ROX options system uses two types of configuration
> files:
> - one xml file to describe the dialog. This file includes the type of widgets
>    to use (like glade) and the names of the options. There may be information
>    on the limits of each option and a default value as well, I'm not sure.
> - separate parts of ROX read their own config file and register options with
>    the options system. The option is registered by name, which must match the
>    name in the dialog config file. It can also provide callback functions that
>    will be called when something changes.
> If we want to use something like this we have to use separate xml files to
> describe the dialog for each application.
> Now I go back to work ;-)

So do I.

Olivier               <fourdan at>  
XFce is a lightweight  desktop  environment  for  various *NIX systems.
Designed for productivity,  it loads  and  executes  applications fast,
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