Some thoughts on xfce4 design

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at
Sat Sep 28 16:17:23 CEST 2002

On 28 Sep 2002 14:22:57 +0200
Olivier Fourdan <fourdan at> wrote:

> > * panel objects
> > There are some complications if we allow an item without a popup
> > menu to replace one without. The user would then lose the menu. I
> > think it might be wiser to only allow special builtin objects like
> > the central panel or a separator (I really like that feature from
> > Eugenia's screenshot) to not have a popup menu. This means there has
> > to be a separate way to add these special objects to the panel,
> > presumably from the global dialog.
> Maybe a simple alert box when switching to a item w/out menu would
> suffice. Keep it simple.

Nice idea. Perhaps too annoying. I'll try.

> > For instance, I really don't know how to implement separators in the
> > user interface. Perhaps a separate tab in the global dialog with a
> > list of separators. The user could then add or remove separators at
> > a certain position.
> What about, for each item, a check box :
> [ ] Separator on the left
> [ ] Separator on the right

Yes, I like that. Simple, direct and effective.

> > - running programs (with or without feedback)
> glib has that already, hasn't it ?

Yes. What I have in xfce4 is:

void exec_cmd(const char *cmd, gboolean in_terminal);

which pops up a dialog with error message if there is an error. The
variant exec_cmd_silent() does the same without the dialog, just a

> > - file open dialog (perhaps one special dialog with image preview?)
> part of gui lib. zeDek should be investigatiing on that.
> > - image handling (loading, scaling, icon themes)
> humm, gdkpixbuf has all this already.

Yes, that's probably enough.

> > - drag and drop convenience functions
> it's in gtk. Maybe the important word here is "convenient" ?

In xfce4 I have made some functions to easily connect a widget to
receiving drops from a file manager. Widgets can connect a function
that takes as arguments the widget, a GList of files or directories and
a gpointer for user data. This is perhaps too panel-specific.


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